Family Service Bureau of Newark (FSB) has promoted its new leader from within. Christina Ward, who previously served as the Director of Clinical Services, became FSB Director on July 16.
Ward first joined FSB in February 2021 as Director of Clinical Services for both the Newark and Kearny locations. She initially wanted to work at FSB to have a supervisory role. When the opportunity arose to lead the agency, she decided to apply for that position.
“I am really excited to promote Christina Ward to FSB Director. She previously served as the Director of Clinical Services and now will have the overall responsibility for FSB,” said New Community Chief Operating Officer Fred Hunter. “Christina has a lot of mental health and substance abuse experience and I am looking forward to FSB’s continued community impact under her leadership.”
As FSB Director, Ward oversees both the Newark and Kearny offices. Her responsibilities include running staff meetings, correspondence with state agencies, grant reporting, grant research and signing progress notes.
Ward previously worked as a corrections officer where she was introduced to social work. An injury forced her to leave that position. She then worked at a halfway house and decided to pursue a master’s degree in social work.
“I ended up just really enjoying it and being very good at it,” she said. “So then I got an internship at Integrity House, and that’s where I got basically all of my training.”
Ward interned at Integrity House while in school and was then hired as a counselor, which helped propel her career forward. After Integrity House, she worked at New Jersey Reentry Corporation due to her unique experience with law enforcement and social work. She then moved on to Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Treatment Center as a Team Lead, which provided her with more on-the-job training and prepared her for the move to FSB. She had worked in managerial roles in previous industries, like retail, before entering the Health and Human Services field and decided to combine the two skills.
Ward finds her work rewarding.
“My favorite part of the field is watching people grow,” she said. “Having them come to you with an issue and then actually seeing them work through the issue and then leaving with hope for their future.”
Ward grew up in Newark and only recently moved out of the city. That has helped her in her roles at FSB.
“I relate to a lot of the people from this area,” she said.
After graduating high school in Newark, Ward earned her bachelor’s degree in Technical Management from DeVry University and is a member of the Sigma Beta Delta honor society. She earned her master’s degree in Social Work at Rutgers University and is a member of the Phi Alpha honor society.
Ward got married in April and moved to Lyndhurst with her wife.
She is an artist and creates work with spray paint. When she was young, she attended Arts High School in Newark for its summer arts program and attended high school there for communications. She initially was an art major in college but decided to keep it as a hobby instead of a career. In her spare time, she also enjoys playing video games.