Raising the Bar for Children with Disabilities

Meet our newest grantee! Raise the Bar is a Camden nonprofit that supports children with disabilities and their families.

“Caring for a child with disabilities can be challenging for any family, and more so for families in Camden,” said Elena Piperno, Domenica Foundation director. “Navigating support systems can be overwhelming. Families need help, and Raise the Bar is there for them.”

Raise the Bar has three kinds of programs:

Raise the Bar youth program
  • Kids Club for children ages 3–11 and Social Squad for young people age 12 and over focus on fun, creativity, and socialization for participants. Caregivers get a break during Raise the Bar youth programs, knowing that their child is safe and cared for.
  • Family support nights provide caregivers with education and opportunities for mutual support. For example, February’s family night was all about self-care. Child care is provided so caregivers can just focus on themselves.
  • Resource navigation programs give families tools to navigate the systems that exist to help but often are so complex that caregivers don’t know what to do. One program is “office hours” when families can sit down with an expert to learn about a specific aspect of the disability support system, such as transitioning to adult care.

We’ll be supporting Kids Club, which meets once a month on Saturdays. The three-hour sessions typically include around 15 children, often with an equal number of adult volunteers. 

“I instantly fell in love with what Karly and her team are doing for families in Camden,” said Elena.

Karly Forman Cohen, founder and executive director of Raise the Bar, knows firsthand about the challenges faced by children with disabilities and their families. Her sister Sydney has significant developmental delay and is nonverbal. Karly says her mom always advocated for Sydney and told teachers and caregivers that we need to “raise the bar” for children like her. 

Are you ready for some joy? Watch Raise the Bar’s video featuring children, families, and staff participating in program activities. There’s laughter, dancing, hugs, some deliciously messy fingerpainting, and a lot of appreciation for the great work Raise the Bar is doing.