Our mission is to create the pathways to success for at-risk and troubled youth and families through innovative programs and services in urban New Jersey.
Independence: A Family of Services, Inc. (IFS) is a community-based, nonprofit agency that has served at-risk youth and families in Essex County for 40 years. IFS began in 1971 as Independence High School, a nonprofit organization established to provide supportive, alternative education services to high school dropouts in Newark. Over the years, the scope of the agency’s activities expanded as we continued to meet pressing needs within the community, with Independence High School remaining a key component of the organization. In 1992, our name was changed to Independence: A Family of Services, Inc. to reflect the organization’s growth to the multi-service agency we are today.
We serve children, teenagers, adults, and their families who reside primarily in Northern New Jersey and who are at substantial risk of dealing with abuse, neglect, or other mental health issues; school failure; involvement or placement with the criminal justice system; out-of-home placement; current or future unemployment or underemployment status; and critical judgment errors.