Our Story

RISE emerged in April 2017 from a merger between Community Partnerships, Inc. and Center for Families, two Dane County non-profits focused on community-based, strengths-driven services to children, families, and young adults. When Community Partnerships was established in 2000, the agency’s primary focus was providing mental health wraparound services to children and their families. Since 1976, Center for Families’ services and programs have focused on building strong, stable families and preventing child abuse. Together, the organizations have more than 60 years of experience providing services in our community, and serve more than 6,800 individuals (including children and families) annually.

RISE believes in the power of human connection and the resilience that exists within everyone. We embrace strengths-based, solutions-focused approaches to addressing the mental health and wellness needs of our community. Our services provide education, support, stabilization, and coordination of care to children, families, and individuals in our community.

Our Mission

Coordinate a system of care to advance mental health and wellness of individuals, families, and communities.

Our Vision

By 2019, RISE will be well positioned as a leader in coordinated care for mental health and wellness services. Staff will embody the organization’s values and reflect an integrated approach that puts the participant first. Staff and participants will share expectations for service delivery. The organization will have evolved from just being a good partner in Dane County to also framing equitable partnerships throughout the region. It will be well regarded for its stewardship of resources and its success in nurturing an inclusive and caring work environment that spans multiple physical locations.

Board of Directors

Chair  Anne Smith- Co-Director, Law & Entrepeneurship Clinic, UW Law School
Vice Chair Niko Skievaski- Founder/CEO Redox
Secretary Kristin Zweifel Frederickson- Door Creek Golf Course
Treasurer Gary Backhaus – American Family Insurance

Mary Ehlenbach, MD – UW Department of Pediatrics
Nyra Jordan – American Family Insurance
Jessie Lazo – Dane County Department of Human Services
Jordyn Pfeiffer – Loos Custom Homes, LLC
Gary Praznik –  Insurance Agent & Watertower Chop House
Ami Rodland – Retired, Human Services Social Worker, DCDHS
Mark Westover – Westover Consulting Group

Our Values

People are best served when all systems are working towards shared goals. We strive to create environments in which people can both exchange ideas and create solutions. We believe in working as a partner with clients and colleagues to become more effective. This spirit extends to our governance processes by which the Board of Directors and staff work in partnership with each other and with community stakeholders to advance our mission. It also infuses the commitment to teamwork in our work environment.

We believe in helping people develop their abilities. We foster a love of learning and a mindset by which challenges are viewed as opportunities to improve learning and build skills. We also respect that beliefs, values, preferences, and strengths are relationally acquired and may change over time such that we must adapt the work we do and how we approach each other.

We believe in the power of applying imagination and creativity to help find solutions to problems and to help people deal well with new or difficult situations. We strive to maximize available resources and use informal community supports to advance success. Our work focuses on helping clients find and leverage resources to cultivate their skills.

We are motivated to help others by offering hope and support during challenging times. We offer trauma-informed care, and our approach is culturally informed. We respect the unique needs and abilities of every individual and seek to leverage the strengths and assets that each person brings to the table. We also actively value caring for those who are providing services or serving in a support role to others in need.


Our Diversity Statement

RISE is striving to become a more diverse and inclusive agency. The agency understands that diversity comes in many different forms, both apparent and sometimes invisible and that, at its core, diversity seeks to affirm the unique and enriching contributions of all individuals.

RISE acknowledges that inequities exist that disadvantage some people while leveraging opportunities for others and that our unconscious beliefs shape our individual and collective action. The agency believes that bringing diverse individuals together allows us to collectively and more effectively address the complex challenges that face our community.

RISE commits to cultivating authentic connections with those with whom we partner. The agency also commits to holding itself and staff accountable for examining our biases, providing meaningful services, and increasing our cultural humility through continuous discussion, education, community collaboration, and personal growth. The agency further commits to recruiting, retaining, and tapping the full potential of employees at all levels.

Our Partners

Privacy Practices

Review our Privacy Practices. Each person receiving services from RISE receives a copy of our Privacy Practices at the time of enrollment into services. This document explains how a person’s information may be shared, who it may be shared with, and what rights individuals have related to information sharing.

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