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In response to a national mental wellness crisis in youth and young adults, the New Jersey Department of Children and Families has proposed to launch a statewide, innovative hub-and-spoke model of services and resources intended to support youth mental wellness and promote prevention initiatives (prevention of bullying, prevention of teen suicide, prevention of substance use, etc...).

The new model, the NJ Statewide Student Support Services (NJ4S) network, would create 15 regional hubs, aligned along court vicinages and Children’s System of Care service areas, to support statewide delivery of prevention services in schools, as well as other locations in the community including but not limited to: libraries, community centers, faith-based-organizations and family success centers.  The hubs would be the administrative and organizational center, staffed by a director, support staff, prevention specialists and mental health counselors who will be mobilized to delivery services locally, when and where they are needed, both in school and community settings.  Most importantly the hub staff will have the ability to connect students and their parents/caregivers with other community services, both clinical and non-clinical, beneficial to student social, emotional and mental health and well-being

NJ DCF has issued a number of resources about this new proposal, downloadable from the menu on this page. The Department of Children and Families also solicited public comment on this important initiative from Friday, October 7, 2022 through Friday, October 21, 2022.  The department has reviewed and has been responsive to that feedback, and is eager to move forward with the NJ4S concept, to effectively and efficiently provide mental wellbeing supports and prevention services to New Jersey’s 1.4 million students and their families.


DCF on the Air Podcast Episode on NJ4S