our PAST, PRESENT & future
Our Roots and Early Years
The charitable tradition of Jewish Family and Child Service 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 and Child Service 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 and Child Service 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 18 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 and Child Service has a staff of more than 120 and a budget of over $24 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.
Our Vision for the Future - Strategic Plan 2020-2024
The Strategic Plan is designed to strengthen, grow and reimagine our programs and partnerships, to respond and adapt to the emerging needs of the people and communities we serve and to ensure our agency remains sustainable so that everyone who comes through our doors can experience renewed hope and a brighter future.
Developed by staff, board members, current and former service users, volunteers, caregivers, community partners, funders and donors, our Strategic Plan will set the course for JF&CS over the next five years. Our Plan includes a new Vision and Mission and four new overarching Strategic Directions supported by twelve Operational Initiatives.
We are thrilled to announce the launch of our new Strategic Plan.