During this time of upheaval and loss for so many families, we must provide our children with the resources to contend with the pain present in their own lives.
Youth-linked services are crucial to building strong and empathetic communities, by guiding students through the obstacles they are confronting on a daily basis. No child should ever have to face depression, trauma or domestic violence alone. By providing youth-linked services in our schools we are giving every child the tools to ensure their safe development and successful future. The state has allocated similar amounts on these services in the past; this is not a new item but an affirmation of the successes of the program.
Restoring the funding to youth-linked services was one of our top priorities in the legislature. The pandemic has left many scars on our state. Our children must be given the resources to heal. As families struggle through the long-term effects of COVID-19, we have to guarantee access to mental health services for every student.
This funding is an investment in our youth. They have endured throughout this crisis and these services will help them to overcome and become the strong leaders our state needs. The connections made through the state, schools, nonprofit and community organizations via youth-linked programs will continue to aid them with this funding secured.
For more information on youth-linked services, visit https://www.nj.gov/dcf/families/school/.Gary Schaer
36th District (Bergen and Passaic)