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Good News: August 2015
August 17, 2015

Doug Behan and the Office of Continuing Education hosted a week-long study tour of Chinese social workers and social work students from varied regions of China. Classroom-based learning and visits to nonprofit agencies throughout NJ led to enlightening and meaningful cultural exchanges. The Office of Continuing Education also hosted twenty-one visitors from China on June 15th & 16th as part of the Executive Management of Philanthropy Program conducted by the China Philanthropy Research Institute at Beijing Normal University. The group of foundation directors, business executives and university officials met with Commissioner Allison Blake and other leaders at the NJ Department of Children and Families and also met with a nonprofit organization in New York City serving Asian domestic violence victims in order to learn about their service delivery model. The experience with both Chinese groups was rich in learning and cultural exchanges for everyone involved.

***

Emily Greenfield’s research article entitled “Age-friendly community initiatives: coming to a neighborhood near you” was featured on the Oxford University Press blog,

http://blog.oup.com/2015/08/age-friendly-community-initiatives

***

Frank L. Greenagel Jr, adjunct instructor at School of Social Work and clinical social worker specializing in addiction, was quoted in an article entitled “Need Help? The Army National Guard Has Your Back” in the guardyourhealth.com blog,

http://www.guardyourhealth.com/personal-stories/soldier-story/greenagel/

Frank L. Greenagel Jr was quoted in another article entitledAs Obama pushes money to N.J., state remains wary of addiction treatment” in the nj.com blog,

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2015/08/as_obama_pushes_money_to_nj_state_remains_wary_of.html

***

Mark Lamar recently reviewed the proposed text, “Statistics Isn’t Rocket Science,” for Sage Publications.

Mark Lamar has become a faculty advisor to Scarlet Listeners, a free and confidential student run peer counseling and referral hotline at Rutgers University.

Mark Lamar was quoted in an article entitled “60 percent spike in number of Hudson County kids in NJ SNAP” in the nj.com blog, http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2015/08/kids_struggle_in_hudson_county_report_says.html

***

Michael LaSala was quoted in an article entitled “E!'s Caitlyn Jenner Series Using Top Transgender Consultants” in the hollywoodreporter.com blog,

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/es-caitlyn-jenner-series-using-810288

***

Kathleen Pottick's blog article on Superstorm Sandy and social work resources was selected by Oxford University Press editors for their 10th Anniversary e-book, The OUPblog Tenth Anniversary Book: Ten Years of Academic Insights for the Thinking World. It was one of thirty-four (of over 8,000) blog articles chosen to represent "the best writing from the blog" and the Press’ “commitment to excellence in research, scholarship and education.” The article describes how the School of Social Work responded to the victims of Hurricane Sandy, by generating new funds for emergency-response training and educational opportunities for students and field personnel. The article, with an introduction by OUP senior editor Dana Bliss, is located on pages 94-98.

The e-book is available in:

Kathleen J. Pottick, Patricia Findley and Stephanie Giordano’s article describing Rutgers School of Social Work’s Hurricane Sandy initiative to educate social work students in disaster response immediately following the fall 2012 superstorm appeared in Clinical Social Work Journal for its special issue on disaster response.

Citation:

Findley, P., Pottick, K.J., & Giordano, S. (2015). Educating graduate social work students in disaster response: A real-time case study. Clinical Social Work Journal, DOI:10.1007/s10615-0533-6.

***

Donna Van Alst was quoted in an article entitled “Ongoing Recovery Efforts Take Toll on Hurricane Survivors” in the NYU News.

http://www.nyu.edu/about/news-publications/news/2015/07/29/ongoing-recovery-efforts-take-toll-on-hurricane-survivors.html

Donna Van Alst, Patricia Findley and Sandra Moroso, co-investigators in the Rutgers/NYU Sandy Child and Family Health Study, received extensive media coverage from their findings, including the Philadelphia Inquirer, The Star-Ledger, Washington Times.

***

Sara Munson has good news from the Institute of Families:

  • IFF New Project

IFF was awarded a one year grant for $75,000 to support the utilization ofNJ's Standards for Prevention Programs. These Standards are practices and policies intended to promote family and community well-being by supporting and strengthening families and preventing child abuse and neglect. The project will include an assessment of all DCF-funded child maltreatment prevention programs related to the standards, identification of statewide and program specific training needs, development of face-to-face and web-based training, and implementation of these trainings statewide. The competitive proposal was developed with collaboration across all three offices within IFF and was a very successful team effort!

