Who We Are


When Families First first opened its doors in 1986, our mission was to prevent the abuse and neglect of children. 30 years later, that mission still holds true. We prevent the abuse and neglect of children by providing education, family support, and treatment. Families First envisions a day when every child grows up feeling safe and valued in a nurturing family environment.

Families First was built on a dream and a lot of hard work. When Firstel, a local corporation, held a contest among their employees to design a community action project, Donna Adrain-Falzone won. She had a vision of a safe haven for children that had been abused and neglected. From 1984 – 1986, Families First founders, Bunny Nicholson, Cassie Spencer, Kittie Arnold, and Donna Mediema, knew they had their work cut out for them. With dedication and determination they began working towards making it happen. Because of their enthusiasm and dedication, it wasn't long before volunteers began expressing interest, eager to become part of the dream.

What originally started as a project has turned into a successful organization that impacts hundreds, if not thousands, of children and families each year. Our founders, as well as all the staff and volunteers, who have helped us along the way, believe that preventing child abuse and neglect is more than a social service problem. It also is the community's problem that requires community involvement.

Today, more than 30 years later, we are proud of the organization that has become Families First, and the many lives we have touched. Every volunteer, staff member, board member and contributor leave a meaningful mark on the organization, benefiting the parents, children and families that come through our doors. As we know, home is where the heart is, no matter where the heart lives.