Family Service Agency exec glad to be back in social services

Michael O’Donahue joined the nonprofit Family Service Agency of San Mateo County as its vice president of development in June. The agency is preparing for a Sept. 16 celebration of its 60th anniversary.

Why were you interested in joining Family Service Agency? I had been working pretty much on a corporate level for a statewide foundation, [but] my previous experience has been in family-based social service agencies. … It’s kind of getting back to my roots. If I have a really hard day, I can just walk down the hall to our child development education center and I can sit down at a little table with 3- and 4-year-olds and glue macaroni on paper plates.

What are some of some of the agency’s most-used services? We have multiple child-development education sites — close to 20 — but then if you look at our Ways to Work family loan program, our family visitation program, our senior peer counseling and our mature worker services, those are programs that serve older adults. Almost 80 percent of our clients are what you’d consider older adults.

How has the agency changed over the past 60 years? For the most part, our agency was more counseling-based, not only providing therapeutic counseling but also referral-based counseling. We probably now are more of a direct service provider, so that’s been an evolution.

sbishop@sfexaminer.com

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