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Good News: SSW Faculty and Staff Bulletin
January 20, 2016


Good News: SSW Faculty and Staff Bulletin

January 2016


Edward Alessi has a publication.


Alessi, E. J., Kahn, S., & Chatterji, S.* (2015, November). 'The darkest times of my life': Recollections of child abuse among forced migrants persecuted because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. Child Abuse & Neglect. Advanced online publication. doi:10.1016/j.chiabu.2015.10.030 


Stories where article was featured:



  • U.S. News & World Report:


  • Gannett New Jersey:











Judy Baer (former faculty member) and Antoinette Farmer were inducted into the 2016 class of Fellows of the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR).  They were honored at the induction ceremony at the SSWR 2016 Annual Conference on January 16, 2016.   Fellows of the Society for Social Work and Research are members who have served with distinction to advance the mission of the Society -- to advance, disseminate, and translate research that addresses issues of social work practice and policy and promotes a diverse, equitable and just society.  The SSWR Fellowship has been established by the Society to honor and to recognize current SSWR members for their individual accomplishments, leadership and contribution to SSWR as a scientific society. It is anticipated that SSWR Fellows will serve as role models and mentors for individuals pursuing careers in social work research and will continue to actively advance the mission of the Society. 



Stephen Crystal wanted to pass on the news that CMS (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services) has just announced the incorporation of a quality measure for safe and judicious use of antipsychotic medications in children, that was developed through two Rutgers projects (the MEDNET 6-state collaboration on quality improvement for mental health care in Medicaid and state mental health, and the National Collaborative for Innovation in Quality Measurement, in which Rutgers collaborated with the National Committee for Quality Assurance). This measure was also previously incorporated in the HEDIS measure set used as the standard quality measure by health plans.  CMS also added a measure of diabetes screening for adults with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder to its adult core set—this was a topic that was highlighted in our work with state Medicaid programs on the MEDNET and SMINET projects.


Stephen Crystal co-authored a manuscript with Dennis Shea and Adriana Reyes, both from College of Health and Human Development, Pennsylvania State University.  The manuscript is entitled “Cumulative Advantage, Cumulative Disadvantage and Evolving Patterns of Late-Life Inequality" which was accepted for publication in The Gerontologist.


Stephen Crystal’s leadership lesson, during his recent interview with Steve Adubato, has been featured as part of Steve Adubato’s Lessons in Leadership platform, which offers useful tips and tools for leaders of all stripes.



Antoinette Farmer has been appointed to the Task Force on Inclusion and Community Values.  This Task Force was established by Chancellor Richard L. Edwards.  The primary objectives of this group are to:

  • Listen to students to understand their views on the climate of inclusion and racial discourse at Rutgers

                  University-New Brunswick

  • Define core values that reflect the University’s commitment to creating a safe and inclusive community
  • Recommend to the Chancellor the tangible changes to reflect these aspirational, but achievable, core




Patricia Findley, under the leadership of Dr. Joyce Afran, RWJ Medical/Family Medicine along with her interprofessional colleagues, has been selected to join the American Medical Association's consortium to create integrate interprofessional learner teams with care coordination efforts through Robert Wood Johnson Partners Affordable Care Organization through a funded grant. Rutgers joins the ranks of medical schools like Harvard, U of Chicago, Thomas Jefferson, and Case Western.



Sarah McMahon traveled to DC to meet with legislators about the work on campus sexual violence.  She was joined by Francine Newsome-Pfeiffer, Vice President for Federal Relations at Rutgers, as well as Dr. Felicia McGinty, Vice-Chancellor for Student Affairs on the Rutgers New Brunswick campus.  They met with the offices of Sen. Booker, Sen. Menendez, Sen. McCaskill, Congressman Pallone, and Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman.  They discussed the campus climate model as well as other relevant pending legislation related to campus sexual assault.

On Friday, January 15, 2016, Sarah McMahon, together with Dean Cathryn Potter, Judy Postmus, Kate Stepleton and Julia O'Connor, were able to meet with the White House Advisor on Violence Against Women, Carrie Bettinger-Lopez, and her staff.  They met at their office on the White House grounds and discussed their report to the White House Task Force this past September.  


Kristen Gilmore Powell and Andrew Peterson, along with doctoral candidate, Sarah Gold, will present an accepted paper at the annual Society for Social Work Research conference, which will be held in Washington, DC in January, 2016.


Powell, K.G., Gold, S., Borys, S., Hallcom, D.K., & Peterson, N.A. (2016, January). Empowerment in community-based prevention coalitions: Differential effects of organizational characteristics for volunteers and paid staff. Presented at the Society for Social Work Research annual conference, Washington, DC.



Cassandra Simmel published an article with former SSW doctoral student, Svetlana Shpiegel in Children and Youth Services Review.


