background shadows

Murphy Administration Provides Additional Funding for School-Linked Services
Funding Will Ensure Service Availability for Students Struggling with Back-to-School Stress

TRENTON – In order to continue to support students experiencing stress and anxiety due to returning to in-person education during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Murphy Administration today announced the awarding of nearly $5 million to support School-Linked Services contracted through the New Jersey Department of Children and Families.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has hit all of us hard, and our students are not immune to the stress and anxiety that the pandemic leaves in its wake,” said Governor Phil Murphy.  “Programs like School-Linked Services are positioned to provide needed supports to students, not only to succeed academically, but to achieve social and emotional safety as well. Working with our colleagues the Legislature, we have increased funding on the state level to provide additional support for students during these challenging times.”

“School-Linked Services are a community-based model that have proven to be adaptive to local needs in their respective communities,” said NJ DCF Commissioner Christine Norbut Beyer.  “With these additional state resources, our School-Linked Services will be better equipped to help students, supporting mental and behavioral health following the community trauma of COVID-19.”

The additional $5 million allocation, approved by the Legislature and the Governor as part of the FY 2022 state budget, will result in all School-Linked Services contracted providers receiving a one-time, approximately 18% increase in their annualized total funding. These funds will support work, within designated school districts, to empower students who may be struggling as a result of the emotional or social effects of the pandemic.  Funds will enhance the current array of provided services, such as learning support, mental health counseling, employment counseling, substance abuse prevention, suicide prevention, and pregnancy prevention.  Funds cannot be used to increase staff salaries and must go directly into programmatic improvements and client supports that benefit the students enrolled in the program.

The Department of Children and Families continues to monitor an increase in the need for emotional and behavioral supports for students returning to the classroom this school year.  In September, the Administration launched a website dedicated to support parents, youth, and teachers with resources addressing student mental health. 

DCF continues to see an increase in utilization for emotional and behavioral supports for children and youth.  In October 2019, ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department’s Mobile Response and Stabilization Services, a program through the Children’s System of Care which responds within hours when a child or youth is experiencing a mental health emergency, had 2,586 dispatches for service.  In October 2021, the Department had 3,088 dispatches for Mobile Response services, the largest single month in the history of the program.

“School-Linked Services are an important part of the community-based service array to ensure that all children, youth and their families can be safe, healthy, and connected,” said DCF Assistant Commissioner for Family and Community Partnerships Sanford Starr who oversees the School Linked Services program.  “These programs provide in-school and after-school emotional and academic support at a time when, frankly their services are needed more than ever.  I would like to thank the Governor and the Legislature for stepping up to increase the allocation for School-Linked Services, so they have the resources they need to keep making a difference in the lives of the students they serve.”


Top ^