Message from NASW-NJ Associate Executive Director Mary Jean Weston

NASW-NJ Shares Safety Guidelines Following Attack on Social Worker in Camden

On Monday, Leah R. Coleman, 29, a caseworker with the New Jersey Department of Children and Families, was stabbed repeatedly at her workplace in Camden. At this time, Coleman has undergone surgery and remains in the hospital. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her for a full recovery from this brutal attack.

Social workers provide services in an increasingly complex, dynamic social environment and have a broadening client base. These social and economic changes have created pressures in social work practice settings that work to meet the needs of people desperate for help.

NASW has established Safety Guidelines for the profession that may be a helpful resource to communities; private and public agencies; and local, state, and federal policymakers invested in creating a safer work environment for social workers. We also encourage and promote ongoing safety training for social workers.

While social workers are at an increased risk for workplace violence than the general public, it must be remembered that most of the people they serve, including those with mental health concerns, are not violent. In fact, they are more likely to be victims of violence than the perpetrators of it. What is clear, however, is that the social work profession must continue to press for safeguards against potential violence, and an increased public awareness of the vital work social workers do for the most vulnerable in our society.

Mary Jean Weston
NASW-NJ Associate Executive Director

Camden County Youth Service Commission Data

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The Camden County Youth Service Commission is pleased to share updated data on youth in Camden County. Please see the link below. The commission highly suggests to use the data in the 2015 CCYSC/JJC Request for Proposals submissions. If you have any questions please contact Rosy Arroyo, YSC Administrator

Camden County Youth Service Commission Data

RSVP Senior Corps

senior_corps_rsvp_logoOn Thursday, August 14, 2014, the Camden County Senior Day Center located in Blackwood, NJ, hosted a grand celebration in honor of Ms. Geneva Wilson who celebrated her 100th birthday! Ms. Wilson was presented with a host of lovely gifts from the Senior Day Center staff, participants, and RSVP.

Also in attendance was the RSVP Volunteer Coordinator, Terryama Davis, who presented Ms. Wilson with a beautiful birthday cake, donated and prepared by Lourdes Vasquez of the Camden County Chapter of Birthday Cakes 4 Free, along with a Certificate of Appreciation in recognition of her continued volunteer service and commitment to her community.

A great time was had by all who attended, especially Ms. Wilson.


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On Friday, August 15, 2014, Camden County RSVP volunteer Stephany Tate-Yancey conducted a Chair Yoga and Chair Zumba class at Bentley Senior Living, located in Pennsauken, NJ.  15 residents participated, as well as the RSVP Volunteer Coordinator, Terryama Davis. The residents really got involved and had a great time dancing in their chairs to music.

Stephany, a retired heath teacher, is actively involved in several health initiatives at RSVP and CPAC. The volunteers are encouraged to share their expertise and skills with other volunteers as well as partner organizations.

We are very proud of the work that our volunteers do and it is wonderful to see them sharing their skills and expertise with the community.


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CPAC Partners with Rutger’s University Summer Housing Internship Program

Community Planning and Advocacy Council partnered with Rutgers University for the Summer Housing and Internship Program (SHIP).  The Summer Housing and Internship Program (SHIP) is a twelve-week program from May/early June to August that offers an alternative to recipients of the New Jersey Foster Care (NJFC) scholarship who lack the financial, family and social connections to secure safe and stable housing during the summer months. 40 New Jersey Foster Scholars are given the opportunity to receive quality housing and paid internship positions throughout the summer months. SHIP also offers a 3-credit course, counseling, weekly workshops, and recreational activities.

Aasim Johnson from Brookdale County College and Samantha Villagran from Rutgers Camden University were welcomed to the CPAC family in early June. Aasim and Samantha assisted in the Camden County Youth Service Commission, Camden County Youth Volunteer Corps, Point in Time, as well as attending Hill Day with Monarch Housing lobbying in Washington, D.C. for ‘Homes for the Homeless’.  They completed their internship the beginning of August.

We would like to thank Rutgers University for the opportunity to partner in this great program.  Also thank our interns Aasim Johnson and Samantha Villagran for their hard work, dedication, and spirit. It was not only a learning experience for our interns, but for CPAC staff as well.  Congratulations on graduating from the program.


