JF&CS News Winter 2012
Visitors to Alan Jacobson’s office, new JF&CS Senior VP of Programs, may find themselves enjoying a game of Rush Hour, piecing together a puzzle, or twisting a Rubik’s Cube. This welcoming environment reveals Alan’s warmth and a career devoted to serving children and young adults.
“I’m interested in life transitions – children as they become adults, young adults as they move into careers and relationships. Many of the programs at JF&CS focus on successful transitions,” said Alan. “We empower people to live the lives they want to live and give them the resources and support to do that. That’s what a strong agency does and that’s what’s important to me.”
Alan, who lives with his wife and two children in Westwood, takes the position recently held by Rimma Zelfand, new JF&CS CEO. He has been a licensed psychologist for fifteen years with specialties in treating young adults, adolescents who are adopted, children with learning issues, and families experiencing stress and transition. He holds a PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Hartford, an MBA from the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst, and a BA in child studies from the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development at Tufts University.
Alan sees his new role as having three important parts. First, to ensure that JF&CS programs maintain the high quality and effectiveness for which JF&CS is known. Second, to understand any unmet needs for which JF&CS could develop new programs. And third, to make sure that the agency’s programs are interwoven in a way that provides the most effective combination of services.
“At JF&CS there is a really deep commitment to our mission and ideals -- from the board to the managers to everyone delivering services and our volunteers,” he said. “JF&CS does so much in the community to help people get the resources they need to grow stronger.’
With his depth of experience, he knows that challenges lie ahead. “We anticipate that between healthcare reform, potential changes in the political landscape, and changes in entitlement programs like Medicare there will be challenges and opportunities when it comes to our programs,” said Alan. “A major focus of mine will be to proactively understand these changes so we can be ahead of them as an innovative organization. I’m looking forward to the challenges and am confident we will meet them.”
Prior to joining JF&CS, Alan was a senior manager at Riverside Community Care in Dedham, responsible for all child and adult emergency service, respite, urgent care, and family outreach programs in a 60 city and town region. Before that, Alan directed the Child and Family Division of The Providence Center, including a wide variety of mental health, social service, and educational programs.
Alan generously shares his time with his community, volunteering at his temple, leading anti-bullying programs for the Westwood Public Schools, and holding a series of child development workshops for the town. Alan has also served on several Boards of Directors, including About Families CEDARR program, Disabilities Network for Children, and the Rhode Island Council of Residential Providers.
For more information, call 781-647-JFCS (5327) or email your questions via our contact us page.