BSFT® Program News : 2014 : February

Jewish Child Care Association is Now the Largest Provider of BSFT Services in New York City

Jewish Child Care Association (JCCA) began implementation of the Brief Strategic Family Therapy┬« (BSFT┬«) program in June, 2013 with three teams of therapists. JCCA converted their large General Preventive Service program in Brooklyn when the New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) gave agencies the opportunity to change their preventive services programs to an evidence based model.

Subsequently in October, 2013 JCCA began implementation of ACS’s Specialized Teen Preventive Program with two additional BSFT teams. As the child welfare agency for New York City, all ACS funded programs are for the prevention of child abuse and neglect. JCCA now has in operation five BSFT teams in two New York City boroughs, four teams working with families in Brooklyn and one team in the Bronx. This makes JCCA the largest provider of BSFT services in New York City, followed by New York Foundling, the pioneering BSFT provider in the city. New York Foundling’s BSFT program began in 2009. Currently they have four BSFT teams, three in the borough of Manhattan and one in Queens.

The organizational mission of JCCA is to strengthen and preserve families by meeting the mental health and welfare needs of all children and their families in the New York metropolitan area.

“We help vulnerable children thrive by having a sense of family, culture and community.”

Robert Cizma, Vice President
Mental Health and Preventive Programs JCCA

Founded in 1822, Jewish Child Care Association (JCCA) serves as a pioneer agency in New York City. Since the early 1980’s, JCCA has been a leader in the field of preventive services in New York City with an extensive history of providing child welfare and foster care services. Since that time, JCCA began implementing evidence based intervention services across each division, in particular, foster care and preventive service programs.

As a pioneer agency for family services, JCCA was one of five agencies which participated in the initial ACS pilot program, which involved the incorporation of evidence based models into their foster care programs. Since that initial pilot program, JCCA has implemented several evidence based models in their preventive service divisions.

When ACS introduced the Expression of Interest (EOI) program for agencies to convert their existing preventive service programs into evidence based models, JCCA implemented the Brief Strategic Family Therapy model. With the introduction of the BSFT model’s short term intervention (12-16 weeks), JCCA therapists received valuable clinical tools that were consistent with the agency’s mission to provide family centered services to help families whose children are at risk for out of home placement due to child abuse and neglect.

After six months of implementation, preliminary findings indicate that families have responded favorably to the BSFT program. Reports also indicate that families continue to use the valuable techniques learned during their BSFT sessions after termination. With the addition of the BSFT program to JCCA’s rich array of services, they hope to preserve many more families and to protect the health and well-being of their children. “JCCA is very excited that the BSFT model will enhance our clinical practice and provide positive outcomes for the families in our care.” (Robert Cizma).