The year 2019 was our 120th anniversary and what a year it was! We are deeply grateful to all of you – our supporters, volunteers, dedicated staff and families. Because of everyone’s efforts, we helped more people than ever: over 26,000 vulnerable children, adults and families in our community! We’re pleased to share highlights from the year with you.
Helping Families Heal
125 children were helped to manage the grief, loss and trauma related to adoption and foster care through our pre- and post-adoption counseling.
Our counseling and therapeutic programs provided treatment to more than 330 children, adults and families.
Zoe’s Place provided safe, supervised housing and support services to 14 young mothers and babies.
92% of parents in our Therapeutic Supervised Visitation Program showed improved parenting skills.
Our WISE Families Program diverts children from the juvenile justice system, works to prevent the placement of children into foster or residential care, and promotes healthy relationships and family well-being. The success rate of the program is 98%.
The Baby Basics Program expanded into Essex County and, combined with Bergen County, helped 340 families keep their babies healthy and dry.
Educating and Strengthening the Community
School, family or community alcohol and drug prevention services were held in 35 (50%) of the communities in Bergen County.
NJ ARCH (New Jersey Adoption Resource Clearing House) and KinKonnect (Kinship Care Clearing House) presented training workshops to 660 families and professionals at conferences and support groups throughout New Jersey.
3,900 middle school students participated in prevention education programs.
Over 800 volunteers shared their time and talents with those we serve.
The EPIC peer leadership group was selected to conduct a workshop at a national prevention conference, and community coalitions from across the country will learn how to replicate this model.
Over 1,500 senior citizens and their caregivers participated in activities that taught them about alternatives to opioids for pain management or received pain management kits.
We responded 454 times when an individual overdosed from opioids.
Through foundation support, we expanded our Recovery Support Services to the Bergen County Jail and served 50 clients.
In partnership with the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, 13,000 zip lock bags for expired or unused prescription medication disposal were distributed.
Incorruptible.Us, a statewide peer leadership group was established to combat youth nicotine vaping. Bergen County’s chapter is comprised of 19 teenagers from six towns and has presented to the Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders and other local leadership to advocate policies that address vaping.
Empowering Individuals to Reach Their Fullest Potential
Children’s Aid was asked by the state of New Jersey to take over eight group homes for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities from another provider, and we also opened two additional group homes, for a total of 16 homes. Combined with our STRIVE Day Program, we are supporting 140 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to live more independent lives.
We launched the STRIVE Community Recreation program for individuals with special needs. It offers dance and movement, art and exercise classes, as well as other fun and enriching activities.
The Bergen County Community Development is providing funding to launch occupational, physical and speech therapy programs at STRIVE Day Program.
The STAR (Support Team for Addiction Recovery) Program grew by 50%. Its members have found stable housing, are employed, volunteering or attending school, and 100% of them have obtained medical insurance.
Giving Children and Teens a Second Chance at Life
This past year, seven older children ranging in age from 10 – 17 were adopted. Finding families for older children is incredibly challenging and requires strong relationships with the child, family and agency recruitment team. This is the highest number of older children adopted in one year at Children’s Aid.
80% of children and teens in our Mentoring program established a consistent, meaningful relationship with their mentor.
Our recruitment team worked with 52 children to help them find families – or in the event they were not adopted — adults who will be their permanent connections or life coaches, forming relationships they can rely on as they leave foster care at age 18. One remarkable connection occurred for a teen we reconnected with his birth family, whom he had not seen since 2012.
30 of 32 clients working with our professional mentor live in a safe and stable home, which shows the critical impact our Mobility Mentoring Program has achieved. One young woman was couch surfing and unemployed when she met our mentor. Shortly after she began working with our mentor, the young woman moved in with a roommate, got a job and was promoted twice in one year. In 2019 she moved into her own apartment and independently supports herself and her child.
Thank you for helping us build brighter futures every day. We couldn’t do our work without your support!