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Good News: SSW Faculty and Staff Bulletin, November 2015
November 18, 2015

Laura Cuesta had an article published.  


Cuesta, L., & Cancian, M. (2015). The effect of child support on the work and earnings of custodial mothers: New evidence. La Follette Policy Report, volume 25(1), 16-18. 



Antoinette Y. Farmer and G. Lawrence Farmer have been given a book contract from Sage to write a book entitled, “Research Methods for Social Workers: A Problem-based Approach.”


Patricia Findley has been appointed to the executive steering committee for Rutgers Health.  She is helping to define and develop what Rutgers Health means for Rutgers, the patients who will be seen, as well as for Rutgers’ employees. She was appointed to the Building Rutgers Health subcommittee in September.  Her appointment lasts through implementation of Rutgers Health. 


Patricia Findley, Sara Plummer, and Sarah McMahon had a poster accepted for presentation at SSWR in January 2016 titled “Exploring the Experience of Abuse of College Students with Disabilities.”



Jerry Floersch and Professor Jeffrey Longhofer will be presenting a conference paper, entitled “The conceptual compatibility of person-in-environment with the disease model of mental illness: Two ontologies, one practiceat the conference on Social Work at Instituto Superior de Serviço Social do Porto (The Institute of Superior Social Services of Porto) in Porto, Portugal, on December 11, 2015.



Emily Greenfield received a second award for being an outstanding reviewer for The Gerontologist, which is a flagship journal of The Gerontological Society of America, as well as the premiere journal in aging services. She is on the publication's Editorial Board.


Emily Greenfield was invited to participate in a national work group of gerontological social work experts to update the CSWE Advanced Gero Social Work Practice Guide.  Much of this work will involve revising the guide with respect to the new 2015 Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards. 



Max Kleinman is a senior consultant for the Jewish Federation of North America.  He had coordinated the special event where 20 holocaust survivors who lost their hearing were fitted with hearing aids at the Yankee Stadium. 80 children were also given the gift of hearing.  Survivors who are not mobile will meet with audiologists and be fitted with hearing aids subsequently.  It's anticipated that another 30 will receive this aid.

The corporate support involved will exceed $500,000.,story/sports/nfl/2015/09/29/yankees-vikings-help-holocaust-survivors-receive-hearing-aids/73045062/


Max Kleinman presented a paper on "Fundraising Approaches to Raise Matching Philanthropic Revenues to Access Federal Grant to fund social services for Survivors of the Holocaust.” This was presented at the National Convention of Jewish Federations of North America in Washington D.C.  Max Kleinman was a member of a team which successfully generated a $12.5 million federal grant for JFNA to assist survivors of the holocaust which requires $8.3 million in matching funds.



Michael LaSala recently had the following articles published online. 


LaSala, M. C., Fedor, J. P., Revere, E. J., & Carney, R. (2015). What parents and their gay and 

bisexual sons say about HIV prevention. Qualitative Health Research, (32 pages).

doi: 10.1177/1049732315604588


Toros, K., LaSala, M. C., & Medar, M.  (2015). Assessment of children in need in a post-Soviet 

context. Journal of Family Social Work (31 pages). doi: 10.1080/10522158.2015.1065458



Sarah McMahon was quoted in New Jersey 101.5 (Radio): Preventing sexual assault on college campuses



The Office of Field Education and Programs on Aging co-sponsored the “Leadership Summit in Aging & Health” which was held at the Cook Campus Student Center on October 16, 2015.  Community agencies throughout NJ participated in this conference. The event featured opening remarks by Nancy Schley, Associate Director of Field Education, New Brunswick and Mary Jean Weston, Associate Executive Director of the NASW-NJ Chapter. The keynote address was given by Emily Greenfield, Associate Professor and Faculty Lead for the Programs on Aging. Dr. Greenfield’s talk focused on leadership in the practice environment of aging including how to best use field education as a way of creating, developing, and promoting social work leadership.



Andy Peterson (PI) and Kristen Gilmore Powell (Co-PI) received a grant ($510,000) funded by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, as a sub-award with New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services. This purpose of this grant is to study the NJ Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction initiative, which is intended to expand and improve capacity for this level of treatment. 


Andy Peterson (PI) and Kristen Gilmore Powell (Co-PI) received a grant ($200,000) from the New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services to conduct a study on their recently funded Opioid Overdose Recovery Program.


