Ethical Issues in Crisis Response - Kean University

New Jersey Disaster Response Crisis Counselor Program

Monday, February 25, 2013 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM (EST)

Union, NJ

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Kean University
1000 Morris Avenue
Union, NJ 07083

Monday, February 25, 2013 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM (EST)


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New Jersey Disaster Response Crisis Counselor Program

The genesis for the credentialing project was conceived in the aftermath of 9/11, when the New Jersey Division of Mental Health Services operated its largest FEMA-funded disaster response program in its history. Many lessons were learned from 9/11, with one of the principle lessons being the critical need for an organized, well-trained and credentialed workforce. The credentialing project was initiated in August 2004, when a general forum was held for community providers to assess the status of the workforce and determine the most prominent issues post-9/11. This forum was followed by two community provider focus groups that examined the process of credentialing disaster mental health workers. The focus groups pulled together experts from the community to identify the competencies necessary for effective response in disaster, crisis and traumatic event situations. Following these forums, a best practice search was conducted to identify organizations that had developed a similar process and tools. A draft credentialing application was developed that reflected these best practice tools and practices, drawing from the experience of such organizations as the American Red Cross, Doctors of the World, Mental Health Workers/Doctors without Borders, and the United Nations mission field operations guide.

Beginning in late 2004 and continuing throughout 2005, the credentialing process and application was piloted in five counties: Essex, Morris, Ocean, Passaic and Monmouth counties. In total, approximately 315 applications were reviewed, and both the process and the application itself were revised and refined. The project was reviewed with Assistant Commissioner Kevin Martone, Candice Covington, Gladys Padro and Monica Indart in April 2006, and the decision was made to extend the credentialing process to all counties.

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