(973) 372-5601 Info@ifsnj.org 15 Smalley Terrace Irvington, NJ 07111

Independence Zone

For youth ages 14 to 21 years old, Independence: A Family of Services (IFS) presents an opportunity to complete core requirements to earn a diploma and finish the High School experience.

College Students For youth ages 14 to 21 years old, Independence: A Family of Services (IFS) presents an opportunity to complete core requirements to earn a diploma and finish the High School experience.

For Our Youth: Direct Services

IFS Program modules reflect the cultural and linguistic realities of youth and their families.

Therapeutic Services – Therapeutic interventions are designed for youth who are in need of more intensive services than are provided through general case management and counseling. Includes individual, group and/or family therapy and crisis intervention.

Life Skills Instruction – Using a federally recognized curriculum, this course module provides youth with the knowledge and skills needed to live independently, through opportunities for learning, problem solving, and enhancement of self-esteem all while increasing the youth’s awareness of community resources and services. Life Skills students are typically better prepared for daily life challenges.

Our Approach

IFS invokes a “strength-based” approach to teach youth coping skills that lead to a reduction in negative behavior and to break their cycle of poor educational performance.

• For youth between 14 and 21 years old

• Customized services for at-risk youth

• Off-site or on-site during after-school hours

• Counseling and case management services

• Educational support services

• Training for daily responsibility and commitment to education completion

“I am living and learning how to deal with certain people at certain times and that there is a time and place for everything. I now realize that graduating is my main priority and that foolishness is not going to help me get a diploma.” – Matthew, an IFS Life Skills graduate”

“This program helped me learn a lot. I learned how to get along with people that I am not used to being around. While in class I have a better understanding of people and can communicate better and express my feelings. I am getting a better understanding of life and I’m motivated to stay in school and graduate faster.” – Ali, an IFS Life Skills graduate”

For Our Parents

Connecting with School Administrators and Families

A valuable lesson we have learned at IFS is the need for direct and personal interaction among the adults in a child’s life. It is crucial that the youth actually see that the adults committed to helping him or her are engaged with each other. IFS staff help dissolve the distinction between in-class time and Afterschool time. IFS provides direct and personal interaction among the adults in a child’s life.

Over the many years of services, IFS has served youth and families from many schools in the Newark Public Schools district. As a State provider of Life Skills and as and agency that provides direct educational counseling support to youth throughout all of Essex County, IFS has as a mandate that the biological, step, guardian, or kinship family members are a part of the service paradigm.

About IFS

For over 43 years, IFS has been providing services to youth enrolled in the Newark Public School system either in regular or alterative schools. IFS works with youth who are behind their graduating class by two or more years and are approaching a period in their lives where they will be aging out of the educational system. Many of these youth struggle with issues of self-esteem that are directly related to their ability to fit within the school environment. IFS provides youth with the opportunity for learning, problem solving, and enhancement of self-esteem. We use best practices providing tools and services for students to recover from past emotional and psychological trauma related to living in stigmatizing and/or abusive family, school and community environments. Our programming helps to reduce negative stigma, empower youth, and create safe spaces with culturally-defined measures.

To date, IFS has served more than 12,000 persons, achieving an 85 percent success rate in keeping youth safely and meaningfully in the community and avoiding institutional placement.

For youth ages 14 to 21 years old, Independence: A Family of Services (IFS) presents, for LGBTQ youth, an opportunity to complete core requirements to earn a diploma and finish the High School experience.

Support Services for LGBTQ Youth Ages 14-21 Years Old

For Our Youth: Direct Services

IFS Program modules reflect the cultural and linguistic realities of youth and their families.

Therapeutic Services – Therapeutic interventions are designed for youth who are in need of more intensive services than are provided through general case management and counseling. Includes individual, group and/or family therapy and crisis intervention.

Life Skills Instruction – Using a federally recognized curriculum, this course module provides youth with the knowledge and skills needed to live independently, through opportunities for learning, problem solving, and enhancement of self-esteem all while increasing the youth’s awareness of community resources and services. Life Skills students are typically better prepared for daily life challenges.

Our Approach

FS invokes a “strength-based” approach to teach youth coping skills that lead to a reduction in negative behavior and to break their cycle of poor educational performance.

• For youth between 14 and 21 years old

• Customized services for at-risk youth

• Off-site or on-site during after-school hours

• Counseling and case management services

• Educational support services

• Training for daily responsibility and commitment to education completion

For Our Professionals: Coaching and Training

At Independence: A Family of Services (IFS), in collaboration with Garden State Equality, our training and technical assistance for educational and behavioral health professionals, will focus on engaging social emotional learning (SEL), character education modules and additional technical assistance specifically for services involving LGBTQ youth. The training and technical assistance instruction reflects the cultural and linguistic realities of LGBTQ youth and their families.

Connecting with School Administrators and Families

A valuable lesson we have learned at IFS is the need for direct and personal interaction among the adults in a child’s life. It is crucial that the youth actually see that the adults committed to helping him or her are engaged with each other. IFS staff help dissolve the distinction between in-class time and Afterschool time. IFS provides direct and personal interaction among the adults in a child’s life.

Over the many years of services, IFS has served youth and families from many schools in the Newark Public Schools district. As a State provider of Life Skills and as and agency that provides direct educational counseling support to youth throughout all of Essex County, IFS has as a mandate that the biological, step, guardian, or kinship family members are a part of the service paradigm.

