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Meet the Sussex County Education Partnership
Release Date: November 28, 2012

Meet the Sussex County Education Partnership

The Sussex County Youth Services Commission Education Partnership was created to bridge the gap between services offered through the New Jersey Division of Children's Behavioral Health Services (recently renamed the Children's System of Care) and the local school districts. School staff members can sometimes find themselves at a loss to know where to get help for families struggling with behavioral issues that require more assistance than the schools can offer. The State offers a comprehensive range of behavioral health services, but schools and other social service agencies are not always aware of the assistance available or how to access these services.

The Education Partnership is a subcommittee of the Youth Services Commission and consists of all the State mandated children's system of care partners along with a number of other service agencies and representatives from several Sussex County school districts.

The goal of the Partnership is to work with the schools, families, and provider agencies to keep children in their homes, in their own school districts and out of trouble.

These goals are achieved in a number of ways. One is by making presentations about the Children's System of Care to schools. The committee has made presentations to teachers, guidance counselors and to child study teams over the last several years. Because of the many systemic changes that have been taking place in the Children's System of Care, the committee has also been making numerous presentations to service agencies throughout Sussex County to help them understand the system of care for themselves and for their clients.

Another way the Partnership achieves its goals is by sending teams out to schools to work on specific behavioral problems. The schools are encouraged to present a hypothetical case that presents a behavioral challenge to the school and/or a family, and the Partnership team will brain-storm with teachers and counselors on ways to address the behavior.

The Education Partnership works to help schools and parents identify behavioral changes when they first appear, so they can be addressed before they escalate and become major problems. The message to schools, parents and agencies is that if you see changes in a child's behavior; act immediately because help is available. All services are free and voluntary.

A parent who wants to access these services must first make a call to PerformCare, which is the gateway to the Children's System of Care. They will do an assessment and contact the partner agency that will best meet the need. Parents who want help to address their child's behavior should call 1-877-652-7624 and tell the worker that they are concerned about changes in their child's behavior. It does not have to be an emergency situation, just a matter of concern.

To arrange for a presentation from the Education Partnership or for more information about either the Partnership or the Children's System of Care, contact Barbara Miller at (973) 948-6000 x1380 or bmiller@sussex.nj.us or visit the Education Partnership website.

 






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