County grant expands JF&CS services to Jewish community

Nearly $564,000 will be invested by Jewish Family & Children’s Service (JF&CS) in the Jewish community at day schools, congregations and Jewish agencies for four specific services.

The $1.044 million St. Louis County Children’s Service Fund Award increased the JF&CS budget by almost one-third, enabling the Jewish Federation beneficiary agency to invest an extra $564,000 in targeted services at day schools, congregations and Jewish agencies for four specific programs for kids and families.  

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“Our goal is to reach every Jewish child or teenager in St. Louis County who needs these services,” said JF&CS Executive Director Lou Albert, who noted the funds came come from passage of the St. Louis County ¼ cent sales tax “Putting Kids First” campaign to be used for both existing and expanded children’s services.  JF&CS is one of 40 agencies that received funding for Jewish and non-Jewish families and children in St. Louis County.

JF&CS applied in four categories and received full funding in each: home and community-based intervention services, individual group and family counseling, outpatient psychiatric services and prevention services – The Child Abuse Prevention Program, said Albert.

The impact on the Jewish community is palpable. “It means JF&CS will be able to provide each of St. Louis’ seven day schools with up to 16 hours a week of school-based social work services at no cost to the school,” said Albert. In addition, JF&CS will offer testing and assessment services at no cost, including kindergarten readiness screening. The Child Abuse Prevention Program will continue to offer services to the day schools, JCC Early Childhood Center and camps or any organization in the community interested in bringing in the program. Also, at no cost, for the first time there will be a child psychiatrist on staff at JF&CS.

Albert added that these dollars are renewable. “It’s not a one-time fund. The intention is that we can come back, year after year for funding for the same kinds of services. We don’t have to fundraise for this money and it can become an ongoing boost to the day schools, congregations and Jewish agencies that need these services in our community.”