2018-07-18 / Columns

JFCS reaches out to our children wherever they are

STRAIGHT FROM THE HEART
MARLA MEYERS
Executive Director, Jewish Family & Children’s Service

Next month, our minds will be switching slowly from planning summer vacations to picking out school supplies or moving students into the dorms at their colleges. At every turn, our children come face to face with issues and challenges, and the more complicated technology and everyday pressures get, the more complex are those topics for our children.

Through the many stages of transition that your child may experience, we have outreach programs in place at JFCS to help you to meet specific needs or concerns. We strive at all times to help equip parents/guardians and their children with the tools needed to face difficult, trying, or uncertain times with confidence and knowledge. Not only do we want to work together with young people and their parents, but we hope that anything learned with be shared with peers.

For any of these following programs, please call our offices at (856) 424-1333 for information or to schedule a program at your organization, school, or place of worship.

• THIS LIFE COUNTS is a panel presentation of experts, with an emphasis on understanding the signs, triggers, and issues surrounding suicide, and what we can all do to prevent it from happening. Teens and parents walk away from these presentations with information and tools to better know how to help save lives.

• BUILDING HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS & PROTECT U are part of our Project SARAH Domestic Violence Program, and focus on teaching young people how to recognize potentially toxic relationships, what it means to get consent, and how to help if you are a bystander. It also covers important phone apps and useful platforms that can help your teens and young adults stay safe while they are away from home.

• RIGHT IN OUR BACKYARD is in its fourth year. This program has reached over 3,000 students and parents. This ground-breaking presentation tackles the issue of addiction and overdose related to the opiate/ heroin epidemic, and is presented all over Southern New Jersey.

• PROJECT RAINBOW meets monthly and is a group for LGBTQ+ teens and their allies. The group aims to provide support, social opportunities, and connectedness. It is a collaboration of Katz JCC and JFCS, with grant funding by the Jewish Community Foundation.

We all know the world is filled with bad influences. We can be the positive influence our kids need to counteract all that is out there. We see negative messages through TV, movies, peer pressure, video games, social media, and more. The best thing we can do is to guide. We can’t physically be there each and every day to hold our children’s hands—or to intervene in person. However, what we can do—what we are charged with—is giving them the foundation they need to make decisions that are helpful, and not hurtful.

Please reach out to find out more about these special programs we offer. We can be your partners as we all parent together, in this big, wide world. 

mmeyers@jfedsnj.org

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