About Us

Our Director’s Message

A brighter, healthier future awaits those who care!

In the late 90’s, a dedicated group of parents approached the State of New Jersey with a plan to reform children’s mental health. These parents recognized that the system in place at that time was not meeting the needs of children with complex emotional, mental health or behavioral challenges.

Under the direction of Governor Christie Whitman, New Jersey launched the Children’s System of Care Initiative.

The vision was to create a system of care that focused on family strengths and community resources. Families and youth work in partnership with public and private organizations to design mental health services and supports that are effective, that build on the strengths of individuals, and that address each person’s cultural and linguistic needs.

A system of care helps children, youth and families function better at home, in school, in the community and throughout life. System of care is not a program — it is a philosophy of how care should be delivered. System of Care is an approach to services that recognizes the importance of family, school and community, and seeks to promote the full potential of every child and youth by addressing their physical, emotional, intellectual, cultural and social needs.

Laverne Francis

Executive Director
Family Support Organization of Hunterdon, Somerset & Warren Counties

“There’s no where you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be.” – John Lennon 

Board of Directors

  • Kathi Champagne- President
  • Dr. R. Braff- Vice President
  • Brenda Anderson- Secretary
  • Sakina Cole- Member
  • Sherri Latzko- Member
  • Nilaja Sanders- Member
  • Charles Stippick- Member


About The FSO

Parents Helping Parents

That’s really what makes our organization unique. We provide direct peer-to-peer support to the family members and caregivers of children with special emotional and behavioral needs.

The Family Support Organization of Hunterdon, Somerset and Warren Counties is a partner within New Jersey’s Division of Children’s System of Care. This system was created to help children with complex emotional, mental health or behavioral issues.

The FSO is a private, non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization funded by the New Jersey Department of Children and Families, Division of Children’s System of Care.

Hunterdon, Somerset & Warren Office Staff

  • Laverne Francis Executive Director
  • Lourdes Serrano Office Manager
  • Courtney Read Family Support Coordinator
  • Ivonne Droz Family Support Partner
  • Tricia Ojeda Family Support Partner
  • Karen Pieretti Family Support Partner
  • Pamela Ozimisa Family Support Partner
  • Starlette Medina Community Outreach Coordinator / Family Support Partner
  • Roy Kurre Youth Coach
  • Krisnasser Joseph-Dullon Junior Youth Coach
  • Juliette Capaldo Assistant Youth Coach