Jewish Child & Family Services

Rating: 4.97 stars   31 reviews

Issues: Children & Youth, Mental Health, Human Services

Location: 216 W Jackson Blvd Suite 800 Chicago IL 60606 USA

Mission: It is the mission of Jewish Child & Family Services to provide help, healing and caring services infused with Jewish values to strengthen lives in the community.
Results: JCFS is committed to tracking the progress of our clients as well as the quality of care we deliver. Some of the results we have seen this past year include: 92% of children in our Therapeutic Nursery improved how they relate with others; 92% of clients in our Counseling program reported that services met their needs; and 89% of families receiving Respite Services said that they feel more supported.
Target demographics: Children, adults and families, infants through older adults, living in the Chicago metropolitan area.
Geographic areas served: JCFS has 11 locations with offices in Downtown Chicago, West Rogers Park, Lombard, Arlington Heights, Prairie View, Northbrook, Skokie and Flossmoor.
Programs: Services include counseling, treatment for individuals with disabilities, respite care, special educational programs, and residential care for abused and neglected children.
2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 36-2167757
312-357-4800
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

The Glick Family camp has been a home away from home for me. I am currently 18 years old, and my family has been going to the camp for about my entire life, we were one of the original families to go to the first camp. There I have made life long friendships with the other campers. For the first time when I was a child, I could actually be myself because everyone there knew that having someone in your family with a disability is hard and we all understood that. Sib shop growing up there was helpful because we all got to share our feelings and problems and everything about our disabled siblings and we could all give advice to each other how to handle it. My sister is too old now so we cannot go to the camp anymore which I was so upset about, so I worked there this fall. I have had so much experience with working with children and with disabled children as well, so I asked if I could work there. It was an amazing experience, very different than being a camper but still amazing. I overall love the Glick Family Camp and consider everyone that goes a part of my family and love them dearly. We have had some sad things happen to our Glick Family Camp over the years but everyone helps each other through it.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

It has helped me with some problems that I have had to go through growing up with a disabled sibling. It has also helped me to become closer to my sister and more understanding and helpful to persons with disabilities.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would not change anything, but I would try to get more families to experience Glick Family Camp because it is an amazing experience for the children and a great break for the parents. Also the parents get to see their kids come out of their shells and interact with other children.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

How did you find this group?

My parents did.

What, if any, change in your life has this group encouraged?

I am a more open minded person to people and a much more caring and considerate person.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been a member of the North Shore Auxiliary of the Jewish Child & Family Services for 27 years and this program has been the most fullfilling of all that we have chosen to endow. Upon my first experience with the Respite Take Five weekend is the most memorable. Lori Lavin and I from the board joined them at their weekend event at the Friday night Shabbat dinner. Sitting with the families and realizing that what I have taken for granted in raising my children those famillies with children who have disabilities and children without them in the same household have. Realizing that I can leave my child or children with a babysitter for the evening to go out, these families, just to be with their non-disabled children, need a professional care-giver for their child with disabilities. But what I saw with our staff of professionals is the care and feeding that they give to the entire family unit, which is critical. Each member has a need and our staff addresses those needs through the weekend giving the parents a safe avenue to enjoy their time on their own, and the children given the one-on-one attention that is required. It is such a simple program but has a huge impact on the needs of these families. We wish that it could be expanded to help the many who are on the waiting list through the Jewish Child and Family Services.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Respite Take Five Program, Sunday Autism Program

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Find a way to have additional funds available for these imporant community programs.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been involved with Jewish Child and Family Services for perhaps a decade. And it has taken me a decade to get a comfortable understanding of its myriad programs. The one with which i am most enamored is its program to deliver services to Holocaust survivors who need help. Of all of the people in the Chicago community who should not suffer, it is the survivor population and Chicago is blessed with the youngest in the US. I am constantly amazed at the sensitivity with which issues are handled by the staff. Who would have thought twice about how an elderly person would react to a suggestion of being taken to a shower? or how to handle food hidden under beds, just in case. This program is just one example of the many programs whose staff has a compassion and understanding and expertise that blows me away.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

While i have not availed myself of services, and am among the lucky who hasn't needed to, I watch the results from participation on the Board.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Give it unlimited funds so that it could spread its programs among more who need them.

