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General Questions

  • What is Bergen's Promise?

    Bergen’s Promise, the designated Care Management Organization (CMO) for Bergen County NJ, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to meeting the complex mental health and wellness needs of children (ages 5-21) with identified emotional and behavioral challenges, substance use issues, and intellectual and developmental disabilities.

    A vital component of the NJ Children’s System of Care, the CMO embraces a Wraparound Approach to care management - enhanced by integrated Behavioral Health Home services for medical care coordination for youth with co-occurring behavioral and medical health issues – which strengthens the child’s and family’s ability to meet life’s challenges, and fosters resiliency and hope for a better future.   Learn more about us and the way we work with families!

  • What is the Bergen's Promise mission?

    The goal of the organization is to keep "Healthy Families, Safe at Home." Bergen’s Promise provides exceptional Wraparound Care Management services to keep youth and families physically and emotionally safe.

    Our services are built on the family’s strengths and delivered through a strong, coordinated network of community based providers. We strive to provide the highest quality of care that will produce the most positive results for the youth and families we serve.

  • Do you only serve Bergen County families?

    Yes, as the Care Management Organization (CMO) for Bergen County, Bergen's Promise is only able to serve Bergen County residents. CMOs serving residents within their counties in New Jersey are located in Burlington, Camden, Cape Atlantic, Essex, Hudson, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris/Sussex, Ocean, Passaic, TriCounty (Hunterdon Somerset Warren) and Union to serve the residents within their counties.

  • Does Bergen’s Promise have any power to make legal decisions?

    No. Bergen’s Promise is a non-profit organization that does not have any legal authority over children and their families. A family’s participation in our services is voluntary. We are not authorized to take custody of children or to remove them from the home. In cases of suspected abuse or neglect, we are required to notify the Division of Child Protection and Permanency/DCPP [formerly Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS)].

  • What types of kids do you serve?

    We serve youth ages 5 to 21 with behavioral, emotional, and mental health challenges, substance use issues, and developmental disabilities. We also serve youth who have both a behavioral health challenge and a chronic medical condition.

  • What is the age range you serve?

    We serve Bergen County youth ages 5 to 21.

  • Why do I call PerformCare to find help for my child?

    PerformCare is the single point of access to obtain any behavioral health, substance abuse and developmental disability services available publicly through the New Jersey's Children's System of Care for youth ages 5 - 21.

    Parents or legal guardians call PerformCare at 1-877-652-7624 to access services, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  

    Do not hesitate to ask a trusted school representative to assist you in making the call to PerformCare.

    PerformCare will conduct an assessment and link the youth and family with the services they need in the most appropriate setting.  These services may include: care management, mobile response and stabilization services, a more extensive needs assessment, outpatient services, among other options.

    In case of emergency call 911.

  • How much does it cost to get my child help?

    Services are available to the family in a cost effective manner and without regard to income level, insurance status, languages spoken, or involvement with other systems.

  • Will I be charged for your services or any services that you coordinate?

    Bergen’s Promise will not charge your family a fee. Your Care Manager will work with your Child and Family Team to maximize the use of low cost, in-network and free sustainable resources.

  • What is the Wraparound Approach?

    The "Wraparound" approach is a unique model of care for youth experiencing serious mental health or behavioral challenges that is able to keep children in their homes and communities, producing better outcomes at lower cost.

    Wraparound puts the child or youth and family at the center. With support from a team of professionals and natural supports, the family’s ideas and perspectives on what they need and what will be helpful drive all of the work in Wraparound.

    The young person and their family members work with a Wraparound facilitator to build their Wraparound team, which can include the family’s friends and people from the wider community, as well as providers of services and supports.

    With the help of the Wraparound team, the family and young person take the lead in deciding team vision and goals, and in developing a plan of care that incorporates a combination of services, informal supports and community based resources that will help them achieve their goals and vision, as well as a plan for graduation. Team members work together to put the plan into action, monitor how well it’s working, and make changes as needed.

  • Why is the wraparound model of care important?

    Based on our extensive experience working with families since 2002, the most important ingredient to success is the development of the Child and Family Team. This wrapping of services around families helps them cope with issues in their everyday lives, and/or better manage the emotional, behavioral, substance, developmental or intellectual condition they are living with.

  • How long will Bergen’s Promise work with my family?

    Families usually work with Bergen’s Promise for 6-12 months based on their individual needs. Approximately every 60 days, your Child and Family Team (CFT) will meet to evaluate progress and update the graduation date. 

  • How often will our Care Manager meet with my child?

    Your assigned Care Manager will meet with your child up to twice per month dependent upon individualized service needs. This contact is called a face to face meeting. Face to face timeframes and activities are individualized to ensure that rapport is maintained within the team.

  • How often will our Care Manager and I be in contact?

