Helping Kids and Families

Bellefaire JCB is among the nation’s largest, most experienced child welfare agencies providing a variety of behavioral health, substance abuse, education and prevention services. Each year, we help nearly 27,000 youth and their families achieve resiliency, dignity and self-sufficiency through more than 25 programs, including:

  • Outpatient Counseling
  • School-Based Counseling
  • Prevention and Early Intervention (SAY - Social Advocates for Youth)
  • Monarch Center for Autism
  • Homeless and Missing Youth Program
  • Domestic and International Adoption (Hague-accredited)
  • Foster Care
  • Residential Treatment, including Crisis Stabilization, Drug and Alcohol Treatment, Transitional and Independent Living, and Autism Residential
  • JDN Early Childhood Education
  • Jewish Big Brother/Big Sister

To learn more, visit us at bellefairejcb.org and follow us on Facebook.

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Our Stories

 


Jasmine

Peace is ... kindness. At least that’s what Jasmine believes. Like the other teens in her After School group at Bellefaire JCB, she struggled at first with the assignment to describe what “peace” means to her.
 
But when prompted by Bellefaire staff to think about what peace might smell like, sound like or feel like, she worked very hard to come up with her answer: kindness.
 
Kindness, however, used to be something unfamiliar to Jasmine. Growing up in an impoverished neighborhood, Jasmine lives with her father who struggles with substance abuse. Her school requires students to go through metal detectors and has security officers walking the hallways to help with the rising violence among her peers. It’s not surprising that she has had trouble at school and a difficult time making friends. 
 
Jasmine was referred to Bellefaire’s After School Program to help improve her self-esteem, coping and social skills. At first she was hesitant to participate, but Bellefaire’s counselors showed Jasmine the kindness she had never known and provided a safe environment where she could open up and share her feelings. Through group work, Jasmine learned to express herself through art and finally experience peace. Today, Jasmine is doing well in school and is a mentor to other girls in the program.
 
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Nate

When their first born, Nate, was diagnosed with autism at 2 1/2, his parents were devastated. They were unfamiliar with the disorder and didn’t know where to turn for help. They watched their son withdraw from the world around him.

 

He was highly sensitive to touch, smell and sound, and unable to communicate his wants and needs. He had no friends and no desire to be around his family. His childhood was lonely, isolated and hopeless. As Nate got older, he developed specific fears and aversions, and was unable to cope with life. When confronted with his fears, he became violent, irrational and a danger to himself and others. Needless to say, Nate’s autism had a devastating effect on his family. At the height of their despondency, when failure seemed inevitable, they found Monarch School, and their life changed completely.

 

Monarch’s experienced staff and visual language teaching Model were well-equipped to give Nate the one-on-one attention and education he needed. Not only did Nate flourish academically, but his life changed when he learned how to communicate. He was finally able to participate in the world around him and develop friendships.

 

Nate’s family regards his transformation as nothing short of a miracle, enjoying a relationship with him that they never thought possible. While they realize they’ll always have challenges to face, they are so proud of the ones they’ve successfully overcome.

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Peter

Peter is an 11-year-old who was consistently having trouble at school and felt lonely because he had very few friends. His principal suggested to his mom that they see a counselor to help him avoid his emotional meltdowns and difficulty completing classwork. They hoped that he would also be able to get along better with his classmates. 

 

After meeting with a Bellefaire Outpatient therapist, Peter was diagnosed with ADHD. Throughout the course of treatment, he learned how to stop and think, use his words to express his emotions and his needs more effectively, and developed better frustration tolerance. He also was referred to a Bellefaire Outpatient psychiatrist, who assessed that medication might help him to focus so he could better learn and meet classroom expectations. His mother received support and suggestions about how to structure Peter’s time away from school, which helped him feel more stable and safe.

 

As Peter’s symptoms improved, he also started being invited to his classmates’ home and began building an appropriate group of friends. Upon completing therapy, both Peter and his mother expressed their appreciation to the therapist, stating that Peter was actually enjoying school and was going to have friends come to his birthday party in a few months.

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