Harmony Ayers-Friedlander is the Executive Director of Family Service Society, Inc. She leads the agency in providing quality professional counseling and community services for children and families throughout Steuben County and the surrounding area. After spending almost two decades working in educational, community based and residential settings providing clinical services to children, youth and families, Harmony knows that families can overcome their life challenges when the family leads the way supported by caring providers who work closely with each other. Harmony previously provided clinical oversight, program development and regulatory compliance for specialized programs as the Clinical Coordinator for Glove House Inc. located in Elmira, NY. She was a private practice mental health counselor specializing in play and family therapy in Ithaca, NY and later worked for Hillside as a Program Manager of the Critical Care program and as the Campus-wide Clinical Manager in Romulus, NY where she encouraged the use of best practice treatment interventions such as Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy by the clinical team. She most recently worked as the Director of Quality Improvement for Tully Hill Chemical Dependency Treatment Center in Tully, NY. Harmony holds a Master of Arts in Counseling from Liberty University and is a New York State Licensed Mental Health Counselor. She earned a Master of Public Administration degree from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University with an Advanced Certificate of Study in Health Services Management.
Jennifer Thurber, Chief Operations Officer
Jennifer Thurber is Family Service Society, Inc.'s Director of Administrative Services. A graduate of Olean Business Institute, she started with Family Service Society, Inc. in 1998. She began as a receptionist in the Hornell location and accepted her current position of Director of Administrative Services in 2001. Besides overseeing daily operations of the agency, she has organized Christmas sponsorship for impoverished families for the past 15 years. Jennifer currently serves as vice president of the Board of Directors for Steuben Rural Electric Cooperative.
Donna Wood, Clinical Manager
Donna Wood, LMSW, CSOTS, is the Clinical Manager of Family Service Society, Inc. She provides clinical oversight for our professional counseling services to ensure quality, evidenced based and best practices are provided in alignment with agency mission and values. Donna has worked for many years in the human service field with diverse groups of people facing multiple life stressors. She believes in the power of instilling hope, identifying resources for ongoing support, and planning for success with those served. Donna was the Social Work Director for Steuben Center for Health Care located in Bath New York prior to joining Family Service Society, Inc. While there, she completed biopsychosocial assessments and provided behavioral consultation and counseling to residents and their families. She also previously worked at Arnot Ogden Medical Center in Elmira New York as a Medical Social Worker where she completed assessments, provided brief counseling and assisted in placement for rehabilitation/nursing home care or residential services for alcohol and substance use disorders. Donna also has experience in the early childhood field as a Child Care Aware Manager. She trained and mentored in home family and group child care providers as well as center staff in Steuben County. She worked diligently to ensure that children were provided with quality, developmentally-appropriate programming, nutritious food and a safe environment while also training staff in the use of best business practices to ensure financial sustainability. Donna is a Licensed Master Social Worker and obtained her Master of Social Work degree from Temple University where she was a member of the Alpha Sigma Lambda National Honor Society. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Keuka College, Magna Cum Laude.
Ruth Goodwin, Family Focus Director
Ruth Goodwin, LCSW, is the program director of Family Focus program. Family Focus provides in-home parenting education and specialized visitation for families referred by the Department of Social Services child protective, on-going, and permanency workers. Ruth has been in the field over twenty five years providing in-home and parent education to multi-stressed families in urban New Jersey and rural western New York. Hope is offered to families faced with the challenges of child abuse and/or neglect by providing parenting education using family strengths and community resources to help parents learn to provide a safe, nurturing home environment where children can grow and thrive. Ruth holds a Bachelors and a Masters degrees in Social Work from Michigan State University. Ruth specializes in engaging families who feel alienated from traditional services and empowering them to make healthy, life changing decisions. In addition to serving as the Family Focus program director, Ruth has provided a multitude of presentations and workshops addressing vicarious trauma and compassion based practice.
Michael Foster, Youth Services Program Director
Michael Foster is the Youth Services Program Director. Michael has a Masters of Science Degree in Human Resources from Chapman University and a Masters in Public Administration Degree from Troy State University. He worked for Steuben County DSS for twelve years as a caseworker providing prevention, child protective, and foster care services. He is well known for his kindness, generosity of spirt, and going the extra mile to meet the needs of children and families he serves. Michael previously retired from the United States Air Force as a Major. During his military service, Michael had numerous leadership roles, including Chief of Command Post Operations in England, Chief of Strike Center Operations in Turkey during the First Iraq War, and Chief of Reconnaissance Operations Center while serving in Japan.
for comprehensive information and referral to the services and support you need in Steuben. Chemung, Allegany, Schuyler, and Yates Counties Dial 2-1-1 or 1-800-346-2211 or visit: www.211helpline.org