(973) 372-5601 Info@ifsnj.org 132 South Harrison Street


Since the organization’s founding in 1971, IFS has been serving, and continues to serve, youth and their families struggling with educational and behavioral issues caused by poverty, substandard educational systems and unstable homes.

The youth we serve at IFS range from birth to 21 years of age. Almost all of our youth population come from single parent households, and are in foster care or residential programs. Our target population is predominately (90%) AfricanAmerican, between the ages of 16 and 18, largely from Newark (85% of our population), and a small population from East Orange and Irvington.

To date, IFS has served more than 14,000 persons, achieving a 95% success rate in keeping youth and adults safely and meaningfully in the community and avoiding institutional placement.

Our Methods

IFS works with youth who are behind their graduating class by 2 or more years and are approaching a period in their lives where they will be aging out of the educational system.

We use best practices providing tools and services for students to recover from past emotional and psychological trauma stemming from negative and/or abusive family, school or community environments.


Our Specialty: Culturally Relevant Programming

IFS uses Rites of Passage programming methodologies in an academic and cultural framework for the purpose of connecting African-American and Multicultural students of the African Diaspora, with the history, literature, traditions, and folklore of ancient Africa. The ultimate goal of the program is to honor the traditions of cultures that recognize the transition from childhood to adulthood and to assist our youth in making their transition meaningful so that they better understand the challenges of living as a responsible adult.

  • To date, IFS has served more than 12,000 persons, achieving an 95% success rate in keeping youth safely and meaningfully in the community and avoiding institutional placement.
  • Mgbede (pronounced MMM-BWAY-DAY) is an integrated, strength-based service delivery system with a single point of entry for all clients who receive case management, reality-based counseling (clients examine their daily difficulties), individual, group and/or family therapy,  24-hour crisis intervention, mentoring, and behavioral coaching. During an average program period, 82% of our youth enrolled in our Mgbede program gain credits toward graduation.
  • Approximately 82% of youth enrolled in Life Skills training complete course requirements for the Rites of Passage program.
  • Youth participate in community service projects and attend college tours (i.e. Howard University and Morgan State, Lincoln Technical Institute, and more).
  • This year, there were twenty-two (22) young people participating in our aftercare services with 7 successfully enrolled in college and 14 gainfully employed. Aftercare involves assisting youth to stay on track with their daily living goals after they have aged out of the foster care system and continue their journey into adulthood.

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Contact IFS:
132 South Harrison Street
East Orange, NJ 07018
(973) 372-3601