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New Jersey’s School Linked Services programs are recognized for being the first substantial state legislative effort to facilitate student success by linking schools and social services when the program was launched in 1987.  School-Linked services currently include 90 School-Based Youth Services Programs, 5 health centers, 40 Family Friendly Centers, 3 Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency Programs, 8 Parent Linking Programs and 10 Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Initiative Programs.  

Since the inception of New Jersey’s School-Linked Services over 3 decades ago, advances in evidence-based approaches, changing student needs and shifts in the academic landscape and community services make it imperative for DCF to review and update the current array of services to ensure that they  are recognized for their longevity, as well as their effectiveness.  To that end, a School-Linked Stakeholder Group was formed to solicit key insights, guidance and recommendations for the future of School-Linked Services.

The Workgroup, which is facilitated by the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS), will assist the Department of Children and Families in ensuring that school-linked services meet the needs of today’s students and lead to successful school experiences. The School-Linked Stakeholder Workgroup is expected to complete its work in March 2022.