CarePlus NJ Awarded $525,000 Grant from NJ Department of Labor to Launch Pathways to Recovery Program for Bergen County Adults Impacted by Opioid Epidemic

Program to provide occupational and vocational services complemented by integrated addiction and behavioral health care

Paramus, N.J. (March 1, 2022) – Care Plus NJ, Inc. (“CarePlus NJ”), a pioneer in integrated primary and behavioral health services for adults and children, announces it has been awarded a one-year grant totaling $525,000 from the New Jersey Department of Labor (NJDOL) to launch its Pathways to Recovery (PTR) Program for adults impacted by the opioid epidemic in northern New Jersey. CarePlus NJ’s PTR Program will expand NJDOL’s statewide Pathways to Recovery Initiative in Bergen County providing individuals with occupational and vocational services as well as wraparound access to substance abuse services and mental health care.

The goal of NJDOL’s Pathways to Recovery Initiative is to provide employment assistance to individuals with a personal history of opioid use, or who have a friend or family member with a history of opioid use, with employment assistance so they can reenter the workforce. Nine New Jersey counties are already offering their own Pathways to Recovery programs including Atlantic, Camden, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, Passaic, and Union.

Expanding the initiative to Bergen County, CarePlus NJ will draw upon its 43 years of experience in behavioral health care and over 25 years of experience managing vocational rehabilitation grant programs to help individuals impacted by the opioid epidemic reenter the workforce. Leveraging existing programs and partnerships, CarePlus NJ will enroll 100 participants and provide assessments, registration, individual employment plans (IEPs), career and training services with the 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 reenter the workforce including gaps in employment, limited professional experience, and other barriers such as lack of transportation, childcare services, and housing,” said Giesel Girona-Ussery, Associate Vice President of Work Incentive Services, CarePlus NJ. “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 each referral for program eligibility on a case-by-case basis and conduct an employability assessment which will determine which supportive services each individual needs to remove barriers to self-sufficiency. Supportive services include but are not limited to transportation assistance, childcare services, legal assistance, housing services, wraparound mental health care, and substance use disorder recovery services.

Additionally, grant funding will be allocated to provide individuals in the PTR program with training opportunities that will increase marketable job skills and lead to long-term career paths for in-demand occupations. Participants that identify as appropriate and interested in careers in recovery services can engage in the Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) coursework and/or the Certified Peer Recovery Specialist (CPRS) Certification taking advantage of the 270 hours of domain-specific core training CarePlus NJ offers which is approved by the Addiction Professionals Certification Board of New Jersey (APCBNJ). This offers a dual benefit, in that not only are participants being trained for a career, but also helping to fill the workforce that is combating the opioid epidemic.

To learn more about CarePlus NJ’s Pathways to Recovery Program or to make a referral, please call 201-265-8200 x 5538 or email

About CarePlus NJ

For more than 40 years, Care Plus NJ, Inc. (“CarePlus NJ”) has been a pioneer in integrated primary and behavioral health services for adults and children in northern New Jersey. Based in Paramus, New Jersey, CarePlus NJ is committed to providing the most comprehensive integrated treatment options through 80 programs designed to meet the full spectrum of health and wellness needs for adults and children in the communities it serves. Specializing in acute care, CarePlus NJ provides immediate, high-quality health services and support programs for individuals in crisis. Nationally ranked for excellence in customer satisfaction by the Mental Health Corporations of America, CarePlus NJ is mission driven ensuring that anyone who needs it has access to specialized care. To learn more about CarePlus NJ and its wide range of programs and services, visit

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