A Proud History of Service


Jewish Family & Child supports the healthy development of individuals, children, families, and communities through prevention, protection, counselling, education and advocacy services, within the context of Jewish values

The charitable tradition of Jewish Family & Child dates back to 1868, when the Toronto Hebrew Ladies' Sick and Benevolent Society was granted a charter to raise funds and help the growing number of poor Jewish immigrants. There were no paid staff and a budget of only a few hundred dollars. Despite this, the "Ladies" had planted the seeds of what was to become one of the foremost family service agencies in North America - Jewish Family & Child.
Various Jewish social service agencies were formed as the twentieth century unfolded, such as The Hebrew Ladies Maternal Aid and Child Welfare Society (1907), The Family Welfare Committee (1919) and The Jewish Child Welfare Association (1936). In 1943, The Jewish Family Welfare Board and The Jewish Child Welfare Association merged to form Jewish Family and Child Service - and the rest is history, our history.

World War II and the Holocaust brought heavy waves of Jewish immigrants to our shores. JF&CS expanded its financial assistance program, and arranged housing for more than 1,000 orphans. Every child was eventually adopted or placed in a Jewish foster home.
Jewish Family & Child acquired a license in 1974 to operate a Children's Mental Health Centre, now known as the Jerome D. Diamond Adolescent Centre (named in honour of a former Executive Director of the agency). In 1980, Jewish Family & Child was accredited as a Children's Aid Society by the Government of Ontario, and became responsible for safeguarding the most vulnerable among us - our children. JF&CS is mandated to care for children under 16 within the Jewish community who are in need of care, protection and long-term planning. As the Agency continues to grow, so do its range and reach of programs and services.

Today, Jewish Family & Child has a staff of more than 120and a budget of over $19 million. We are continually adapting to changing community needs. Poverty, violence and abuse touch our community, and we respond with a wide range of services and programs designed to intervene and assist. Through our four dynamic locations in the Greater Toronto Area, we now provide as many as 30 community programs and services.

The Board, staff and volunteers of Jewish Family & Child are committed to a vibrant Jewish future for all members of our community, a future in which

  • the most vulnerable are able to participate fully in Jewish communal life
  • all people are safe from abuse, neglect and violence
  • services are readily available to support and educate families.

As we look to the future, we will focus on services and programs that promote wellness through the prevention of serious problems before they escalate. We will continue to strengthen our core programs, fine-tune our client-centric service delivery model, and offer new programs that appeal to a broad spectrum of age groups and social interests. Our volunteer and professional leadership are engaged in ongoing dialogue to ensure that we address emerging needs. A prime example of this is our response to the northward expansion of the Jewish population: we have opened an office in the Joseph & Wolf Lebovic Campus in Vaughan.The way in which we deliver our child welfare services is changing. The Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services has mandated a major transformation of the delivery of child welfare services in this province. As a multi-disciplinary agency, JF&CS already delivers many services that satisfy this new model.