The JISU Experience (New Jersey) provides service, assistance and education to (and on behalf of) children who have been separated by foster, adoptive or kinship care, divorce or other partings. This includes siblings who have experienced the joy of reunification but need JISU assistance in adjusting to their new life, in transitioning into his/her family life once again. Our goal is to help the children of JISU obtain the vital resources needed to repair and ultimately strengthen their familial bond which too often has been negatively impacted by separation from their family including their siblings
One of the most vital relationships that a child can develop is the one between siblings. There are experiences that occur in these young lives that are only realized by children of the same household. When separation occurs, the link between brothers and/or sisters is stretched, becoming fragile and even broken. The same issues plague children who have, fortunately, been reunited with their siblings and are trying to live as a family once again. But JISU believes that the sibling relationship is capable of being mended, restored and strengthened.
The impact of separation on the sibling relationship is also felt as a child evolves into adulthood. So often they feel isolated, angry, and disappointed at having been deprived of a familial connection. Now, faced with maturation and the responsibilities for self for the first time in their lives, JISU works to prepare these children for the present and the future; to strengthen them to take on the void left when the security of the system is no longer there for them. Their new life is scary and without training, assistance, and a helping hand, they are doomed to fail. JISU embraces these children and helps them adapt, to transition into manhood and womanhood, also known as “aging out”.
A child, though separated, who has the benefit of a positive bonding relationship with his or her sibling(s), becomes a young adult able to proceed along life’s path with joy in the knowledge and acceptance that ”I AM family” and worthy of all that life has to offer. The JISU Experience is their partner along the journey.
The JISU Experience evolves from the spirit of its founder, Maria Jones. In raising her daughter, who she adopted from foster care at age 1, she found difficulty comprehending and accepting why there was such reluctance on the part of the system to reunite her child with her siblings. To this day, that reunification has not occurred but fires Jones’ desire to ensure that other children do not have to experience similar separation or disconnection from their brothers and/or sisters.
Although the children of New Jersey are the first beneficiaries of The JISU Experience, the goal is to expand the organization into any State that is willing to make it happen. With hundreds of thousands of children across this country experiencing separation from or reunification with their siblings, there is much work to be done.