Foster and Adoptive Family Services (FAFS), Maplewood Township and Junior League of the Oranges and Short Hills (JLOSH) have decorated and assembled 50 backpacks, or ‘sweet cases,’ for children transitioning between foster care families.

Youth in the foster care system face many challenges. Transitioning between families can be one of the most difficult, confusing, and emotional experiences for foster care youth. More often than not, children are merely given a garbage bag for their belongings, undermining their dignity and self-worth. Last year, FAFS asked JLOSH for their support to purchase backpacks that could be given to their foster care youth clients, replacing the customary trash bag.

JLOSH members along with FAFS staff and representatives from Maplewood Town joined together at the Maplewood Community Center to personalize, decorate and assemble sweet cases filled with needed items including new pajamas and toiletries.

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“JLOSH was thrilled to work with FAFS on this worthy project. Collaborating with FAFS on this effort to personalize sweet cases for foster children is an important way to carry out our mission in serving our youth and community,” said Rosemary Mattson, President of JLOSH. “We thank the Township for providing the community resources that have allowed our organizations to better serve our foster youth with strong community support.”

“We are happy to welcome the Junior League of Maplewood and applaud your work with FAFS to provide ‘sweet cases’ for foster care youth,” said Victor DeLuca, Maplewood Township Mayor. “Providing these young people with special backpacks filled with personal care items is a terrific project and one that will help build the self-esteem of the youth.”

“We are grateful for JLOSH’s ongoing partnership with FAFS as we partner with them for the second year to support children in foster care” said Corrine LeBaron, Chief Executive Officer, FAFS.

Foster and Adoptive Family Services (FAFS) is New Jersey’s leading foster care nonprofit. FAFS’ mission is to provide support, training, and advocacy to meet the special needs of foster, adoptive and kinship families who provide safe, stable, and nurturing homes to children in foster care. For more than 40 years, FAFS has offered programs that directly impact the lives of children and youth who are, or have been, in foster care. FAFS believes that children in foster care are the community’s children, with the same hopes and dreams of all children. Their programs strive to help the young people they serve grow into empowered, self-sufficient adults. To learn more, please visit www.fafsonline.org.

The Junior League of the Oranges and Short Hills is an organization of women developed as civic and community leaders creating lasting community impact. JLOSH provides service to children living in East Orange, Livingston, Maplewood, Millburn, Orange, Short Hills, South Orange, Springfield, and West Orange; and reaches out to women of all races, religions and national origins.  Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. To learn more about JLOSH, visit www.jlosh.org or find it on Facebook.