  • National Child Welfare Workforce Institute (NCWWI)

Tony Mack has been selected by the Children’s Bureau as a consultant to provide training and coaching for the Leadership Academy for Middle Managers.

NCWWI has developed a child welfare Workforce Development Framework.

The recording and handouts for the recent webinar, Children’s Corps: A Dynamic Approach to Child Welfare Worker Recruitment, Screening and Selection, are now available.

NCWWI prepared resources and a variety of new learning opportunities:

Worker Safety & Honoring Lara Sobel

Child Welfare News & Social Media Highlights

Child Welfare Training Competencies in Action: Recording and Handouts

· New Jersey Child Support Institute (NJCSI)

Kate Pirozzolo Fay received a special study award from the SSW to attend the International Summer Course on the Rights of the Child at the Université de Moncton in New Brunswick, Canada from July 5th through 10th. The workshop focused on the rights of children, including children with mental health, child welfare, special education, and juvenile justice involvement and was attended by an international group of scholars, practitioners, and youth advocates.

NJCSI will launch two new course offerings during the summer, Data Security in Child Support and IV-D Theory Refresher Training, which are mandated state-wide training initiatives for child support professionals. NJCSI staff attended and presented at the National Child Support Enforcement Association’s Leadership Symposium in Milwaukee on August 20-13.

Danielle Francesconi presented at the Paternity Opportunity Program Roundtable in Voorhees, NJ on July 15, 2015 regarding fatherhood involvement in child support.

NJCSI Training and Curriculum Development Teams are collaborating with state stakeholders and the Judiciary to prepare for the annual Law Clerk Training scheduled for August.

Deeanne V. Hackett received the “2015 Parent of the Year Award” from the Superintendent of Paterson Public Schools from the parents’ breakfast at La Neve’s Restaurant on June 6, 2015 in Paterson, New Jersey.

Chieh-Wen Liu and Deeanne V. Hackett attended the 18th Annual National Human Services Training Evaluation Symposium at the University of Utah from May 27-29.

Alex Figueroa and Lauren Walton presented a workshop titled “Leveraging Learning Technologies to Advance Performance” at the Network for Social Work Management Conference on June 4 & 5 at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Chieh-Wen Liu, Kathleen Pirozollo-Fay and Deeanne V. Hackett also presented a poster presentation on “Knowledge and Job Performance for Child Support Workers.”

· New Jersey Child Welfare Training Partnership (NJWTP)

Christine Allegra led the development of a submission, entitled "Supporting Transfer of Learning of Case Planning Skills into NJ’s Child Welfare Practice,” to the "Special Issue on Improving the Use and Usefulness of Research” for the CWLA journal, Child Welfare.

NJWTP completed fiscal year 2015 with its highest level of service to date. The Rutgers training team delivered a total of 354 courses over 802 training days. This represents 10,500 (duplicated) training seats in the classroom. Overall, NJCWTP trained 813 courses that spanned 1,778 days of learning for Department of Children and Families (DCF) staff. These courses educated 24,000 (duplicated) training seats- largely, but not exclusively, for CP&P professionals.

NJWTP continued implementation of a special two-day course aimed at enhancing safety for the professionals supporting NJ’s child welfare practice. As of June 30th, 24 classes (48 days) of “Safety Awareness for the Child Welfare Professional” had reached 522 participants with highly applauded responses to content. After their completion of a six module training series, they prepared another 22 Family Preservation Workers to their role supporting families.

NJWTP welcomed the National Alliance of Children’s Trust Funds to credential a second team of 27 professionals in the “Protective Factors Framework” between June 29 and July 1. This three-day series orient providers to the impact of adverse childhood experiences and emphasizes the importance of building preventative supports and healthy connections within parenting families. In New Jersey, the training also reinforces the importance of multi-system partners working together to do so. After successful implementation of the training in Newark, they are continuing a statewide rollout of training for early childhood and child welfare professionals in Camden and in Cumberland/Salem/Gloucester this fall.

NJWTP began interviews with potential trainers to expand the pool of consultants who lead courses for CP&P professionals. Five interviews have been conducted to date.

Lorin Mordecai resigned to pursue a doctoral degree in social work at the University of Connecticut.

