Special Needs Program

The Special Needs Program seeks to address the full array of challenges faced by children under age 18. Whether it is language therapy for a child with a speech delay or dyslexia remediation for a child struggling to read, an upgraded wheelchair for a physically handicapped child or behavior training for a child with autism, a special school for a student with a learning difference or a comprehensive assessment for ADHD, the JCRS explores and addresses each situation individually, with sensitivity, confidentiality, and respect.

The Application Process

The application process begins with a phone conversation between the parent(s) of the Special Needs child and the JCRS Special Needs Case Manager. The family’s situation and the child’s needs are thoroughly explored. Parents will then be asked to submit informational records which serve to 1) document and assess the child’s special need, 2) describe the proposed treatment, service, or facility for addressing this need, and 3) explain the family’s need for financial assistance.

All parents will be asked to submit:

  • written letter of request;
  • current federal tax return;
  • proof of income;
  • completed financial disclosure statement – Download it here

   Instructions for completing the financial disclosure statements:

• Applications are saved in Adobe Acrobat PDF Format. You must only use Adobe Reader. If you need to download the latest version, here click here.
• If you are an Apple User, make sure you use Adobe Acrobat, not your Apple Default Utility. Follow these instructions to change default.
• Open the application, save it to your computer and make sure you save it each time you make changes.
• If you choose to complete the form by hand, all fields must be completed, legible, and contain no scratch outs.

All information is confidential.

After the documentation is received, the family’s request is reviewed by the JCRS Special Needs Committee, which makes funding allocations. This committee includes professionals in the fields of child psychiatry, child psychology, social work, pediatrics, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and special education.

Case Management

When a JCRS subsidy is granted, payments are typically issued directly to schools and service providers every month. During this period, progress reports to the JCRS are required no less than once per quarter. At its discretion, the JCRS may seek further diagnostic assessments of the Special Needs child. The Special Needs Case Manager monitors each child’s progress, addresses emerging problems, and provides ongoing support.

Continuing Help

Special Needs subsidies are granted for up to one year and can be renewed on a case-by-case basis. Family financial data (including current tax return) must be updated annually. There is no limit on the length of time that a Special Needs child may receive subsidies from the JCRS; however, once the individual attains young adulthood (usually age 18), s/he may be eligible for a JCRS subsidy for independent life skills training, vocational training, or college.

There is no limit on the number of children within a family who may receive JCRS subsidies.

Who We Help

Fall 2013 appeal sisters


Our Special Needs clients come from a wide variety of Jewish backgrounds and family situations. Their disabilities are physical, cognitive, developmental, emotional, behavioral, or psychosocial. Many are being raised by single parents, grandparents, or foster parents. Some are in residential care. Some are new immigrants. Some children are still displaced by the 2005 hurricanes and others have a parent in the military. Many come from dependent, at-risk families who struggle to provide the necessary care, supervision and stability to meet their children’s needs. For all children, JCRS funding plans are formulated on the totality of their needs, their opportunities, and their resources.


Contact us

For information, or to contact us about a Special Needs child, contact Bonnie Lustig, LCSW, at Bonnie@jcrs.org or (800) 729-5277.