Community Programming & Services
JFS provides valuable expertise, connection, education, and assistance to schools, community centers, houses of worship, townships, and mental health professionals.
Programming for Schools
Social Emotional Programs for Children, Staff and Parents
We offer professional development and educational workshops for teachers, counselors, administrators, and other professionals on a variety of topics around mental health, wellness, and social-emotional learning. Programs for students and/or parents are also available (see community workshops).
Some examples of classroom social emotional support goals that can help teachers and students by:
- Optimizing learning and social adjustment for all students
- Implementing effective and positive behavioral interventions for children with challenging behaviors
- Modifying classroom environments to minimize sensory overload and distractions
- Increasing student social skills and promoting empathy and inclusion
- Improving parent-teacher communication
To learn more about our social emotional programming for schools, email@example.com.
Listen to Children
The Listen to Children (LTC) program pairs a warm, accepting older adult volunteer with a school aged child on a one-to-one basis. The Listener, under the supervision of the JFS Director of Volunteer Services, lends a nonjudgmental ear to individual students who benefit from the special time and attention afforded by this relationship. By providing a supportive environment at school, LTC creates a non-threatening environment for the child to use as a sounding board for problems and concerns while improving communication and problem solving skills, and enhancing coping and self-esteem.
LTC targets elementary and middle school students who are at risk for developing social and/or emotional problems due to life crises or other circumstances. LTC uses trained volunteers to provide confidential one-on-one listening sessions with children who have been identified by their teachers as needing extra help due to family problems such as divorce or death, isolation, low self-esteem, or other behavioral clues. Each child is seen once a week for 30-40 minutes by their volunteer on school property during the child’s lunch break or recess.
The Listener gives the child an opportunity to openly share their feelings, learn coping skills, improve on their academic studies, and develop a more positive outlook on self.
Reading Buddies engages older adult volunteers in promoting childhood literacy in public schools. Volunteers age 55+ read to the same small group of students each week throughout the school year using a read-aloud format that supplements the school’s regular reading curriculum. Reading Buddies is a one-of-a-kind program that uses volunteers to support children grades k-2 and educators in the classroom.
JFS staff recruits, trains, and background checks each volunteer. JFS also provides the books to read in the classroom. Reading Buddies is currently active in the West Orange, Maplewood/South Orange, Orange, and Jersey City School Districts.
Individualized workshops and/or a workshop series (3-5 workshops) are short educational programs designed to teach or introduce skills, techniques, or topics. Our licensed clinicians provide information to teens, parents, professionals, and community members on topics related to mental health, social emotional development, educational curriculums, parenting and aging issues, as well as domestic violence, dating safety and awareness. These workshops are interactive, supportive, educational and can be in response to community request or need or as a preventive measure.
We can offer educational and/or clinical workshops in the following areas:
Bereavement, Caregiver Stress, Parenting, Divorce, Chronic Illness, Mental Health Awareness, Anxiety in Children/Adolescents/Teens, Suicide Prevention, Elder Abuse, Older Adult Support, LGBTQ Support, Parenting Children with Disabilities, New Parent Support and Playgroups.
To request a workshop for your community organization, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Synagogue Social Work
JFS is committed to partnering with community clergy, educators and lay leaders in synagogues and other houses of worship.
JFS Social Workers are placed in partner synagogues to respond to the unique needs of the congregation and support staff by providing case management, crisis intervention, workshops, support groups, and other social work services on site.
Additionally, JFS will work directly with synagogue clergy, educators, administration and lay leaders as needed to; assess the needs of the congregation and synagogue staff, incorporate mental health and social work perspectives into the community, provide workshops and groups and provide resources and referrals when needed.
For more information, email email@example.com.
JFS is committed to the ongoing professional development of mental health providers, not only in our agency, but for the entire community. We host CEU based educational seminars for the mental health field on an annual basis.
Previous events include:
Unlocking Suicidal Secrets: New Thoughts on Old Problems in Suicide Prevention
Preventing Suicide in Adolescents and Young Adults (Intro to ABFT)
Beyond the Rainbow, LGBTQ Sensitivity Training
Suicide Bereavement Clinician Training Program
LICENSING – JFS of MetroWest NJ is a licensed provider from the State of New Jersey, Department of Human Services, Office on Licensing, for the provision of Outpatient Mental Health Counseling.