William Madsen, Ph.D.

Family-Centered Services Project
49 Whitney Street 
Watertown, MA   02472
Website: www.collaborativehelping.org

William Madsen, Ph.D., was the founder and director of the Family-Centered Services Project (FCSP) in Massachusetts.  FCSP was a training and consultation effort designed to support the development of family-centered philosophy and practice through training, organizational consultation, ongoing coaching, and technical assistance.  FCSP used an appreciative inquiry approach to help community agencies and larger jurisdictions develop institutional structures and organizational cultures that supported more respectful and responsive ways of serving families.  

Bill provided international training and consultation regarding collaborative approaches to helping and ways to enhance organizational readiness to embrace family-centered work.  He wrote numerous articles on these topics and was the author of Collaborative Therapy with Multi-Stressed Families (2nd Edition) and co-authored Collaborative Helping: A Strengths Framework for Home-Based Services, which highlighted a simple inquiry-based practice framework for family support, outreach, child welfare and residential workers across many different contexts.  

Previously, Bill was the director of training at Family Institute of Cambridge and a senior associate at Public Conversations Project.  He has spent many, many years straddling the down and dirty world of frontline, public sector practice and the exciting, but more esoteric world of social constructionist, postmodern, and poststructural theorizing.  Most of his contributions to the field have resulted from attempts to negotiate the dilemmas that arise in this boundary spanning position.  The book Collaborative Therapy with Multi-Stressed Families was an attempt to adapt cutting edge family therapy concepts to frontline, public sector practice with marginalized families in a way that made these ideas both accessible and relevant.  The Family-Centered Services Project was an organizational change effort to build institutional structures and organizational cultures that better support workers to embrace more collaborative ways of working (i.e. efforts to move from a focus on developing family-centered workers to a focus on developing family-centered agencies).  And the book Collaborative Helping represented an expansion of these previous efforts to a broader audience and offered a simple, but comprehensive map that can both help frontline workers think their way through complex situations and offer a structure to guide conversations between workers and families about challenging issues.