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.

The primary focus of Family Works, Inc. has always been to recruit, train and support treatment foster care parents throughout Wisconsin and to coordinate the care of the foster children placed in their homes.

Joel’s beliefs are still the principles that guide the agency’s work today:

  • The inspiration for our name: 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
Joel lynn

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.

Upon 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 30 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.

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