The Center provides quality evaluations and follow-up mental health services to children and families. Diagnostic testing is conducted using properly trained and credentialed professionals, who will utilize assessment instruments that are recognized as standards for such evaluations.
The Center has always emphasized the safety of children and the critical importance of developing the most appropriate and comprehensive child protection plan possible for each child.
It provides and coordinate a variety of services as well as staff consultations and follow-up treatment to ensure the safety and achieve the permanency goals for children.
The Center performs assessments and provided mental health services to at-risk families and juveniles. DCP&P and the Superior Court have come to rely on and trust the quality of the Center’s work.
The service model of CEC is consistent with the DCF Case Practice Model in that family engagement is a core strategy in all our programs. Our team understands that the “family” being liberally interpreted to include all the significant players in the life of each child. That extended family is a key to successful intervention, child protection, and family preservation.
As experts, the Center is familiar with the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) and we tailor our efforts to meet the time frames as required by the ASFA.
The Forensic Evaluation is a comprehensive psychological evaluation. Forensic evaluations address multiple potential risk issues such as mental illness, domestic violence, substance abuse, sexuality, attachment/bonding, all forms of child abuse and neglect, and may include an examination of specific events within the context of the referral.
Individual assessments will be conducted for all members of a referred family unit. For children, the clinician examines a range of issues, such as the impact of child abuse, as well as assessing the current functioning of each affected child. The Center’s specialization in the forensic assessment of child abuse and neglect ensures that child safety will be prioritized and risk will be accurately and thoroughly assessed. In addition to clinical interviews and psychological testing, the evaluation includes a careful examination of the background material as it relates to risk and parental competency.
The Bonding Evaluation helps determine the depth and security of the attachment between a child and her/his caregiver and/or birth parent, allowing this to be used when considering a permanent plan for the child. It is a psychological evaluation that uses standardized evaluation tools that assess the nature of the bond between biological/foster/adoptive parents, relatives, and children. It compares and contrasts attachments and relationships, and assesses how they impact the child. The evaluation also predicts how the child would adjust to separation from a caregiver and/or reunification with a parent(s). The evaluation would address the best interests of the child and would include a projection of any potential serious and enduring harm to the child(ren) in the event of a permanent separation from the birth family or current caregiver(s). This study also addresses each parent’s capacity to understand and help the child(ren)’s feelings of separation and loss. It addresses the strengths of the foster/adoptive parent(s) and recommends appropriate services to enhance the viability of a successful adoption when reunification with the birth family is not feasible.
INDIVIDUAL, COUPLES, AND FAMILY THERAPY
The Center provides a full range of individual, family, and couples therapy for children and adults. It has experience with working in various issues affecting people today, such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse, stress management, and adjustment difficulties. Some insurance plans are accepted.
Anger Management Group
CEC has a 10-week program that provides education and therapeutic services to those struggling with managing their anger. This program will consist of 10 topic-guided group sessions, such as coping skills, feelings identification, positive communication, conflict resolution, and relaxation techniques. The group meets once per week, for 60 minutes, and is facilitated by CEC staff using a group counseling model. Education and personal growth are facilitated through group feedback, facilitator feedback, and homework. Each group will be therapeutic while using psychoeducational techniques.
CHILD MALTREATMENT PROGRAM
The Center provides mental health services, including evaluations, therapeutic supervised visitation, and therapy, to at-risk families involved with the court and/or the Division of Child Protection & Permanency (DCP&P), which relies on and trust the quality of CEC’s services. The Center’s service model is consistent with the DCF (Division of Children and Families) Case Practice Model, which emphasizes family engagement is a core strategy in all of our programs. In addition, The Center is familiar with the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) and its recommended timeframes.
For children, the focus is the healing process. For parents, the therapeutic emphasis is on decreasing risk and improving parenting skills.
Therapeutic Supervised Parenting Program (TSPP)
In this program, weekly parent-child visits are provided for parents whose children are separated from them. Following the parent/child visit, a therapeutic parenting session is conducted to enhance parenting skills and reduce future risk to the child. Families are often referred through Family Court.
COMPREHENSIVE ADOLESCENT PROGRAM (CAP)
This program was developed as a joint endeavor between CEC and the Youth Services Commission with grant funding provided by the New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission (JJC). CAP offers community-based case management, individual and group psychoeducational services to high risk juveniles and their families involved with the Superior Court, Family Division, Family Crisis Intervention Unit (FCIU), Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P), Caring Partners (CMO), or other community service providers.
CAP provides adolescents with a combination of case management and community-based rehabilitative services to prevent their involvement/re-involvement with juvenile court and/or the detention center. This program offers individual psychoeducation and six psychoeducational groups including: Positive Decision Making, Healthy Choices, Coping Skills, Conflict Resolution, Job Skills, and Life Skills. Program case managers provide comprehensive services including devising individual case plans and providing family support. CAP also provides supervised community service for adolescents to complete court-ordered community service hours on site. Community referrals are welcome.