Jewish Children’s Aid Society (JCAS) is very involved in the field of education for children with special needs. Within the Melbourne Jewish community there are a growing number of children with serious physical, intellectual and/or emotional disabilities. Only since 1990 has it been possible for these children to have the opportunity of having any meaningful education in mainstream Jewish day schools.
The Victorian government strongly supports the integration of children with disabilities into the mainstream education system. However where education is received in private schools such as the Jewish day schools, the State Government only provides a nominal contribution per child but the actual cost of an assistant is much more.
At present, support is being funded to different degrees for assistants for more than 245 children at the nine Jewish Day schools. Detailed information is received from schools concerning the learning needs and additional support needed to enable each child to participate in classroom activities according to their abilities. However additional funds are required to provide the support that all high need cases require and deserve. We believe that every child is entitled to appropriate assistance to receive a proper education.
Our organization raises funds primarily through the Posh Opp Shoppe which is an opportunity shop run by staff and volunteers who work on a roster system under the energetic direction of Rosalie Silverstein OAM. The community provides wonderful support by donating furniture and goods. In addition, a growing number of financial donations are being received.