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Darien's Dilenschneider named 'Family Champion'

Published 11:03 am, Friday, June 28, 2013
  • Family Centers√≠ staff member Amanda Harmon, left, and board member Jan Dilenschneider were recognized as Family Champions by the Connecticut Council of Family Service Agencies (CCFSA) for their outstanding commitment to improving the lives of families. Photo: Contributed Photo
    Family Centersí staff member Amanda Harmon, left, and board member Jan Dilenschneider were recognized as Family Champions by the Connecticut Council of Family Service Agencies (CCFSA) for their outstanding commitment to improving the lives of families. Photo: Contributed Photo

 

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Family Centers board member Jan Dilenschneider and staff member Amanda Harmon were recognized as Family Champions by the Connecticut Council of Family Service Agencies for their outstanding commitment to improving the lives of families.

At a recent ceremony at the Trumbull Marriott, the CCFSA honored Dilenschneider, Harmon and 28 other human services professionals and volunteers whose actions have strengthened families in Connecticut.

Since joining the board of directors in 1998, Dilenschneider, of Darien, has employed a "big picture" approach to help the agency expand its reach in the community.

As board chairman from 2005 to 2008, she helped guide Family Centers through two successful mergers with the Center for HOPE and HealthCare Connection, bolstering the agency's range of services and creating a greater continuum of care.

Dilenschneider also has been co-chairman of several fundraisers.

For the past five years, Harmon has been a resource, confidant and sounding board for the students at Stamford's Rippowam Middle School and AITE High School. As the clinical social worker at Family Centers' School Based Health Center serving both schools, Harmon offers an objective ear to the adolescents who look to her for guidance and support.

In addition, Harmon regularly co-facilitates psycho-educational groups with teenagers who have a history of violence, suicidality and adjustment issues. In December, she also took time to volunteer in Newtown to help families and workers deal with the aftermath of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Harmon lives in Trumbull.

The Connecticut Council of Family Service Agencies is a statewide network of independent, nonprofit, family service agencies that deliver services from more than 90 offices throughout the state. Family Centers is a private, nonprofit organization offering education and human services to children, adults and families in Fairfield County. More than 2,200 professionals and trained volunteers work together to provide a wide range of responsive, innovative programs. A United Way, Community Fund of Darien and New Canaan Community Foundation partner agency, Family Centers is a member of the Connecticut Council of Family Service Agencies and the Alliance for Children and Families and is accredited by the Council on Accreditation and the National Association for the Education of Young Children.