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Rating: 5 stars  

JCFS runs a camp called -- "Family Camp" for over a decade now. It happens twice a year and my kids look forward to attending this camp like no other event! As youngsters when they did not have a clue about calendars, they would alert me to an upcoming camp by asking when is camp, and sure enough it was around the corner. This camp has taken the true spirit of its' name -- it has truly become a "FAMILY" camp. Now, everytime when camp comes around and I drive onto the hallowed camp grounds, my oldest shouts --"I am HOME!" Initially, I was taken aback, but it makes sense because he feels this connection to this camp since he has been coming to it from 3 years of age and he is a 16 yr. old High Schooler now. It is the atmosphere in this camp, the people that make this camp, the families and children that come to this camp, the special sights and smells in this place make it so SPECIAL! I have been blessed with rest, peace, sleep, joy and fun when I come here as a parent. My kids love the other kids, respite workers, staff, families, children and youth. They talk, play, socialize, run, horse-play, swim, eat, sleep and enjoy the wonderful company of unique, diverse, caring, understanding and compassionate individuals so much so that they go home and crash after a spent weekend! This camp has been a blessing to us as a family and has given us wonderful memories that we carry in our heads and hearts for a lifetime. When we come to this camp, we get filled up with all the things we need, until it is time to be replenished again! Thank you for this most unique and wonderful program! (R,N,Z,S)

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Family Camp

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

No changes to Family Camp. We would like to see another one added to the yearly schedule.

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Rating: 5 stars  

JCFS provides incredibly holistic services to their clients. Their attention to the individual needs of each family is incredible. it is rare to find professionals in the disability field that are not burnt out and continue to care so deeply and give great thought to the growing demands of all families. The staff also continue to make changes to their programming to reflect the evolving needs of families and the disability field. They work tirelessly, committed to serving families from all cultural and socio-econmic means.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The families I have referred to the agency have thrived as a result of the services they have received

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would give JCFS more money if I had it to continue to do great work!

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Rating: 5 stars  

We are a family that adopted a son with a severe brain malormation resulting in cerebral palsy and other medical/developmental issues. We learned about the JCFS disability camp through another parent at our son's therapy clinic. We've attended the JCFS family camp twice and love it! The staff is warm and welcoming and accepting of the children. They encourage the kids to try new things in a safe and accepting environment. Our son loves the enw friends he makes there. As parents, we love to see our son enjoy htese new experiences. We also enjoy the social worker who leads the parent discussion sessions, and the time with other parents who walk in our shoes. We love JCFS!!!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Our son trying new things. He now loves hockey and is learning to sing since all the other kids were singing in the talent show!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

We love it!

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Rating: 5 stars  

The JCFS school works miracles! As a board member, I've had the privilege of attending a number of graduations at the JCFS school. At first, it seems like every other graduation . . . . students, clad in caps and gowns, walk to the front. Remarks are made. Diplomas are passed out. Students, parents, and teachers celebrate. But in reality, this is no typical graduation. Each student came to the school because they failed out of every other environment in which they had been. Many tried several schools and this was the last ditch effort by their parents. Each student stood at the podium and offered their own personal story -- each more touching than the next. One student spoke of going on to college to become a writer. Another spoke of going to vocational school. Another dreamed of opening his own store. And another spoke about giving back to the community by helping other kids. What is amazing is that many of these kids had no dreams when they came to the JCFS school. Their behavior was so bad and so disruptive, the police had to be called nearly every day to intervene. Today, they stood before the audience as outstanding members of society. They knew they entered the school in a bad place and they had gradually, and often painfully, worked through many of their issues. Each student profusely thanked their teachers and counselors. They so appreciated the continued dedication to their education, their development, and their future. There was not a dry eye in the auditorium. Afterwards, many parents came up to me to thank the school and the agency for everything we had done for their child. They told stories of how their son or daughter was failing out of school and life. The parents had lost all hope as they had tried everything. The JCFS school was often a last resort. And the parents could not have been happier with the result. Ironically, while the teachers and staff always believed in the kids, the parents never thought they would see the day that their child would graduate. Graduation was literally a miracle in their mind. The JCFS school is truly amazing.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

see above

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Get more funding so more people could benefit from the agency's outstanding service

