Family Services was founded by a group of concerned citizens in February of 1983 and opened a Battered Women’s shelter in July of 1983. To meet the needs of our community, we have diversified and expanded our services from a domestic violence agency to a multi-service organization that also serves victims of sexual assault and child abuse as well as individuals and families dealing with crisis or emotional problems.
Our agency’s continuum of services which includes case management, individual, group, and family therapy, crisis intervention, group classes, emergency assistance and housing are provided at our offices and housing complexes in the cities of Visalia, Tulare and Porterville. However, because we are a large rural County and many of our clients have limited transportation, we also provide services in the home or at schools, youth centers, clinics or Family Resource Centers in outlying areas of Tulare County. Annually, Family Services of Tulare County serves over 3,000 unique individuals through our various programs and services.
In 2011, Family Services was honored formally name its emergency domestic violence shelter Karen’s House in memory of longtime Executive Director Karen Cooper, who passed away in 2011. Karen was born and raised in Visalia. Through her commitment to family, work, and community, she remained true to her belief that we should leave the world a better place than we found it.
Karen began what became her life’s work with Family Services in 1990. The organization had just three employees, a small office, and a 16-bed shelter. Under her leadership, Family Services became one of the most respected agencies in California and her name became one of the most regarded in the field. Today, with seven core program areas and almost 100 employees working throughout Tulare County, Family Services is honored to carry out Karen’s Legacy.