The Lower East Side Family Union (LESFU)
The Lower East Side Family Union (LESFU) was established in 1972 as a purposeful innovation in the delivery of social services to children and families. Organized as a nonprofit corporation, LESFU was modelled on the concepts of neighborhood-based service delivery, community governance, and preventive services to families in order to reduce the need for foster care of children. In its short history, LESFU has been the subject of a remarkable level of attention, both in the literature and among influential people in government, the voluntary sector, and the social work profession. The present case study recounts the circumstances and motivations surrounding the birth and early development of LESFU.