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Rating: 4 stars  

The first time I had a program through JCFS was the Glick Family Camp. Being a single parent of a special needs time I really needed the time to connect with other families and have the comfort of knowing my son was being cared for one on one. I enjoyed it so much that the next Glick Family Camp I told several of my friends and they all joined me. I have also had the opportunity to join one of their family workshops. The guest speakers were so knowledgeable and friendly. I have always had a wonderful time with JCFS.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Having wonderful workshops and being able to connect with other families.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Encourage the organization to promote more.

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Rating: 5 stars  

My family came to this organization in 2002 when we were looking for a preschool for our developmentally delayed son. He was accepted into the daily program at Virginia Frank Therapeutic Nursery and we received support as a couple and family as we were dealing with our other son's chronic illness and a very high risk pregnancy. We were at our breaking point when we found listening ears and open arms at Jewish Child and Family Services. My son attended the Therapeutic Nursery for three years. During that time we received support for our marriage, counseling and testing for both of our sons and advocacy during his IEP. The folks there were crucial in getting my son an excellent placement in a wonderful school that met his needs perfectly. My son continues to have play therapy at Virginia Frank Center and our whole family has sessions to improve our communication around continued stressors like my son's developmental issues and my other boys' ongoing health issues. We are deeply grateful for the kindness and support we have received. We were encouraged, supported and treated with great understanding and respect. I especially appreciated the respect for our religious values and alternative lifestyle. No assumptions were made about us, and that had not been our experience at other places. Our strengths as a family were reinforced and built upon as opposed to being told were were 'doing it wrong.' It is so easy to feel isolated and alone when dealing with your children's special needs. We can never say thank you enough to the wonderful people at Jewish Child and Family Services.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Seeing the emotional and developmental growth in my son, experiencing the encouragement and support of the people at the center, witnessing the strengthening of our family when given the support and tools we needed to deal with many stressful issues, and getting the services my son needs through the advocacy of this organization, specifically his IEP and helping us find affordable occupational therapy for him.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Increase funding for the Therapeutic Nursery.

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

My family came to Virginia Frank in 2002 when we were looking for a preschool for our developmentally delayed son. He was accepted into the daily program and we received support as a couple and family as we were dealing with our other son's chronic illness and a very high risk pregnancy. We were at our breaking point when we found listening ears and open arms at Jewish Family Services. My son attended the Therapeutic Nursery for three years. During that time we received support for our marriage, counseling and testing for both of our sons and advocacy during his IEP. The folks there were crucial in getting my son an excellent placement in a wonderful school that met his needs perfectly. My son continues to have play therapy at Virginia Frank Center and our whole family has sessions to improve our communication around continued stressors like my son's developmental issues and my other boys' ongoing health issues. We are deeply grateful for the kindness and support we have received. We were encouraged, supported and treated with great understanding and respect. I especially appreciated the respect for our religious values and alternative lifestyle. No assumptions were made about us, and that had not been our experience at other places. Our strengths as a family were reinforced and built upon as opposed to being told were were 'doing it wrong.' It is so easy to feel isolated and alone when dealing with your children's special needs. We can never say thank you enough to the wonderful people at Jewish Child and Family Services.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Seeing the emotional and developmental growth in my son, experiencing the encouragement and support of the people at the center, witnessing the strengthening of our family when given the support and tools we needed to deal with many stressful issues, and getting the services my son needs through the advocacy of this organization, specifically his IEP and helping us find affordable occupational therapy for him.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Increase funding for the Therapeutic Nursery.

Was this review helpful?