SAVE THE DATE! 5th Annual Police v. Fire v. EVAC Chili Cook-Off

Family Services of Westchester Receives $331,250 Grant from Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP)


Port Chester, September 20, 2017— A $331,250 grant to Family Services of Westchester (FSW) will help launch a new initiative, Bringing Fathers Back, that aims to reduce recidivism and reinforce ties to family and community by providing mentors for young fathers who are returning home after incarceration.  Bringing Fathers Back will help these men make a successful transition home by working with them—both during their incarceration and after their release—to instill life skills for success in school, work, and family life.


An estimated 30 percent of men under age 25 in Westchester County jails are young fathers whose incarceration negatively impacts their children and families. The award, from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) is intended to address the specific needs of incarcerated fathers and consider the needs of their children. Although incarcerated fathers struggle with a variety of issues that mirror those of other inmates, their needs are particularly important due to the potential impact on their children, both while the father is incarcerated and once the father returns home.


“In addition to overcoming the material problems of finding housing and jobs, fathers reentering the community after incarceration often face emotional reactions, such as anxiety and stress. Many of these young men never had a positive role model in their own lives and they often struggle to overcome poverty and low levels of job skills and education,” explained FSW President and CEO Susan B. Wayne. “By helping these young men become better parents and role models for their own children, FSW will contribute to the health and wellbeing of their families and communities.”


Bringing Fathers Back is designed to replace the social isolation of incarceration with a social network of community connections by offering the following components:


  • Volunteer mentors will meet with recently released fathers on an ongoing basis to help them build self esteem and avoid risk factors such as gang involvement and problems with substance abuse.


  • Parenting skills. A series of educational activities and workshops will include communication skills, family bonding exercises, and anger management strategies. 


  • Community partnerships. FSW will work with government agencies, community groups, and faith-based organizations to ensure that participating fathers have access to job training, housing, and other social support services.



The new initiative, which targets young men age 16-24, is based on nearly ten years of experience working with incarcerated and formerly incarcerated populations. FSW will operate Bringing Fathers Back out of its Mt. Vernon and Yonkers offices, where it already runs several successful parenting programs, including REAL (Responsible. Employed. Active. Loving.) The program will rely on FSW’s own vast array of mental health and social services, including individual counseling; relationship and family counseling; parent-child mediation; and more.


For more information on these efforts, visit


Media Contact:

Michelle A. Nicholas




Family Services of Westchester, Inc. (FSW) is a private, not-for-profit agency serving our community since 1954. Headquartered in Port Chester, FSW runs more than 50 social service and mental health programs that reach 30,000 children, teens, adults, and families a year. Programs include adoption and foster care for children; Head Start and Pre-K programs for Westchester’s youngest students; Big Brothers/Big Sisters and other mentoring programs for teens; social support for the elderly; assistance to veterans; and educational and support services for people living with HIV/AIDS. We are licensed by the New York State Office of Mental Health to provide comprehensive mental health services at seven Family Centers (Hastings-on-Hudson, Mt. Vernon, Pelham, Port Chester, Sleepy Hollow, White Plains, and Yonkers) and five school-based mental health clinics. For more information about FSW, visit


Play Golf Benefiting My Second Home, FSW’s Adult Day Program

Join us for a fun-filled day of golf or tennis at the beautiful Mount Kisco Country Club, a hidden gem in Westchester’s legendary golf landscape! Proceeds benefit My Second Home (MSH), our award-winning intergenerational adult day care program for cognitively or physically impaired adults. At our two locations in the County,  MSH’s highly trained staff provide stimulating activities that help older adults continue to find joy and meaning in their lives.

Brunch: 11 a.m. -12:30 p.m. • Shotgun start: 12:45 p.m.
Tennis start: 2 p.m. • Cocktails: 5 p.m. • Dinner: 6 p.m.

