07January

PAL Expands Services

PAL Expands Services


Being the sibling of a child with a disability can be challenging. For all children, and especially these siblings, additional support and attention can make a significant difference in their lives.

We are thrilled to announce a new addition to PAL! PAL has extended their services to meet the needs of Jewish families in our community. PAL will now be serving siblings of children with disabilities by matching them with a Big Brother or Sister in a one-on-one mentoring relationship.  If you know a family with children between the ages of 5 and 17 that may benefit, please connect them to the PAL program by contacting 770.677.9390 or PAL@jfcs-atlanta.org.

Background

Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta assembled a community wide disabilities task force and a survey was administered to families. In their findings, one of the greater needs expressed were accessing services for their child with a disability, but also for their children without disabilities. This need was presented to the PAL program, Atlanta’s ONLY Jewish Big Brother/Big Sister program, and since then we have extended our services. PAL was a natural fit.

Just as Friendship Circle serves children with disabilities and organizes activities that are fun, appropriate and safe, PAL will allow their sibling(s) to experience similar opportunities in the community and the ability to try new things without limitations or guilt. PAL will provide an opportunity for these siblings to meet together, with their Big PALs, at group events to form their own community of mutual understanding and friendship. We hope the PAL community will allow them to express their challenges and what it is like to be in their shoes.

Being a parent of children with a wide range of needs can be challenging and it’s not always possible to provide the same time and resources to your typical children. PAL introduces another responsible and caring Jewish adult to spend one-on-one time with a child who would benefit from having a special person in their lives that’s all their own. A Big PAL provides friendship, adventure, fun and unconditional support. We have mentors waiting and are ready to begin the matching process. We hope PAL will be able to positively impact siblings who are in need of this unique and life changing relationship.

If you are a family, or know of a family, who may benefit from this new and exciting opportunity, please contact the PAL program at 770.677.9390 or PAL@jfcs-atlanta.org.

Written by Ina Enoch, Carly Sonenshine, Posted in Child & Adolescent Services

About the Author

Ina Enoch

Ina Enoch

Ina is a Child & Adolescent Psychologist at JF&CS with clinical areas of specialization: kids, teens, college students. She completed her Education Specialist Degree in school psychology and her Ph.D. in Clinical psychology at Georgia State University. Before coming to JF&CS in January 2009, she worked for the Cobb County School System and was in private practice in Marietta for a number of years. Ina works primarily with children and adolescents and their families. She also enjoys doing school observations and conducting parenting groups.

Carly Sonenshine

Carly Sonenshine

Carly is the PAL Coordinator / Benefits Resource Specialist with clinical areas of specialization: kids, teens. She is a licensed social worker in the states of Georgia and New York. She earned a bachelor’s degree in social work from Indiana University and a master’s degree in clinical social work from New York University. Carly is an experienced and diverse practitioner, having worked in the mental health, medical and nonprofit sectors of the social work profession. She proudly coordinates the PAL program, Atlanta’s ONLY Jewish Big Brother/Big Sister program. In addition, as the Benefits Resource Specialist for JF&CS, she is responsible for providing assistance to adults navigating through insurance and benefits eligibility.