Anderson Children's Foundation

Jewish Family Services

Improving Children's Mental Health and Family Stability (2021-2022, 2020-2021)

Jewish Family Service of the Desert (JFS) has provided an array of counseling and social services to Coachella Valley residents for more than 37 years. Funding from the Anderson Children’s Foundation will enable JFS to provide low- or no-cost outpatient mental health counseling for an estimated 250 children, with a focus on children of color and those living in poverty. JFS utilizes culturally- and age-appropriate cognitive behavioral therapy assessments and interventions to achieve positive mental health outcomes—and works in close collaboration with local hospitals, health departments, schools, and community-based organizations to effectively target those most in need. For those without insurance, services are provided on a sliding fee scale, and no clients are turned away for their inability to pay.

JFS has integrated its counseling and case management programs, so client families can access case management services at no cost, including emergency financial assistance (e.g., rent and utility payments, food, etc.), assistance with CalFresh and Section 8 voucher applications, and linkages to other supportive services. Families referred into the case management program are assessed, obtain referrals and assistance, and receive follow-up to ensure that financial stability is achieved. JFS is also committed to coordinating and unifying the efforts of multiple providers to increase service efficiencies and promote the well­being of Coachella Valley children and families.

Adolescent Treatment Program (2013-2014)

The Jewish Family Service of the Desert’s Intensive Outpatient Drug & Alcohol Program strives to help teenagers in the Coachella Valley recover from drug addiction. Certified drug and alcohol counselors meet with students for ten after-school sessions, with additional plans for recovery after they finish the program. Within small groups, teens learn about potential triggers, mental health, and consequences of drug use. Parents attend workshops and learn how to support their children. IOS representatives administer various tests, including the PHQ-9 depression scale and the Global Assessment of Funcitoning (GAF), to track students’ general ability to function and potential depression. Many teenagers leave the program with changed perspectives about drug abuse, and an instinct to think twice before using again.