Tiffany Riccardelli was welcomed into the NJCWTP team during our time of transition. Tiffany has worked with the team on curriculum editing for the past three years and brings a strong knowledge of their course content and development.

Toni-Ann Capece, a research assistant in the office, finished her first semester of Rutgers SSW Advanced Standing Program.

Theresa McCutcheon was selected as a scholarship recipient to attend the 2015 National Staff Development and Training Association Conference held in early October in Denver.

Pam Simone lent her helping hands in the office for administrative support during transition of staff positions.

Kareim Oliphant has resigned to begin classes in the Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Medical Program at Drexel University.

Catherine Colon was hired as a graduate research assistant assisting NJCWTP’s evaluation team. Catherine is a recent graduate of the Rutgers, School of Social Work, BASW program and started her Masters of Social Work this summer.

  • Office of Research & Evaluation

The Ryan White project completed its 2015 needs assessment focused on HIV positive individuals who purchased marketplace insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The needs assessment data was gathered through focus groups and key informant interviews, and the main findings were…

  • ACA plans were expensive (deductibles, premiums, and copays for medical visits, procedures, and medications were too high)
  • The ACA system was difficult to access and navigate (high level of health literacy required)
  • The ACA did not align seamlessly with State programs such as AIDS Drug Assistant Program (ADAP) and Health Insurance Continuation Program (HICP), causing gaps in service access (poor benefits coordination)

Data from the first round of interviews with youth legally free for adoption for 18 months or longer without an identified adoptive home - termed "longest waiting youth" - were analyzed and shared with CP&P caseworkers, recruiters, and other key adoption staff to discuss barriers to promoting caring connections with important adults that the youth have identified. These were very constructive discussions and an example of data informing emerging practice. Round 2 data collection with those youth is ongoing in June. (Co PIs: Kerrie Ocasio and Donna Van Alst; staff:Asena Terry and Gina Blanar)

Kerrie Ocasio and Donna Van Alst partnered with Betty Berzin, from Adoption Operations at the NJ DCF, on a workshop proposal for the New Jersey Department of Children and Families (NJDCF)/New Jersey Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect (NJTFCAN) 2015 Conference. This year's conference focus is on kinship care and family connections and will be held from 8am-4pm on Wednesday, September 9 at the Hyatt Regency in New Brunswick, NJ. The workshop will focus on the NJ CARES project, which is a federally-funded, experimental intervention to improve informal social supports and promote adoption opportunities for youth that have been legally free for adoption for 18 months or longer, but without an identified adoptive home.

ORE kicked off a new experimental research study of a case practice innovation in Newark. Funded by Casey Family Programs, this project seeks to improve the utilization of early childhood family support programs in order to promote protective factors, prevent the escalation of dysfunction and reduce re-referrals of young families with young children. (PI: Kerrie Ocasio, staff: Asena Terry)

Over 2000 surveys were collected from families at 49 Family Success Centers (FSC). The survey was intended to understand participants' dosage and frequencies of involvement, why they come to the FSC (type of need), ratings of family-centered practice, likelihood of returning, and perceived benefit. FSCs were involved in the data collection process and Asena Terry did a great job of working with all 49 FSCs to ensure that procedures were followed and to engage the FSCs as partners in this project. (Co PIs: Kerrie Ocasio and Donna Van Alst)

IFF staff worked cross-departmentally to compete for a grant to promote quality in NJ's primary and secondary child maltreatment prevention programs, which included an assessment of DCF's prevention programs relative to NJ's Standards for Prevention Programs, followed by training in the Standards and strategies for improvement. Many IFF staff came together to lend their expertise to the proposal: Kerrie Ocasio, Maureen Braun Scalera, Tess McCutcheon, Julissa Vizcaino, Mia Sena, Sara Munson, and Donna Van Alst; with support from Amy Tiedemann and the business office; and hand delivery by Terri Fox.

The American Evaluation Association has asked Terri Fox to submit a summary of the presentation, ‘How Many Evaluators Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb,’ for their newsletter. The presentation explored the idea that evaluation is of a very serious nature, presented some evaluation humor, and gave participants an opportunity to share funny things that have happened when evaluating projects and programs.

Julie Koivunen and Terri Fox began focus groups for the Aging with Developmental Disabilities Project, a mixed methods study on the needs of those aging with developmental disabilities for the NJ Council on Developmental Disabilities. They are conducting focus groups with service providers, caregivers, and consumers, followed by a statewide survey. The information gathered from this project will help guide policy and planning for this vulnerable population.

