JJC Family Services has a long history of involvement in child protective services and with families at risk of such involvement, through multiple quality programs.
In 1976, this agency was established to provide residential care for youth in the juvenile justice system, providing also social services to the families of the residents. Foster care for dependent children, and their families, started in 1988.
In 1991, JJC expanded into in-home, family-based work, setting up a program called “SCOH”, which was an acronym for Services to Children in their Own Homes, and the Home Based Delinquent Services. Three years later, JJC began providing adoption services and in 1996 the agency established its own mental health clinic, providing psychiatric and psychological services and therapy for our children and for families in the community.
Parenting education, in a program called “Parents in Training” (PIT), was started in 1997, and was reshaped in 2010 to become PEP or “Parents Empowering Program”. PEP provides evening classes via four-month courses for a large number of parents, referred from within our agency, from the entire community, and from other agencies. This preventative aspect of JJC has become a vital part of agency functioning, as family support programs have gradually supplanted out-of-home care in emphasis and “days of service”.
In late 1998, we increased the number of our group homes to five, encompassing both delinquent and dependent homes, located in various city locations.
From 2002 to 2013, JJC sponsored HOPE Charter school, a high school for "at risk" students, located in West Oak Lane. HOPE Charter School graduated many young people, including many DHS-involved youth, that would have left school without a diploma and probably without employment. This educational program had the added advantage of having on-site social services and behavioral health programs, a summer program for the whole community, an after school credit recovery / interest enhancement classes, such as art, drama and gymnastics and a work ready program.
In 2004, we set up the Department of Permanency Planning (DOPP), to provide permanency for children, through "return home" support services, adoption and permanent legal custody. This department has its own team, composed of our more experienced staff, to work with families to ensure permanency.
In 2009, DHS awarded us contracts to provide In Home Protective Services (IHPS) and Family Stabilization Services (FSS). These programs represent in-home strengths-based family-focused programs, thereby adding greatly to JJC's experience at working with families who are dealing with challenges and need core services such as parental guidance, and linkages to community resources.
2011 saw the commencement of a new program, focusing on young people who have been truant from school, may have had an arrest, and are in need of guidance, support and counseling to help them to stay out of trouble and graduate high school. Youth attend our program on three evenings a week, and the program provides family-counseling in the family home.
In July 2012, the agency expanded its truancy program to include serving children and youth who were identified by the school district and DHS as being truant. The Truancy Prevention and Intervention Initiative (TPII) is a joint initiative between JJC Family Services, School District of Philadelphia, Family Court and DHS, designed to target truancy with early assessment and intervention. The primary objective is to help each student become successful members of his or her family, school and community through regular school attendance, case management, court interventions, placement prevention, and referrals to other services when necessary.
In summary, JJC, has been in operation since 1976, offering a comprehensive range of family services to the Philadelphia community. JJC’s core values believes that through supportive, collaborative, and community based programming, children and families can be strengthened.