Investing in Safety, Hope, Healing, Justice, and Prevention for Victims of Sexual and Domestic Violence.
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Friends of the Family is dedicated to providing compassionate, comprehensive services to those impacted by rape, sexual abuse, and domestic violence, while partnering with our community to promote safety, healing, and prevention.
Our Guiding Philosophies:
Denton County Friends of the Family is a grassroots organization that was founded in 1980 and began with a staff of two, 32 volunteers, a 900 square foot shelter, and $10,000 in funding. In thirty years the agency has grown to a staff of 50, hundreds of active volunteers, a 4,400 square foot shelter, and over 1.5 million dollars in funding. Denton County Friends of the Family is dedicated to providing compassionate, comprehensive services to those impacted by rape, sexual abuse, and domestic violence, while partnering with the community to promote safety, healing, and prevention.
Dr. Fran Danis is Denton County Friends of the Family’s founding Executive Director. Dr. Danis received her Masters in Social Work in 1976 from Stony Brook University in New York and immediately moved to Texas. During her time at Friends of the Family, she also served 6 years on the board of the Texas Council on Family Violence, including 5 years as the chair. After leaving Friends of the Family in late 1984, she moved to Austin where she lobbied the Texas Legislature on social work related issues. Because of her expertise and ability to tell stories, she was recruited to teach a social work policy course at the University of Texas at Austin. She has studied the resiliency of abuse survivors and their adult daughters, the self-efficacy of service providers to maintain competent services for domestic violence survivors and other crime victims, collegiate sororities and relationship violence, services to sexual assault survivors, coordinated community responses to crime victims, and effective and culturally sensitive services. She has completed multiple publications over the years, including Domestic Violence: Intersectionality and Culturally Competent Practice (2010 – Columbia university press).
Throughout the years, the agency has remained true to its purpose and mission and operates a variety of programs and services to meet the needs of those seeking assistance. The agency serves over 7,000 individuals a year through the following programs: 24-hour crisis line, 32-bed protective residential shelter, adult counseling program, child and adolescent program, structured community education, violence intervention and prevention, outreach advocacy, legal advocacy and accompaniment, thrift store, hospital accompaniment and involvement in the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program. Several thousand children are educated each year through our community education programs.
Today, DCFOF is the sole provider in Denton County of shelter and free outreach services to those who have been affected by relationship violence and/or sexual assault. DCFOF receives funding from federal, state and local government agencies, the United Ways of Denton County and Lewisville, corporations, foundations, groups, and individuals. The agency looks forward to carefully designed expansion of existing programs and new initiatives to increase awareness of DCFOF services and to help end the generational cycle of violence.