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“Mental health is a critical component of children’s learning and general health. Fostering the social and emotional health in children as a part of healthy child development must therefore be a national priority.

Research shows that brain development and experience in early childhood may set the course for many future behavior patterns”

Surgeon General’s Report 2003

The Autzien Children’s Center provides a high-quality and easily accessible center for the evaluation and treatment of children facing challenges that may impede their development into fully-functional adults. These challenges can include psychological, educational, neurological, environmental and/or social problems. The Aufzien Children’s Center integrates all these services under one roof, comprehensively addressing the child as a whole.

Sample Parenting Basics

Positive Discipline Dos and Don’ts


  • Praise behavior you like! Be specific, descriptive, enthusiastic and affectionate. Catch your child being good!
  • Ignore minor misbehavior. Ignoring minor misbehavior (that isn’t dangerous) can effectively extinguish that behavior.
  • Redirect and distract when your child begins to misbehave.
  • Be clear about directions. Give commands that are statements, not questions (and use the word please!)
  • Stay calm and cool so you don’t unintentionally reinforce behaviors by becoming overly emotional in response to them.
  • Model good behavior. Children learn by copying, so always ask yourself what you are teaching your child by your own behavior.


  • Spank or hit. This escalates bad behavior, models aggression, and instills fear in your child.
  • Attend to negative behavior by reprimanding and lecturing — it doesn’t work.
  • Repeat a command multiple times. It loses its power and teaches your child that he/she doesn’t have to listen the first time.

Remember, the trick is to catch good child behavior and to let him or her know how much you like it! Positive discipline makes a child feel safe and happy because it teaches what to expect and what is expected. Positive discipline builds a relationship based on respect and love.

Social Skills Groups
School-Based Services

JFS therapists work closely with local schools to share their expertise in a wide variety of areas designed to enhance your child’s educational experience.

On-site consultation and classroom observation

Magen Yeladim, a nationally recognized school based program for children in pre-school through grade 4 teaches children the basics of personal safety. JFS can come to any school and deliver this program to students, faculty and parents. Program reinforces critical child protection principles for faculty and school administrators.

Mitzvos & Midos – On site year long program teaching social skills to students in pre-school through grade 3. Program incorporates classroom and non-classroom opportunities to reinforce positive social skills

Psychiatric Services

Psychiatric Consultation

Our advanced practice psychiatric nurse is available for face-to-face consultation to assess the need for medication and develop a diagnosis in cases where there are questions. Thisvservicevisvlimited to therapy clients at J F S.

Medication Management

Ongoing meetings with advanced practice psychiatric nurse to review medication effects and coordinate with regular treatment. This service is limited to therapy clients at JFS.

Stanley Joel Feld Special Needs Program

Special Needs Parent Support

Our therapists have experience working with families of children with special needs and provide an array of support services:

Family counseling – to address grief and discussed and help with stress management.

Project Leah respite program –

Parent Resource Center & Rutie Peikes Library

Library and resource information for parents of children with special needs.

The Yosef Glotzer Fund

Established by the family in memory of their Down’s syndrome child, this fund
supplements special services that are not covered by insurance. By application only.

Special Needs Advisory Council

Group of parents and professionals meeting bi-monthly to plan programs and share resource information

Sib Shops

Monthly group, in collaboration with Ohel, for siblings of special needs children. Contact Suzanne Miller for information.(973)777-7638 or

Children’s Therapeutic Modalities

Jewish Family and Children’s Services values the input and participation of the parent in every stage of the child’s healing process. Some of the modalities that parents and child may participate in include: Directive Play Therapy, Coping skills Training, Anger Management, Psychoeducation, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness, Social Skills Training, Family therapy, Trauma Informed Therapy.

Some children benefit from individual therapy as a part of their healing plan and these modalities could include Child Centered Play Therapy, Sand Tray and Art Therapy.

Research has shown that when a parent training component is a part of the healing process for the child the therapy is more effective. We therefore provide parents with specialized training on how to help their child reduce symptoms of defiance, impulsivity, aggression, anxiety and other problems in home and school.

We believe in the concept that it takes a village to raise a child and will work with teachers and other helping professionals in the child’s life to help develop a plan for success!

P.A.L.S.- Peace, A Learned Solution

Children ages 3 – 12, living in Passaic County, who have been exposed to domestic violence, and the non-offending parent are able to receive intensive therapeutic services at P.A.L.S. This collaborative program between JFS children’s services and the Passaic County Women’s Center is designed to reduce the effects of trauma. There is no cost to the family for any service because the program is fully funded through the support of the New Jersey Department of Child Protection and Permanency.

Bi-lingual Services Available
Art Therapy
Dance Therapy
Music Therapy
Recreational Therapy
Family Therapy
Case Management
Parenting Program
Psychiatric Evaluation and medication management
Transportation provided