The Child Care Market Price Survey project completed its data collection with 2142 surveys collected. The principal investigators are completing data analysis and working on the final report to the Department of Human Services, Division of Family Development.

The Ryan White project consumers are developing a community wide stigma education program aimed at increasing understanding of HIV/AIDS and reducing stigma. The program involves an educational presentation, stigma skit, followed by a question and answer session.

Terri Fox presented at the HIV in Social Work conference in New Orleans and at the NJ Statewide Clinical Update meeting.

Bobby Carney was selected as a recipient of the Hillary Rodham Clinton Fulbright Fellowship to Samoa. The Fulbright-Clinton Fellowship provides opportunities for U.S. citizens to serve in professional placements in a foreign government ministry or institution in partner governments, and Bobby will be working with the Samoan government on domestic violence issues that impact women and the transgender community.

Bobby Carney’s article entitled “The Health Needs of the Fa’afafine in American Samoa and Transgender Research Methodology” was accepted for publication in the Spring 2015 issue of the Journal of Global Health (forthcoming).

· Price Family Fellows

The Price Family Fellows Program hosted its Speed Networking Event on May 5, 2015. The event represented the culmination of career development workshops from the Career Fluency© Curriculum developed by The Opportunity Network, a New York-based nonprofit that provides workshop curriculum to programs engaging in work with at-risk populations. The Speed Networking Event gave the Price Fellows the opportunity to use networking, contact management, and professional development skills to engage in meaningful networking with professionals from Rutgers and beyond.

One of the Price Fellows formally signed commitment paperwork to join the US Army after graduation. Because of the Fellow’s GPA and hard work with the Rutgers ROTC program, the fellow will likely become a 2nd Lieutenant upon graduation.

Irene Foster, 25, graduated in May with a BASW and is interested in working in the field of gerontology. She is currently considering graduate school options.

One Price Fellow participated in a month-long study abroad trip in Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic, which focused on capturing the oral histories of native peoples who resided in some the oldest villages in Santa Domingo.

Through the generosity of the Price Family Foundation, 7 Price Fellows have been provided with summer housing, a paid internship, and a paid 3-credit course. The Price Fellows Summer Program is run concurrently with the Transitions for Youth’s Summer Housing and Internship Program (SHIP).

The Price Family Fellows Program is currently recruiting new Fellows for the 2015-2016 academic school year, with priority given to first year and transfer students but continuing students are welcome to apply.

  • Transitions for Youth /ProjectMYSELF (TFY)/SHIP/SIP

Over the past 12 weeks, 60 the youths participated in the DCF-sponsored program that provided safe and stable summer housing on all three Rutgers campuses as well as Montclair State University. In addition to housing,SHIP and SIP scholars were placed in career related internships that offered professional skill building opportunities. Kerrie Ocasio, as well asCourtney McAnuff, VP of Enrollment Management at RU, generously donated their time and resources to teach the youth how to cook!

We were also featured in the news: http://bergendispatch.com/articles/36960167/FBI-Empowers-Foster-Youth-At-Summer-Housing-Internship-Program-.aspx

Scholars from the Summer Housing & Internship Program were both surprised and excited on

August 7 at the end of the summer barbecue picnic to receive a beautiful red duffle bag with wheels! Many of the youth lack luggage to transport their goods so receiving these duffle bags was a great treat for all 60 of our youth participating in the summer program. Thanks to the generosity of Donald and Penny Pray, these bags will make a tremendous difference in helping our young people move back to their college campus and the donation which has become an annual tradition for the summer scholars.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/usykpzxa6vgwe6q/AADO60pNFendtVzvUX9MY-wra?dl=0

https://www.facebook.com/RutgersSSW

SHIP students receive summer assistance

On August 13th, the Summer Housing and Internship Program (SHIP) and the Summer Internship Program (SIP) graduated 60 scholars. The graduation took place at The Professional Center at DCF. https://vimeo.com/136185433

SHIP and SIP scholars formed a graduation committee that helped to plan the graduation. Scholars demonstrated multiple talents during the ceremony including reciting poetry, singing and playing the piano. Scholars representing each of the 4 SHIP campuses gave remarks and spoke movingly of their experience in the program, particularly their own personal growth and development and special relationships that were formed. The SHIP graduation was an uplifting and moving ceremony that celebrated the accomplishments of our talented and resilient young scholars.

