Founded in 1922 as the Federation of Institutions caring for Protestant Children, FPWA offered management services and intake and placement of orphaned and abandoned Protestant children in New York City.
The Federation sought to increase access to needed services. Several divisions were established to meet referral and informational needs of agencies and individuals, support religious institutions' social service initiatives, develop foster homes in the black community, and assist nursing homes and elder-serving agencies with management. The name was changed to Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies.
During wartime rationing and restrictions in the 1940s, FPWA formed Institutional Marketing Services to provide information and purchasing assistance to affected agencies. This became Group Purchasing Services.
By 1950, 140 agencies were affiliated with FPWA. We became a participating agency with The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund during the decade, which provided FPWA with the resources needed to provide one-time, emergency grants to help needy New Yorkers deal with emergency situations.
More than a half million individuals were helped through FPWA outreach in 1960. FPWA strongly supported the War on Poverty, and advocated for the establishment of Medicare and Medicaid.
FPWA worked toward a long-range, broadly based goal of helping all people in need, regardless of their racial, ethnic or religious background.
To be old in America during hard times is particularly challenging, and FPWA provided leadership and guidance to elder-serving agencies in understanding their legal rights and entitlements under the Older American Act.
With shrinking budgets and an always expanding need, FPWA provided agencies with management consultation and technical assistance to help with capacity issues, and to help them survive in uncharted territory.
FPWA continues as a champion of the poor. It has expanded its breadth and depth of services as part of a society of caring for families, parents, children and those who are alone. It moves forward as a community-based federation, always garnering momentum from its partners and from its commitment to give and care.