Keep Your Child Happy and Healthy This Winter

By Ingrid Kenron OTR/L, Integrated Pediatric Interventions at JCFS

The colder air and gloomy winter skies can sometimes cause children to be temperamental.  An inconsistent schedule due to holidays, weather delays and school closings may also spike anxiety and onset challenging behaviors. Occupational therapists can help create tools such as social stories and visual supports to help children understand these changes. Here are some simple ways to keep your child happy and healthy this winter season.

Read more

Sibling Relationships

by Erica Aten, M.A., Pre-Doctoral Clinical Psychology Intern, Psychological Services

Although parents are typically a child's first source of human connection, sibling relationships are also an important factor in development. As of 2010, 82.22% of youth lived with at least one sibling(1). Sibling bonds are unique in that they often last a lifetime and are typically people’s longest relationships in life(2). Sibling relationships are influential in many ways.

Read more

Tips for a Sensory Friendly Holiday

by Rachel Goode, Occupational Therapist
Integrated Pediatric Interventions at JCFS

The holiday season can be frustrating and confusing for a child with common sensory sensitivities.  Bright lights, loud music, new foods, crowded rooms, gift giving and different expectations can cause meltdowns and other disruptive behaviors.

We have some tips to help prepare your child for the excitement of the season, and a joyful December!

Read more

November is National Adoption Awareness Month

by Marsha Raynes, Manager, Project Esther: The Chicago Jewish Adoption Network

November is National Adoption Awareness Month. For over two decades, this month has been designated as a time to shine a light on adoption and to bring attention to the number of children and youth in foster care waiting for permanent families. It is also a good opportunity to recognize the different options couples and individuals have to help build their families.

Read more

Help Your Child Prepare for the Holidays

by Jennie Marble, M.A., CCC-SLP, Assistant Director of Integrated Pediatric Interventions at Jewish Child & Family Services

The holidays are often a time to gather with friends and family to share a special meal, but for children with eating challenges a change in routine and environment, along with the sights and smells of new foods can be overwhelming. 

Preparation for the holidays is helpful for any child, but is particularly important for children with feeding and swallowing disorders. Talking about what to expect during the family visit, and looking at pictures of food and exploring scents beforehand can go a long way.

Read more

Stand with Refugees: Become a Congregational Co-Sponsor

by Jessica Schaffer, HIAS Chicago Director

Today, over 65 million people are displaced around the world – of those, more than 25 million are refugees. Various conflicts across the globe, including in Syria, the Democratic Republic of Congo and elsewhere, have created the greatest humanitarian crisis the world has seen since World War II.  In the face of this crisis, many countries and states and institutions have closed or threatened to close their doors to refugees, unable or unwilling to provide the critical support necessary to help them rebuild their lives.

Read more

How Glick Family Camp Has Inspired Me

by Melissa (Mimi) Goldberg

At Jewish Child & Family Services’s Glick Family Camp, parents, their children with disabilities and siblings enjoy a family-oriented, nature-filled camp experience – together! The camp is offered once each spring at Jewish Community Youth Services Camp Henry Horner/Camp Red Leaf in Ingleside, Illinois. The weekend is filled with a variety of social, creative, recreational and supportive activities. A family camp worker is assigned to each family.

Read more

Transitions in Jewish Community Services

by Amy Rubin, Senior Director of Community Services

Shorter days, cooler temperatures, football and and the sweetness of apples dipped in honey.  All signs that we are in the midst of transitioning to a new season and a New Year.

Several of our programs at Jewish Child & Family Services are also transitioning to better serve the community. It's clear that the months ahead will be filled with energy!  Shanah Tovah - may this New Year be filled with health, happiness and peace.

Read more

We're All in This Together: Six Phrases More Important Than 'I Love You'

by Marc Bermann, JCFS Foster Parent Recruiter and Support Specialist

1)  "I Appreciate You"......We often take friends and family for granted, especially when things are going well and we're not in a crisis. Where our children are concerned, both bio and foster, it's important to catch them doing something good and acknowledge how good we feel about that. Nothing makes children feel better than knowing they are appreciated by the people who are caring for them.

Read more