CarePlus NJ Inc. was awarded a one-year $525,000 New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development grant to launch Pathways to Recovery, a program for adults impacted by the opioid epidemic in northern New Jersey.
CarePlus NJ’s PTR Program will expand NJDOLWD’s statewide Pathways to Recovery Initiative in Bergen County by providing occupational services, vocational services, mental health care, and substance abuse services.
NJDOLWD’s Pathways to Recovery Initiative aims to provide employment assistance to individuals with a history of opioid use or those with friends or family with a history of opioid use. Several New Jersey counties already offer their own Pathways to Recovery programs, including Atlantic, Camden, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, Passaic and Union.
In its Bergen County expansion of the program, CarePlus NJ will enroll 100 participants and provide assessments, registration, individual employment plans, and career and training services with a goal for 80% of employees to be placed into unsubsidized employment, and of those placed, for 60% to retain employment for a minimum of 90 days.
“Several factors can make it difficult for individuals impacted by the opioid crisis to re-enter the workforce, including gaps in employment, limited professional experience, and other barriers such as lack of transportation, child care services and housing,” said CarePlus NJ Associate Vice President of Work Incentive Services Giesel Girona-Ussery. “Our Pathways to Recovery Program will provide adults affected by the opioid epidemic with the vocational training, career resources and supportive services they need to achieve competitive employment outcomes as well as wraparound access to addiction recovery services and mental health care to sustain their recovery and promote mental wellness.”
CarePlus NJ PTR employment specialists will evaluate individuals for program eligibility on a case-by-case basis, and then conduct an employability assessment to determine which services they need to remove barriers to self-sufficiency. Such services include transportation assistance, child care services, legal assistance, housing services, wraparound mental health care, and substance use disorder recovery services.
Grant funding will be allocated to train individuals in ways to increase marketable job skills and lead them toward long-term career paths. Participants interested in careers in recovery services can engage in the Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor coursework and/or the Certified Peer Recovery Specialist Certification, which CarePlus NJ already offers.
Those interested in CarePlus NJ’s Pathways to Recovery Program should call 201-265-8200, ext. 5538 or email GieselL@CarePlusNJ.org.