February 2024

Innovative Support for Youth
in Foster Care

In its first year as a program at Children’s Aid and Family Services, Peer2Peer (NJP2P) has matched over 20 youths ages 14-21 in the care of the state’s foster care with trained peer navigators who themselves have lived experience in the child welfare system. And the results have been successful. “At an important time in these young peoples’ lives, navigators understand where they are coming from and can be a great resource and source of support,” says Marcia Fisher, Administrator of Adoption and Permanency.

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Disability Support Services:
Gaining Independence

Steven Mangold portrait

Children’s Aid and Family Services offers a full array of services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including day program, community residences (group homes), in-home supports, occupational therapy, and a recreation program.

A member’s journey toward more independence often begins at the STRIVE day program. Many of STRIVE’s members, all over age 21, come from a school environment where by law special needs services are provided. As they transition into adulthood, the need for enriching activities becomes more pressing. “It can be challenging when many services are no longer available after a member reaches adulthood, so at STRIVE we offer a full range of activities to help fill that gap including life skills training, community involvement, and self-sufficiency programs,” says Bryan Connelly, Director, Adult Day Program and Supports.

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Student Support Initiative Addressing Mental Health Launches

Last spring, Children’s Aid and Family Services was one of 15 statewide service providers chosen to take part in the NJ Statewide Student Support Services (NJ4S) integrated network, joining forces with four mental health agencies. The program addresses the mental health needs of students within schools and communities.

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Organization and Foundation Support

Children’s Aid and Family Services gratefully acknowledges the many generous organizations and foundations that provided grants to support its programs for vulnerable children, adults and families.

  • Allendale Women’s Club
  • Columbia Bank Foundation
  • Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption
  • Frank X & Mary E Weny Charitable Trust
  • Gift of Life America
  • Greater Bergen Realtor CARES Foundation
  • Horizon Foundation for New Jersey
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • KearnyBank Foundation
  • Nordstrom
  • Novartis
  • Orange Orphan Society
  • PSEG Foundation
  • St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church
  • TD Charitable Foundation
  • The Buster Spike Lucky Elkin Marri Love & Luck Fund
  • The Greater Newark Holiday Fund
  • The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey
  • The John and Margaret Post Foundation
  • The Kaplen Fund
  • The Lillian P. Schenck Foundation
  • The M&T Charitable Foundation
  • The Provident Bank Foundation
  • The Valley Hospital Foundation
  • The WaWa Foundation
  • Turrell Fund
  • Visions Federal Credit Union
  • The Woman’s Club of Ridgewood