Volume 17| Winter 2022
Tri County Community Connections
Youth Success Story
Avery was enrolled into Tri County CMO at age 6 with mental health and interpersonal challenges, lack of peer interaction skills and was not receiving a typical education. Avery also was adopted by his paternal grandparents at a young age and they were his primary caregivers. Through years of CMO, Avery’s team went through a series of providers and many school meetings before finding the right therapeutic school for Avery. Avery’s biological father was also part of his team periodically, despite their strained relationship. Finally, Katie/LCSW, joined the team as their intensive in community counselor (IIC). She was able to engage with the family using Attachment, Regulation and Competency (ARC) framework counseling, and even had sessions with Avery’s father and stepmother via telehealth while he lived in another county of NJ. Through counseling, the right school setting and teamwork, Avery and his father were able to rebuild their relationship and felt prepared to reconnect on a long-term basis. As of September 2021, Avery is now living with his father and stepmother! Avery’s team, especially Care Manager Heather, are so happy that Avery is thriving and able to be reunited with his father after many years of challenges. Tri County CMO wishes Avery and his family all the best as they navigate new experiences and make new memories together.

Learn about ARC counseling: https://arcframework.org/what-is-arc/
From the Desk of…
James Parauda, CEO

A call to serve…
If you are reading this newsletter, you are most likely aware of the services Tri County CMO provides in the local community. You may also be aware of our collaboration efforts in the community with other system partners and local committees. These efforts are to serve families impacted by mental health, behavioral health or intellectual disabilities. However, there is one service within our agency that you may not be familiar with. You may not be aware that our agency is served by a Board of Directors (Board).
As CEO, I’m accountable to the Board for matters related to finance, legal, community involvement and overall functioning of the agency. The Board has important responsibilities that include approving the agency budget annually and discussing future plans for the direction of the agency. The Board will meet with auditors annually to ensure the financial stability of the agency. Board members will often come to agency functions and events such as staff appreciation day, holiday gatherings and the annual family picnic. The Board of Directors has by-laws that help guide their governance of the organization. The Board meets regularly to perform their responsibilities and board members will join committees based on their strengths and experiences.
 The Board consists of six to twelve members at any given time. One third of the Board members consists of former youth or family members of former youth. Having youth and family members on the board gives the agency a different perspective of our work and a better appreciation of how to deliver our services in a family-friendly way. The Board also may have members with experience in finance or legal matters or members that just have a general interest in serving the populations we serve in a unique way. In order to be a Board member, you must live, work or worship in our tri-county area . Many former Board members have discussed how important the work of our board is to the success of the agency and how rewarding serving on the board was for them.
If you meet the criteria and are interested in learning more about being a Board of Director for Tri County CMO, please contact me at jparauda@tricountycmo.org to learn more.
James Parauda, LSW
Chief Executive Officer
Pride in Partnership
Hunterdon County's Children's Inter Agency Coordinating Council (CIACC)
“We’re listening…”
Who is the “we?” The “we” is the Children’s Interagency Coordinating Council (CIACC). We are a planning body comprised of different system partners that seek to maintain a responsive and accessible system of care for youth ages 0-21 and their families who are experiencing emotional, behavioral health challenges, intellectual or developmental disabilities, and/or substance use challenges. There is a CIACC found within every county in New Jersey, and it is our main goal to advocate for these youth and families, as well as increase awareness and knowledge about services available to them.
What are we listening for? The Hunterdon CIACC wants to hear from you, the community! The Hunterdon CIACC wants to reach out to more youth and families to increase their awareness, participation, and above all, feedback about the different needs they have and experiences with other system partners. The Hunterdon CIACC has a new bilingual coordinator and we hope to foster change by bringing together the culturally diverse communities in Hunterdon County.
Want to be a part of CIACC? The Hunterdon CIACC meets the second Monday of every month from 1pm-2:30pm. Meetings are open to the general public and are currently held in a hybrid style, both in person and virtually via Zoom. If you are interested in learning more about the Hunterdon County CIACC or attending a meeting, please contact Lisette Gudino, LSW at lgudino@ccdom.org
Care Manager Shout OUT!
We strive to provide exceptional support and services to all our youth and families. When we get positive feedback reinforcing our mission, we are excited and know we are on the right track. Congratulations to care manager Kathleen on partnering with a family for success...
Good morning Ms. Messel,
My son, JN, began receiving services from the agency at the end of March and the services have concluded as of yesterday.
I would like to take the opportunity to express my gratitude for our Care Manager, Kathleen.
She went beyond in her role. Her personality is delightful and warm which created an immediate comfort level and trust in her abilities. She’s so genuine in her concern and desire to assist.