Kristen Gilmore Powell (PI) and Andy Peterson (Co-PI) have received a sub-award ($165,000) with New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration for the recent RFP, Planning for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics: Planning Grant. This is a one-year planning grant to develop a model of integrated behavioral health services and an application for a demonstration grant.



Kathleen Pottick was an invited panelist for the inter-professional conference, Tearing Down the Walls: Access to Medications in Urban Populations. Hosted by the School of Pharmacy and the Centers for Global Advancement and International Affairs, it was held on October 12 to an audience of over 100 practitioners, researchers, faculty and students from medicine, nursing, public health, pharmacy, social work, and a range of the social sciences. Other panelists were Dr. Sujoy Chakravarty (health economist at Rutgers’ Center for State Health Policy), Dr. Gowri Murthy (translational medicine researcher at Merck), and Dr. Kathy Gunkel (director of Rutgers-Focus Wellness Center in Newark).  



Emmy Tiderington, Assistant Professor, School of Social Work Associate Faculty, Institute for Health, Health Care Policy & Aging Research, will be awarded an honorable mention for the 2016 Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) Outstanding Social Work Doctoral Dissertation Award for her dissertation entitled “The Dilemmas of Permanency and Accountability: A Qualitative Investigation of Barriers to and Facilitators of Recovery-Oriented Practice in Supportive Housing.” This award will be presented at the SSWR conference in January.


Emmy Tiderington has two accepted presentations for the SSWR conference.


Padgett, D.K., Smith, B.T., Tiderington, E., Choy-Brown, M. (2016, January). Mental health recovery and homelessness: A mixed method study of supportive housing in The Grand Challenge of Ending Homelessness; Social Work Research on Permanent Supportive Housing. Symposium presentation at the Society for Social Work and Research Annual Conference, Washington, DC.


Tiderington, E. (2016, January). There's nowhere to go from here: Barriers to recovery and the paradox of “permanent” supportive housing. Poster Presentation at the Society for Social Work and Research Annual Conference, Washington, DC.


Sara Munson has good news from the Institute For Families:


  • •    National Child Welfare Workforce Institute (NCWWI)


Tony Mack provided training and facilitation for the NCWWI Leadership Academy for Middle Managers (LAMM) sessions in Connecticut (Sept 21- 25, 2015) and Indiana (October 26-20, 2015). This federally-funded training project is intended to enhance the leadership skills of middle managers working for public child welfare agencies. Participants are trained in specific competencies that will assist them in developing and enhancing their leadership skills to positively affect their teams, agencies and overall child welfare outcomes. 


Sara Munson hosted a webinar and follow-up learning exchange on Transforming Child Welfare Decision-making through Modern Technology & Data Analytics and developed and distributed a range of workforce development resources via eUpdate: 

Child Welfare News & Social Media Highlights - November 

Child Welfare News & Social Media Highlights - October 

Child Welfare News & Social Media Highlights - September 


  • •    National Staff Development & Training Association Conference (NSDTA) 


On October 4-7, Lauren Davis Walton, Victoria Gerstorfer and Cathy Thompson-Fix attended the National Staff Development and Training Association (NSDTA) Conference in Denver Colorado. Davis and Gerstorfer presented a workshop, Building eLearning Interactions using Articulate Storyline and Thompson-Fix attended to glean information as a committee member for the upcoming NSDTA Conference sponsored by Rutgers in October of 2016 in New Brunswick. Sara Munson co-presented with NCWWI colleagues on the NCWWI Workforce Development Framework. Tess McCutcheon and Maureen Braun Scalera also attended conference. Maureen Braun Scalera presented a workshop entitled, The Importance of the Affective Domain in Training to explore the importance of incorporating hands-on activities which evoke affectively laden content in training. 


Sara Munson, Maureen Braun Scalera and Tess McCutcheon participated in a planning call with DCF and APHSA to begin brainstorming for the 2016 conference (October 2-5), and the best ways in which Rutgers SSW/IFF can support the event. Mia Sena and Cathy Thompson-Fix met with OTPD Director Robert Ring at the Professional Center in New Brunswick on October 27th for a walking tour of the facility, which will be used for training sessions during this conference. 


  • •    New Jersey Child Support Institute (NJCSI)


Hope Miller presented a workshop entitled “Child Support Overview” at the Empowering Men and Families Beyond Trauma Symposium hosted by UIH Family Partners on November 6.  


Lisa Bender presented a workshop entitled “Child Support 101” for the New Jersey Gaming Commission on November 28. 


Eileen Kelly-O’Brien facilitated a Drop-in Session for Child Support Guidelines on October 16. Danielle Francesconi and Lauren Davis Walton facilitated a NCSEA Web Talk training on October 28 entitled “It’s all relative: Making the Connection between Cultural Competency and Child Support Services.” 


Hope Miller facilitated an employer services training for the newly selected vendor overseeing the NMSN and new hire contracts for the Office of Child Support Services (OCSS). The course was developed by Terence Jordan


On November 3, NJCSI staff attended an all-day “Smartboard training” at the Princeton site, led by trainer Mark DeBenedictus from the Bergen County ETTC. The training involved product updates, new features, tools, embedding and linking, game and participant quiz design, maximizing classroom training, curriculum design and presentation, as well as questions and answers from daily users. 


On October 12, NJCSI welcomed Hilary Halliwell and Bill Laznovsky as editorial/media specialists II. As members of NJCSI's new editing team, each will serve as the lead editor for several curriculum tracks and other projects. 


Sue Bhuyan completed development of Court Presentations course. Terence Jordan completed Development of the Customer Service for Financials course and Victoria Gerstorfer completed Development of Case Closure: Theory and Practice for PCSE Staff. These are the final two courses needed for the Probation Certificate Track. Lori Marosy and Flynn Bowen have begun development of the Locate and Establishment courses, which are part of the CWA Certificate Track. Lori Marosy and Sue Bhuyan completed five simulations for the Genetic Testing course. Victoria Gerstorfer produced the National Medical Support Notice WBT and Lauren Davis Walton produced the Child Support Overview WBT. Lauren Davis Walton produced two new Training Learning Objects including an Interactive Power Interest Grid and a Meeting Simulation


Doug Richardson has officially returned to work from medical leave and has been very busy with multiple projects including  VMWare migrations of all the shared virtual workstations; bringing the new redundant files server online and ensuring the new backup system for SSW is functioning as expected; assisting with the deployment of the new NJCSI laptops; collaborating with the IT Director of SSW on a documented security policy; working on policy for encrypting laptops and portable storage devices to keep data safe in the event of theft or loss of equipment; and working on phase 2 of the NJCSI phone system upgrade. 


Wade Cardinal and Doug Richardson have been working closely with the State IT department to replace 180 laptops across all three NJCSI training sites to comply with new requirements for running State database systems. Wade is leading the efforts to configure and deploy all of the new laptops by December. 


The second floor renovations for NJCSI’s technology suite at the Princeton site have been completed. The suite includes staff space for the technology design and editing teams, a recording studio for video and audio production, and an editing room. 


The National Child Support Enforcement Association (NCSEA) has requested additional collaboration with NJCSI and the following staff have been invited to participate on NCSEA committees: 

NCSEA Professional Development – develops and delivers training through webinars and conferences throughout the year: 

Web-Talks – Sue Bhuyan and Victoria Gerstorfer 

Policy Forum – Eileen Kelly O’Brien and Yolanda Glover 

Leadership Symposium - Alex Figueroa and Tony Mack 

NCSEA U – Mia Sena 


NCSEA Communications – this committee is interested in soliciting, reviewing, editing and writing articles for the monthly members-only publication – The Child Support CommuniQue (CSQ). In addition to the CSQ, NCSEA is interested in expanding its use of social media and other communication channels. 

Communications Committee - Cathy Liapes and Lauren Davis 


Lisa Bender, Training Coordinator, has been appointed to serve on the 2016 Eastern Regional Interstate Child Support Association (ERICSA) Conference Planning Committee 


Danielle Francesconi has been appointed to the On-site Support Committee for the 53rd ERICSA conference scheduled for May 1-5, 2016 in Myrtle Beach, SC. Norma Ketter-Lisenby, Eileen Kelly-O’Brien, Yolanda Glover, and Robert Kafka have also been selected as conference presenters. 


Yolanda Glover and Eileen Kelly-O’Brien will represent NJCSI at the annual National Child Support Enforcement Association Policy Forum in Washington, D.C. in February 2016. 


Sue Bhuyan and Victoria Gerstorfer presented Reboot Your Delivery at the 21st Annual Online Learning Consortium International Conference in Orlando, FL from October 14-16. They examined similarities and differences between traditional and innovative delivery methods and explored how technology can be infused into education and training. 


