Community Care & Justice
South Orange is partnering with Essex County and Seton Hall University to create and launch a social work pilot called the Community Care & Justice Program. CC&J seeks to “reimagine” traditional models of public safety through the larger lens of public health and wellness while emphasizing crisis prevention. The CC&J mission: to engage community members in designing and traveling their own wellness journeys, with a particular focus on protecting and elevating our most vulnerable members and our youth. Going forward, CC&J might include 911 Diversion, Restorative Practice Councils, dialogue on How To Be An Anti-Racist, Community and First Responder Mental Health Awareness Training and more. Click on the "CC&J 2021 Impact" link to the left and above for a summary of our 2021 impact or on the "CC&J Media Coverage" link to check our news archives.
For our most recent CC&J news, see below.
News Flash: South Orange Hires New Director for Community Care & Justice Program By Michael Ricciardelli
December 21, 2021 - South Orange Hires New Director for the Community Care & Justice program.
The Township of South Orange Village has hired Jayme Gayne as Director of the Community Care & Justice program. Ganey delivers organizational and strategic planning advice to various executive, board, and management teams and leads change management initiatives concentrated on cultural competence and diversity, equity and inclusion. Ten years ago, Ms. Ganey says she “followed her heart” to make a shift to the social services arena, leveraging her corporate program development and management experience to serve others.
Ms. Ganey comes to the Community Care & Justice program to replace Social Work Professor Juan Rios, who was given nearly a year off from Seton Hall to help launch the program along with Village Trustee Donna Coallier, chair of the Village's Health and Public Safety Committee.
“We couldn’t be more pleased to welcome Jayme Ganey to the Community Care & Justice team,” said Coallier. “She brings a strength and depth of experience that we in South Orange will greatly benefit from as we rollout the next stages in our program development. Having said that, we thank Dr. Rios for all his leadership and strategic vision in building out the structure of our program.”
In October, the Community Care & Justice Outreach Team began providing supportive counseling and case management services to community members impacted by issues such as mental health, substance use, domestic violence, sexual assault, homelessness and elder concerns. Led by Seton Hall Professor Kristin Miller, LCSW, Assistant Director Megan O’Brien, MSW and three social work interns, the Outreach Team is receiving referrals for service from the South Orange Police Department and the Rescue Squad.
“I’m excited to be a part of Community Care and Justice,” said Ganey, who will continue working with Family Connections, Inc. in addition to her role with CC&J. “And I look forward to working within the community to make those words – community, care and justice – be more than just part of a name. They are values, like compassion, that we will work to further weave into the fabric of daily living here in South Orange.”
Ms. Ganey has served as a trainer and speaker for a wide range of audiences ranging from university students to executive level board members. Ms. Ganey creates and delivers programming focused on social service systems and community advocacy, cultural competency, crisis intervention, Mental Health First Aid, and trauma informed care to a network that includes organizational leaders, community members, clinicians, and peer counselors. Ms. Ganey has ten years of experience in social service program development and delivery in both adult mental health services and the Children’s System of Care, including caregiver support services, in-home and in-community therapeutic assessment and case management services, and community support services. She has been trained in Mental Health First Aid, Motivational Interviewing, Attachment Self-Regulation and Competence, and the Nurtured Heart approach.
Ganey is also a former journalist, having served as an editorial manager at Diversity Inc, a publication and corporate management service focused on education around the business benefits of diversity; and as an editor, internship manager and freelance writer at Essence Magazine, where she won National Association of Black Journalism Awards for articles focused on health education and advocacy, and corporate ranking of workplace diversity.
In South Orange, Ganey will oversee program services and execution against mission and goals; develop and execute grant sourcing processes to secure sufficient ongoing services funding; oversee program communication strategy and delivery; and develop cultural competency programming addressing racial, socioeconomic and other demographic diversity within the community.
In addition to offering individuals and families assistive counseling, case management and connection with supportive services, Community Care & Justice has also begun offering community-based programming as part of its programming dedicated to racial justice. Initiatives have included:
- An 8-week Social Justice Activation collaboration at Seton Hall led by Dr. Jamila T. Davis and Professor Juan Rios, guiding participants through social services development curriculum and awarding two teams with seed money to implement needed community-based services;
- A wellness series launch offering youth anxiety management, suicide prevention and other relevant mental health topics;
- The Peace and Community Justice speaker series launch featuring civil rights icon Dr. Bernard LaFayette, Jr. in conversation with community youth activists and students;
- A showcase for community members and SOPD of an immersive virtual reality platform through which a participant can “embody” an avatar encountering racism; and
- The FISLL Program, where CC&J is teaming with former NBA superstar Allan Houston to provide leadership development curriculum to five South Orange police officers and five South Orange youth.