Shpiegel, S. & Simmel, C. (2016). Functional outcomes among sexual minority youth emancipating from the child welfare system. Children and Youth Services Review, 61(1), pp. 101-108.



Karun K. Singh presented a continuing education workshop on October 23, 2015 at the annual conference of the New York City Chapter of the Network for Social Work Management. The topic was “Preventing Workplace Microaggressions: Strategies for Success.”


Karun K. Singh organized a presentation on December 9, 2015 for the New Jersey Chapter of the Network for Social Work Management. The topic was “Human Services Management and Social Innovation”. The speakers were Michael De Nichilo (Rutgers MSW 2014 and Co-Chair, New Jersey Chapter of the Network for Social Work Management), and Dana Longstreet (Rutgers MSW 2012).   


Patricia Spencer, part-time lecturer will be presenting at the NJ NASW conference. The workshop is titled “Supervision in Trauma Informed Care Settings: Addressing Vicarious Trauma.” It will be held on May 2 from 1:30pm-5:30pm



Emmy Tiderington published a solo-authored paper in the journal Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research.


Tiderington, E. (2015). “We Always Think You’re Here Permanently”: The paradox of “permanent” housing and other barriers to recovery-oriented practice in supportive housing services. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, 1-12, DOI 10.1007/s10488-015-0707-0



Bill Waldman would like to share the “Analysis and Recommendations for Medicaid High Utilizers in New Jersey.” Beth Angel, Stephen Crystal and Bill Waldman recently served as members of the advisory board connected with an important study entitled “Analysis and Recommendations for Medicaid High Utilizers in New Jersey conducted by the Center for State Health Policy at Rutgers.  The study was directly requested by the Office of the Governor in an effort to contain costs and maintain or improve the quality and accessibility of Medicaid financed health care in New Jersey. Medicaid is basically a partnership program between the states and the federal government with a required 50% matching fund requirement for New Jersey. Medicaid serves over one million low income residents of New Jersey with a total cost of over $10 billion on an annual basis.


The data contained in the report identifies the diagnoses, characteristics and needs of the so called “high utilizers”. Clearly one of the primary characteristics of this population is the existence of behavioral health issues. The proposed solutions are of interest and may create new opportunities in this field.


He believes this document may be useful to a number of faculty in a variety of areas. It is definitely useful for teaching in areas of health care, health care policy, substance abuse and mental illness.



Sara Munson has good news from the Institute of Families:


Casey Family Programs: Leadership Development for Local Office Managers

  • IFF hosted a leadership convening on fatherhood for more than 70 LOMs and DCF leaders on December 2, 2015.


National Child Welfare Workforce Institute (NCWWI)

  • Tony Mack, Associate Program Manager-Training, NJCSI, will be facilitating the NCWWI Leadership Academy for Middle Managers (LAMM) in Tulsa, Oklahoma from April 18-22, 2016. This training will be exclusively delivered to child welfare managers working with the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma.


New Jersey Child Support Institute (NJCSI)

  • Lisa Bender and Eileen Kelly-O'Brien facilitated an on-site training workshop for Judges, Court Clerks and Law Clerks at the Monmouth County Family Court regarding the NJKiDS computer system functionality and user navigation on January 12, 2016.
  • Eileen Kelly-O'Brien and Yolanda Glover will be representing the IFF at the 2016 NCSEA Policy Forum in Washington, D.C. on February, 11-13, 2016.
  • Hope Miller has been requested to provide NJ DHS-DFD with on-site technical support and coaching with the newly hired NJ Employers Services staff at Stellar Ware, a contracted vendor hired to provide customer services support to employers with staff members who have current child support obligations.
  • Lisa Bender, Alexander Figueroa, Norma Lisenby-Ketterer, Danielle Francesconi, Marian Pringle, Rob Kafka and Eileen Kelly-O'Brien will represent and facilitate presentations at the annual ERICSA Conference in Myrtle Beach, S.C. from May 1-5, 2016.


New Jersey Child Welfare Training Partnership (NJCWTP)