Peggy and Roger Froehlich

Alzheimer's Advocate

Special Guest
Holly Heston Rochell
Alzheimer’s Disease Advocate and
daughter of Charlton Heston

Hole-In-One Sponsor

BMW of Mount Kisco

BMW Mount Kisco


Tee Sponsors*

BMW of Mt. Kisco
Crystal Blue Cleaning
Finch’s Mobile
Lynn and Steven Green
Barbara and Al Gross
Lenore and John Heckler
Jacobsen’s Pharmacy
Peter Jason
Edward Jones
Hacienda la Paloma
Lexington Square Café
Sue and Tom Little
Memoirs Plus
Mt. Kisco Diner
Douglas Sachs
Tompkins Mahopac Bank
Ann Weisel
The Westchester Bank

*List as of September 6


About My Second Home 

Established in 1998, My Second Home (MSH) is an award-winning adult day care program for cognitively or physically impaired adults (including those with dementia and Alzheimer’s). The intergenerational model allows seniors to enjoy daily interactions with children through structured activities and informal interactions. It is the only program of its kind in Westchester County and has become a model for the nation. An affordable alternative to assisted living or nursing home care in White Plains or Mount Kisco, MSH’s highly trained staff provide stimulating activities that help older adults continue to find joy and meaning in their lives. MSH aims to provide a safe, nurturing, and home-like environment where older adults can continue to find meaning and dignity in their daily lives through stimulating activities, wellness programs, personal care, excellent nutrition and “living room to living room” transportation. Read more >

Reserve your ticket now for Junior Board’s Annual Tennis and BBQ Fundraiser!


Sharing Shelf Backpack Drive is happening NOW!


We believe every child deserves to start the school year ready to learn, with a backpack filled with the supplies s/he needs  For the 7th year in a row, our program, The Sharing Shelf has launched  “Backpacks to School” initiative. Each backpack is filled with the grade-appropriate school supplies for children in Westchester.  

Become a Part of Our Junior Board

Join us for opportunity to learn more about getting involved with our Junior Board of FSW and the work being done to serve more than 30,000 Westchester residents. Email us at to RSVP.

What’s in it for you?

  • Network with other philanthropic individuals who care about the community in which they live
  • Expand your leadership influence
  • Cultivate new skills
  • Attend social events
  • Serve the local community through hands-on volunteer projects
  • To know that what you are doing actually does make a difference to youth and families in need
 Board Requirements
  • A passion and commitment to bettering the lives of disadvantaged youth living in Westchester County
  • NO age limit
  • The Junior Board meets about eight times annually on the second Wednesday of the month in White Plains
  • Junior Board members are expected to attend at least four meetings per year
  • Members are required to choose a committee on which to serve: Finance, Events, Volunteerism, Communications, Membership
  • Commitment to a two year term, with option to continue
  • Suggested annual donation to the Junior Board and FSW of $100

FSW VP named to “40 Under 40” 2017 Rising Stars by Business Council of Westchester

Port Chester, NY (May 30, 2017) — Family Services of Westchester (FSW) is proud to announce that Michelle A. Nicholas, Vice President of Development and External Affairs, has been named a 2017 Rising Star by the Business Council of Westchester (BCW) in its annual “40 Under 40” awards.

“We are thrilled to have Michelle on our Executive team,” said Susan B. Wayne, FSW’s CEO and President. “In just a little over a year, Michelle has put together a solid department, overseen multiple successful fundraising events and increased the agency’s visibility.”

Nicholas, a resident of Mount Vernon, said she was pleased and humbled by the honor.

“The Business Council of Westchester represents the County’s most accomplished leaders, so it’s an honor to be welcomed into their network,” she said. “Since joining FSW last year, I have been inspired by the organization’s dedication to Westchester’s residents—from its children to its elderly—and I have witnessed the County’s great capacity to take care of its most vulnerable families. This award represents an opportunity to build on the business community’s efforts to make life better for all Westchester residents.”

Howard Greenberg, Chair of FSW’s Board of Directors, called Nicholas “very deserving” of the Rising Star designation. “Michelle is enthusiastic, creative, and detail-oriented. She constantly seeks out new opportunities to raise funds for FSW,” said Greenberg. “She is always alert for new ways to expand our reach and increase our potential to help Westchester’s most vulnerable residents.”

BCW President Marcia Gordon said this year’s Rising Stars winners “are truly exceptional, not only for their talent and leadership, but also for the breadth of industries they represent,” according to the Business Council’s website. The honorees will receive their awards during a ceremony on June 15, 2017 at 800 Westchester Avenue, Rye Brook. A full listing of the winners can be found here:

2017 Rising Stars

Join FSW’s Junior Board June 13th for the FUNdraising Event of the Summer!