On October 30, Mia Sena, Alex Figueroa, Deeanne Hackett, Cary Ang, Marian Pringle and Cathy Thompson-Fix met with the NJ Child Support Council to discuss preparation for this year’s NJ Child Support Conference, slated for March 2-4, 2016 at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City. Approximately 950 people from Child Support, Child Welfare, Probation, the Administrative Office of the Courts, Family Law Attorneys and other related agencies attend various training workshops pertaining to child support law and administration, customer service, soft skills and technical applications. The theme for this year’s event is “It Starts With Us!” and pertains to personal preparation as well as self-care to best serve our clients. 


  • •    New Jersey Child Welfare Training Partnership(NJCWTP)


Tess McCutcheon has assumed leadership if IFF’s new Office of Child Welfare Workforce Advancement, which will house our suite of training, consultation and professional development programs for child-serving professionals, including the NJCWTP. Tiffany Riccardelli and Toni-Ann Capece have begun as NJCWTP’s new Program Coordinators, and welcomed Work Study students Samantha Nunez and Lorraine Godinez to the office. 


NJCWTP released it FY15 Year End Report, with the following highlights: NJCWTP conducted 1,296 days of training in FY15. A total of 2,464 days of training were coordinated by the Partnership with the DCF Office of Training and Professional Development (OTPD). During FY 2015, 47,197 duplicated participants attended trainings, which included 6,406 unique professionals. The Partnership saw an increase of 4,637 training days from FY14 to FY15.A total of 164 unique course titles were conducted in FY15 by the Partnership, an increase of 16 course titles from the previous FY.  More than 125 Spring elective classes and foundation classes are scheduled for new workers, and have met with OTPD to discuss redevelopment of training for new staff. 

The Partnership completed a FY16 Quarter 1 training report highlighting 167 classes that were delivered over 262.5 training days to 2,810 training seats. 


Led by Christine Allegra, the NJCWTP pre/posttest committee met to review and revise high stakes pre-posttests using input from curriculum writers and trainers with subject matter expertise. Tests reviewed in October included Safety Awareness for the Child Welfare Professional, Handling Vicarious Traumatization, First Responders in Child Welfare, and Child Sexual Abuse for Supervisors


Rutgers launched the pilot of a 5-day Child Sexual Abuse for Supervisors training, with 25 supervisors participating in Day On; revamped the PowerPoint template for Partnership trainings to include more eye-catching graphics and a modern feel; updated Safety Awareness for the Child Welfare Professional course materials to include important information and policy on the role of Human Services Police; and finalized updates to the 5-day Family Preservation Services New Worker Training

  • •    New Jersey Standards for Prevention Programs Training Grant


Led by Tess McCutcheon and Kerrie Ocasio, IFF administered a self-assessment survey to all programs contracted to provide prevention services funded through DCF’s Division of Family and Community Partnerships. The self-assessment is a measure of how agencies how been able to implement the Prevention Standards in their programming and practice with families and describe the strengths and challenges they have experienced. Results will serve as the basis for updates to the training curriculum and emphasis of spring training content for courses delivered to both program professionals and participating parents. 

  • •    Research and Evaluation


ORE staff, along with researchers from New York University and Columbia University, hosted a day-long Superstorm Sandy Shared Learning Collaborative with the NJ Department of Children and Families that focused on the agency's response to the storm and included presentations and interactive sessions for approximately 200 participants. 


The New Jersey Coordination for Child Abuse and Neglect Forensic Evaluation and Treatment will hold its kick-off summit on March 16, 2016, which will include presentation of findings from our Forensic Evaluation Utilization Study, presentations by national experts and an orientation to state standards. 


Kerrie Ocasio recently completed a research report on the state's Family Success Centers for the NJ Department of Children and Families, which identified positive outcomes for residents who utilize the centers. 


Joseph Gallo, Han Le, Terri Fox, Natalie Aloyets-Artel, and Donna Van Alst contributed to the Ryan White 

Part A grant application which provides $2.7 million for HIV-related services in Middlesex, Somerset, and Hunterdon counties. 


Terri Fox presented on a webinar entitled “Drilling Down the Data” that provided ‘how to’ guidance on a method for identifying barriers preventing Viral Load suppression for people living with HIV for the state collaborative workgroups of Ohio, Missouri, Arkansas, and Mississippi, partners at the HIV/AIDS Bureau, and the National Quality Center. Her preliminary analysis showed that private insurance (rather than Medicaid, Medicare, or No Insurance) and unstable housing predict the highest viral loads in people who are not virally suppressed. 


