Do you have a new facility for children with autism?

Yes. We have just completed our first year of services at the JAFCO Children’s Ability Center which provides family enrichment, support and respite for children with all developmental disabilities including Autism, Intellectual Disabilities, Spina Bifida, Cerebral Palsy and Prader Willi. We support families who are raising a child with a disability ages birth through 22 with support groups, case management, education, training, social and life skills training and clubs for the children, summer camp and day and overnight respite, also known as Incredible Social Experience. Naming opportunities in honor or memory of a loved one are still available for those wishing to donate to the Center and name a room or building.

What does JAFCO stand for?

JAFCO stands for Jewish Adoption and Family Care Options.

How does JAFCO hear about the children?

JAFCO can help a family in one of two ways: either voluntarily with the request of the parent or guardian or if ordered by the court; referrals are made by the state, schools, grandparents, rabbis, therapists, teachers, neighbors, family members and by parents themselves who are seeking help

I know someone who is interested in adopting a child? Can you help them? What about a baby?

Yes. There are always children in need of homes and JAFCO is a licensed adoption agency. A family who wishes to adopt should email Rebecca Salus, our Adoption Specialist (Rebecca@jafco. org) to get the process started by attending one of our free monthly adoption orientations in South Florida or Philadelphia. A parent wishing to place their child for adoption should also contact Rebecca.

Over the years where have the children come from?

Since our inception in 1992, we has served over 4,000 children from all over South Florida in one of our 9 programs, (foster care, adoption, family preservation, emergency shelter, group homes, independent living, and developmental disabilities) in the following ratios: from Broward (35%), from Palm Beach (25%) and from Miami-Dade (35%). 5% of the children have come from other states and countries including NY, PA, NJ, CA, NV, MD and also Canada and Israel.

Does JAFCO serve only Jewish children?

No. JAFCO was created to fulfill an unmet need in the Jewish community and as a Jewish agency it is also our privilege and our pleasure to help any child and any family in need.

How do you screen your foster parents? Do you supervise them after they receive a placement? Do they get paid?

Our foster parents are trained and screened according to state guidelines which include FBI background checks, employer and personal reference checks, medical and psychological evaluations including drug screens and more. The process takes about 4 months. Once a child is placed with a foster family a JAFCO social worker visits the child and the home at least once per week and offers 24 hour on call support to the foster parents. Foster parents receive a small monthly stipend from the state for food, clothing and childcare expenses. Foster parents must show ample income and financial stability prior to being approved. JAFCO foster parents very often use their own funds to supplement the needs of the child and do this from their heart.

What are the ages of the children you serve?

The children we serve range from 2 days to 22 years of age.

How many children live at the JAFCO Children’s Village? Where do they go to school?

The JAFCO Village can hold up to 52 children: 16 in the shelter and 36 in the 6 group homes. The children attend either local area public or private schools or they are transported by the JAFCO staff to their home schools, sometimes in Boca or Miami Beach. Over 1,000 children have found safety at the Weicholz Family Campus of the David Posnack Jewish Children’s Village over the past 12 years.

What happens when the children turn 18?

A child who turns 18 can live at the Village until the age of 21. JAFCO will support them until the age of 24 if they are in college, drug free and leading a healthy lifestyle and we will help them move into an apartment or college dorm and prepare for Independent Living.

Do the children get to visit with their parents?

Yes. We strongly encourage visitation with parents and family members and will supervise the visits if so ordered by the court.

Are there hands-on volunteer opportunities?

Yes. There are volunteer opportunities to work with the children at the Children’s Village and at the Children’s Ability Center. For more information visit our website and attend one of our Tours to get started. Also our JAFCO Chapters are made up solely of volunteers who work tirelessly to create events to raise awareness and funds for JAFCO.

Are there JAFCOs anywhere else in the country?

Currently the JAFCO Jewish Children’s Village and the JAFCO Children’s Ability Center are the only centers of their kind in the Jewish community in the United States.

Do you have an office in Philadelphia?

Yes. We have been raising funds and awareness about JAFCO and the issue of child abuse in the Jewish community in the Northeast in NY, NJ & PA since 2007. In April of 2014 we opened our first office in Philadelphia and hired our first clinical social worker who is now offering programs including family strengthening services, intensive case management, in-home family support, court ordered supervised parent visitation, support groups for siblings of children with disabilities, child abuse training & reporting support for local schools, teachers and clergy. We are so pleased to announce that JAFCO is now officially licensed in the state of PA to provide private Foster Care and Adoption Services to families in crisis. To contact our Philadelphia office to help with an event or refer a family please call 610.525.1040.

How can I get involved?

  • Volunteer your time with the children, tutoring, mentoring or donating your professional medical, legal or dental services.
  • Sponsor an annual JAFCO event including our Black Tie Gala, Women’s Luncheon, Golf Tournament, a child’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah or birthday party, a Shabbat dinner or a trip to Disney World.
  • Become a Godparent by making a financial commitment of $1,800 per year for ten years and join the exclusive JAFCO Godparent Circle. Godparents are pinned at our annual Gala or Luncheon with a beautiful custom made gold pin.
  • Support the new Children’s Ability Center with a capital gift/naming opportunity or support the programs at the center by joining the Circle of Hope by making a financial commitment of $1800 a year for ten years. Circle of Hope members are pinned at the annual In My Shoes Luncheon and other events as well.
  • Make an annual gift to support the children’s needs including food, clothing, therapy, medical care, education, recreation and any other needs they may have.
  • Create an endowment or special purpose fund in your family name to ensure that JAFCO will be here to save the lives of generations of children and families yet to come.
  • Make a planned gift – remember the JAFCO children when you are planning your legacy and leave a gift to JAFCO in your will with a gift of cash, stocks or real estate.
  • Earn a competitive percentage of your charitable donation with a JAFCO Gift Annuity.
  • Host a Parlor Meeting, Dorm Shower, Baby Shower or Ability Center Shower in your home to make your friends aware of the work that JAFCO does in the community. You provide the guest list and the refreshments and JAFCO will take care of the rest. Have your guests become members with a $36.00 gift and fill our wish list.