Join FSW’s Junior Board for the FUNdraiser of the Summer from 7-9 p.m. Tuesday, June 13th at Halftime Beverage in Mamaroneck. All proceeds support the Junior Board Grants, which help fund FSW’s many programs and services.

Recipients of the Junior Board 2017 Spring Grant cycle will be recognized at the Summer Social. They are:

EMERGE and Coming Home Program: $2,000, Director Janet Donat
Port Chester Cares: The Weber Community Garden: $2,500, Director Alex Payan
R.E.A.L. Parenting Program: $2,500, Director Alphonse Simmons
Westchester County Youth Councils: $2,000, Director Marisa Ragonese

Come congratulate the winners and learn more about their life-changing programs. RSVP by clicking the invitation above.

Big Brothers Big Sisters receives Earth Day 2017 Recycling Award from Westchester County

Laura LoBreglio of BBBS of FSW receives Westchester County’s Reuse and Recycle Award from Deputy County Executive Kevin Plunkett (L) and Department of Environmental Facilities Commissioner Thomas Lauro (R) at the Earth Day ceremonies May 13, 2017, at Kensico Dam.

Bronxville, NY: May 13, 2017 – Big Brothers Big Sisters of Family Services of Westchester (FSW) was honored Saturday with Westchester County’s Earth Day Award for collecting materials throughout Westchester for reuse or recycling. The 2017 Reuse and Recycling Award was presented by Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino as part of the County’s annual Earth Day celebration at the Kensico Dam.

“Congratulations to the Family Services of Westchester and their Big Brothers Big Sisters of Westchester program on this great accomplishment,” said Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino. “Family Services of Westchester continues to set a great example by going above and beyond to make our community a better place to live.”

“We are grateful to County Executive Rob Astorino and the County of Westchester for this honor and for recognition of our efforts,” said BBBS Program Executive Director Valerie Brown. “The principals of recycling, renewal and environmental preservation are an important message to instill in our youth and the wider community alike.”

Big Brothers Big Sisters of FSW shared the County’s 2017 Earth Day recycling award with fellow honorees Good Will and Furniture Sharehouse.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Family Services of Westchester is a youth mentoring organization, providing at-risk children aged 7-17 throughout Westchester County with strong, positive and enduring one-to-one relationships that help them realize and reach their potential. Our one-to-one mentoring model matches adult volunteers (our “Bigs”) with children (our “Littles”) and has proven to positively change our Littles’ lives by developing stronger educational, emotional, and social well-being. Our Littles are 52% less likely to skip a day of school and 46% less likely to start using illegal substances than their peers who are not in the program. We are proud to say all of our Littles have graduated high school this year and are moving on to college and post-secondary vocational opportunities! To learn more about Big Brothers Big Sisters, visit or contact Valerie Brown (914) 937-3779 or

Cornell graduate and former FSW intern credits agency for career trajectory

Sam Wood, 24, a 2015 graduate of Cornell University and a former intern with FSW, credits his time with the agency for giving him direction in his career.

“I was going into the medical profession to be a doctor,” he remembers. “I come from a family of physicians. Interning at Family Services made me want a much broader role in health care services. I wanted to effect more change.”

Sam, who has worked as a health care informatics analyst with Chicago-based VillageMD since August 2015, majored in premed studies and graduated from Cornell with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Society from the university’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. His experience as an FSW intern with the Yonkers clinic and the My Second Home program in Mount Kisco helped him forge his present career path.

“What I had seen was the awesome and honorable work FSW is doing in the social aspects of health care. I wanted to be involved in filling the gaps the system was not able to accommodate,” he said. “I decided I wanted to do something make our system better, with a more holistic approach. I think it really propelled me into the job I do now.”

Loyal FSW supporters Jeffrey and Kathy Wiegand allowed Sam to “crash in their (Westchester) basement in the summer of 2014” during his FSW internship. His experience with the agency gave Sam a desire to help revolutionize the health care system and make it affordable for all.

“Today at VillageMD, I feel we are changing the culture of health care; holistically, from a systems perspective. I really do realize the impact FSW had on me and my career and I’m happy to give back. My experiences at FSW lead me to my career path and hopefully one day, I’ll be able to lead innovative, culture-changing company myself.”