What accomplished together in 2020

Children’s Aid and Family Services faced many challenges last year, but with the combined efforts of our staff, Board of Trustees, volunteers, families and, of course, our supporters, we were able to quickly adapt and continue meeting the needs of those we serve.

Despite the challenges of the year, there were many bright spots. I’m proud that our staff showed such dedication and compassion to our clients while working through the unknowns of the pandemic.  Because of everyone’s efforts, we continued to help some of the most vulnerable children, adults and families in our community. Here are some of the highlights of what we accomplished together.

Helping Families Heal

  • Our WISE Families Program had a 99% success rate last year. This 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.
  • NJ ARCH (New Jersey Adoption Resource Clearing House) and KinKonnect (Kinship Care Clearing House) trained 480 families and professionals at conferences and support groups throughout New Jersey.
  • 90 children were helped to manage the grief, loss and trauma related to adoption and foster care through our pre- and post-adoption counseling.
  • 88% of parents in our Therapeutic Supervised Visitation Program showed improved parenting skills.
  • Over 300,000 diapers were distributed to low-income families in Bergen, Essex and Passaic Counties.

Empowering Individuals to Reach Their Fullest Potential

  • The STRIVE Day Program for Individuals with special needs transitioned to a virtual program with engaging and enriching activities, serving as a lifeline to its members and their families.
  • A licensed clinical therapist provided individual and group therapy to our residents and members with special needs, along with support to families and staff, which has been especially beneficial during the pandemic.
  • The Cope Institute for Professional Success went virtual and provided training and professional development to 60 Disability Support Services’ staff.

Giving Children and Teens a Second Chance

  • Our recruitment team helped 100% of our teenagers aging out of foster care establish life-long connections and relationships they can rely on as they transition into adulthood.
  • 85% of the children in our therapeutic foster care program showed improvement in their school performance, and two of the children made honor roll.
  • 100% of the young people that graduated our Mobility Mentoring program are living independently in their own apartments. This is in sharp contrast to the 84% of participants that experienced housing instability when they started the program. The Mobility Mentoring program creates new pathways to economic independence for low-income women and their families.

Educating and Strengthening the Community

  • The EPIC peer leadership group received the Action Award from the Lindsey Meyer Teen Institute for promoting healthy lifestyle choices through an outstanding prevention program.
  • 103 clients were served through law enforcement initiatives with the Bergen County Sheriff’s and Prosecutor’s Offices and the Fair Lawn Municipal Court.
  • We responded 588 times when an individual overdosed from opioids.
  • Over 2,000 children and teenagers participated in violence and substance misuse prevention programs offered virtually through schools.
  • The Center for Alcohol and Drug Resources, in partnership with the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, launched a 24-hour hotline to access addiction services and support: 201-589-2976.

The agency is extremely fortunate to have dedicated supporters such as you! Last year, you rallied around all of our programs by donating recreational supplies, attending the virtual wine tasting, providing financial support and making sure our clients felt special during the holiday season.

Thank you for all you do to help those we serve!