Please watch Aasim Johnson reflect on his experience as a Rutgers’ SHIP Scholar:


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“Ban the Box” Legislation Signed into Law

cpac-log-tag“Ban the Box” Legislation Signed Into Law

Earlier this week, Governor Christie signed S-2124/A-1999 (Cunningham/Watson Coleman) into law. Known as the “Ban the Box” legislation, this new law will establish certain employment rights for persons with criminal histories by regulating employers’ use of background checks.

The bill went through several revisions to make it more workable for employers. Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey (CCSNJ) participated in discussions and was part of a coalition of business organizations that opposed the bill and eventually sought changes. We are pleased that the version agreed upon by the bill’s sponsors and signed by Governor Christie is less onerous to employers than previous versions. For example, this new law exempts businesses with fewer than 15 employees and includes protections for employers that choose not to hire a candidate with a criminal history.

Although still not supportive of the measure, the CCSNJ appreciates the willingness of the sponsors to be flexible and open to the concerns of the business community. This law takes effect on March 1, 2015.

CPAC Host’s The Washington Fellows for Young African Leaders Initiative

Community Planning and Advocacy Council (CPAC) hosted, 25 young professionals representing 20 countries throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, Friday, June 27, 2014 as The Washington Fellows for Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI).

Rutgers University is participating in the Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI)—a high priority for President Barack Obama. Rutgers is hosting a six-week Institute on Civic Leadership. The YALI participants range in age from 25-35 with diverse professional and academic backgrounds. The Civic Leadership Institute will explore civic leadership in the United States and enhance participants’ skills in areas such as civic engagement, community building, nonprofit management, political organizing, and volunteerism.

While visiting CPAC, the fellows had the opportunity to learn about Camden County and Camden City providing a focus on leadership development, community development, parent advocacy, and cultural enrichment. Representatives such as, Gino Lewis of Camden County Improvement Authority, Lisa Cerny of Gloucester County Dept. of Human Services, and June Morton, City of Camden, Division of Planning on a panel to discuss the present and future plans of community development in Camden County and Camden City and Regionally on behalf of the Southern New Jersey Homeless Continuum of Care currently serving Camden, Gloucester and Cumberland Counties.

After an engaging and interactive panel discussion, Diana Cooper, Acting President/CEO of CPAC gave the fellows a tour of Camden City prior to Mayor Dana Redd and Camden County Freeholder Scott McCray receiving the tour bus of fellows at the City Council Chambers.

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CPAC would like to thank all representatives of Camden County and Camden City, especially Mayor Dana Redd and Freeholder Scott McCray in hosting our YALI guests. Also thank you Rutgers University in this historical collaboration. To the YALI Fellows, the passion, dedication, and drive that was exuded this day not only inspired us, but reinforced the saying “It takes a village to raise a child.” not only locally, but now, internationally.

2014 Super Summer Directory – English & Spanish Versions

SSD SunPlease see the below links for both the English & Spanish version of the Super Summer Directory.

English Version

Spanish Version

CPAC announces the release of the 2014 Super Summer Directory

cAre you looking for things to do for youth in Camden County this summer? If so, keep reading…

The Community Planning & Advocacy Council (CPAC) on behalf of the Camden County Covenant for Children, Youth and Families is proud to present the 2014 Super Summer Directory now available online at the CPAC website.

Click Here for the 2014 Super Summer Directory.

Thank you to the Camden County Covenant for Children, Youth and Families agencies, contributing providers and programs, volunteers and CPAC staff for their collaborative efforts in making the sixth annual Super Summer Directory the most informative one yet. Your efforts celebrate the youth of Camden County and aim to make a powerful and positive difference in the lives of our children and families.

Enjoy your summer!

cpac-log-tagSSD Sun

2014 State of Homeless in America report from NAEH

Please click belocpac logow for this report.

2014 State of Homelessness Report

Mental Health Awareness Month


CPAC Joins the NJ Department of Human Services, Division of Mental Health & Addictions Services (DMHAS) Trauma Informed Care Work Group in recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month.

This sheet is from the American Psychological Association (APA) and offers us guidance in our use of  language.




stig•ma:  1. sign of social unacceptability: the shame or disgrace attached to something regarded as socially unacceptable.  Stigma is a Greek word that in its origins referred to a type of marking or tattoo that was cut or burned into the skin of criminals, slaves, or traitors in order to visibly identify them as blemished or morally polluted persons. These individuals were to be avoided or shunned, particularly in public places.

Social stigma is the extreme disapproval of (or discontent with) a person or group on socially characteristic grounds that are perceived, and serve to distinguish them, from other members of a society.


Change begins with each one of us!


APA <—–Please Click



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