About IFS

For over 43 years, IFS has been providing services to youth enrolled in the Newark Public School system either in regular or alterative schools. IFS works with youth who are behind their graduating class by two or more years and are approaching a period in their lives where they will be aging out of the educational system. Many of these youth struggle with issues of self-esteem that are directly related to their ability to fit within the school environment. IFS provides youth with the opportunity for learning, problem solving, and enhancement of self-esteem. We use best practices providing tools and services for students to recover from past emotional and psychological trauma related to living in stigmatizing and/or abusive family, school and community environments. Our programming helps to reduce negative stigma, empower youth, and create safe spaces with culturally-defined measures.

To date, IFS has served more than 12,000 persons, achieving an 85 percent success rate in keeping youth safely and meaningfully in the community and avoiding institutional placement.

Our Partner

Garden State Equality uses evidence-based research models that include integrated models and methods that center on a whole-school approach. Using recognized best practices in serving At-Risk and LGBTQ individuals include building collaborative services that provide a welcoming and inclusive climate, and emphasize linkages, referrals and resources appropriate for a student to thrive inside and outside of the classroom.

“I am living and learning how to deal with certain people at certain times and that there is a time and place for everything. I now realize that graduating is my main priority and that foolishness is not going to help me get a diploma.” – Matthew, an IFS Life Skills graduate”

“This program helped me learn a lot. I learned how to get along with people that I am not used to being around. While in class I have a better understanding of people and can communicate better and express my feelings. I am getting a better understanding of life and I’m motivated to stay in school and graduate faster.” – Ali, an IFS Life Skills graduate”

For youth in 6th through 8th grades, Independence: A Family of Services (IFS) presents the Independence Zone Afterschool Program that provides Life Skills Training, Educational Counseling, and Homework Assistance. IFS provides youth with the opportunity for learning, problem solving, and enhancement of self-esteem all while increasing the youth’s awareness of their own internal and external locus of control resources. Students participating in these services will be better prepared for the daily responsibility and requirements as set by NPS, their parents and other authority figures.

 

Hours of Operations: 15 students per session
Life Skills Instruction: 90 minutes each session.
Homework Assistance: Three (3) hours a day, three (3) days each week
Educational Counseling: 90 minutes each session

 

For Our Youth: IFS After School Program

Our goal is to teach youth coping skills which will lead to a reduction in negative behavior in school, at home and in the community and to help them develop the necessary skills to break their cycle of poor educational performance. IFS will provide youth with the opportunity for learning, problem solving, and enhancement of self-esteem all while increasing the youth’s awareness of their own internal and external locus of control resources.

 

Life Skills Training empowers youth by providing daily and life survival skills training, assessment, case management, and cultural and recreational activities. Students are assessed and guided through the Life Skills curriculum, which includes lessons in; Career Planning, Communications, Daily Living Skills, Home Life, Housing & Money Management, Self Care, Work Life, Work and Study Skills, and Social Relationships.

 

Homework Assistance is comprised of tutorial services in reading, writing and mathematics, as well as remediation programs for students with learning issues. Students work individually or in small groups to complete their homework or to work on projects.

 

Educational Counseling is a combination of life skills training, case management and educational services that adddresses academic deficits using a “strength-based” approach that empowers students to overcome challenges. Based upon our extensive expertise in this area, we fully comprehend the amount of intensive services that are required to have the impact we expect to achieve. By offering small group sessions, we achieve highly successful results. IFS staff integrates educational counselling as part of its other program services including Life Skills instruction and homework assistance. The entire program is an opportuntity to encourage students to develop excitement about learning.

 

Customized Services include programming for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning students dealing with many challenges in school and in their communities.

For Our Parents

Connecting with School Administrators and Families

A valuable lesson we have learned at IFS is the need for direct and personal interaction among the adults in a child’s life. It is crucial that the youth actually see that the adults committed to helping him or her are engaged with each other. IFS staff help dissolve the distinction between in-class time and Afterschool time. IFS provides direct and personal interaction among the adults in a child’s life.

 

Over the many years of services, IFS has served youth and families from many schools in the Newark Public Schools district. As a State provider of Life Skills and as and agency that provides direct educational counseling support to youth throughout all of Essex County, IFS has as a mandate that the biological, step, guardian, or kinship family members are a part of the service paradigm.

 

About IFS

For over 43 years, IFS has been providing services to youth enrolled in the Newark Public School system either in regular or alterative schools. IFS works with youth who are behind their graduating class by two or more years and are approaching a period in their lives where they will be aging out of the educational system. Many of these youth struggle with issues of self-esteem that are directly related to their ability to fit within the school environment. IFS provides youth with the opportunity for learning, problem solving, and enhancement of self-esteem. We use best practices providing tools and services for students to recover from past emotional and psychological trauma related to living in stigmatizing and/or abusive family, school and community environments. Our programming helps to reduce negative stigma, empower youth, and create safe spaces with culturally-defined measures.

To date, IFS has served more than 12,000 persons, achieving an 85 percent success rate in keeping youth safely and meaningfully in the community and avoiding institutional placement.


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Contact IFS:
Administrative Office
179 Van Buren
Newark, NJ 07105

Education & Program Center
15 Smalley Terrace
Irvington, NJ 07111
(973) 372-5601

East Orange Family Success Center
60 Evergreen Place
3rd Floor, Suite 307
East Orange, NJ 07018
(973) 395-1442