JFS Delaware Partners with CHILD, Inc.

By Madison Warfel, JFS Delaware Marketing and Communications Specialist

CHILD, Inc. is a private, non-profit organization that offers prevention, treatment, emergency shelter and advocacy services that strengthen families. The organization serves dependent, neglected, and abused children and their parents. They provide programs for those involved in domestic violence situations, especially children.

Located in Wilmington, CHILD, Inc. has been helping the children and families of Delaware since 1963.

Anne Altemus, Program Director of the Domestic Violence Treatment Program, has been with CHILD Inc. for 35 years. “What I like about our Domestic Violence Treatment Program is that it treats the whole family,” said Altemus. “We have offender programs, we have victim or survivor programs, and of course we have programs for helping children heal. We are the only program in New Castle County that treats the whole family for intimate partner abuse or domestic violence.”

“Domestic violence is a very serious problem,” continued Anne. “With the contacts that we have with the other agencies that we work with; we’re hoping to prevent and end domestic violence in families.”

And that’s where Jewish Family Services of Delaware and their Mental Health Fellowship Program comes in. The federally funded Fellowship Program began in 2022 as a response to the rapidly increasing mental health demand throughout the Delaware community, as well as the shortage of Licensed Mental Health providers throughout the state. JFS provides Master Level Social Workers and Mental Health Counselors with support for two years while they participate in meaningful work and leadership development, and JFS helps prepare them to take and pass the LCSW or LPCMH test to be fully licensed.

The Fellowship Program has formed over a dozen partnerships with schools and nonprofits in the community. One of those partnerships is with CHILD, Inc.

Zach King, JFS Fellow

“I actually started my career at CHILD, Inc.,” said Rebecca McAdams, Clinical Supervisor of the JFS Fellowship Program. “I started as a Community Based Counselor in shelters in the Sparrow Run area. I was working with children who had survived or were surviving domestic violence. I felt so privileged to start my career at CHILD, Inc., and that’s why we brought the Fellowship here.”

One aspect of the Domestic Violence Treatment Program is the Offender Intervention Services (OIS), which provides structured counseling interventions for both men and women who have committed acts of intimate partner violence or abuse. Participation in the intervention services can be either voluntary or court mandated.

“This field is not for everyone,” said Anne. “You must be able to work with an offender and someone who has been victimized or is a survivor. And not everyone can do that… What we focus on in the offender program is to accept responsibility for behavior while also treating them with respect so that they can understand what that means and apply it so that they can have a healthy relationship with their children, with their partner, or ex-partner.”

As the clinical supervisor of the JFS Fellowship Program, Rebecca helps the fellows find their niche or specialty within mental health counseling. One such fellow was Zach King. Rebecca reached out to Zach

about him potentially working with identified perpetrators at CHILD, Inc. Much to her surprise, Zach was all in. “That’s such a rare niche to have, and it also takes a lot of patience to do that,” said Rebecca.

Zach has been with CHILD. Inc. for several months now and has fully embraced the work, despite the challenges it provides. He also just recently passed his LPCMH licensure exam.

“We really had a need for someone who was interested in doing the work, who could actually do the work, and who had the skills to be able to do the work,” said Ann. “And the personality to fit in here. Zach was such a great match.”

Both Rebecca and Ann agree that agency partnerships play a crucial role in tackling the mental health demand and community issues in the state. The partnership between CHILD, Inc. and JFS Delaware is certainly a step in the right direction.

For more information about CHILD, Inc., visit www.childinc.com. Their main office can be reached at 302.762.8989, and the phone number for their 24-hour domestic violence hotline is 302.762.6110.