Summer 2015
In This Issue 

Dean's Corner
It's been a busy quarter at Bergen's Promise! 
The Bergen's Promise family continues to grow together.  As the number of children and families we serve increases, so do the number of our team members.  We've welcomed 22 new team members in this quarter!  Throughout all the growth, we continually strive to provide a total wellness approach to the care of our families. 
We continue to identify new providers that espouse our Wraparound approach to care, understand their value as a committed, proactive member of our Child and Family Teams.
Please remember that we work together for the benefit of our children and families.  We cross promote all of the wonderful family-oriented programs, groups, and events that you offer in Bergen County.  Please review the events calendar on our website and use the form below to submit your new programs/events or email them to for promotion through our Care Managers and our website.

Thank you for reading,

Dean Pastras, ACSW, LCSW
Executive Director

  What's New at Bergen's Promise?

Level of Service

We are currently serving 920  youth with  59 of those youth presently enrolled in Behavioral Health Home services as of 7/23/2015.

Elizabeth Manley, LSW, Division Director of the New Jersey Children's System of Care (CSOC) visited Bergen's Promise on May 22nd to share data, provide clarifications and encouragement to our team. 

Her informative presentation provided a comparison of the Bergen County Care Management Organization (CMO) to the other CMOs throughout the state in areas such as: census, length of involvement and in-home/out-of- home treatment.  She stressed the importance of in-community Wraparound planning and encouraged a system wide focus on youth who are out-of-home for more than twelve months.   We want to be sure that these youth have expectations, goals and a transition plan to return to the community. 


Ms. Manley also made a point in her presentation about the importance of maintaining the fidelity of the Wraparound language through the mindful reflection on language used in daily interactions with families and asking the same of our provider partners.  For example: 


Ms. Manley has been CSOC's division director since 2012 and was recently named Assistant Commissioner, NJ Department of Children and Families.  We congratulate her on this accomplishment! And we look forward to continued successes for the benefit of children and families.

The Behavioral Health Quality Improvement Fair is an annual event sponsored by Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care (UBHC) along with the Department of Children and Families, and the New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services. The Quality Improvement Fair was started in 2002 as an initiative within the former UMDNJ-UBHC to encourage innovation and improvement in mental healthcare. 

In 2010, it expanded to a statewide competition. Bergen's Promise Wellness at Work poster was selected from among 22 quality improvement projects submitted by mental and behavioral organizations throughout New Jersey. The purpose of the Wellness at Work project was to evaluate the efficacy of peer-driven workplace wellness activities and programming focused on holistic wellness through experiential learning. Click here to read a summary of the poster project.


Members of the Wellness Committee at Bergen's Promise encouraged their colleagues to take a break one afternoon to enjoy a taste test of refreshing, healthy smoothie options. There were four different kinds of smoothies available: Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Energizing Bunny, Pineapple Passion and Blue Slow Down. The recipe for each drink was displayed as well as nutrient information for each of the smoothie ingredients. A relaxing, tasty way to share some time with team members before the weekend!


Click here for the recipes to prepare one of these refreshing treats for your own taste test! 

For Families By FamiliesFamily
Introducing a new section in our newsletter dedicated to our sister agency, the Family Support Organization of Bergen County (FSOBC) 


There is something powerful about having families support families. The FSOBC employs staff that has 'been there' to work as Family Support Partners. FSO Family Support Partners provide one-to-one support, education and advocacy to families enrolled with Bergen's Promise.  

FSOBC Parent Partners work as full partners on your Child and Family Team offering a unique perspective gained from experiences with various systems and providers. FSOBC Parent Partners share in the development of strategies that may assist your family. We are here for you!

Here are some comments from families who have had the opportunity to have a Family Support Partner on their team: 

  • My Parent Support Partner is there just for me; and understands what I am going through, where I'm coming from, and my frustrations.
  • With my Partner's support, I learned to do things on my own; advocate for myself.
  • Someone is always there for me when I call.
  • I don't know where I'd be without my Family Support Partner.
  • My Family Support Partner informed me of programs, classes that I don't know about that can help me and my family.
  • My Family Support Partner showed me how to see my situation from a different perspective.
  • My Family Support Partner attended an Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting with me and my Care Manager and was absolutely phenomenal!  Her experience working with the school system allowed her to assist and provide significant suggestions on how to enhance my child's academic success.  I never had this type of support before and I am ever so grateful. 
The FSOBC's Fair Lawn office location provides a family friendly environment for families to come together for mutual support, education and sharing at our weekly groups.   FSOBC also provides various  educational programs.  Their recent newsletter lists upcoming groups and programs starting in the fall!

