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Good News: SSW Faculty and Staff Bulletin January 15, 2014
January 15, 2014

Colleen Beach was invited to participate in the National Adult Protective Services Association’s Education Committee. Beach coordinates the New Jersey Adult Protective Services Training Grant and has done so since 2011. The collaborative efforts by this committee’s members help shape the education and training of Adult Protective Services staff nationwide, as well as work toward educating the public about the role of Adult Protective Services and the issues related to abuse and neglect of older adults and adults with disabilities. Efforts are also being made by the committee to encourage inclusion of higher education curricula related to the abuse, neglect, self-neglect, and financial exploitation of older persons and adults with disabilities.


Stephen Crystal, Board of Governors professor, School of Social Work, and associate director for Health Services Research at the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research, is the principal investigator of an award totaling $1,290,034 over three years. The project, titled Improving Medication Safety in Nursing Home Dementia Care, is being supported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.


Mark Lamar provided training on income inequality and access to behavioral health services at the December 4 intern supervision meeting of Rutgers Psychology Department and Rutgers MSW interns at the Teen Center in Highland Park High School. The Teen Center is funded by the State of New Jersey, Division of Family Development, and provides counseling and support services to middle and high school students. The program is administered by the Highland Park Board of Education, and has been in operation for 12 years. Lamar discussed research on the relationship between clients’ low SES and treatment in behavioral health services.

Mark Lamar was accepted to the 2015 Rutgers (Camden) Civic Engagement Faculty Fellows cohort. The Civic Engagement Faculty Fellows program features a community of practice model of curriculum development where, through peer interaction and review, cohort members develop a syllabus for a course to be taught in a future semester. Civic Engagement Faculty Fellows will meet for a two-day pedagogy workshop in winter and for follow-up meetings later in the spring.  The Faculty Fellowship provides a $1,000 stipend to support the faculty member’s teaching in the classroom.

Mark Lamar recently served as a reviewer for the draft manuscript of Finding Your Way through Field Work: A Social Work Student’s Guide by Urania E. Glassman, for SAGE Publications.


Nathanael J. Okpych, a recent MSW Rutgers graduate, was awarded this year’s Breul Prize, along with James L-H Yu, for their article, “A Historical Analysis of Evidence-Based Practice in Social Work: The unfinished journey toward an empirically grounded profession,” which appears in the March 2014 issue,


Judy Postmus is featured in this article in on the role of financial control in domestic abuse,


Darcy Siebert was inducted as a Fellow of the Society for Social Work and Research.  A quote from the congratulations letter is as follows: "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 2015 class of Fellows were announced at the Opening Plenary Session at the SSWR conference in New Orleans.


Karun K. Singh recently chaired a panel discussion for the New Jersey Chapter of the Network for Social Work Management. The title of the panel was: “The Importance of Multidisciplinary Education for Preparing Modern Social Work Leaders.” He was also appointed as an Editorial Advisory Board Member of Human Service Organizations: Management, Leadership, & Governance. This is the flagship peer-reviewed journal of the Network for Social Work Management. Faculty and students considering submissions to the journal are encouraged to speak with him about their ideas for manuscripts.


Bill Waldman is currently the Chairman of the Board of the Mental Health Association in New Jersey and he led a press conference in Toms River announcing the launch of a major state-wide initiative providing a “warm line” service to individuals and their friends and family affected by opiate abuse (heroine and prescription pain-killers) in NJ. The program is funded through a grant of $300,000 from Activis, a major pharmaceutical company.  He served as MC for the event which included confirmed attendance by assemblypersons and state senators as well as appointed officials.  He is featured in NJBIZ News, Mental Health Association starts help line for heroin, painkiller addiction 

Sara Munson has good news from the Institute for Families.

· Workforce Institute (NCWWI)

Learning and Living Leadership Tool Kit Page is now available, offering on-the-job activities in a variety of formats (complete PDF, individual sections, and flipbook) to help child welfare leaders at all levels grow leadership abilities by transferring, reinforcing and practicing competencies from the NCWWI Leadership Competency Framework:

Resource highlights from NCWWI social media posts:

Registration is now open for the 2nd session in the national webinar series - Simulation Labs for Child Welfare Education & Training, February 4, 2015.

Registration is now open for our upcoming webinar on Applying Leadership and Workforce Development Models in Child Welfare for the National Network of Social Work Managers Webinar Series on February 25, 2015.

NCWWI has collected a range of child welfare competency models:

NCWWI is pleased to share their recent Leadership Development Special Issue of NSDTA's journal Training and Development in Human Services. This issue includes the following articles by NCWWI staff:

· Competency-Based Leadership Development

· Leadership Development On Line: Design and Implementation of a Program for Child Welfare Supervisors

· An Example of Leadership Transfer of Learning through the NCWWI Toolkit: Learning and Living Leadership

· Developmental Evaluation Findings from an Online Leadership Program for Child Welfare Supervisors

· New Jersey Child Support Institute (NJCSI)

Staff members are working with the New Jersey Child Support Council to host the 33rd Annual NJ Child Support Training Conference, which will be held March 4-6, 2015 at the Tropicana Casino & Resort in Atlantic City. IFF staff will present on 8 different panels, and will provide comprehensive conference logistics and support.

· New Jersey Child Welfare Training Partnership (NJCWTP)

The Partnership finalized work with Polaris, an internationally recognized leader working to eradicate human trafficking, to develop a two-day training course on engaging and interviewing potential trafficking victims/survivors, particularly those identified by or involved with the child welfare system.  On January 12-14, Polaris will work with the Partnership to prepare a cadre of 30 trainers who will educate close to 3,000 case-carrying DCP&P staff before June 30, 2015.

Bolstering DCF’s efforts to ensure child welfare practices that foster safety and resiliency, the New Jersey Child Welfare Training Partnership team is developing a two-day course on “Safety for the Child Welfare Professional.” The course will explore safety awareness, examine assessment of risks, identify stages of threats and escalation, and minimize risks in potentially dangerous situations that child welfare workers are exposed to, especially in relation to their work around substance abuse, domestic violence and mental illness.   The curriculum comes with strong influence from a series of courses developed by the State of Indiana, as well as content from several other effective and heavily practiced safety courses.  This training is expected to be a mandatory course for the DCF workforce in the near future.

Maureen Braun Scalera and Theresa McCutcheon developed “Best Practices in Curriculum Development” which was accepted for poster presentation at the 28th Annual Research and Policy Conference on Child, Adolescent and Young Adult Behavioral Health to be held in March 2015 in Tampa.

· Research & Evaluation

Julie Koivunen co-authored an article that was published in the December issue ofFamilies in Society  

· Transitions for Youth (TFY)

TFY is managing the development of a youth-focused website funded by the Department of Children and Families, to serve as an information hub of statewide and county-based resources for young people with current or former involvement with DCF, and be especially directed towards adolescents, and events, activities, resources, programs and other opportunities available. It will also feature information, updates and activities related to the 15 Youth Advisory Boards, information related to Wraparound/Chafee funding requests, and information on the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD).

· Youth Advisory Board (YAB)

The Statewide Youth Advisory Board (SYAB) is happy to announce the addition of Angel Perez to their SYAB team.  Angel’s first day was January 8 and he is working in our Southern Regional YAB and Transitions for Youth (TFY) office at 800 Cooper Street in Camden, NJ. Please join TAB in welcoming Angel to the team, and to the IFF.

Commissioner Allison Blake will be attending the January Statewide Youth Advisory Board Quarterly Meeting to hear presentations by youth who have experience with homelessness or the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P).  These presentations are youth-driven and are developed to assist the Department of Children and Families to improve policies and procedures that impact youth in care in the State of New Jersey.

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