Supportive Assistance for Individuals and Families Program

The Supportive Assistance for Individuals and Families Program, which began serving clients in early 2004, couples intensive case management with an extension of their services available to welfare recipients. The supportive assistance for individuals and families (SAIF) offers a safety net for those individuals who are receiving General Assistance and nearing the end of their five-year lifetime benefits. Through intensive case management, life skills training, benefits counseling, referrals to job readiness programs, linkages to medical care and other counseling services, program participants are provided with essentials to gain self-sufficiency. This program is referral-based by Essex County Division of Family Assistance and Benefits (DFAB).

Program Participants will be provided with the essential tools that will lead to self-sufficiency. Job readiness and life skills are also provided to the community through a series of weekly workshops. The workshops are categorized as follows:


Job training skills workshops prepare participants to get and keep employment. Typical workshops enable participants to gain new skills and knowledge through lectures, hands-on activities and role-playing exercises. A program participant will have the opportunity to learn about building and enhancing resumes and preparing for interviews.  A comprehensive agenda starts with self-assessment to assess skills, develop an Individualized Service Plan, with an Intensive Case Manager, that will hi-lite and outline the goals and deliverables to be achieved quarterly.  There are also annual job fairs held by NESF SAIF program which is an additional resource for the community that can lead to self-sufficiency.

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Designed to help program participants develop new skills that enhance personal and social well-being.  In these workshops, participants will be able to assess and examine how health and wellness have shaped in their lives and recognize how they can heal holistically by following steps to eliminate health issues.  In addition, the wellness workshops will inspire program participants to integrate fitness into their everyday hectic lifestyles.  They are provided with an opportunity to ask questions and get answers on their individual health concerns.


The purpose of the Empowerment Workshop is to support you in creating your life as you most want it to be. it’s designed to help individuals and families gain confidence, practice self-care, to give and receive support with personal or professional success.

NESF is contracted by the county of Essex to provide Intensive Case Management and workforce development workshops. At NESF, SAIF participants will receive the following:

Life Skills Training

Life skills are the abilities and behaviors that will help you deal effectively with the various events and challenges of everyday life. Skills that will allow you to handle everything from interactions with others to identifying and processing your emotions.


Life skills are the abilities and behaviors that will help you deal effectively with the various events and challenges of everyday life. Skills that will allow you to handle everything from interactions with others to identifying and processing your emotions.

Benefits Counseling

Information, education and advocacy on welfare benefits.  Once benefits are obtained, to ensure that the program participant’s needs are met, a SAIF Intensive Case Manager will be able to assist individuals with managing and maintaining benefits.  Also, assisting with preparing them their quarterly assessments with their County Welfare Agency case manager/social worker.

On the Job Training Programs

Designed to help individuals gain hands on knowledge in the workplace which involves employees learning and using resources at their workplace and how to integrate them into the everyday work environment.

Building/Writing/Updating Resumes

To create an effective resume, or improve the one you already have. Transform your resume into a powerful tool that will get you interviews.  Learn different resume formats, how to write an employment objective and tricks to writing persuasive cover letters.

Mock Interviewing

Practice job interviewing skills and techniques that will help you learn how to answer those difficult questions, develop interview strategies, improve your communication skills in an effort to reduce your stress in an actual job interview.

Career Closet

For the purpose of providing interview and/or career appropriate clothing for individuals participating in interviews or professional events.

Annual Job Fairs

An event that gives program participants a chance to meet and establish professional relationships to discuss potential job or internships opportunities.

Linkages to Medical Care

Referral Based Only

Linkages to Counseling Services (BHI, SAI)

Referral Based Only

Supportive Assistance to Individuals Families (SAIF) Eligibility Requirements

 You may be eligible for SAIF if:

  • You have cooperated with Work First NJ (WFNJ) requirements – like participating in work activities and meeting child support obligations – and you have tried to get a job but are still unemployed.
  • You have experienced family/domestic violence; were sick or deferred from participating in WFNJ work activities for 12 months or longer; are currently deferred due to illness; or are six or more months pregnant or disabled.
  • You have just lost your job, through no fault of your own, or because, for example, you couldn’t find child care or you had a problem with transportation.

How Do I Apply?

To apply for services under SAIF, you must submit an application to your County Welfare Office (or County Board of Social Services) or your Municipal Welfare Office. You must continue to work or participate in a work activity, unless you have a good reason not to. In return, you may receive up to 24 more months of cash benefits, plus services such as child care and transportation.  If needed, mental health services and substance abuse treatment may also be available. If you are accepted into the SAIF program, it is very important to cooperate with your case manager. Otherwise, you will not be able to continue getting a cash grant and other support services to help you and your family.

To learn more about this program and to find out how to apply, call your case manager or call your County Welfare Office/Board of Social Services or Municipal Welfare Office or visit their website at