Kathleen always communicated effectively and sought services that’s beneficial for J and the family and put them in place. She provided useful resources and truly listened to our concerns and goals. She never rushed the “healing” process and always verbalized her availability.
I am also truly appreciative of the counselors she was able to choose for the one on one counseling with J, as well as the family counselor. She knew the family’s needs and the match she made was perfect.
J benefited so much from his sessions with Amanda. He established a rapport with her and was disappointed that his sessions with her had to end. The family counseling with Sean was equally as beneficial and enlightening. Both sessions truly helped my family.
In addition, to my gratitude for Kathleen and her unwavering hard work and dedication to her role, I would also like to express appreciation for the agency. It has been challenging navigating the
behavioral health system and your agency provided so much guidance and support which is beyond words. It accompanied the telehealth component and 2 hours a week of therapy, which was essential for J and the family! It took all the stress from the parent to find all the services and make all the connections which in itself is beyond a saving grace.
Again, I would like to acknowledge the diligence and extremely dedicated Kathleen. Her personality shines through and her work ethic is commendable. She’s an asset to any organization that she’s a part of and deserves recognition for how she represents not only herself but the agency. This have been the most help and positive experience that my son and I have had during the several years he’s been receiving services. It has really changed our lives for the better and we are so blessed to have had the chance to work with Kathleen. Hoping the agency continue to employee care managers that actually care, like Kathleen, which tends to be the reason for the success of the agency. It serves so much purpose for those in need.
Warm regards,
Getting to know TCCMO
Intern Spotlight
           Every year Tri County CMO provides opportunities for internships, and this year TCCMO has 5 interns in the program. The program has been run by Deja, Operations Manager and a Nurtured Heart Approach Advanced Trainer, since 2013. Deja started at TCCMO as an intern, which provides her the ability to truly relate to the interns in the program every year. First, we would like to introduce Sabreen. Sabreen is in her first year at Rutgers University in the Master’s of Social Work program. Sabreen chose TCCMO for her internship because of the Wraparound Model of Care that TCCMO uses. Sabreen hopes to see success stories throughout the remaining time she has in her internship with the youth and families she is working with. Next, we have Cole. Cole is also in his first year of his Master’s in Social Work at Rutgers University. Cole chose TCCMO for his internship because he believed TCCMO would provide him with the best learning experience. Cole shared that TCCMO has taught him more than one side of social work, which is something he was looking for in an internship. Shivani is another intern from the Social Work program at Rutgers University. Shivani shared that she has learned about the responsibilities of Care Managers and has seen that Care Managers can become someone for their youth to look up to. Shivani also shared that she has learned a lot about the documentation process. Elise is an intern in her senior year in the Bachelor’s of Social Work program at Rutgers University. Elise is passionate about working with youth and felt TCCMO was the perfect place to start working with youth. She shared that the opportunities at TCCMO provide her with a perfect mix of working with youth and working with the systems that affect their lives. Cory is in the Centenary University BSW Program and he chose TCCMO for his internship because of its broad range of services that is offered to enrolled youth and families. During Cory’s first semester, he learned that there is no one treatment for the different individuals that TCCMO serves. As an intern at TCCMO, Cory hopes to continue to grow as professional social worker and as a person by learning more about his strengths and areas he wishes to improve. In summary, TCCMO is grateful for the opportunity to have an internship program and teach those who are interested in the field of social work more about the Children’s System of Care. 
Pictured from left to right: Deja, Sabreen, Cole, Shivani, Elise & Cory
TCCMO's Growing Greatness
Re-Committing to Nurtured Heart ApproachTM in
December goes so quickly – the frenzy of holiday activities, seeing family and friends, and getting all the last bit of work and school in are wonderful, but also can be exhausting. The pace tends to be so fast that there’s little time to stop and reflect. So in January each year, it makes sense that we slow down and truly think about what the year ahead will hold for us. How can we, as caregivers, family members, friends, providers and professionals, be better than last year? How can we form stronger more consistent relationships, and build inner wealth in ourselves and others? January is thus also a natural time to re-commit to the Nurtured Heart Approach, check in with the 3 Stands! and help you achieve the new year’s goals using the core methodology of the approach.

Stand 1: ABSOLUTELY NO! - I refuse to energize negativity.

In 2022, commit to not giving energy to negativity. Perhaps evaluate the relationships in your life and consider if they bring positive or toxic energy to your life. And also think about what kind of energy you bring to your relationships with others – is it positive? Are you “showing up” for negativity or when things are going right in relationships with children, significant others, family and friends?

Stand 2: ABSOLUTELY YES! - I will super-energize experiences of success.

