Jewish Family Services of Ottawa’s Mark Zarecki and Rebecca Fromowitz were among the 48 Family Service Ontario member agencies at Queen’s Park on March 7, 2018 for the 10th Annual Family Service Day.
JFS has been a member of Family Service Ontario for over 20 years – the organization represents 48 not-for-profit member agencies across the province who serve more than 250,000 individuals, couples and families in communities and workplaces every year through delivery of a wide range of mental health, trauma and wellness services.
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynn addressed the assembled agency representatives and thanked us all for our work in our communities with special recognition for our contributions to the violence against women sector in advance of International Women’s Day. As well, Minister of Community and Social Services, Michael Coteau tweeted “The importance of the work you do for Ontario families can’t be overstated.”
What is Family Service Day?
Family Service Day is an annual event at the Ontario legislature which serves to position Family Service Ontario as a leading voice on issues impacting family services with politicians and senior policymakers from four key ministries; Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, Ministry of the Attorney General, Ministry of Community and Social Services and the Ontario Women’s Directorate.
Key Themes for #FSDay18
Among the key themes at Family Service Day this year were: access to mental health services and services for those who have experienced intimate partner violence. Homelessness and housing were also addressed as well as the importance of the ability to access basic needs.
Why Family Service Day is important to JFS
People inevitably struggle when their basic needs are not met. And we know that people experiencing poverty often cannot access the resources that are needed to help them when things are tough. We’re working hard at JFS to advocate for basic mental health services as a right for all.
By strengthening our relationship with other family service agencies in Ontario to learn from their progress in this field, and by speaking with politicians at Queen’s Park, we’re building momentum in our fight for more funding, awareness and services for the diverse communities we serve.
Our work at JFS
We offer over 65 programs at JFS. Some of our programs that support the key themes of Family Service Day 2018 include:
The Counselling Group – Full range of counselling/support services for children, individuals, couples & families including group sessions + e-counselling.
The Walk-In Counselling Clinic – Weekly first-come first-served multi-lingual walk-in counselling clinics with no referral needed.
Shalom Bayit – Confidential and anonymous support for women experiencing abuse
Street Smarts – Street-based outreach program that offers resources, referrals, and basic supplies to Ottawa’s downtown homeless population.
Settlement Support – Offers services that cater to newcomers from various cultural, ethnic and linguistic backgrounds who are now making their home in Ottawa. This also includes mental health services for refugees and vulnerable newcomers.
Seniors Support – Support for seniors and their families in accessing the resources needed to maximize independent living and enhance quality of life.
We applaud increased funding but know that much more is needed in this area. It’s our hope that the Government of Ontario will continue to build resources for programs with specific focus on intimate partner violence and providing service to different cultural needs.
Save the date!
We’ll be back for #FSDay19 on May 8, 2019 and will continue to provide programs and services to the children, youth, adults and seniors of Ottawa. To learn more about Family Service Day, visit the Family Service Ontario website.