JCFS Chicago Celebrates National Volunteer Week, April 7 - 13, 2019

Our volunteers are an essential part of helping us execute our mission to help strengthen the lives of children, adults and families. During National Volunteer Week, April 7 -13, 2019, we'd like to take a moment to thank our volunteers for donating their time and talents to helping JCFS Chicago redefine what's possible in our community and beyond. 

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Video Games Are Social Spaces: How Video Games Help People Connect

Children and teens are spending more and more time playing video games online with their friends. For most, this is a positive experience, allowing them to communicate with others even when they are unable to physically be with them. This is particularly true for people with difficulty spending time with others in-person, like those with major depressive disorder, autism spectrum disorder and social anxiety disorder.  

This unconventional method of communication is helpful in fostering connections while building the skills and confidence necessary to interact face-to-face. Although steps should be taken to ensure children’s safety online, online video games are a large part of the lives of young people and should be recognized as a source of social support.

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Reaching for Freedom: Teens and Independence

A teenager balks when his mom asks what time he’ll be home. Another groans when asked about their homework status. Another teen puts on make-up at school, out of their parents’ sight and judgement. And another stays in his room, a lot. These youth are negotiating one of the most common developmental concerns for teenagers: Gaining a sense of independence as they move slowly toward adulthood.

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