Jewish Family Services And JFS Care At Home were honored by State Sen. Beth Bye and State Rep. Andy Fleischmann for becoming certified for creating an LGBT inclusive organization.
Jewish Family Services (JFS) and JFS Care At Home have become the state’s first organizations to earn certification for “Getting It Right: Creating an LGBT Inclusive Organization,” an integrated program including actions and resources to help organizations adopt practices of intentional inclusion for LGBT elders.
Certification is achieved by adopting proactive and ongoing practices that go beyond current standards and policies of non-discrimination. Participating organizations embrace intentional inclusivity, defined as a collection of specific practices, such as cultural sensitivity training for staff, adoption of public messaging about inclusivity, and program sustainability measures.
State Sen. Beth Bye and State Rep. Andy Fleischmann, both Democrats from West Hartford, honored the achievement at a ceremonial certificate presentation held Friday at Jewish Family Services.
“I want to congratulate JFS and JFS Care At Home for going the extra mile to ensure that everyone in Connecticut – everyone, regardless of race, creed, color or sexual orientation – has access to the health care they may need,” said Bye. “True to their tradition of care and compassion, JFS has chosen to focus on an often-overlooked segment of our population.”
Fleischmann said, “Connecticut Community Care’s recognition of Jewish Family Services for its inclusivity is terrific and well deserved. Jewish Family Services and JFS Care At Home (JFS) train all their staff to understand the importance of being open and inclusive to the LGBT community and all people. JFS ensures that every person in their world – employees, clients, partner organizations, community members – understands the importance of inclusivity. And they work to make sure that this open, welcoming culture is sustained day-in and day-out, for every person whom they touch. JFS provides a great model of caring and inclusivity for all of our homes and workplaces – congratulations!”
“Many LGBT people do not know where to turn when they are in need of care at home or counseling services,” said Patricia Kiely, Director, JFS Care At Home. “LGBT seniors may feel they have to hide their sexual or gender identities to feel safe when a caregiver comes into their home.”
Nancy Lichtenberg LCSW and JFS Family Therapist added, “They may be seeking out resources to help with a family or personal problem and want to be able to ask for help without worrying what their counselor will think when they reveal themselves.”
“When our clients reach out for help, whether with JFS Care at Home or Jewish Family Services, they are often feeling vulnerable enough, without having to concern themselves with LGBT stigma,” said Anne Danaher, Executive Director Jewish Family Services. By becoming certified in ‘Getting It Right,’ and demonstrating LGBT competence through trainings and visibility, people in the LGBT community will know they are safe and welcome in our agencies.”
Jewish Family Services Care At Home and Jewish Family Services of Greater Hartford were awarded the highest level certification, Advanced. Getting It Right is a program of Connecticut Community Care (CCC), the state’s premier care management organization, made possible through grant support from the John H. and Ethel G. Noble Charitable Trust.
“JFS Care At Home and Jewish Family Services are leading the way among direct service providers and Getting It Right achievers, said Molly Rees Gavin, President of Connecticut Community Care (CCC). “A key principle of Getting It Right is that the inclusive organization implements public messaging that lets the LGBT community know that their staff is knowledgeable and prepared to serve them and their families with respect.”
According to Joan Twiggs, Ph.D, who was hired by CCC as project coordinator for the “Getting it Right” initiative, “We have worked diligently and carefully to achieve goals that are groundbreaking in terms of bringing awareness to the needs of the aging LGBT client and organization certification is an example. We look forward to guiding other organizations to achieve an inclusive environment and, ultimately, Getting It Right certification.” Twiggs specializes in work with nonprofits and is a founding member of the LGBT Aging Advocacy Group along with CCC and other organizations.
About JFS Care At Home, LLC
JFS Care at Home serves older adults and their families in the Greater Hartford area working through the Jewish tradition of care and compassion. JFS works with families to create personalized homecare services designed for living life comfortably and independently at home. JFS Care At Home can provide part-time and full-time Hourly Care, Live-In Care, Companionship, Homemaking, Personal Care, and Geriatric Care Management services.
About Jewish Family Services
Jewish Family Services (est. 1912) is nationally accredited by the Council on Accreditation. The nonprofit organization is licensed by the CT Department of Children and Families and the CT Department of Public Health. In addition to its comprehensive mental health services, JFS offers other community based programs. Over 4,000 families are served annually. In all programs, JFS promotes the strength of each individual served so that all can “embrace possibility” in their lives.
About Connecticut Community Care
Connecticut Community Care (est. 1980), a statewide and nationally accredited (NCQA*), nonprofit care management organization, helps more than 17,000 individuals of all ages, abilities and incomes to receive the care they need at home, in their own communities, and offers health and wellness programs, corporate and community education initiatives.
*NCQA (National Association for Quality Assurance)