New services for children offered by Jewish Family & Career Services
Jewish Family & Career Services (JF&CS) of Atlanta is proud to announce the launch of the new Horwitz Zusman Child & Family Center dedicated to serving children, adolescents, and families in Georgia. The new Center will focus on enhancing mental health through strengthening and building resilience in families and youth across the developmental continuum. The Center was named in honor of the Horwitz and Zusman families after JF&CS received a transformational $1 million gift. It will complement current services available through the Frances Bunzl Clinical Services of JF&CS.
“We are thrilled to partner with JF&CS to extend the reach of, and supplement, the extraordinary services the organization already provides families. We know that supporting children, teens and families can change the trajectory of their lives. Focusing on enhancing the resilience in families and promoting mental health and wellness builds stronger communities, which benefits us all,” said Ula Zusman, who is also a clinician at Jewish Family & Career Services.
Mental health concerns are common among today’s children — an estimated 13 to 20% under age 18 suffer from a mental health disorder. To best meet the needs of the community, JF&CS, in partnership with The Center of Excellence for Children’s Behavioral Health at Georgia State University, identified service needs and gaps as well as evidence-based and promising practices to equip staff to meet those needs. Georgia ranks 47 out of 50 in terms of mental health services access, according to the non-profit, Mental Health America of Georgia, and there are far fewer providers available than needed.
“At JF&CS, the average number of therapy sessions in a month has increased from the first month of the pandemic to last month by 44%,” said Terri Bonoff, CEO, JF&CS Atlanta.
“JF&CS is in a prime position to address this need in Georgia through the development of a Center with programs and services that promote a positive mindset of resilience, health and well-being; are trauma informed; and help diverse populations with the greatest need to develop skills, tools and resources to address challenges that come their way.”
The Center will provide services including parenting intervention and education; youth support and skills building; system level and community support; and therapeutic/clinical services.
JF&CS announced its intention of expanding services in December 2020 during a community-wide event titled, “Tween and Teen Mental Health in the Age of COVID” with keynote speaker Mayim Bialik. The organization has been raising funds and adding staff and services ever since; however, the recent $1 million gift will help accelerate the expansion.
“We are incredibly grateful for this generous gift from the Horwitz Zusman family and their leadership of this important initiative within our community,” said Bonoff. “Initial funding will go to support program expansion, which includes building out additional space at our Dunwoody headquarters to make it more age appropriate for the younger clients we will be serving.”
The Center serves all people regardless of their race, religion, gender, or nationality, and will offer sliding scale rates to better serve the community.
Learn more at jfcsatl.org or call 770-677-9300.
Established in 1891, Jewish Family & Career Services (JF&CS) offers programs and resources to help the Atlanta community. Guided by Jewish values, JF&CS serves thousands of individuals annually regardless of age, gender, race, religion, national origin, or ability to pay. We offer counseling and therapy for individuals, families and groups, older adult services, careers and support services, intellectual and developmental disabilities services, as well as free dental services at the Ben Massell Dental Clinic. For more information, please call 770.677.9300 or visit JFCSatl.org.
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