Do More Good | Jewish Family & Children’s Services of Northern New Jersey
“At Jewish Family & Children’s Services of Northern New Jersey, our goal is to empower people with the tools they need, through psychotherapy, career counseling, support groups, emergency services, and much more, to transform their lives for the better.” – Susan Greenbaum, CEO
One in four people in New Jersey has mental health needs, and only one third receive treatment. One million residents live in poverty and 37 percent are classified as “working poor.” Almost 900,000 New Jersey residents—children, the unemployed and seniors among them—face food insecurity. For the staff of Jewish Family and Children’s Services of Northern New Jersey (JFCS), these statistics are what keep them up at night.
Over 70 years ago, JFCS was created to ensure that Jews in Bergen County and North Jersey received the help they needed and were never overlooked or turned away. Today, JFCS services all the communities of North Jersey. JFCS is able to provide solutions to the issues its communities face today because it understands the link between unemployment and depression, between abuse and food insecurity, between isolation and mental illness. By employing a holistic approach to supporting its clients, JFCS’ services are integrated and meet a spectrum of interconnected needs.
JFCS works with nearly 7,000 individuals of all ages, backgrounds, and income levels. It offers a wide range of comprehensive services, including individual, couple, family and group therapy; senior care management including specialized care for Holocaust survivors; and wrap-around services for clients including a food pantry, career readiness services, Kosher Meals on Wheels and emergency financial assistance. Mental health services are a significant component of the support JFCS provides. Mental health needs are on the rise in the community, particularly among children. Of 134 children currently in its clinical care, 55 percent are under the age of 12. Families come to JFCS for help with children suffering from bullying at school, abuse in the home, suicidal ideation and much more. JFCS’ social workers provide the necessary resources to help each family address their challenges.
With a deep understanding of growing mental health, financial and senior services needs, JFCS has stepped up to answer the call. As multi-service agencies such as theirs are decreasing in number, and the demand for its critical work is becoming more acute, JFCS is always asking itself “how can we do more good?” It does so by continually evaluating its offerings to ensure that they reflect the current and anticipated needs of the community. It also provides the community with opportunities to do more good through volunteer work. With an expanding geographical footprint, JFCS is taking steps to expand and adapt its levels of staffing and programming to continue to be an effective safety net for Northern New Jersey.
After more than 70 years, JFCS remains devoted to preserving its core mission, which is “based on Jewish values, to strengthen and enhance the well-being of all who call upon us by providing professional and compassionate human services to effectively meet life’s many challenges.” By doing more good.