Planning for the future can be a daunting task. There are so many details to work out. For parents of special needs children, the details can be even more complex.

Our very own Jodi Phares, Project Manager knows this first hand. Her 31-year-old son Joshua was born with cerebral palsy and developmental delays. She has spent her life advocating for Joshua and learning about opportunities in the community for people with special needs.

This year, United Rehabilitation Services (URS) offered its families a chance to learn about future planning. Jodi was eager to attend the program. “Once Joshua was no longer in a school setting, we were kind of just out there on our own,” says Jodi. “You aren’t sure what to do, or how to go about planning for when you will no longer be around to help your child. For parents of special needs children, it’s a huge fear that their child will not be taken care of once they are gone.”

The program at URS was informative and helped to provide a roadmap for Jodi and her family. “There are so many strides that have been made in favor of special needs children,” Jodi shares. “A person used to have to ‘disinherit’ their child. That is no longer the case.”

The program provided information about guardianships, Wills, Power of Attorney, and more. “URS is a great organization. Joshua goes there five days a week and loves it. Providing a program that offers families the tools to help provide peace of mind for the future made me love the organization that much more,” Jodi says.

Jodi wanted other families to have the same opportunity she had to learn about planning for the future. “We need to support each other, so I wanted other families to have the same learning opportunity about planning for their loved ones’ future,” says Jodi. So she approached Tara Feiner, JFS Director and Janese Sweeny, Foundation Director, to see if they would be interested in holding a similar program for the Jewish community. “They thought it was a fabulous idea,” says Jodi.

On Sunday, November 18thKehilah Kedosha: Opening Doors of Opportunity for Our Families of Special Needs will take place at Beth Abraham Synagogue from 10:30am to noon. The free program includes a discussion with Greg Darling, Executive Director of the Disability Foundation, about some of the services the Disability Foundation provides that can help you plan for your child’s financial future. Light noshes will be served. You can RSVP by clicking here.




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