  • Toni-Ann Capece, Christine Allegra, and Stephanie Talley completed a report that summarized findings and provided recommendations after reviewing satisfaction and pre/posttest data from courses run from 2013-2015 for three Domestic Violence Training classes (Domestic Violence, Domestic Violence Policy and the DCP&P Case Practice Protocol, and Domestic Violence for Supervisors.)  This report will inform DCF on its domestic violence mandatory training, and the Coalition to End Domestic Violence in their work to revise domestic violence training for the DCP&P workers (attached)
  • Tess McCutcheon negotiated a collaboration with the University of Texas at Arlington to deliver consultation and education on child welfare worker safety at their statewide symposium in May 2016.
  • Christine Allegra & Tess McCutcheon submitted an abstract to the 2016 National NASW conference entitled, Shaping Child Welfare in NJ: Implementing a Comprehensive Training Program to Support Best Practices
  • Tiffany Riccardelli attended the Rutgers Online Learning Conference to help bring technology into our trainings despite access to smart phones and laptops for state workers. Our trainers will be better able to adapt the course content to the knowledge level of the classroom using tools like Plicker, which allows them to assess understanding throughout the training day.
  • We updated our NJCWTP trainer manual in preparation for our February orientation for 14 new per diem trainers. The new manual includes important information on the Partnership, supporting DCF policy and procedures, structure and workflow of CP&P, and updated contact information for our Partnership.
  • We delivered 32 courses over 35 training days for the child welfare workforce, including several days of training for new Family Preservation Service workers.
  • A new LGBTQI Cultural Competency course developed in collaboration with the Office of Adolescent Services has made it through the first draft and is now with DCF leadership review and feedback. This course provides caseworkers with knowledge and understanding of the needs, challenges, issues, and resources pertinent to LGBTQI youth and families, and the skills required to recognize and meet these needs.
  • A new course on Child Protection and Early Intervention has been converted to our new design templates and made it through the editing process. The pilot provides DCF workers with information they need to better collaborate with NJ Early Intervention system, ensuring children 0-3 are referred and receiving EI services as appropriate.
  • We welcomed Sheri Stanford as a part-time editor who will assist in proofreading new and updated course materials.
  • Toni-Ann Capece completed scheduling of the Spring FY16 Foundation Course Rotation for new DCP&P professionals, including assignments for 35 Foundation Courses representing 56 training days.
  • Toni-Ann also represented IFF by participating in teleconferences from the Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities (CECANF), focused on the topics of disproportionality and disparity in addressing child abuse and neglect fatalities
  • Research Assistant Elizabeth Binstein went to Israel through the Rutgers University School of Social Work to receive a global education on how to best serve individuals of different cultures while rejuvenating her love for the career.

Price Family Fellows (PFF)

  • Rachel Ludeke presented at the Rutgers Student Affairs Conference on December 11, 2015 with the Office of the Dean of Students for College Avenue Campus. The theme of this year’s conference was “Resilience: Rising to the Challenge.” Rachel’s presentation focused on the needs of foster care and other at-risk youth and ways that the University could best assist these students as they complete their college education. Two Price Fellows also presented their stories and insights to the group.
  • One Price Fellow landed an internship with the New York City-based Global Citizens program. The group focuses on raising awareness of issues related to poverty on a global scale. Another Price Fellow was offered a part time position at the Ralph W. Voorhees Center for Civic Engagement at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. The Fellow will be working on several initiatives related to poverty in New Brunswick in conjunction with the Mayor’s office.

Research & Evaluation

  • Terri Fox, Asena Terry and Donna Van Alst completed the annual report for Hunterdon Thrive, a project which bridges coaching services with community programs in order to provide financial stability to asset-limited families in Hunterdon County.  Press release:
  • Terri Fox hosted the annual awards for Quality Services in the Ryan White Program.  The Ryan White Consumer Quality Workgroup funded through IFF gave the first Consumer Award for Quality to active members of Our Voices Client Caucus for their work ‘Stomping out Stigma.’  The quality management program also recognized a member of the community for his work in Transdisciplinary Professionalism.   
  • The Middlesex-Somerset-Hunterdon HIV Health Services Planning Council held its annual Recognition Event on January 7th at the Cook Campus Center. This annual event recognizes the important work the Planning Council conducted over the year. One of our volunteer consumer members spoke about their experiences as a consumer who receives Ryan White services and as a member of the Planning Council.
  • The NJ Forensic Coordination Center has completed 10 focus groups with DCP&P staff on the uses of forensic evaluations.  The team will continue to work on defining the scope of uses for these evaluations with a number of NJ stakeholders.   


Standards for Prevention

  • The self-assessment period for prevention-funded agencies remains open; one last outreach for additional participation will be released in January. 
  • A planning session was held with the course writer to review outlines for one-day training that will facilitate dialogue and provide education around how to best infuse the Prevention Standards into practice, programming and policies.


Statewide Youth Advisory Boards (YAB)

  • SHI International of Somerset delivered holiday donations for the Youth Advisory Board program.  Ten SHI staff members donated $450 in goods, which include gift cards to various supermarkets, restaurants and big box stores; winter clothing; and a Kindle Fire.  The SHI 2015 staff participation in this initiative more than doubled from 2014!  Please join us in expressing our sincerest gratitude for their generosity. 
  • Skyla Porter, one of the southern regional Youth Advisory Board (YAB) ambassadors, did an amazing job organizing the Cape May County YAB service event with the youth of Cape May to send holiday cards to the “CARDS FOR ORPHANS PROJECT,” which allows the world to brighten up the holidays for many youth who may not have anyone for the holidays. With all the hard work we were able to send 150 cards to the project. We would like to say thank you and great job to Skyla, the Cape May YAB and the statewide YAB youth and staff for contributing to this effort.


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