Care Plus New Jersey was recently awarded a five-year grant totaling $600,000 from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to expand its Community Treatment and Service Center from Bergen County to Passaic and Essex counties.
Building upon its current CTS Center framework in Bergen County, CarePlus NJ will continue to increase access to effective, evidence-based and culturally and linguistically appropriate trauma treatment and service systems for 900 youth ages 7-17 and their families in Bergen, Passaic and Essex counties who experience traumatic events.
CarePlus will increase access to effective evidence-based and trauma-focused treatment and services by screening 2,100 youth over the five-year period. Through the screening process, CarePlus will provide assessment, care management and evidence-based therapies to underserved and underresourced English- and Spanish-speaking children and adolescents who have experienced traumatic events.
Additionally, to improve the quality of trauma treatment and services for youth in these communities, 70 CarePlus clinicians and supervisors will undergo specialized training, in areas such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and the Attachment Regulation Competency framework.
CarePlus will serve as a community leader on youth trauma issues partnering with 125 youth-serving organizations through collaboration, coordination and sharing resources to help identify, support and connect youth to services.
Throughout the project period, the CTS team will conduct 250 hours of outreach and community education to help community partners understand trauma, its impact on youth development and available CarePlus resources as well as continue to offer trainings to help educate schools, child welfare, child protective services, juvenile justice, behavioral health, schools, grassroots entities, religious institutions and others to understand trauma, its impact on youth development and available resources.
“We must be proactive to combat the serious and ongoing crisis in children’s mental health,” Jen Velten, director of trauma services, said. “According to the 2022 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report, around 20% of children 3-17 in the United States have a mental, emotional, developmental or behavioral disorder. With this grant, we will increase access to effective, evidence-based and culturally and linguistically appropriate trauma treatment and services for English- and Spanish-speaking children and their families in Bergen, Passaic and Essex counties who need it.”