Mia Sena’s daughter, friends and local knitting group also made the day even more meaningful with their contribution of handmade blankets for each of your youth.

***

Emily Greenfield’s research article entitled “Age-friendly community initiatives: coming to a neighborhood near you” was featured on the Oxford University Press blog,

http://blog.oup.com/2015/08/age-friendly-community-initiatives 

***

Frank L. Greenagel Jr, adjunct instructor at School of Social Work and clinical social worker specializing in addiction, was quoted in an article entitled “Need Help? The Army National Guard Has Your Back” in the guardyourhealth.com blog,

http://www.guardyourhealth.com/personal-stories/soldier-story/greenagel/

 

Frank L. Greenagel Jr was quoted in another article entitled “As Obama pushes money to N.J., state remains wary of addiction treatment” in the nj.com blog,

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2015/08/as_obama_pushes_money_to_nj_state_remains_wary_of.html 

***

Mark Lamar recently reviewed the proposed text, “Statistics Isn’t Rocket Science,” for Sage Publications.

Mark Lamar has become a faculty advisor to Scarlet Listeners, a free and confidential student run peer counseling and referral hotline at Rutgers University.

Mark Lamar was quoted in an article entitled “60 percent spike in number of Hudson County kids in NJ SNAP” in the nj.com blog, http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2015/08/kids_struggle_in_hudson_county_report_says.html

***

Michael LaSala was quoted in an article entitled “E!'s Caitlyn Jenner Series Using Top Transgender Consultants” in the hollywoodreporter.com blog,

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/es-caitlyn-jenner-series-using-810288

***

Kathleen Pottick's blog article on Superstorm Sandy and social work resources was selected by Oxford University Press editors for their 10th Anniversary e-book, The OUPblog Tenth Anniversary Book: Ten Years of Academic Insights for the Thinking World. It was one of thirty-four (of over 8,000) blog articles chosen to represent "the best writing from the blog" and the Press’ “commitment to excellence in research, scholarship and education.” The article describes how the School of Social Work responded to the victims of Hurricane Sandy, by generating new funds for emergency-response training and educational opportunities for students and field personnel.  The article, with an introduction by OUP senior editor Dana Bliss, is located on pages 94-98.

The e-book is available in:

Kathleen J. Pottick, Patricia Findley and Stephanie Giordano’s article describing Rutgers School of Social Work’s Hurricane Sandy initiative to educate social work students in disaster response immediately following the fall 2012 superstorm appeared in Clinical Social Work Journal for its special issue on disaster response.  

Citation:

Findley, P., Pottick, K.J., & Giordano, S. (2015). Educating graduate social work students in disaster response: A real-time case study. Clinical Social Work Journal, DOI:10.1007/s10615-0533-6. 

***

Donna Van Alst was quoted in an article entitled “Ongoing Recovery Efforts Take Toll on Hurricane Survivors” in the NYU News.   

http://www.nyu.edu/about/news-publications/news/2015/07/29/ongoing-recovery-efforts-take-toll-on-hurricane-survivors.html

Donna Van Alst, Patricia Findley and Sandra Moroso, co-investigators in the Rutgers/NYU Sandy Child and Family Health Study, received extensive media coverage from their findings, including the Philadelphia Inquirer, The Star-Ledger, Washington Times. 

***

Sara Munson has good news from the Institute of Families: 

 

  • IFF New Project

 

IFF was awarded a one year grant for $75,000 to support the utilization ofNJ's Standards for Prevention Programs. These Standards are practices and policies intended to promote family and community well-being by supporting and strengthening families and preventing child abuse and neglect. The project will include an assessment of all DCF-funded child maltreatment prevention programs related to the standards, identification of statewide and program specific training needs, development of face-to-face and web-based training, and implementation of these trainings statewide. The competitive proposal was developed with collaboration across all three offices within IFF and was a very successful team effort! 

  • National Child Welfare Workforce Institute (NCWWI) 

Tony Mack has been selected by the Children’s Bureau as a consultant to provide training and coaching for the Leadership Academy for Middle Managers.

 

NCWWI has developed a child welfare Workforce Development Framework.

The recording and handouts for the recent webinar, Children’s Corps: A Dynamic Approach to Child Welfare Worker Recruitment, Screening and Selection, are now available. 

