Family Services of Westchester Receives $2.25 Million Grant Award for At-Risk Youth Mentoring Initiative

PURCHASE, NY, Dec. 17, 2018 – Family Services of Westchester (FSW) is pleased to announce that it has been chosen by New York State’s Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) to be the recipient of a $2,250,000 grant award for the Community Credible Messengers Initiative (CCMI).

CCMI is a mentoring initiative created by OCFS that is designed to help youth in the juvenile justice system. The goal of the program is reducing recidivism and dissuading youth from further anti-social behavior through the development of regionally placed mentors known as “Credible Messengers” and “Parent Partners.” These “Credible Messengers” and “Parent Partners” are men and women who have had experience with the juvenile or criminal justice system and are able to use their experiences to steer youth in the right direction.

OCFS awarded grants to four nonprofits in four regions – Buffalo, Rochester, Mid-Hudson and Long Island, for the program. The grant will be disbursed annually in increments of $450,000 for a term of five years.

The young people in the juvenile justice system present significant challenges reengaging in positive community opportunities and supports so they require innovative interventions and solutions. Throughout the years, “Credible Messenger” initiatives across the country have been found to be impactful and effective in reducing violence, preventing recidivism and improving overall life outcomes for these youth.

“We are very excited to have the opportunity to provide such an impactful program to the at-risk youth in Westchester as well as nearby communities. Programs such as this are vital in helping these young people effectively transition back to their communities and stay out of the justice system,” stated Polly Kerrigan, president and CEO of FSW.

About Family Services of Westchester
Family Services of Westchester (FSW) is a nonprofit organization operating in Westchester County, New York since 1954. With nearly 50 innovative programs, FSW provides mental health and social services that strengthen and support families, children and individuals at every stage of their lives. Learn more about FSW here:


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