Terri Fox facilitated the creation of a Ryan White Transdisciplinary Code of Ethics between consumers and case managers to reinforce and support collaboration across Ryan White service providers. Joseph Gallo, Stephanie Lupinacci, Han Le and Pam Simone contributed content to the final document, which will be presented to federal partners at the HIV/AIDS Bureau. 


Pam Simone has begun work on the Ryan White Needs Assessment and will be identifying service gaps for people living with HIV and those who are at-risk. 


Svetlana Shpiegel and Kerrie Ocasio had an article published this month in Children and Youth Services Review regarding aging out foster youth using NYTD and AFCARS data – 


Shpiegel, S. & Ocasio, K. (2015). Functioning patterns among older adolescents in foster care: Results from a cluster analysis. Children and Youth Services Review, 58, 227-235. 

  • •    Statewide Youth Advisory Boards (SYAB) 


SYAB held their Fall Statewide Networking Meeting in early November. A representative from each of the 15 local Youth Advisory Boards (YAB) sat down with staff from the NJ DCF’s Office of Adolescent Services to share their concerns about the lack of housing supports for youth who have aged out of the child welfare system. The conversation marked an important moment for youth leaders to hear from our youth about these important concerns. 

Local YAB’s continue to conduct ongoing community service and enrichment events, most recently participating in a Beach Sweep clean up, making crafts with senior citizens and helping out at a soup kitchen. 

  • •    Transition for Youth (TFY)

Donald and Penny Pray collected 89 winter coats and fleece jackets, as well as a number of hats, scarves and gloves for the Winter Coat Drive. The Prays made a generous donation for the Holiday Gift Card drive for youth.


Rutgers Champions Advisory Board meeting was held on October 23, bringing together representatives from various units at Rutgers and other stakeholders to discuss and work to address the needs of youth participating in our programs. We seek to create campus and local “champions” who will advocate on behalf of TFI youth with critical needs such as housing, financial aid, food assistance and school supplies. The Board is also working to identify internship opportunities for seniors participating in TFY youth programs.  They are working to 

establish similar Boards on both the Newark and Camden campuses and hope it becomes a model for working with other colleges and universities that have our youth on their campuses. 


Project MYSELF works with almost 400 college -age youth throughout NJ and the US who have been involved in the child welfare system to help them graduate and successfully transition into adulthood. Staff held 7 Fall Orientations throughout the state to educate youth about the program, and meet our support coaches and NJ Foster Scholarship staff. 


Adam Staats and Chinaza Okonkwo presented a workshop at the University of New Mexico’s 2015 Mentoring Conference on PMConnect: Keeping College-Enrolled Foster Youth Connected to Supports in the 21st Century created to link  Project MYSELF students with supports on campus and in their communities. PMConnect will give  support coaches and students the ability to track and manage helpful resources on campus—such as financial aid, residence life, academic advisement, tutoring, health services, student organizations—and will help them meet and stay connected with supportive adults (such as faculty/staff, mentors, advisors and counselors) and peer leaders. PMConnect will also assist Project MYSELF administrators in referring students to necessary support services in times of high need or crisis, and will be launched during the 2015/2016 academic year. 


Kerrie Ocasio and MSW students lent their research and evaluation expertise to TFY and Price to create an on-line freshman survey for our college students. The tool will enable staff to collect demographic, educational and social information to assess student strengths and needs and establish working goals. Data gathered from the survey will eventually be used for research and evaluative purposes to further develop our programs and outcomes. Efforts are also underway to create a survey tool to help TFY staff follow up with our college graduates. 


Price Family Fellows Program (PFF) hosted its first Leadership Academy meeting this month. The Leadership Academy allows 4 Price upperclassmen the opportunity to facilitate program workshops, develop community service projects, and assist with recruitment and outreach efforts for the program. The Leadership Academy will also provide trainings on leadership skills, networking, and other professional development tools. The youth who participate in this opportunity also receive an additional stipend at the end of the academic semester. 


Rachel Ludeke created two workshops for the PFF focusing on emotional resiliency and stress management, and organized a social dinner for all participants where they took the opportunity to connect with one another about their shared experiences. 


PFF Successes: One Fellow recently had fees associated with a green card renewal waived due to program coordinator’s advocacy, and will receive her green card early next year. Another Fellow successfully completed her entrance examination for the National Guard; she will attend basic training in summer 2016 and become a fully commissioned officer upon her graduation in May 2017. Another Fellow was offered a part-time position with RU Student Access and Educational Equity program, and will be working to examine the needs of black men in foster care who attend Rutgers University. 


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