TOGETHER is an evidence-informed program that offers relationship and financial education, connection to community resources, and employment services to couples residing in Northern Virginia and Montgomery County. The program is led by dedicated and qualified professionals and involves a research component to evaluate the effectiveness of its services. Participants are randomly assigned to receive all or none of the services. However, all participants receive incentives (gift cards) for the completion of surveys.
Mission and Goal
Strong couple relationships and stable finances provide a foundation for the well-being of individuals, families, and communities.
The goal of TOGETHER is to promote healthy family relationships, personal well-being, effective parenting, and employment and financial stability in our communities. The TOGETHER program provides a safe place for couples that want to improve their communication and problem solving skills, reduce their stress, and handle their finances successfully and that may also need services for their families and assistance with employment. We believe that by working together, couples can build long-lasting changes in their families.
Dr. Mariana Falconier is an Associate Professor in Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University’s Marriage and Family Therapy Program and has been the Clinical Director at the Center for Family Services since 2008. She completed her master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and her doctoral degree in Family Studies at the Department of Family Science at the University of Maryland, College Park. Her research focuses on how couples cope with stress, primarily economic and immigration stress in Latino couples. She has developed and pilot-tested TOGETHER: A Couple’s Model to Enhance Relationship and Economic Stability. She is the Program Director and Principal Investigator of TOGETHER, an interdisciplinary program designed to help couples improve their communication, coping, and financial management skills. For more information about Dr. Falconier click here.
Dr. Jinhee Kim is an Associate Professor and Family Finance Extension Specialist at the University of Maryland, College Park. She completed her master’s degree in Consumer Studies at Seoul National University, Korea and her doctoral degree at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA. Her research focuses on financial stress, health, and work outcome behaviors of employees. Dr. Kim is the TOGETHER Program’s Associate Director and Principal Investigator. She helped develop the TOGETHER curriculum utilizing her expertise on family financial management and well-being. For more information about Dr. Kim click here.
Family Services, Inc. (FSI) has been serving the Montgomery County community for over 100 years. Serving over 25,000 children, adults and families each year, FSI’s mission is to promote the resilience, recovery and independence of individuals and families across the life span through integrated mental and physical health, social service, and education programs, thereby strengthening communities. FSI provides a wide array of programs and services which address community education & support, healthy child development, family support services, behavioral health programs, victim and domestic violence and crisis intervention and advocacy.
The SkillSource Group is a non-profit organization serving Northern Virginia employers and job seekers. They offer a wide range of free job placement, training, and educational services to employers, job seekers, and incumbent workers. This organization has partnered with the TOGETHER Program to provide job and career enhancement services and provide employee case management.
Program Coordinator: An Thai, M.S.
Program Administrator: Abigail Burton, M.S.
TWC and MD Program Coordinator: Sarah Fritz