NCWWI prepared resources and a variety of new learning opportunities:

Worker Safety & Honoring Lara Sobel

Child Welfare News & Social Media Highlights

Child Welfare Training Competencies in Action: Recording and Handouts 

· New Jersey Child Support Institute (NJCSI) 

Kate Pirozzolo Fay received a special study award from the SSW to attend the International Summer Course on the Rights of the Child at the Université de Moncton in New Brunswick, Canada from July 5th through 10th. The workshop focused on the rights of children, including children with mental health, child welfare, special education, and juvenile justice involvement and was attended by an international group of scholars, practitioners, and youth advocates.

 

NJCSI will launch two new course offerings during the summer, Data Security in Child Support and IV-D Theory Refresher Training, which are mandated state-wide training initiatives for child support professionals.  NJCSI staff attended and presented at the National Child Support Enforcement Association’s Leadership Symposium in Milwaukee on August 20-13.

 

Danielle Francesconi presented at the Paternity Opportunity Program Roundtable in Voorhees, NJ on July 15, 2015 regarding fatherhood involvement in child support.

 

NJCSI Training and Curriculum Development Teams are collaborating with state stakeholders and the Judiciary to prepare for the annual Law Clerk Training scheduled for August.

 

Deeanne V. Hackett received the “2015 Parent of the Year Award” from the Superintendent of Paterson Public Schools from the parents’ breakfast at La Neve’s Restaurant on June 6, 2015 in Paterson, New Jersey.

 

Chieh-Wen Liu and Deeanne V. Hackett attended the 18th Annual National Human Services Training Evaluation Symposium at the University of Utah from May 27-29.

 

Alex Figueroa and Lauren Walton presented a workshop titled “Leveraging Learning Technologies to Advance Performance” at the Network for Social Work Management Conference on June 4 & 5 at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Chieh-Wen Liu, Kathleen Pirozollo-Fay and Deeanne V. Hackett also presented a poster presentation on “Knowledge and Job Performance for Child Support Workers.” 

· New Jersey Child Welfare Training Partnership (NJWTP) 

Christine Allegra led the development of a submission, entitled "Supporting Transfer of Learning of Case Planning Skills into NJ’s Child Welfare Practice,” to the "Special Issue on Improving the Use and Usefulness of Research” for the CWLA journal, Child Welfare. 

 

NJWTP completed fiscal year 2015 with its highest level of service to date. The Rutgers training team delivered a total of 354 courses over 802 training days. This represents 10,500 (duplicated) training seats in the classroom. Overall, NJCWTP trained 813 courses that spanned 1,778 days of learning for Department of Children and Families (DCF) staff. These courses educated 24,000 (duplicated) training seats- largely, but not exclusively, for CP&P professionals. 

NJWTP continued implementation of a special two-day course aimed at enhancing safety for the professionals supporting NJ’s child welfare practice. As of June 30th, 24 classes (48 days) of “Safety Awareness for the Child Welfare Professional” had reached 522 participants with highly applauded responses to content. After their completion of a six module training series, they prepared another 22 Family Preservation Workers to their role supporting families.  

NJWTP welcomed the National Alliance of Children’s Trust Funds to credential a second team of 27 professionals in the “Protective Factors Framework” between June 29 and July 1. This three-day series orient providers to the impact of adverse childhood experiences and emphasizes the importance of building preventative supports and healthy connections within parenting families. In New Jersey, the training also reinforces the importance of multi-system partners working together to do so. After successful implementation of the training in Newark, they are continuing a statewide rollout of training for early childhood and child welfare professionals in Camden and in Cumberland/Salem/Gloucester this fall. 

NJWTP began interviews with potential trainers to expand the pool of consultants who lead courses for CP&P professionals. Five interviews have been conducted to date. 

Lorin Mordecai resigned to pursue a doctoral degree in social work at the University of Connecticut. 

Tiffany Riccardelli was welcomed into the NJCWTP team during our time of transition. Tiffany has worked with the team on curriculum editing for the past three years and brings a strong knowledge of their course content and development. 

Toni-Ann Capece, a research assistant in the office, finished her first semester of Rutgers SSW Advanced Standing Program. 

Theresa McCutcheon was selected as a scholarship recipient to attend the 2015 National Staff Development and Training Association Conference held in early October in Denver. 

