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New look, new directions for family service agency
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New look, new directions for family service agency

New logo of the Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Monmouth County.
New logo of the Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Monmouth County.

To mark its 35th anniversary, Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Monmouth County has unveiled a new logo to better illustrate the range of services the agency offers. The colorful image depicts three family members linked by a swirling ray of light.

“The logo projects an image of warmth and optimism and a strong focus on the family,” said JFCS executive director Paul Freedman. “It reflects our founding principles perfectly, as well as our renewed emphasis on children.”

JFCS director of operations Barbara Marshall, who has been with JFCS since its inception, said she has seen the agency “refocus its direction to include specialized services for families and children. Previously JFCS did mostly marital, individual, and senior counseling.” Now, she added, the agency is providing training to new staff to deal with the problems unique to today’s families and children — such as bullying, childhood obesity, and new approaches to family therapy.

Reflecting JFCS’ plan to introduce a “whole other range of services…in our Family and Children’s Solution Center in 2011,” Marshall said, the new logo “more closely demonstrates our increased focus on keeping our children and families healthy.”

In the last year, the agency has hired more therapists with specialized training in working with children and families and is offering more outpatient mental health services for children, Freedman said. “We are now refocusing our mental health services and investing in additional training to work with more children.

“When we start to work with children when they are young, we can focus on prevention as opposed to intervention when problems are more advanced,” Freedman said.

Headquartered in Asbury Park, with branch offices in Eatontown and Morganville, JFCS offers a wide variety of human services on a nonsectarian basis. They include a food pantry and psycho-educational session groups on parenting, domestic violence, anger management, and drug and alcohol abuse. The agency also provides adoption home study services, as well as home health-care resources and emergency funds for nearly 75 Holocaust survivors in Monmouth County. On Feb. 1, the Morganville office will move into larger quarters within the same building in which it currently is housed.

Nearly a dozen staffers and board members were involved in the development of the logo. Designed by an on-line graphic organization, the logo was selected out of 10 choices. “It isn’t always easy to choose a new logo,” said Marshall, but “the bright four-color logo representing a family around a bright sun was an easy choice — after all, what better represents Jewish Family & Children’s Service?’

The new logo, said Freedman, “conveys our family-centric approach. At any point in time there are nearly 200 people receiving therapy or counseling in our three offices.”

JFCS prides itself on serving the entire family, he said. Recently, staff therapists intervened to provide mental health services to a nine-year-old boy who had fallen into a pattern of overeating to compensate for his parents’ deteriorating relationship. “We brought the parents in to help them understand and minimize the impact of their divorce on the physical and mental well-being of their son,” he said.

The agency also works with young people undergoing substance abuse, including a 15-year-old boy who came to his second therapy session at JFCS high on drugs. After a 21-day rehab program (not held at JFCS), he returned to the agency for help. “After nine months of therapy, his grades have gone back up, and he is relating better to family and friends,” said Freedman. “He is back on track and has expressed interest in helping other young people with the same addiction,” Freedman said.

The agency’s website (jfcsmonmouth.org) will also be redesigned to improve its usability and give it the same fresh look as the logo. “We’ve been really challenged in the last three fiscally challenging years,” Freedman said. “Giving a makeover to our logo and website is a way to keep our optimism up and project an even brighter future.”

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