In this new year, do you recognize when you see something that’s great – at work, in your home? Do you recognize yourself for your greatness, even if it’s baby steps? Maybe it was very hard to pull yourself out of bed and get out the door in the morning, but you were able to do it, and you know that’s something that deserves recognition. Can you commit to recognizing something each day that is going right, and being vocal and detailed in the feedback you give to those involved? If you are able to, you will get it back!
Stand 3: ABSOLUTELY CLEAR! - I will set clear limits and provide clear, un-energized consequences.

Boundaries and limits are important parts of successful relationships, with children or anyone else. People have to understand what they can expect from you, and what you expect from them – consistently.
Take some time this January to think about whether you have clear and consistent limits with people – do they understand your limits and rules? Are they moving targets? When something goes awry and a consequence is given, is it consistent? Are you able to move past things and reset? A new year is an excellent natural time for a reset, which is a key piece of practicing the Nurtured Heart Approach. When we become upset and frustrated, can we call on our own coping skills as adults to help us reset, and show the kids in our lives how to do it? A new year is a “reset” – a time to get back in the game and move forward with a new set of goals.

While some of your resolutions might be on the smaller scale – cleaning out that messy closet, calling that friend you lost touch with or losing a few pounds at the gym, Nurtured Heart will have you thinking and living more broadly. Watch your energy! Committing to a more positive energy flow in your relationships, and resetting into what’s going right, will serve you not just this year, but in years to come. For more information about the nurtured Heart Approach, attend a mini-training see www.nurturedheartapproach.com
Congratulations to our re-elected and newly elected representatives in each of our districts!
Know your elected officials...
Click on the links below for your representatives contact information.
For Your Information...
National Mentoring Month
Some children are fortunate enough to have a trusted adult in their lives who can help guide them in a positive direction. Mentors are an invaluable part of our communities; they provide support in a way that is unique from the support children may receive from their families or therapists. While there are agencies such as Big Brothers Big Sisters that match children with mentors, this option is not always feasible for families, especially considering the chronically long waiting lists. Some families have found success linking their children to more informal mentors from their communities. Anyone trustworthy who cares about and is committed to the child’s wellbeing can be a mentor; coaches, Scout leaders, pastors and other religious leaders, a local high schooler looking to make a difference, and family friends are all wonderful options to explore. You can access this website to find more advice on what to look for when considering a mentor for your child:
or volunteer to Mentor through Big Brothers Big Sisters of America

National Library Lovers Month
With so many books available virtually now, it is sometimes easy to forget that libraries even exist! For some people, nothing beats the feeling of cracking open a book and flipping through the pages. And while books are great, libraries offer so much more. Most libraries have programs that are geared towards people of all ages, from preschoolers to senior citizens. Even better, a lot of these programs are free or low-cost. In addition to books and programming, some libraries allow patrons to borrow movies and music, use their computers, and utilize some of their spaces for gatherings and other events. If you are looking for something to keep the kids busy this winter, why not check out your local library’s website and see what they have to offer?
Visit your local library TODAY!!
National Trisomy Awareness Month
Trisomy is the word we use to describe what happens when someone is born with an extra chromosome in their cells. While most people have 46 chromosomes, people with trisomy conditions have 47. Depending on the chromosomes affected, trisomy can lead to conditions such as Down syndrome (Trisomy 21), Edwards syndrome (Trisomy 18), Patau syndrome (Trisomy 13) and Klinefelter syndrome (XXY Trisomy). Most of these conditions are associated with health problems, such as irregular heartbeat, as well as intellectual and developmental delays. The purpose of Trisomy Awareness Month is to draw attention to these conditions, encourage the public to support trisomy research, and highlight the joys and the trials that these families experience.
If you or someone you know is looking for a supportive Trisomy resources please check out https://trisomy.org/
Resources and Upcoming Events
Our Board Members
Leslie Brusser – Board Chair
Daniel Kerr- Vice Chair
Erin Karl – Secretary
Dana Goodman
Lynne Eaton
Lesly Schwarzman

How to Get Referred to Tri County CMO
PerformCare can help a parent or guardian connect their child to Children’s System of Care services. PerformCare staff are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide assessment and guidance to families facing challenges to their functioning and well-being.

PerformCare / Contracted Systems Administrator (CSA)


Branchburg Office
3040 Route 22 West, Suite 210
Branchburg, NJ 08876
Phone: (908) 526-3900
Washington Office
315 West Washington Avenue, Suite 1
Washington, NJ 07882
Phone: (908) 526-3900
Tri County Care Management Organization | info@tricountyresourcenet.org | tricountyresourcenet.org