    In addition to bi-weekly face to face contact with your child, a minimum of one weekly conversation between you and your Care Manager is required. We encourage you to contact your Care Manager as often as needed, especially during times of crisis. This will help to keep the team up to date and to continue to build rapport.

  • What can I do to make my Child and Family Team more effective?

    • Allow us to invite your school to join the team. Schools are invaluable members of the CFT regardless of whether or not your child has an Individualized Education Plan or 504 plan, and whether or not your child has behavioral or academic concerns.  If your child is thriving and successful in the school environment, the Child and Family Team members should share those techniques and strategies to replicate them in the home. If your child receives specialized services through the school such as physical, occupational, speech therapy, these can be replicated and utilized in the home.
    • Allow us to communicate with your child’s pediatrician regarding your care.
    • Notify your Care Manager if your child is hospitalized for mental health reasons and allow your Care Manager to speak to the hospital regarding smooth discharge planning and transition home.
    • If your child is receiving a higher level of care at an intensive outpatient program or partial hospitalization program, allow your Care Manager to collaborate with the program staff to facilitate smooth transition back to in-home services.
    • Ask your Care Manager about  adding a Parent Partner from the Family Support Organization of Bergen County to your Child and Family Team.  Parent partners are invaluable support for caregivers.  Each Parent Partner has raised a child with special needs and is very helpful to explain the services as well as identify useful community resources.  
    • In-home clinicians should be a good fit and meet the needs of your youth and family.
    • Ask your Care Manager for a meeting when needed.
    • Identify convenient locations and times.
    • Identify additional people to join your team to support you and your family.
    • Encourage your child’s participation in treatment services.
    • Let us know if your child's plan needs to be changed to better address your needs:
  • Why should I have my child’s school involved in the Child and Family Team?

    The benefits of having your school on your Child and Family Team (CFT):

    1. Schools are invaluable members of the CFT regardless of whether or not your child has an Individualized Education Plan or 504 plan, or whether or not your child has behavioral or academic concerns.

    2. Your Care Manager will collaborate with your youth's Child Study Team, if applicable.

    3.  Regardless of whether or not your child has behavioral or academic concerns at school, having the school involved on the Child and Family Team enables the use of successful strategies and supports in the classroom to be carried over successfully to manage behaviors at home.  

    Once you give your Care Manager permission to invite your child’s school to be an active member of your Child and Family team, you will be empowered through the effective, regular communication and strength of the relationship among your CFT members. A team working together to support the needs of your child and help to sustain progress.

    View the Parent’s Rights in Special Education guidebook (PRISE)

  • What should I do if my child is hospitalized?

    Please sign the hospital’s Release Form so that the hospital staff can contact your Care Manager and/or your child’s school. This will ensure the Child and Family Team collaboration and communication continues through your child’s stay in the hospital. It will also help the team to plan a seamless transition once your child is discharged.

  • Can my Care Manager assist me with school, hospital, or court meetings?

    Absolutely! Please include your Care Manager in meetings such as these, to help ensure that all the providers involved with your family are working from a unified family plan.

  • Do you provide transportation?

    If your family is facing transportation challenges, your Care Manager will work with your Child and Family Team to develop sustainable strategies to address this need.

  • Where can I find a comprehensive directory of local resources?

    Visit our mobile friendly website, BergenResourceNet.org, a comprehensive portal of searchable resources, programs, events, webinars, clinical services and supports geared toward family health and wellbeing. There, you can search for local resources by keyword or category/need, and the site can be translated into multiple languages for your preferred language.

  • What should I do when my child's Early Intervention Services end?

    An important part of early intervention services is assisting children and families to leave early intervention at the correct time and in the most helpful way possible. This process is called transition. When a child is two years old, transition information will be offered to the parents to begin planning for services and supports that might be needed when the child turns three. As a child approaches three years of age, the service coordinator will help with transition from early intervention to a preschool program and/or other support services that the child and family may need. Families of children 3 and older can receive referrals for assistance from Project Child Find. Call 800-322-8174 for more information.

    Services for older children are typically provided through the local school district. If there are intense behavioral needs, the parent may consider calling PerformCare 1-877-652-7624 regarding transition into the New Jersey Children’s System of Care.

Behavioral Health Home

  • What is Behavioral Health Home?

    The Behavioral Health Home component supports youth with chronic behavioral and medical health issues. Behavioral Health Home services utilize a holistic philosophy to integrate physical and behavioral health care management in order to build a person-centered system of care. Youth will receive the traditional Wraparound care management services for emotional/behavioral health, intellectual/developmental disabilities, or substance abuse issues with the addition of an enhanced health care management component.

    Eligible youth must have NJ Medicaid/NJ Family Care, a behavioral health challenge and a specific chronic medical condition.

