For many years, The Center for Great Expectations (CGE) has been a leader in the field of trauma-informed services because it has partnered with Rutgers University in numerous ways. On October 18, CGE will honor three School of Social Work affiliates at their 2019 Annual Gala, “Empowering Futures, Transforming Communities.” Among the honorees are Dean and Distinguished Professor Cathryn C. Potter, Assistant Professor Emily Bosk, and Part-Time Lecturer Debra Ruisard, who will be honored for their contributions to CGE’s mission of public service and care.
Dean Potter has been an ardent supporter of The Center for Great Expectations for a decade. For CGE, Dr. Bosk directs research for a National Child Traumatic Stress Network trauma grant and a New Jersey Department of Health grant, providing support across CGE’s continuum of care, including residential, outpatient, supportive housing, and in-home treatment for opioid dependent women with children. Dr. Bosk also provides consultation related to program design, selection, and implementation. Ruisard is CGE’s former Chief Clinical Officer and is the architect of CGE’s trauma-informed C.A.R.E. (Culture, Approach, Relationship, and Empowerment) treatment model, strengthening cognitive, emotional, behavioral, physical, and spiritual competencies of each client. Currently, she is CGE’s Consultant for Trauma Informed Care and oversees the agency’s National Child Traumatic Stress Network Category III Grant.
Across a broad spectrum of departments at Rutgers, other honorees include Denise Hien, PhD, ABPP, Director of the Center of Alcohol & Substance Use Studies, who is collaborating with CGE as a partner on a number of projects, and hopes to obtain a PCORI grant with CGE. Marsha E. Bates, PhD, Distinguished Professor and Vice-Chair for Research and Innovation in the Department of Kinesiology and Health, conducts collaborative research with neuroscientists, physiologists, exercise scientists, computational modelers, and CGE. In 2014, Tracey Shors, PhD, Graduate Vice-Chair and Distinguished Professor from the Department of Psychology and Center for Collaborative Neuroscience, partnered with women in CGE’s adult residential program to study the effects of exercise and meditation on victims of trauma. Anna Kline, PhD, Adjunct Associate Professor at the Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, has been associated with CGE for over 10 years, assisting in developing and evaluating innovative programs in substance abuse treatment. From the time of The Center’s founding, in 1998, Loran Vocaturo, EdD, ABPP, Graduate School of Education Alumna, began a long-term clinical consultancy to inform a compassionate culture of care with CGE clients. Since partnering with CGE this year, Josue B. Falaise, EdD, Director, Rutgers Institute for Improving Student Achievement at the Graduate School of Education, has shared an inimitable level of passion towards the agency’s services rendered for traumatized populations and instrumental in advancing CGE’s core principles to schools and district leaders as the agency launched its prevention services in schools. Our two Rutgers community partners—Rutgers Against Hunger and The American Medical Women’s Association at RWJMS—have both been supporting CGE and its clients and families since 2012.
The Center for Great Expectations serves pregnant and or parenting women and adolescents and their children through residential treatment services, permanent supportive housing, and in-home services, who are experiencing substance use/co-occurring disorders. Katy’s Place, a child development center, provides daily care for children whose parents are participating in CGE programs. Roots to Recovery, CGE’s outpatient center provides treatment for men and women with substance use/mental health disorders. CGE provides a safe place, a safe presence and a safe path to over 600 individuals and families each year.