From Our Family to Yours…

This month, Center for Family Services of PBC, Inc. celebrates a significant milestone, as we honor our own in-house celebrity, Maria Padron. On October 7, 2007 Maria joined CFS with a job description and a title, but no words can describe the value she has added to the Center over the past 15 years. She is dedicated to the Center’s mission and to the community we serve. “Maria is a beloved member of our team, and we are so much better because of her daily contributions and caring spirit,” expresses Karen Swanson, CFS’ long-time board member and chairwoman. As you know, a lot happens over the course of 15 years, and Maria has been inextricably woven into the Center’s successes and community impact. We are so grateful for the special person she is and the years of service she has given to our employees, clients, and community. This month, we celebrate Maria!

As students return to school, learning virtually or in-person has pros and cons that can affect mental health and academic performance. Our Triple P (Positive Parenting Program) is designed to help parents with children of all ages who are struggling with behavioral issues and problems in school and at home. This Children’s Services Council (CSC) funded program offers great parenting tips and education at no cost to Palm Beach County parents and guardians.

Additionally, this program is regularly presented at local schools in partnership with the 21st Century Community Learning Centers. Center for Family Services’ clinicians also helped create a well-received video series “Ask the Experts” produced by CSC and available on the CSC website, as well as the EveryParent app. These are short videos in both English and Spanish on relevant back-to-school topics.

Please remember to reach out to your child’s school’s mental health employee for helpful resources and potential referrals if you find this school year particularly challenging.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. What began as a “Day of Unity” in October 1981 has become a month of activities devoted to mourning those who have died because of domestic violence, celebrating those who have survived, and connecting those who work to end violence. October 1989 marks the initiation of the first national domestic violence toll-free hotline, now known as “the hotline” 1-800-799-SAFE (7233); with an added text option to 88788.

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence provides statistics on domestic violence (DV) and intimate partner violence (IPV) rates in the various counties and states. In the United States, more than 10 million adults experience domestic violence annually *; and on average 20 people per minute are victims of IPV. Twenty-five percent of women and ten percent of men report experiencing sexual violence, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner during their lifetime *. Furthermore, in 2018, IPV accounted for 20% of all violent crime *. Of more local significance, according to the latest reporting on, Palm Beach County recorded 4,359 domestic violence offenses in 2020.

The parameters of DV are devastating and can include: sexual abuse, physical abuse, mental abuse, financial devastation, stalking, assault, and even homicide. Furthermore, IPV is estimated to cost the US economy $8.3 Billion, with $8 Million of paid work hours lost each year ( DV and IPV affect all people regardless of age, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion, or nationality. The devastating consequences of DV and IPV can cross generations and last lifetimes.

Featured Program – SAFE Kids

SAFE Kids (Stop Abuse by Family Empowerment) was established in 1998, and is a CFS program which serves people who have been affected by crime. The purpose of SAFE Kids is to treat victims of sexual abuse/assault, physical abuse, and domestic violence; as well as witnesses to domestic violence. We also treat survivors of human trafficking, homicide attempts, stalking, robbery, and assault, and non-offending family members of children who have experienced abuse. Our services for child victims of sexual abuse are especially crucial, as CFS is the only Department of Health and Children’s Medical Services officially-approved Sexual Abuse Treatment Program in Palm Beach County.

Our SAFE Kids therapists have specialized training in the treatment of sexual abuse and trauma. They utilize Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) and other modalities proven to treat trauma survivors effectively. Additionally, CFS collaborates with the Department of Children and Families (DCF), ChildNet, Child Protection Team (CPT), PBC Sheriff’s Office, Catholic Charities, Victim’s Services, Children’s Home Society, Home Safe, the Human Trafficking Task Force, and the Domestic Violence Council.

Old Bags Luncheon®

Of course, none of these services would be possible without your ongoing support. We want to thank our dedicated staff, board, community partners, and generous donors who allow us to offer these critical outpatient mental health services to Palm Beach County residents. You are all essential partners in our tireless efforts to increase accessibility to behavioral health services. Thank you for being a key component in the success of our nonprofit organization. We look forward to seeing you all at our annual fundraiser, the 24th Annual Old Bags Luncheon event.

The 24th Annual Old Bags Luncheon will return to The Breakers Palm Beach on February 22, 2023. Our signature event will be chaired by Tammy Pompea and Diane Smith. The Honorary Chair will be 2022’s IT Bag designer, Cecy Martinez. Our IT Bag for 2023 will be designed by Jennifer Tattanelli, whose flagship stores are located on Worth Avenue, Palm Beach. We are delighted to announce our celebrity speaker this year is Marie Osmond! It promises to be an afternoon to remember!


* The national intimate partner and sexual violence survey: 2010 summary report
* The national intimate partner and sexual violence survey: 2015 summary report
* Criminal victimization, 2018, Bureau of Justice Statistics

p.s. If you’d like to donate and make a gift to the Center in honor or in memory of a great father, we can email an acknowledgement to the recipient letting them know that a gift was made in their honor for Father’s Day. Be sure to leave a note with the name and email address in the message field or contact Ellen Vaughan at if you’d like to arrange recognition for a gift.

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