Korean American Family Service Center (KAFSC) Records

Date Range: 19902010
Survey Conducted: Tue, 2010-09-28
Creator: Korean American Family Service Center, The

History: Located in Flushing, Queens, the Korean American Family Service Center (KAFSC) is a community-based, non-profit organization that assists individuals impacted or potentially impacted by domestic violence, and, more generally, “supports and empowers adults, youth and children to lead safe and healthy lives based on dignity, compassion and mutual respect.” Established in 1989 by Sookja Bang, Elizabeth Jo, Heung Soon Kang, Kwanghee Kim, Kyung Hee Na and Sun Sook Oh, the organization was modeled after the Legal Aid Center for Women in Korea, which was founded by Dr. Tai Young Lee. KAFSC was first located in office space donated by the Korean Methodist Church & Institute on West 115th Street in Manhattan.

Within a few months of its founding, KAFSC began providing services for women and children directly impacted by domestic violence. Soon after, KAFSC held its first volunteer training session, which provided the personnel for survivors of domestic violence via a crisis hotline, as well as in-person consultations. As new funding sources were secured, KAFSC began to add services such as support groups, youth programs, and employment-related training for women in the form of English education and, on occasion, basic financial, clerical, and computer skills. A support group named The Ottuki Club was created in 1990 for survivors and children of domestic violence.

Over the years, KAFSC has been supported by a number of sources, including the New York Women’s Foundation beginning in 1991, and, since 1992, the United Way and the New York Community Trust. In 1996, KAFSC expanded its funding sources to include the New York City Department of Mental Health, the New York State Department of Health, the NYC Department of Criminal Justice Services, the Kenworth-Swift Foundation, and the van Ameringen Foundation. Key funding from the NYC Department of Criminal Justice in 1998 enabled the Center to create a court advocacy program, a community outreach program, and the Korean American community’s first 24-hour crisis hotline. In the same year, a sexual assault counseling and education program was supported by funding from the NYS Department of Health, and counseling services for children and youth were expanded through a grant from the Kenworthy-Swift Foundation. In 1999, KAFSC received one of eight Outstanding Service Awards from U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno. In 2009, KAFSC received its first federal grant award from U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women to launch a Transitional Housing Program, the only one of its kind in New York for Asian women. The Center now provides culturally sensitive and linguistically appropriate long-term housing for immigrant women victims of domestic violence and other form of abuse.

Since 2005, KAFSC has been located in Flushing, Queens. Current services for adults include a 24-hour, bilingual crisis hotline, counseling services, transitional housing, legal and social service advocacy, a support group for victims of domestic violence (WISH), sexual assault intervention, employment-related training, information, and referrals for services available in the larger community. Services for children and youth include the Hodori Program (an after school and school break program), the Youth Community Project Team (a leadership training program for high school students), teen support groups, and a big sister- big brother style mentoring program. The organization also offers training courses for bilingual volunteers, along with general community education and outreach. Among KAFSC’s public programs is an annual silent march during Domestic Violence Awareness Month held every October.

Sources: Korean American Family Service Center. 1999. “Korean American Family Service Center: Tenth Anniversary History Journal: 1989-1999.” New York, NY: KAFSC.

Korean American Family Service Center. 2010. “History.” Accessed February 3, 2015. https://www.kafsc.org/about.

Yoon, Grace. Interview by Amita Manghnani and Daniel Kim. Queens, NY, September 28, 2010.

Summary: The Korean American Family Service Center’s (KAFSC) Records total 195.75 linear feet. The largest portion of the records – approximately 47.5 linear feet – consists of open and closed client files dating back to 1990. Due to the sensitive nature of KAFSC’s services, these materials are strictly confidential and closed to the public. The next largest portion – approximately 27.0 linear feet – consists of professional clinical files related to the training, guidance, selection and work of volunteers who work on the crisis hotline.

The remainder of the collection is made up of a large assortment of files. These include board of director records (meeting minutes, rosters, and articles of incorporation) spanning the years from 1989 to 2010; grant materials (applications and contracts) dating back to 2000; closed human resource files; various materials related to outreach (resource guides, pamphlets, and policy manuals); fiscal and payroll reports; vendor files; development files; gala journals and photographs; programmatic files for KAFSC’s after school programs (curriculum and activity guides, syllabi, training manuals, publicity, and participant work); hotline call logs; client work (including artwork and autobiographies) created by participants in the WISH program; publicity files (including newspaper clippings and articles written by staff members); programmatic files for the YCPT program; and unsorted photographs.

Ephemera include KAFSC t-shirts (8.0 linear feet) and awards, honors and recognitions received by the center (1.5 linear feet).

Total Size: 195.75 linear feet
APA-related Size: 195.75 linear feet
Languages of materials: English and Korean
Location: Korean American Family Service Center offices
Bibliographic Control: other
Conditions Governing Access: Currently inaccessible to the public.

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