Department of Human Services | Career Ladders Program honors 122 new graduates
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For Immediate Release:
June 25, 2008

For Information, Contact:
Suzanne Esterman, 609-292-3703

TRENTON – The departments of Human Services and Children and Families proudly welcomed 122 employees as the newest graduates of the Department of Human Services' Career Ladders Program at the Trenton War Memorial today.

Begun in 2004 to offer employees without college degrees an opportunity to advance their educations, the Career Ladders Program has now seen 696 employees graduate since completing the first course load in 2005.

The professional development program was created by DHS and the New Jersey Community College Consortium for Workforce and Economic Development and through it, participants are eligible to receive 12 credits toward a college degree.

“Our dedicated staff members bring a strong commitment to advance their education, improve skills and strengthen our workforce,” said DHS Commissioner Jennifer Velez. “With Career Ladders, we can build on a wealth of knowledge as we strive to improve the lives of New Jersey's families.”

Under the Career Ladders Program, staff members complete a five-course program for one of three certifications in the child protective services field, the mental health field or the disability services field. All students take Communication, Cultural Competence, Assessment and Documentation, and Family and Community Centered Services. The fifth course which students take – Child Development and Identifying Abuse and Neglect, Understanding Mental Health, Understanding Disabilities – depends upon the certificate they are earning.

Of the 122 graduates in 2008, 98 work for DHS and 24 work for DCF.

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