    If your child is presently receiving Care Management supports from Bergen’s Promise and you would like to see if your child is eligible for the integrated medical care coordination through our Behavioral Health Home, take one minute to click and complete the eligibility form

    If you are eligible for BHH, a highly trained Nurse or Wellness Educator will be added to the youth's Child and Family Team with the goal of ensuring the youth:

     

    • Retains a primary care provider and attend regular well-child visits
    • Receives early periodic screening, diagnosis and treatment for chronic conditions
    • Obtains appropriate metabolic monitoring for psychotropic medications
    • Receives coordination of services between medical and behavioral health providers

     


Developmental/Intellectual Disabilities

  • Why is it important to apply for DD Eligiblity through PerformCare as soon as possible?

    Applying for eligibility for developmental disability (DD) services through PerformCare allows your family to apply for additional Family Support Services (FSS) such as:

    • Respite,
    • Assistive technology,
    • Camp,
    • Educational Advocacy
    • Environmental Modifications (e.g., handicapped accessible bathroom, adaptations for vehicles, etc).

    There are also local resources available to assist you in completing the application for developmental disability services. The CAPE Resource Center assists Bergen County families

  • If my child is open with Bergen’s Promise what additional services may my child be eligible for?

    PerformCare determines the clinical level of service needed based on the services requested by your Child and Family Team (CFT) to address your child’s identified needs, along with clinical documentation from the school and/or medical provider.

    These services may include:

    Intensive In-Home Therapy–Clinical (IIH C/T)

    This is individual and family therapy for children and families that need to stabilize in home stressors. These may include challenges with: emotional regulation, parent-sibling relationship needs. Youth may learn coping skills, self expression and more positive, alternative ways to get needs met without becoming explosive in behavior.

    Individual Support Services (ISS)

    Students that are DD-eligible with IIH-Clinical therapists may also have Individual Support Services (ISS) put in place as well for behavior and activity of daily living (ADL) skill training. These services may benefit youth that exhibit task avoidance such as: oppositional and noncompliance in completing daily routine activities like eating, dressed, hygiene and toileting skills. These services are most beneficial for fostering independence in the youth.

    Youth with more severe behavioral needs

    Intensive In-Home Behavioral Support Services (IIH/B)

    IIH-Behavioral services utilize applied behavior analysis (ABA) to address dangerous or harmful behaviors that the youth uses when unable to communicate their needs. If this service is started, a provider certified as either a Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA), Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts (BCaBA) would be identified to complete a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) and create a Behavioral Support Plan (BSP). These two assessments will determine the number of hours per week of services authorized by PerformCare for your child.

  • What are Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services most appropriate for?

    Families may sometimes mistakenly believe that ABA services are needed for their child’s progress. ABA services are specific interventions for:

    • Behaviors that may threaten the health or safety of the child or others
    • Behavior disorders that may be a barrier to their ability to remain in the least restrictive setting and/or limit their ability to participate in family and community life and
    • Absence of developmentally appropriate adaptive, social or functional skills
  • What if I no longer feel capable of managing my child’s needs at home?

    After all in-home, and community-based treatment options have been exhausted, an out of home referral through PerformCare may be appropriate. The decision to pursue out of home treatment will be decided upon by the Child and Family Team (CFT) and determined by PerformCare.

  • What do I do as my child aged 16+ approaches adulthood?

    A helpful resource for planning to transition your young adult out of the K-12 school system to adult services is available through the NJ Department of Developmental Disabilities (DDD). This timeline outlines the steps to gain access to DDD services and supports you need to take to ensure a smooth transition. This timeline includes the following four steps:

    1. Ensure Medicaid eligibility.
    2. Ensure DDD eligibility.
    3. Complete the New Jersey Comprehensive Assessment Tool (NJ CAT).
    4. Complete the support agency coordination agency selection form.

    These steps are outlined in greater detail on the timeline.

    Please note that the first three steps can be completed when the student is between 18 and 21 years of age.

  • Why should I have my child’s school involved in the Child and Family Team?

    The benefits of having your school on your Child and Family Team (CFT):

    1. Schools are invaluable members of the CFT regardless of whether or not your child has an Individualized Education Plan or 504 plan, or whether or not your child has behavioral or academic concerns.

    2. Your Care Manager will collaborate with your youth's Child Study Team, if applicable.

    3.  Regardless of whether or not your child has behavioral or academic concerns at school, having the school involved on the Child and Family Team enables the use of successful strategies and supports in the classroom to be carried over successfully to manage behaviors at home.  

    Once you give your Care Manager permission to invite your child’s school to be an active member of your Child and Family team, you will be empowered through the effective, regular communication and strength of the relationship among your CFT members. A team working together to support the needs of your child and help to sustain progress.

    View the Parent’s Rights in Special Education guidebook (PRISE)