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Jewish Child and Family Services (Vice President and Chief Operating Officer)

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Jewish Child and Family Services of Chicago (JCFS) has been strengthening the lives of children, couples, adults, and families for close to 160 years. JCFS has grown into an organization that provides support and care for those in need across many of the city’s diverse communities and distinctive neighborhoods. JCFS provides a comprehensive network of behavioral health care and social services that promotes well-being and self-sufficiency for individuals and families at every stage of life. With services based upon Jewish values and compassion, JCFS works to strengthen lives throughout the community. JCFS is one of the many beneficiary agencies of the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago.

The mission of Jewish Child and Family Services is to provide hope, healing and caring services infused with Jewish values to strengthen lives in our community.

The organization’s intended impact focuses in two primary areas:
• Enhancing social and emotional well-being for children, adults and their families
• Maximizing quality of life for children and adults living with developmental and intellectual disabilities and their families through self-determined services

The Core Values of JCFS are:
• Providing services informed by Jewish values.
• Tikkun olam—"repairing the world" or "perfecting the world." Creating a model society among Jews but also responsible for the welfare of the society at large. Contributing to social justice, being the champion of the underdog. Helping, healing, and caring.
• Ensuring that the Jewish community’s mental health and social service needs are met.
• Seeking the absolute best care for our clients, whatever it takes.
• Striving for excellence in everything that we do.
• Supporting, nurturing, and protecting families.
• Understanding that community is essential to living.
• Ensuring our staff receives high quality training, knowledge, and resources to succeed.

With a total budget of $38 million, a staff of 450 employees and a large cadre of dedicated volunteers, JCFS serves tens of thousands of people each year. JCFS offers more than 30 programs at 10 locations and throughout communities across Chicagoland, including:


Programs and Services
Children and Adolescents – JCFS experts provide a continuum of therapeutic interventions for children from birth through adolescence. They evaluate and treat social, emotional and developmental delays using a variety of therapies, including developmental therapy, speech and language therapy, social work and social skills development.

Foster Care and Family Support – JCFS provides healing homes for children and teens traumatized by abuse and neglect, many of whom exhibit behavioral, emotional and/or medically complex issues. JCFS’s comprehensive specialized foster care program educates and supports foster parents, and provides individual, family and group therapy, life skills classes, respite care and case management services. In addition, we recruit and license foster parents and provide the ongoing monitoring for the foster parent license. JCFS is currently participating in a pilot therapeutic foster care program designed to avoid institutional placement of wards of the state due to emotional/behavioral issues.

Counseling and Psychological Services – JCFS offers service through professionally trained and licensed clinical social workers, counselors and psychologists. JCFS provides psychological testing to understand learning differences, cognitive, emotional and other mental health disorders. JCFS’s expert therapists offer compassionate support to help children, teens and adults find solutions to the challenges they face, including parenting and co-parenting, anxiety and depression, divorce, grief and loss, and much more.

People with Disabilities and Their Families –
JCFS services for people with disabilities primarily focus on individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities. Services include adult group homes, individual and group respite for children and adults, home based case management services for children and adults, specialized recreational camps, social and recreational activities for Jewish adults with disabilities, legal advocacy and educational and support groups covering a variety of topics of interest to people with disabilities, family members and professionals. Core to our service approach are partnering with families, individual choice and self-determination.

Special Education – JCFS operates a therapeutic nursery, K-12 therapeutic day school and therapeutic yeshiva program, all designed to support kids with emotional and/or behavioral challenges who are striving for academic success. Students benefit from a high staff-to-student ratio, as well as individual and group therapy and individualized and small group special education services.

Jewish Community Programs – JCFS offers a wide range of education, support and advocacy programs that address issues impacting Jewish homes, families and the community across the lifespan. These programs and services include professional training, community awareness, support groups, pastoral counseling, professional consultations, information and referral, cultural sensitivity trainings and consultative support for institutions including schools, synagogues, camps and youth groups.

Career and Employment Services – Through JVS Chicago, services include career counseling, training, entrepreneurship support, and customized job placement assistance. Services are available to anyone in the general population as well as specialized programs geared toward supporting youth, older adults, and people with disabilities.

Professional and Community Training – JCFS understands that strengthening the community goes beyond providing direct services, and offers conferences, workshops and training for professionals, staff and the general community. JCFS also hosts a highly regarded and active internship program crossing several disciplines including social work, psychology, occupational and speech therapies.