If you have a positive testament to share about working with your Family Support Partner, please email it to:  

Click here to learn more about the Family Support Organization of Bergen County.



Positive Story


Kent is an eighteen year old with an intellectual disability, weight issues and a lack of verbal communication. He tended to struggle with physical therapy and he was resistant to exiting the school bus upon arrival at destinations.


It took months to make an appointment with specialist such as a nutritionist and orthopedist. He had tremendous support through his family, however lacked a structured schedule and therefore filled his days playing Xbox.


Kent had a well formed Child and Family Team (CFT) that saw challenges as presenting an opportunity for a more holistic approach to care. The CFT decided that the integration of a Health/Wellness Educator would be a valuable addition to the team. The Health/Wellness Educator discovered he was willing to try different fruits and vegetables. The CFT also found value in his passion for Xbox, and the fact that he was a big Michael Jackson fan.


The Care Manager was able to link Kent and his family with intensive in-home services, respite and a Family Support Partner from the Bergen County Family Support Organization. The Health/Wellness Educator also worked with Kent and his family to establish some wellness goals. She helped the family learn some practical strategies for healthy eating like how to compare food labels to make healthier choices at the grocery store. It was also discovered that Kent was having knee pain so his CFT was able to connect him with an orthopedist. The orthopedist was able to help Kent manage his knee pain.


With the collaborative approach of his CFT, some of Kent's medical and behavioral issues showed improvement. He has lost over 20 pounds, at an average of one pound per week! Once Kent's knee pain was managed, some of his behavioral issues started to subside, for example, exiting the school bus was no longer an issue. He also started to stand while playing Xbox games, walk daily, and dance while listening to his music. His family has improved portion sizes and now Kent eats one breakfast each morning instead of two breakfasts. He and his sister have become advocates for healthier eating among the entire family. 

  • We hope that YOU will consider letting us share YOUR positive story sometime in the future! 

Who's New?
Meet the Newest Members of the Bergen's Promise Team:

George Williams, BA
Care Manager
Maria DeCandia-Godefoy, BA
Care Manager

Hannah Ryan, MSW
Care Manager

Ewelina Pazmino, RN
BHH Nurse

ara Qureshi, MA

Care Manager

Cynthia Carrero , BSN
BHH Nurse


Crystal Lenahan, MSW

Care Manager 


Veronica Rozovskaya, Ed.M.

Care Manager 


Tania Witek, MA

Care Manager 


Minerva Daniel, BA

Care Manager 

Chanel Joynes, MSW
Care Manager

Nicole Anderson, BSW
Care Manager

Hayley Chiego, MSW
Care Manager

Nicole Esposito, MA, LPC
Clinical Liason

Elizabeth Lummie, MSW
Care Manager

Mendosa BJ Lauture-Maximilien, M.Ed. 

Care Manager

Jaclyn Paley, MSW, LSW  

Care Manager

Casey Williamson 

Ana L. Eusse,
Care Manager

Evan Picone, BA
Operations Assistant

Rachel Garduce, MSW
Care Manager

Samantha Salmon, BA
Care Manager

Andie Deshommes,  MSW 
Care Manager

Anne Maisonable,  BA 
Care Manager

Karrye Flowers,  BSW 
Care Manager

Jasmin Almonte,  BS
Care Manager

Maria Pantin, MA 
Care Manager

Crystal Wytenus, LPC, LCADC, NCC
Program Director
We Are Hiring! 
Join Our Dynamic Team to Wraparound our Families!  
CLICK HERE to see our current career opportunities!

Welcome to Our Newest Providers

Thank you for partnering with us to serve the children and families of Bergen County! Click on the links below to learn more about their services.

Stay Connected With Us!


Bergen's Promise
218 Route 17 North, Suite 304
Rochelle Park, NJ 07662
Phone: (201) 712-1170 | Email: