CarePlus Shifts the Paradigm for Behavioral Health Services in Schools
Schools throughout Northern New Jersey have been contracting with Care Plus NJ, Inc. (“CarePlus”) to bring evidence-based curriculum and clinical support to address the needs of their students. The services have expanded to 16 districts, not including those that utilize CarePlus for crisis response and school clearances. After doubling clinical presence in schools throughout the region, leaders of the CarePlus School-Based Program are in the process of opening the Paradigm Therapeutic Day School (“Paradigm”) in July 2018.
As an extension of the mission of CarePlus, the Board of Trustees for the CarePlus Foundation approved a loan to cover the start-up costs for Paradigm. The school will serve students, who range in age from 14-21 years, who have been classified by their school districts as having behavioral and emotional disabilities. This includes the following characteristics: depression (mild to severe), ideation of suicide, attempted suicide, hospitalizations for clinical trauma, school refusal, substance abuse issues, and dual diagnosis.
“We are elated that the CarePlus Foundation is supporting us in turning the vision of Paradigm into a reality. Many students seeking an alternative have struggled for years with academic, social, and emotional challenges, giving them a sense of hopelessness in school,” explained Tara Augustine, COO at CarePlus and CEO for Paradigm. “We are responding to this growing need, to complete the continuum of care and best serve those students with significant mental, emotional and behavioral health issues.”
Administration is committed to transitioning students back to sending districts with the skills needed to be successful, which is achieved through close collaboration with district Child Study Teams. The goal is to establish a supportive and “learner-centered” environment that addresses the student’s entire academic, emotional, and life skills needs. By taking an integrated approach to their care, the program will generate sustainable behavioral growth based on the student’s intrinsic motivation to succeed.
“As a subsidiary of CarePlus, Paradigm has the added advantage to go above and beyond typical counseling standards,” stated Jeffery Kahn, Executive Director and Principal at Paradigm. “What we are doing is different from anything that is out there. “
Kahn went on to explain that the local school districts’ response to the state required “needs assessment” was overwhelming. The state required a minimum of 24 students referred by districts for the school to open, and Paradigm received 70. Kahn noted that this indicates significant need and support for the school, and such enthusiasm is a reflection of the respected reputation and reliability of CarePlus in the local communities.
The program and curriculum will be approved by the New Jersey Department of Education as a private school for students with emotional disabilities. Paradigm is in full compliance with the state’s regulations regarding transition planning, and is built to inspire and empower students to leverage their assets so they can develop and realize their career and post-secondary education potential.
Paradigm, shall adhere to its non-discrimination policy as to both students and its employees, which states:
As to Students
Paradigm admits students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admission policies and other school administered programs.
As to Employees
Paradigm is an equal opportunity employer. Paradigm will not discriminate and will take affirmative action measures to ensure against discrimination in employment, recruitment, advertisements for employment, compensation, termination, upgrading, promotions, and other conditions of employment against any employee or job applicant on the bases of race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, creed, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.