Reflecting on Family Service of Lake County and Josselyn’s Consolidation Journey

By Gaby Valverde Strobehn
Donor Relations Manager

As I look back on the past year, I am filled with a sense of pride and gratitude for the remarkable journey that Family Service of Lake County (FSLC) and Josselyn have undertaken together. The consolidation between our organizations was not just a business transaction, it was a coming together of two entities with a shared vision of support for our community.

Before the consolidation in April last year, I was the Community Support Manager at FSLC. The consolidation came at a challenging time for FSLC, as we were grappling with the departure of leaders, the impact of COVID-19, and the aftermath of the Highland Park shooting.

These challenges became the catalyst for change, prompting FSLC to explore a consolidation to continue a 90-year legacy of serving the community. Josselyn shared FSLC’s commitment to meeting the community’s needs and had the organizational strength to address our challenges. For my part, I became a Josselyn employee through the consolidation, along with several other former FSLC employees. Also, eight members of the FSLC board joined Josselyn’s board, symbolizing our commitment to working together for our community’s welfare.

Brien Leahy, President of Community Banking at First Bank Chicago, is one such board member. He reflected on the past year by saying, “Consolidating FSLC into Josselyn turned out to be an excellent decision for the organization and the people we serve. We continue to serve the community from our same locations and with the same high level of care that built Family Service’s reputation. Josselyn’s expanded resources mean we are able to provide services to many more people in the community. I am proud to be affiliated with and support Josselyn.”

In the past year, we have achieved remarkable milestones together. One of our most significant achievements was in the FSLC Highland Park location, where we previously served 30-60 clients. Now, thanks to the consolidation, we are proud to support 260 individuals. Josselyn invested in additional staff, including more bilingual therapists to ensure that language is not a barrier to accessing mental health support. The significant increase in clients served reflects our commitment to expanding access to quality care and making a meaningful impact in our community.

Barbara J. Sereda, Esq., President of Adoption Advocates of America, is another former FSLC board member who now serves on the Josselyn board. She shares her experience of the consolidation, “I can recall our hopes and dreams that FSLC’s mission would be sustained after the merger.  Now, I am thrilled to see that in just one year, thanks to the synergies of the talented, experienced, and dedicated staff of Josselyn and FSLC, programming has not only been sustained, but has grown exponentially, reaching more clients than we ever imagined. I am so grateful for the honor to serve Josselyn and to support its mission of Mental health for all.”

Looking ahead, we are filled with excitement and optimism for the future. We have ambitious plans, including expanding our programs and services to reach even more people in need. Our consolidation has reinforced our belief that we are stronger together, working towards our mission of Mental health for all.

We are immensely grateful for your longstanding support and generosity towards FSLC. Your contribution has been instrumental in our ability to provide mental health services and support those in need. 

Now that we are Josselyn, we are delighted to welcome you and express our gratitude for your continued support. We are grateful to have you as part of the Josselyn family. 

Josselyn recently hosted community partners and philanthropic supporters at its Highland Park location (formerly part of FSLC). Select any image below to view the event gallery.

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