frequently asked questions
Who we serve
Can anyone use the services of JF&CS or do I have to be Jewish?
Many of our community and family services are open to all residents of the Greater Toronto Area. Under our mandate as a Children’s Aid Society, our child welfare-specific services are provided to Jewish children and their families.
Is there a fee for using the programs and services of JF&CS?
Many services are provided at no cost. We charge affordable sliding-scale fees for some of our programs and services, such as individual and couple's counselling and our groups and workshops . We have never denied anyone assistance because of inability to pay.
Do you have programs and services for people of all ages?
Yes. We offer programs and services for children, adults and families.
Why is there a separate Jewish agency for families and children?
The Jewish community has a long and honourable tradition of caring for its most vulnerable members. As a Jewish agency, we understand the unique challenges and opportunities of Jewish life within a large secular community, and we are proud to offer programs and services in the context of Jewish values. Our status as the Jewish Children's Aid Society means that Jewish children in need of care are placed in Jewish foster homes. We are able to offer services in Russian, Hebrew, Yiddish and other languages spoken by those whose first language is not English. Many of our clients appreciate the comfort level inherent in dealing with a Jewish agency.
I live north of the city. Do you have facilities for me?
Our 1 Open Door Branch in the Joseph and Wolf Lebovic Jewish Community Campus serves the growing Jewish community in Thornhill, Richmond Hill and beyond.
What programs do you have for people living downtown?
Our Gordon S. Wolfe Branch (365 Bloor St E, Suite 1904) meets the unique needs of inner-city residents.
Do you have any counselling programs that men can attend with their kids?
Fathers and mothers alike are welcome to attend parenting programs and counselling group programs. Here is our list of available Groups & Workshops
The needs we fulfill
Why do people decide to seek counselling?
Life in the 21st century can be stressful and challenging. Many people find it helpful to seek counselling to help them develop practical and effective ways to handle stress and to improve their lives. We work with children, adults and families in private or group settings that meet their needs.
Does abuse really occur in the Jewish population? What kind?
The Jewish community is not immune to the social ills experienced by all Canadians. Unfortunately, woman abuse and child abuse do happen. Our Woman Abuse Program helps hundreds of women each year deal with the effects of emotional, physical and sexual abuse. Our child protection workers investigate increasing numbers of allegations of child abuse in the Jewish community each year. Abuse can be emotional, physical or sexual, or may take the form of neglect.
Does poverty really occur in the Jewish population?
There are approximately 24,000 Jewish people living in poverty in the Greater Toronto Area and 10% of them are children. Our Supplementary Financial Assistance program helps people face the unique challenge of being Jewish and poor.
What are the qualifications of JF&CS counsellors?
JF&CS counsellors are registered social workers or social service workers.
How do I know I have the right counsellor for me?
Our intake workers will work with you to assess your needs and determine the most appropriate caseworker for your unique situation.
Range of services
Can you help me find a job?
We do not provide job search assistance. However, our clients receiving financial assistance are often given guidance in job search skills through programs such as Pathways to Employment, provided in partnership with JVS Toronto . For jobs in the Jewish community, click here .
Do you operate a women’s shelter?
We do not operate a full-service shelter. However, in partnership with Jewish Women International , we provide a kosher apartment on an emergency basis for one woman and her family until appropriate living arrangements can be made. When necessary, we refer women and families to other shelters in the GTA
GTA services for youth
What is the Jerome D. Diamond Adolescent Centre?
The Jerome D. Diamond Adolescent Centre is our children's mental health centre, offering treatment and education programs for young people aged 12 to 17 who are experiencing educational, emotional and/or behavioural problems.
My teen is acting out and I don't know what to do. Can you help?
We offer counselling groups for parents and teens that may be of help. Call our intake department at 416-638-7800 or visit our Groups & Workshops page.
I suspect my neighbour’s child is being abused. What should I do?
You have a legal obligation to report any suspicion of child abuse to a Children's Aid Society. Call us 24 hours a day at 416 638-7800. It's important to remember that you do NOT have to be CERTAIN that abuse is happening...call us even if it's just a suspicion, and leave it to our child protection professionals to make the determination. You may call us anonymously if you wish.
My cousin neglects her child. How can I help?
Neglect is a form of abuse, and that means you must report it to a Children's Aid Society. Call us 24 hours a day at 416 638-7800. If your cousin's child is being neglected, he or she may be in need of protection. It's important to remember that you don't have to be sure that abuse is happening...call us even if it's just a suspicion, and leave it to our child protection professionals to make the determination.
Tell me more about my legal obligation to report abuse.
The Government of Ontario publishes a brochure detailing your responsibility under the Child and Family Services Act. You can read Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect online.
Fostering and Adoption
Who are Foster Parents?
Anyone who can open their heart and home to a child in need and work as part of a team can apply to become a JF&CS Foster Parent. We are looking for applicants of any age who possess a variety of backgrounds and experiences: those who are married or single, with or without children. Some are experienced parents with older children; others are fostering while still raising their own children. Some may be at home, some working. We welcome applications from the LGBT community. Applicants with professional skills in mental health, social work or education are especially needed. All who share a genuine interest in the well being of children and desire to contribute to their community are encouraged to apply. Call Intake at 416 638-7800 for more information. One parent per home must be Jewish.
I am a single adult. Can I be a Foster Parent?
Any adult - single or married - in the Jewish community who wishes to open his or her heart and home to a Jewish child in need is welcome to pursue the opportunity to become a foster parent. Call our Intake Dept 416 638-7800 for more information.
Where does the money I give to your Annual Campaign go?
To learn more about how your dollars are used to serve our clients' greatest needs, please click here.
I’m planning a Bar Mitzvah and I’ve heard about “Simcha Baskets.” What are they?
Simcha Baskets are a wonderful way to share the bounty of your celebration with others who are less fortunate. They are gift baskets, usually used as centerpieces at Bar or Bat Mitzvah or wedding celebrations, which you donate to JF&CS after the event. Simcha Baskets may be filled with kosher, non-perishable food, toys, toiletries, or other items. Visit: https://donation.jfandcs.com/simchabaskets for more information, or call our friendly donation line at 416 638-7800 x 6999
Do you accept old computers?
We thank you for thinking of donating your old computer to us, but we regret that we are not able to accept donations of used computers.
I want to donate my late father’s furniture.
If you have additional questions not addressed above, please contact us and we will do our best to respond quickly: