News Releases

CJR Awarded Grant for Mental and Behavioral Health Services for Children, Youth and Families
Posted 09/21/2017 10:08AM

Daniel W. Rezende, Executive Director of the Connecticut Junior Republic (CJR) recently announced that the organization has received a generous grant of $50,000 from The Diebold Foundation.  The award will help CJR provide behavioral and mental health services for children and families who lack healthcare insurance, or have high deductible healthcare plans which would otherwise preclude their ability to obtain these services.  Grant funds will also enable CJR to provide services for young people and families in crisis who require in-home, in-school and in-community support services, which are not covered by insurance.  

“This very generous grant from The Diebold Foundation is allowing CJR to help at-risk and disadvantaged children and families overcome barriers to receiving care,” stated Mr. Rezende.  He indicated that these barriers can include lack of transportation, inability to pay for a babysitter or for elder care if there are young children or older people living in a multi-generational family; or inability to pay for services not covered by insurance.  

The Diebold Foundation grant also enables CJR’s Wellness Center clinicians to provide wrap-around services for children, youth and families in crisis who need assistance in meeting basic needs such as medication, winter clothing and food. 

 “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to provide funding for the Connecticut Junior Republic Wellness Center,” stated Caitlin Diebold, Grants Administrator for the Diebold Foundation.  “Mental and behavioral health services are an invaluable component of a community and one that is often underfunded by federal and state agencies.  This is an incredibly important program that warrants our attention and dedication,” she said.

The CJR Wellness Center opened officially in May of 2015.  Since its first full year of operation, the number of young people served annually has more than tripled.  It is estimated that more than 300 children, youth and families will be served by CJR’s Wellness Center Program in 2017.  The Diebold Foundation grant is focused on helping children and families who are served by CJR’s Wellness Center sites in Danbury, Litchfield, New Britain, Torrington and Waterbury during the 2017 calendar year, according to Director of Behavioral Services Jennifer A. Grant, MSW, LCSW.  She noted that CJR offers a “sliding scale” payment plan and that many of the children, youth and families CJR serves are eligible for assistance through the Diebold Foundation grant, and will be able to obtain the enhanced care and services they need as a result of this funding.   

“The Diebold Foundation’s grant will increase access to behavioral and mental health care for some of our most vulnerable and disadvantaged children, youth and families,” stated Ms. Grant.  “It will enable CJR to help those served improve their relationships, daily functioning and capacity to be productive and fulfilled members of their communities,” she continued.   Ms. Grant noted that the Wellness Center Program also received a grant from The Diebold Foundation in its first year of operation, which was used for similar purposes and helped approximately 150 young people and their families.

The CJR Wellness Center Program staff includes psychiatrists, marriage and family therapists, licensed clinical social workers and licensed professional counselors who can help children and families address an array of issues, including those relating to substance abuse; behavior and conduct; family conflict; family mediation; developmental adjustment; school-related conflict; parenting; and trauma.

Founded in 1904, the Connecticut Junior Republic (CJR) provides care, treatment, education and family support for vulnerable at-risk, special needs and troubled young people so they may become productive and fulfilled members of their homes, schools and communities.  Today, the organization’s combined programs serve nearly 2,000 boys and girls annually in 12 locations throughout Connecticut.

The Junior Republic conducts three residential programs for court-referred young men on its Litchfield campus.  Regular, special, vocational and alternative education programs are provided for boys from communities throughout Connecticut at CJR’s Cable Academic and Vocational Education Center, which is located on its Litchfield campus.  Enhancement, transition and related services are also provided.

CJR provides additional residential services for boys at its group homes in Winchester and short-term, residential crisis intervention for girls in Waterbury.  A broad spectrum of prevention, early intervention, family support, and intensive, home-based service and aftercare programs are provided for boys and girls through CJR’s community locations in Danbury, East Hartford, Manchester, Meriden, New Haven, New Britain (two sites), Torrington and Waterbury.  Behavioral and mental health services are provided at these locations, as well.

A private charitable organization, the Connecticut Junior Republic is accredited by the Council on    Accreditation (COA) and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).  CJR is supported by gifts from individuals, businesses, foundations and organizations, and through service contracts funded by the Judicial Branch, Court Support Services Division (CSSD), the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF), the Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS), and by Connecticut’s public schools.  For further information, please contact Hedy Barton, Director of Development and Public Relations (860) 567-9423, extension 252; or by email:

  • Connecticut Junior Republic
  • 550 Goshen Road, P.O. Box 161
  • Litchfield, CT 06759
  • (860) 567-9423



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