Pam Simone lent her helping hands in the office for administrative support during transition of staff positions. 

Kareim Oliphant has resigned to begin classes in the Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Medical Program at Drexel University. 

Catherine Colon was hired as a graduate research assistant assisting NJCWTP’s evaluation team. Catherine is a recent graduate of the Rutgers, School of Social Work, BASW program and started her Masters of Social Work this summer. 

 

  • Office of Research & Evaluation 

 

The Ryan White project completed its 2015 needs assessment focused on HIV positive individuals who purchased marketplace insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The needs assessment data was gathered through focus groups and key informant interviews, and the main findings were… 

  • ACA plans were expensive (deductibles, premiums, and copays for medical visits, procedures, and medications were too high) 
  • The ACA system was difficult to access and navigate (high level of health literacy required)
  • The ACA did not align seamlessly with State programs such as AIDS Drug Assistant Program (ADAP) and Health Insurance Continuation Program (HICP), causing gaps in service access (poor benefits coordination) 

Data from the first round of interviews with youth legally free for adoption for 18 months or longer without an identified adoptive home - termed "longest waiting youth" - were analyzed and shared with CP&P caseworkers, recruiters, and other key adoption staff to discuss barriers to promoting caring connections with important adults that the youth have identified. These were very constructive discussions and an example of data informing emerging practice. Round 2 data collection with those youth is ongoing in June. (Co PIs: Kerrie Ocasio and Donna Van Alst; staff:Asena Terry and Gina Blanar

Kerrie Ocasio and Donna Van Alst partnered with Betty Berzin, from Adoption Operations at the NJ DCF, on a workshop proposal for the New Jersey Department of Children and Families (NJDCF)/New Jersey Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect (NJTFCAN) 2015 Conference. This year's conference focus is on kinship care and family connections and will be held from 8am-4pm on Wednesday, September 9 at the Hyatt Regency in New Brunswick, NJ. The workshop will focus on the NJ CARES project, which is a federally-funded, experimental intervention to improve informal social supports and promote adoption opportunities for youth that have been legally free for adoption for 18 months or longer, but without an identified adoptive home.

 

ORE kicked off a new experimental research study of a case practice innovation in Newark. Funded by Casey Family Programs, this project seeks to improve the utilization of early childhood family support programs in order to promote protective factors, prevent the escalation of dysfunction and reduce re-referrals of young families with young children. (PI: Kerrie Ocasio, staff: Asena Terry)

 

Over 2000 surveys were collected from families at 49 Family Success Centers (FSC). The survey was intended to understand participants' dosage and frequencies of involvement, why they come to the FSC (type of need), ratings of family-centered practice, likelihood of returning, and perceived benefit. FSCs were involved in the data collection process and Asena Terry did a great job of working with all 49 FSCs to ensure that procedures were followed and to engage the FSCs as partners in this project. (Co PIs: Kerrie Ocasio and Donna Van Alst)

 

IFF staff worked cross-departmentally to compete for a grant to promote quality in NJ's primary and secondary child maltreatment prevention programs, which included an assessment of DCF's prevention programs relative to NJ's Standards for Prevention Programs, followed by training in the Standards and strategies for improvement. Many IFF staff came together to lend their expertise to the proposal: Kerrie Ocasio, Maureen Braun Scalera, Tess McCutcheon, Julissa Vizcaino, Mia Sena, Sara Munson, and Donna Van Alst; with support from Amy Tiedemann and the business office; and hand delivery by Terri Fox. 

 

The American Evaluation Association has asked Terri Fox to submit a summary of the presentation, ‘How Many Evaluators Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb,’ for their newsletter. The presentation explored the idea that evaluation is of a very serious nature, presented some evaluation humor, and gave participants an opportunity to share funny things that have happened when evaluating projects and programs.

 

Julie Koivunen and Terri Fox began focus groups for the Aging with Developmental Disabilities Project, a mixed methods study on the needs of those aging with developmental disabilities for the NJ Council on Developmental Disabilities. They are conducting focus groups with service providers, caregivers, and consumers, followed by a statewide survey. The information gathered from this project will help guide policy and planning for this vulnerable population.

 

The Child Care Market Price Survey project completed its data collection with 2142 surveys collected. The principal investigators are completing data analysis and working on the final report to the Department of Human Services, Division of Family Development. 

