The Children and Family Services Center (The Center) opened March 2003, but planning began more than five years earlier. The vision was led by a steering committee made of executive directors and board members from nine Charlotte non-profit agencies serving children and families. The Center was officially created by these nine founding agencies in 2000. A public-private partnership was formed when the City of Charlotte agreed to ground lease the site for the Center at 5th and Davidson Streets.
Hugh McColl, retired Chairman and CEO of Bank of America, led the capital campaign for construction of the Center. As a result of Mr. McColl’s leadership, the capital campaign raised nearly $9 million of the $11 million needed to build the 100,000 square foot Center. In addition to the money raised from private individuals, corporate donors, and foundations, contributions included in-kind and reduced-price services and materials from many of community partners.
In 2003, the nine founding agencies relocated to the fully-furnished and fully-equipped premises in a new, first-class office building in the center of Charlotte. The Center was established as a separate 501(c)(3) governed by the Board of Directors made up of representatives from each of the participating agencies as well as at-large community leaders.
Who Are We
The Center enables the partner agencies to co-locate and collaborate in a modern, fully equipped building close to the social service, public education and court facilities serving their clients and is also easily accessible on public transportation.
The Center allows the partner agencies to make differences in the lives of many more families than was once possible. Many of the families and children who receive the services provided at the partner agencies face multiple challenges on a daily basis. A family trying to escape the bonds of poverty and homelessness may find it difficult, if not impossible, to provide quality child care or work to insure their child's school readiness.
Our nonprofit partner agencies strive to be a safe, supportive, and dynamic community, achieving our respective missions and serving our clients more creatively, efficiently, and cost-effectively. We believe that we are far better together than we could ever be individually.
Why We Are Different
The vision of the nine founding agencies was only partially realized with their own facility. The creation of a wholly-owned subsidiary, CFSC Shared Services, LLC, was formed to provide finance and human resource services to the partner agencies at a cost substantially below market. The combination of below market rent, technology, finance and human resources services produced collective agency savings in excess of $11,000,000 in the first decade of operation. This has resulted in more funds available for programs and services to children and families.
While the Center offers a central, easily accessible location, contains finance, human resources and technological services and systems that result in greater operational efficiencies, the true differentiation is driven by the agencies working and planning together to build new models of service.
The partner agency executive directors and the Center’s Board have begun implementing a sustainable cooperative structure for training the partner agencies’ program managers and staff members to understand the other agencies services and to recognize opportunities for the intentional collaborative inter-agency provision of services to children and families.
The client-centered goal is, “Clients working with any one of the partner agencies receive meaningful, accurate, and timely referrals to other partner agencies.” The agency-centered goal is, “Essential staff members are equipped with the information they need to make meaningful, accurate, and timely referrals to other partner agencies.”
We have created a welcoming environment where clients, volunteers and employees feel valued and respected.
How We Serve
The Center is more than a building, it is 100,000 square feet of office, client service and meeting space that allows nine collaborating agencies to share ideas, space, technology, and administrative and program services in an effort to maximize resources, reduce costs, and redirect savings to support and expand programs. The Center helps to increase the partner agencies’ capacity and enhance their services to children and families.
Reach Out to CFSC
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