Our History


Family Works Programs, Inc. was founded in 1990 by Joel Ungrodt to fulfill his vision to better serve the children and youth in the out-of-home care system. Recruiting, training and supporting treatment foster parents throughout Wisconsin and coordinating the care of the foster children placed in their homes has been the primary focus of the services we provide. Joel’s beliefs are still the principles that guide the agency’s work today:

  • Every child deserves a family and families “work” as the best place for children to grow and mature.
  • We are all teachers and learners. Even the children we serve are in the role of the teacher, helping us grow in patience and perseverance.
  • Everyone is capable of positive change

After Joel’s death in 2005, his wife Lyn Ungrodt continued to lead the agency, strongly committed to the staff, treatment foster parents and foster children that comprise the agency, maintaining the same vision to improve the future for children in out-of-home care.

FoundersUpon Lyn’s retirement in 2014, Rick and Sue Gulbrand, long time friends of Lyn and employees of the agency, took over ownership of Family Works. Lyn remains a part of the Family Works community, serving on our Board of Directors. After 25 plus years, the mission and vision of the agency remain strong, providing the highest quality of care and services to promote success in the lives of Wisconsin’s children and families.