 

The Ryan White project consumers are developing a community wide stigma education program aimed at increasing understanding of HIV/AIDS and reducing stigma. The program involves an educational presentation, stigma skit, followed by a question and answer session. 

Terri Fox presented at the HIV in Social Work conference in New Orleans and at the NJ Statewide Clinical Update meeting.

 

Bobby Carney was selected as a recipient of the Hillary Rodham Clinton Fulbright Fellowship to Samoa. The Fulbright-Clinton Fellowship provides opportunities for U.S. citizens to serve in professional placements in a foreign government ministry or institution in partner governments, and Bobby will be working with the Samoan government on domestic violence issues that impact women and the transgender community. 

 

Bobby Carney’s article entitled “The Health Needs of the Fa’afafine in American Samoa and Transgender Research Methodology” was accepted for publication in the Spring 2015 issue of the Journal of Global Health (forthcoming).

· Price Family Fellows 

The Price Family Fellows Program hosted its Speed Networking Event on May 5, 2015. The event represented the culmination of career development workshops from the Career Fluency© Curriculum developed by The Opportunity Network, a New York-based nonprofit that provides workshop curriculum to programs engaging in work with at-risk populations. The Speed Networking Event gave the Price Fellows the opportunity to use networking, contact management, and professional development skills to engage in meaningful networking with professionals from Rutgers and beyond. 

One of the Price Fellows formally signed commitment paperwork to join the US Army after graduation. Because of the Fellow’s GPA and hard work with the Rutgers ROTC program, the fellow will likely become a 2nd Lieutenant upon graduation. 

Irene Foster, 25, graduated in May with a BASW and is interested in working in the field of gerontology. She is currently considering graduate school options. 

One Price Fellow participated in a month-long study abroad trip in Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic, which focused on capturing the oral histories of native peoples who resided in some the oldest villages in Santa Domingo. 

Through the generosity of the Price Family Foundation, 7 Price Fellows have been provided with summer housing, a paid internship, and a paid 3-credit course. The Price Fellows Summer Program is run concurrently with the Transitions for Youth’s Summer Housing and Internship Program (SHIP). 

The Price Family Fellows Program is currently recruiting new Fellows for the 2015-2016 academic school year, with priority given to first year and transfer students but continuing students are welcome to apply. 

 

  •          Transitions for Youth /ProjectMYSELF (TFY)/SHIP/SIP

 

Over the past 12 weeks, 60 the youths participated in the DCF-sponsored program that provided safe and stable summer housing on all three Rutgers campuses as well as Montclair State University. In addition to housing,SHIP and SIP scholars were placed in career related internships that offered professional skill building opportunities.  Kerrie Ocasio, as well asCourtney McAnuff, VP of Enrollment Management at RU, generously donated their time and resources to teach the youth how to cook! 

We were also featured in the news: http://bergendispatch.com/articles/36960167/FBI-Empowers-Foster-Youth-At-Summer-Housing-Internship-Program-.aspx   

Scholars from the Summer Housing & Internship Program were both surprised and excited on

August 7 at the end of the summer barbecue picnic to receive a beautiful red duffle bag with wheels! Many of the youth lack luggage to transport their goods so receiving these duffle bags was a great treat for all 60 of our youth participating in the summer program. Thanks to the generosity of Donald and Penny Pray, these bags will make a tremendous difference in helping our young people move back to their college campus and the donation which has become an annual tradition for the summer scholars.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/usykpzxa6vgwe6q/AADO60pNFendtVzvUX9MY-wra?dl=0

https://www.facebook.com/RutgersSSW

SHIP Students receive summer assistance

On August 13th, the Summer Housing and Internship Program (SHIP) and the Summer Internship Program (SIP) graduated 60 scholars. The graduation took place at The Professional Center at DCF. https://vimeo.com/136185433

 

SHIP and SIP scholars formed a graduation committee that helped to plan the graduation. Scholars demonstrated multiple talents during the ceremony including reciting poetry, singing and playing the piano. Scholars representing each of the 4 SHIP campuses gave remarks and spoke movingly of their experience in the program, particularly their own personal growth and development and special relationships that were formed. The SHIP graduation was an uplifting and moving ceremony that celebrated the accomplishments of our talented and resilient young scholars. 

Mia Sena’s daughter, friends and local knitting group also made the day even more meaningful with their contribution of handmade blankets for each of your youth. 

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