Special Needs Services

In 1991, the Board of Rights of Virginians with Disabilities awarded a grant jointly to the Jewish Family Service of Tidewater and the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond. A direct outgrowth of that award is the implementation of services at JFS to children and adults with special needs and their families. JFS offers innovative, inclusive services to special needs clients including:
Case Management
Home Health Care
Special Needs Summer Camp

Case Management

The JFS Special Needs Case Manager provides assessment, evaluation, and monitoring of your family member with special needs to ensure maximum safety, inclusion, and independence. If needed, guardianship services are available through the JFS Personal Affairs Management program.


Currently, JFS runs two social groups for Jewish disabled adults. The Chaverim and Simcha groups provide unique socialization for Jewish-only disabled and for some, it provides the only interaction they have with Judaism or the Jewish community!

• Chaverim – The JFS Chaverim (“friends”) group supports Jewish adults with developmental disabilities.
• Simcha – The JFS Simcha (“joy”) group assists Jewish adults with chronic mental illness.

Each group meets monthly for social events that typically have a Jewish religious or cultural focus. Past activities have included trips to/events such as:
• trips to local theater performances
• bowling with the UJFT Young Adult Division
• trips to the Richmond Holocaust Museum
• Festival of Jewish Film viewings
• Moses Myers House
• Color Me Mine, Paint-Your-Own Pottery
• Tides games
• JFS-sponsored events, such as the Spring Into Healthy Living Run, Roll or Stroll

The JFS special needs social groups receive funding assistance from the following:
• Ralph and Mollie Bartel Fund for Services to the Developmentally Disabled
• Janis Lynn Kaplan Memorial Fund for Services to the Developmentally Disabled
• The Dalis Philanthropic Fund
• Pincus Paul Charitable Trust
• The Socialization (SIMCHA) Group Fund.

In addition, we are always accepting in-kind donations (link to donate page) of funds, tickets, event sponsors, and inclusion with Jewish community events or activities. We welcome volunteers (link to volunteer page) to transport disabled clients and attend social group events to interact with and assist our clients. We are always open to ideas and happy to provide resources for Jewish disabled individuals and their families.

Special Needs Summer Camp at the Simon Family Jewish Community Center

Coordination with the Simon Family Jewish Community Center’s Day Camp program for children with special needs is facilitated by JFS Special Needs staff members who are active consultants/participants in this effort to mainstream special needs children into a normal day camp routine. Children with special needs who attend the camp have the ability to participate fully in all activities.

The clinical staff at Jewish Family Service are specially trained to provide and arrange diagnostic evaluation and therapeutic services for children and adolescents with special needs, including those diagnosed with:
• Visual disabilities
• Developmental disabilities
• Hearing impairments
• Chronically Ill Children
• Learning disabilities
• Children with motor impairments

Contact Information:
JFS Special Needs Services
Call: (757) 459-4640
Ask For: Special Needs Case Manager
Email: counseling@jfshamptonroads.org