CarePlus InsideLIne
 January 2016 - "I think in terms of the day's resolutions, not the years." ~Henry Moore 
With the new year, we are reminded of new possibilities.
Let this be a year of unthinkable innovation and miraculous transformation.
It is our hope that 2016 will illuminate the hearts and minds
of those individuals and their families who are affected by mental illness.

Thank you for all that you do to contribute to 
The Power to Change a Lifetime.

Cross-Cultural Competence Skills for Professionals in Social Service Fields
5 Clinical/Ethics/Social
and Cultural Competence CEUs

February 8 - 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Register Here

Evolving Diagnostic Changes with
Autism and Early Diagnosis
2 Clinical CEUs 
March 10, 2016 - 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Register Here

The Art of Conscious Parenting:
Bringing Mindfulness to Families
2.75 CEUs pending 
April 1, 2016 - 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Special Staff Discount - Register Here 
The Art of Conscious Parenting: Bringing Mindfulness to Families 
We are proud to announce the details of the 2016 Annual Conference for Children, on Friday, April 1 from 8 am - 1 pm featuring special guest speaker Dr. Shefali Tsabary, Clinical Psychologist, Author and International Speaker.

The relationships between adults and children are often clouded by the adult's own childhood trauma and negative experience. In order to increase effective communication, strengthen relationships and support positive behavior in children, adults will benefit from learning mindfulness-based strategies and
techniques. By doing so, children will gain a better sense of self, take responsibility for any negative behavior and learn positive self-regulation through the presence and modeling of adults with whom they have formed secure attachments.

Click here for special staff pricing! 

CarePlus @ #NatCon2016
Kathy Bianco to Present in Vegas

This year at the National Conference for the National Council for Behavioral Health our own Kathy Bianco, VP of Clinical Services, will be presenting with Dina Melendez of Health Republic Insurance of New Jersey.

The presentation, entitled "Payment Reform at the Health Plan/Provider Interface: Innovative Contracting Arrangements" will touch on the CarePlus Behavioral Health Home, the Health Management Solutions team, and the CarePlus vision to extend these integrated behavioral health services to populations outside of Medicaid recipients in an adequate and effective manner.

Stay tuned for more on this over the next two months!
Parent Café in Fair Lawn
Connecting CarePlus Families

On February 11 the CarePlus Children and Families Services building will host a Parent Café for the Bergen County Council for Young Children. This is a great chance for you to learn more about the program, and connect the families that you work with to this opportunity to advocate for their children. You can find more information about the BCCYC on Facebook, or read our two articles about the Kick Off Party and a recent Parent Café.
2016 Foundation Events
April 1st
The 2016 Annual Youth Conference
at Bergen Community College
featuring special guest speaker Dr. Shefali,
"The Art Conscious Parenting: Bringing Mindfulness To Families"
June 8th
18th Annual Courage Awards Gala
at the Venetian in Garfield
September 26th
5th Annual Golfers Give Back
Charity Golf Outing at White Beeches
Golf & Country Club in Haworth
Our next Gala meeting will be held on February 9th at 6pm in the Board Room
Your support is helpful and valued. 
Contact Alexis for more information.
Special Thanks from Kris
We want to recognize Giesel Girona, Tikesha Colon and their staff that run the To Work Case Management and SAIF program. These programs supply valuable intensive case management services  and  job hunting assistance to individuals on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)  and General Assistance (GA) benefits.

In December, the Division of Family Development (DFD) conducted a site visit of the SAIF program and found the program to be in compliance with all the standards established by DFD.  That same week,  the Bergen County Workforce Investment Board conducted a program review to ensure compliance with the Work First New Jersey System.

The following statistics demonstrate the dedication our staff has to their important work in the TANF & GA/FS programs:

39% of TANF clients employed
9% of GA clients employed

2015-2016 (to 12/09/15)
65% of TANF clients employed
18% of GA clients employed

Great job, team!
Employee Assistance Program

Did you know that you have access to resources pertaining to everyday life right at your fingertips?  Get educated on what is available to you through the CarePlus EAP. With this Employee Assistance Program, you will have access to information and resources for family, health, money and much more.   

This EAP also features free Webinars, a monthly newsletter and tips for daily living.   
Be sure to explore the website: 
Login: CPNJ Password: 123  
Webinar of the Month 
"Keeping Your Love Alive"
Available On Demand
Starting 12pm Eastern Time 

Learn the 10 relationship essentials, how to cope with challenges and conflict, and how to balance communication styles while keeping your relationship fresh.

