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October 2008Vol. 9, No. 8News From Region 2

This is the first in a series of occasional articles highlighting the work and achievements of one of the Regions.

Region 2 reports news this month from New York, New Jersey, and Puerto Rico.

New York: Bridges to Health

New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) submitted three Home and Community Based Medicaid Waivers to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services in April 2007 and received approval for Bridges to Health (B2H), with a 3-year phase-in that started in January 2008. The three waivers have been implemented as a single program to serve children in foster care with serious emotional disturbances, developmental disabilities, and medical fragility. Each waiver addresses a subset of children and youth in foster care, with B2H services following the children upon discharge from foster care.

OCFS and the New York State Department of Health are responsible for the operation and oversight of the B2H waivers. The B2H program was designed with considerable input from providers; local social services districts; clinicians; biological, foster, and adoptive parents; and children themselves. For more information, visit the B2H website:

New Jersey: Differential Response

The New Jersey Department of Children and Families (DCF) implemented its Differential Response pilot in four South Jersey counties (Camden, Cumberland, Gloucester, and Salem) and is being expanded to Middlesex and Union counties. The program is designed to allow access to support services to strengthen families and help prevent child abuse and neglect when children may be at risk. These efforts help to establish a more coordinated continuum of services for children and families.

The Division of Prevention and Community Partnership (DPCP) within DCF has assumed oversight of the Differential Response pilot. This placement of Differential Response under the DPCP umbrella provides DPCP an important component for the planned integration of primary and tertiary prevention services that will effectively strengthen families and keep them from entering the child protective services system. The sites are fully operational and are now responsive on a 24 hour/7 day basis, receiving referrals from the State Central Registry. A total of 442 families have been referred to the Differential Response programs.

For more information, please contact:

Puerto Rico: School for Healthy Living and Parenting Program

The School for Healthy Living and Parenting provides primary prevention educational services for Puerto Rico's adults, adolescents, and children to promote a culture of peace, nonviolent family and community relations, positive parenting skills, management of sexuality in youth, prevention of child abuse, and leadership development in the community. The program uses seven modules:

  1. Working for Family Peace workshops promote a culture of peace within the context of the community.
  2. "SIEMBRA" workshops for adults cover self-development, family communication, management of emotions, nonviolent discipline, and sexual education.
  3. The Strengthening Community Leaders module is designed to develop residents' commitment, group organization, and other leadership skills.
  4. Neighbors Working With Neighbors is a self-development course for adults that uses train-the-trainers, peer education, and intervention approaches.
  5. Prevention workshops for youth focus on identifying and controlling aggression and violence in the home, among young couples, and in the community.
  6. Sexuality Among Youth workshops cover factual information, attitudes, consequences, and decision-making for youth.
  7. Prevention of Child Abuse and Sexual Abuse is a module for children on self-identification of abuse, positive and negative touching, and what to do in situations of potential abuse or neglect.

For more information, contact: