Karin Souren

PCA-NJ’s Child Wellness Institute Positively Impacts 5 Newark Schools – Students, Educators and Parents – with Impact 100 Essex Grant

A Newark elementary school class partaking in yoga as part of the Children’s Wellness Initiative.

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – June 13, 2022 – Prevent Child Abuse-New Jersey and its nonprofit subsidiary Child Wellness Institute (ChildWIN®) — with generous support from Impact 100 Essex — brought its Children’s Wellness Initiative to five Newark elementary schools.  The program was delivered from February 2021 through May 2022 and reached 1,570 children in 125 classrooms, 200 teachers, and 208 parents. Continue reading

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Child Wellness Institute’s Trauma Transformation Initiative Positively Impacts Entire Trenton School District

ChildWIN® Trauma Transformation Initiative

A “Wellness Warrior Club” student comforts a younger student – demonstrating kindness, co-regulation and mindfulness in action at Gregory Elementary School in Trenton.

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – January 24, 2022 – The Child Wellness Institute (ChildWIN®), a nonprofit subsidiary of Prevent Child Abuse-New Jersey, has expanded its Trauma Transformation Initiative (TTI)  throughout the Trenton School District.  ChildWIN® began its TTI work with the District in January 2021.  One year later, surveys showed the program has led to improvement in teacher confidence in managing challenging classroom behaviors – because teachers now understand the brain science and meaning behind the behavior – and daily use of trauma-informed practices. Continue reading

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Prevent Child Abuse-New Jersey Welcomes New Board Member

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – August 3, 2021 – Prevent Child Abuse-New Jersey (PCA-NJ) welcomes Alycia M. Guichard of Verizon Communications, Inc. to its Board of Directors.  “Alycia brings exceptional leadership and professional skills that will further strengthen our efforts to ensure a great childhood for every child in New Jersey.  We will benefit from her expertise and energy,” stated Gina Hernandez, Executive Director. Continue reading

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Prevent Child Abuse-New Jersey and ChildWIN Launch Young Professionals Advisory Council

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – June 30, 2021 – Prevent Child Abuse-New Jersey (PCA-NJ) and Child Wellness Institute (ChildWIN) announce the launch of their Young Professionals Advisory Council (YPAC).  YPAC members will promote PCA-NJ and ChildWIN programs and raise funds, while the Board of Directors and senior leadership will provide mentorship and networking opportunities.  Executive Director Gina Hernandez stated, “We are delighted to welcome the first cohort of our Young Professionals Advisory Council – a group that brings passion and enthusiasm for our cause of building a brighter future for children.  We look forward to partnering with these impressive individuals.” Continue reading

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Prevent Child Abuse-New Jersey Announces New Board Member

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – April 29, 2021 – Prevent Child Abuse-New Jersey (PCA-NJ) welcomes the Reverend Dr. Darrell L. Armstrong to its Board of Directors.  “Reverend Armstrong embodies the spirit of community and brings exceptional talent to the board. We will benefit from his insight and expertise as we continue our work to build a brighter future for all New Jersey children,” stated Gina Hernandez, Executive Director. Continue reading

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Prevent Child Abuse-New Jersey Board of Directors Announces Appointment of New Executive Director, Gina Hernandez

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – March 2, 2021 – The Board of Directors of Prevent Child Abuse-New Jersey (PCA-NJ) and its nonprofit subsidiary Child Wellness Institute (ChildWIN) is pleased to announce that Gina Hernandez will succeed Rush L. Russell as its next Executive Director beginning on April 5, 2021.

Board President Robert Rotondi stated, “Gina has been a key member of our team in various roles since 2005.  We are confident her many talents, collaborative and engaging management style, and wide-ranging experience will benefit children and families throughout New Jersey. Gina is uniquely positioned to ensure sustained programmatic excellence and development of new initiatives.  Our board and employees look forward to continuing to work with Gina to build a brighter future for children.” Continue reading

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Prevent Child Abuse-New Jersey Board of Directors Announces Retirement of Executive Director, Rush L. Russell

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – February 1, 2021 – With deep gratitude for his leadership and vision, the Board of Directors of Prevent Child Abuse-New Jersey (PCA-NJ) announced that the nonprofit organization’s Executive Director, Rush L. Russell, will retire on April 2, 2021.  Mr. Russell’s decision to retire will bring to a close a remarkable 12 years of service to PCA-NJ.

Board President Robert Rotondi stated, “Children and families from New Jersey and throughout the country have benefited from Rush’s expertise, leadership and determination to support effective strategies to prevent all forms of child maltreatment.  The PCA-NJ Board, staff and our many partners feel privileged to have worked with Rush and are enormously grateful to him for his myriad contributions.”  The Board also recognized Rush for his successful efforts to build a stronger financial foundation that will sustain the agency’s mission into the future. 

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To Our Legislators:  A Call to Action

by Rush L. Russell, Executive Director

We are writing you related to the unnecessary death of George Floyd and many before him and the recent set of events including nationwide protests and statements from thousands of individuals and organizations standing together to call for change. Continue reading

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PCA-NJ Statement on Children Separation

by Rush L. Russell, Executive Director

Prevent Child Abuse-New Jersey joins with many others calling for officials in Washington DC to work together to enact immediate changes to policies that separate children from their parents at the border.

PCA-NJ leads efforts in New Jersey to build a brighter future for all our children – healthy, happy and safe – and free from all forms of child abuse and neglect.  There are decades of research showing that the current “zero tolerance” policy will substantially increase these children’s risks for future problems with mental health and substance abuse, school failure, unemployment and chronic health conditions.  There are also thousands of years of the most fundamental parental instincts — from every culture, every country, every community, every neighborhood, and every parent — to provide a nurturing, safe and stable environment for our children.

Separating children from parents can cause irreparable harm; innocent children are being traumatized when solutions can easily be found.  All children deserve better.

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Commentary on the March 11, 2018 Edition of 60 Minutes

by Rush L. Russell, Executive Director 

Sunday night’s 60 Minutes, March 11, was highlighted by an interview between Oprah Winfrey and one of the nation’s leading brain scientists, Dr. Bruce Perry.  Their discussion focused on the emerging science that shows when children are exposed to traumatic stress during their childhood, it rewires their brain and dramatically increases that’s child’s likelihood to become a smoker, use drugs, experience mental health issues, chronic health problems, school, employment and marital problems and even suicide. Continue reading

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