(Courtesy of JCC MetroWest) JCC MetroWest is proud to announce the award of a grant from The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey to employ social workers at their summer day camps in collaboration with Jewish Family Service of MetroWest. JCC MetroWest runs six distinct camps, each with a different focus in terms of age, interest and abilities. Each comes with its own set of program initiatives and challenges. JCC MetroWest’s overall goal is to make each camper and staff member successful and enriched as a result of their summer experience.
Having a social worker on-site would enable camp leadership to provide increased support where needed. The goal will be for the social workers to get involved in all facets of the camps to develop relationships and intervene when necessary. Camp provides a safe haven for campers where they are often comfortable discussing issues in a low-stress environment. JCC MetroWest counselors and camp leadership will be trained to work with campers to be more prepared as challenges arise.
“The main outcome that we hope to achieve is to create an environment that provides our campers, counselors and families with support and skills needed for them to be successful in camp and prepare them for life after camp,” explains Sharon Gordon, chief program officer at JCC MetroWest. “We want the social worker to become part of the overall camp leadership and be very approachable to all.”
“We at The Healthcare Foundation are proud to support this important effort,” said Marsha Atkind, executive director/CEO. “Today’s children and adolescents face numerous pressures—pressures that arise from within families, from social media, and from the overall environment in which we live. This initiative at the JCC camps will help young people cope with those pressures and empower staff to identify and deal with problems before they become crises.”