If you have any questions, please contact Susan Bell in the Human Resources Department at or call 201-843-5218, extension 5211.

Bergen County Council for Young Children Helps Families Understand and Connect with Local Resources
Families gathered in the Meadowlands Family Success Center in Little Ferry on Monday, January 11 for the first Bergen County Council for Young Children (BCCYC) Parent Café of 2016. Participants and their children were welcomed with a warm meal and introduced to an abundance of community resources.

The BCCYC is a grant-funded program run by CarePlus Project Coordinator Jenn Loaiza and children and family health and wellness community partners. The Parent Café events held by the BCCYC provide a way for parents and caretakers to come together and begin to address their needs and concerns for raising children in various Bergen County communities.

During the event, the Project Coordinator asked three questions related to the needs and challenges of raising children in the community. Parents and caretakers participated in round table discussions, which also acted as an interactive problem solving experience of identifying the need and connecting resources for immediate satisfaction.

The feedback received during these events is used to improve the programs and services available in the community.

"One participant was a single mother who arrived that evening having very little support or community connection," explained Jennifer Loaiza. "By the time the event was over she was able to leave with all the information she needed to connect with three different supportive resources that she was eligible for. Those type of moments are really what this program is all about. It is incredibly rewarding to assist these families."

Participants are asked to form new groups for each question, and a representative from one of the BCCYC community partners is present to scribe each discussion. After all three questions have been answered, each of the scribes share what came up for each group. This allows for the participants to begin to connect over common needs, share successes, and learn about new resources.
(Left to Right) CarePlus Project Coordinator, Jennifer Loaiza with Meadowlands Family Success Center staff, Fabricio Salas, Keila Medina, and Mary Elizabeth Fulco.

Staff from the Meadowlands Family Success Center provided activities and childcare while adult participants engaged in conversation. The BCCYC also provides hot meals catered by Friendship House during these events. Families are encouraged to fill up containers with the remaining food before leaving, often enough to feed their children for another meal or two.

Representatives from CarePlus, The Arc of Bergen and Passaic Counties, the Bergen County Office for Children, the Family Support Organization of Bergen County, the Partnership for Maternal and Child Health of Northern NJ, and The Center for Hope and Safety were present to provide insight and create connections for participants.

"The variety of community partners is not always the same for each Parent Café," commented Loaiza. "However each representative that has taken part has added an invaluable asset with their understanding of needs in the community and their knowledge of available resources."

Other community partners that have been involved with the BCCYC include Bergen County Division of Mental Health, Bergen Family Center, Advocates for Children of NJ, CAPE Resource Center - Bergen County Special Services School District, YWCA Bergen County, Special Child Health Services - Early Intervention, Healthy Families - TIP Bergen, Children's Aid and Family Services - Turrell Child Care Center and Baby Basics, and Englewood Family Success Center - HIPPY.

There are three upcoming Parent Cafés scheduled: February 11th from 6-8 pm at the CarePlus Children and Family Services building in Fair Lawn; February 24th from 5-7 pm at the The Turrell Childcare and Early Learning Center in Paramus; and March 2nd from 6-8 pm at the Bergen Family Center in Englewood. The BCCYC is expecting to schedule four more Parent Cafés through June and will begin to form subcommittees to take participant involvement to the next level.

The group is actively seeking organizations interested in getting involved to expand the network of community partners and continue to create important connections for families. For more information on becoming a community partner, to participate, provide resources, or organize a future Parent Café, contact Jennifer Loaiza by phone at 201-265-8200 ext. 5286, or by email at

The CarePlus Client Cloud Helps Manage Care,
Increase Health Literacy, and Alleviate Feelings of Isolation

In 2015, CarePlus was selected for a competitive grant opportunity through the Cardinal Health Foundation to fund the CarePlus Client Cloud project, which in its early stages has already produced positive outcomes for participants. The organization is seeking to expand the reach of this project so that more individuals can benefit from the use of technology in behavioral healthcare.

The grant, which was awarded in March 2015, provided funding for the purchase, distribution, and utilization of tablets and Smart Boards for select individuals enrolled in CarePlus' Partial Care or Behavioral Health Home services. CarePlus then created the "Client Cloud", a simple webpage which allows participants to easily navigate to a number of resources, including their electronic health records, health tracking tools, educational materials, and general articles on mind and body wellness.

