Seal of Dane County County of Dane
County Executive's Office

Joining Forces for Families Honored On Program’s 10th Anniversary

September 22, 2003
David W Carlson, Communications Manager, Dane County Human Services, (608) 242-6424.
County Executive

Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk today applauded the Joining Forces for Families (JFF) program on the occasion of the initiative’s 10th Anniversary. She will personally thank participants at a recognition event this evening (6:15 p.m.) at the Lussier Heritage Center. JFF is one of the largest community-based collaborations in the nation, with over 300 front-line professionals involved in every corner of Dane County. “There are many heroes involved in the JFF program. These are people who offer up their skills, talents and problem solving abilities to help families survive and strive when they’re up against challenges that life throws their way,” said Falk. In 1993, Dane County started a program called Joining Forces for Families, with three community social workers assigned to three Madison neighborhoods to facilitate the development of community teams. The goal for the teams was to help identify and meet needs and problems of families on a voluntary basis. The concept was based on the approach to social work developed by one of its founders, Jane Adams and the Settlement House Movement. “She believed then, as we do today, that residents should be able to walk through an open door to problem-solve on the issues they are confronted with in a way that maintains their integrity and dignity,” said Falk. “From JFF teams in three neighborhoods our first year, to 26 teams in every corner of the county. We’ve come a long way,” said Falk. “Our JFF teams work to resolve family situations to avoid crises or formal involvement with our court or human services systems,” said Falk. “JFF helps families focus on their strengths and their abilities to help themselves.” Dane County JFF now has 15 human services department social workers placed in the community where they help facilitate 26 JFF teams. A JFF team typically consists of team members representing, police, school, public health, faith-based organizations and other community groups that have an interest in strengthening families. # # #
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