The vision for the Client Cloud project is for all individuals enrolled in intensive services at CarePlus to have access to technology tools and digital resources, allowing them to take a more active role in their health management. These resources also help the organization to attain important care management goals such as decreasing excessive and avoidable Emergency Room hospitalization and ambulatory costs, creating successful outcomes, as well as new levels of engagement and participation in wellness programs.

Project Coordinator, Jessica Costa, teaching how to use Google during the "Technology for Wellness" group.
In addition to the acquisition of tools, the project also includes an educational group - the "Technology for Wellness" group - that teaches the individuals how to use the devices. In a baseline assessment, it was determined that 67% of the group had never used a tablet, and that 22% had used technology to monitor health conditions. The follow-up evaluation showed that 100% of the group had used tablets to monitor their health conditions.

"We started from a place where many participants did not know how to turn on the tablet," explained Jessica Costa, Client Cloud Project Coordinator and Program Director for Partial Care Services at CarePlus. "By teaching participants to use the technology in an interactive group setting, we have created a strong foundation to build on."

"It's taken me a while to absorb because I'm not very technical," stated one participant who is enrolled in CarePlus Partial Care Services and attends the Technology for Wellness group. "It's a good challenge, and it's becoming easier as I learn and practice."

CarePlus has applied for more grant funding from the Cardinal Health Foundation to increase the number of participants from 30 to 75 in 2016. If received, the funding will be used to cover many one-time costs for the project, such as acquiring additional Smart Boards and tablets, expanding wireless connections, as well as promoting video conferencing with medical professionals and social support networks to decrease feelings and experiences of isolation.

"I want to learn how to Skype because I have friends that I speak with on the phone," continued the participant. "I would like to see them while we are talking."

A review of device search history revealed topics of interest including mental and physical health, nutrition and healthy eating, current events, and employment. The most frequent use appeared to be for entertainment, which follow-up interviews established were often searches for music. Participants noted that listening to music on the tablets provided motivation during physical activities, such as working out at the CarePlus on-site gym.

The CarePlus Foundation has also granted CarePlus the funding to invest in the myStrength application for the Client Cloud project. This digitally driven mobile application is designed to create an online learning environment that provides more behavioral health resources and the necessary tools for a lasting change. The program can be personalized for each participant so that every individual is able to focus on total well-being, addressing unique interests and challenges.

"In conjunction with the tools available through myStrength, we are confident that the Client Cloud project is equipped to engage participants and create sustainable outcomes," Costa affirmed. "We believe that this innovation is a huge step in the right direction for behavioral healthcare."

These tools give participants the opportunity to improve decision making and medication adherence, while increasing confidence, health literacy, and self-advocacy. Moving forward, CarePlus intends to implement more tools, enroll more participants, collect additional data, and continue to share the findings and outcomes of the project.

Do YOU have a story to share? If you have a story, update, announcement, photos to share here, on Facebook, or on the website send it to the ACE team and we will work to get it out to staff and friends of CarePlus.
Program Marketing 
It is important staff to familiarize themselves with the variety of program and services offered through CarePlus so that we can make appropriate referrals for those in need. For that reason, we are working on streamlining information and materials so that they are more easily accessible.

This involves appropriately updated Program Fact Sheets, comprehensive marketing folders, social media spotlights, and up to date information on the CarePlus website.

A new folder has been added to the M Drive so that staff can quickly access Program Information Sheets. These Fact Sheets can be found in the first folder in 999 General titled _FactSheets.  

If you need any materials created, revised, or printed for your program or presentations you will need to utilize the electronic request form. This new system is being used to ensure timely and effective completion of projects.   


You may have noticed recent Facebook posts highlighting some of our services. This is the part of our effort to market each of our programs to the community.


If you would like to put your team, group or program in the spotlight, contact the ACE team to make arrangements.


 You can also send positive reviews and feedback for coworkers and clients that go above and beyond. If you have anything you would like to submit for the InsideLine, email your story and  information to Caitlyn Yerves.

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What is STIGMA?

Posters and flyers are available to print from our website. Be sure to download it and share it with staff and clients! 

Obligatory disclaimer ("the gray area"): This newsletter is compiled by humans, and you know how humans are: we make occasional mistakes - not too many, but they do happen. Please do not consider a rush in judgment. We - "the humans" - apologize in advance for any omissions, inaccuracies, misspellings, and flagrant discombobulations. Should you desire to suggest a correction or addition, please email Caitlyn.

You can even just email if you'd like to say you do (or do not) like the Inside Line, however no cursing or inflammatory remarks, please, as we are humans.