Dr. Nydia Y. Monagas, alumna of GSAPP’s Clinical PsyD program (2006) and a clinical specialist in the Department of Social Work and Child Advocacy at Montclair State University, was recently appointed by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, to join the NJ Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect for a three-year term.The mission of the task force is to develop recommendations to improve the quality and scope of child protective and preventative services supported by state government. The task force reviews practices and policies administered by the Division of Child Protection and Permanency and the Division of Family and Community Partnerships within the NJ Department of Children and Families. Dr. Monagas is delighted to serve on the task force and continues to educate others on best practices for child abuse survivors.
“I am honored to have been chosen to serve New Jersey’s most vulnerable children in this capacity,” says Dr. Monagas. "I am excited to be part of this community of professionals working towards creating positive change and ensuring better outcomes for children involved with the child welfare system.”The task force, a state-mandated program, includes ex-officio, legislators, representatives, and public members all working to facilitate prevention strategies that educate the general public on issues of child abuse and neglect. The team expedites investigations of child abuse in a timely manner to optimize coordination of services.
While at GSAPP, Dr. Monagas focused all of her training and practicum on understanding child maltreatment programs and policy throughout the state. After graduation, she specifically focused on psychological evaluations and treatment for child abuse victims and their families at various programs statewide.Since 2009, Dr. Monagas has served as a clinical specialist at the McCormick Center for Child Advocacy and Policy and supervises the practicum experience for undergraduates focused on child advocacy and policy. In 2012, she became the Executive Director of the NJ Children’s Alliance, a statewide nonprofit that promotes hope, healing, and justice for victims of child abuse. The organization works with Child Advocacy Centers throughout the state who serve as first responders to child abuse victims. Initially, her team supported seven centers that advocate for children and families throughout the state. By the end of 2021, the alliance will fully support 21 centers to represent each county in the state of New Jersey.
These centers give children a safe place to disclose abuse with a trained forensic advisor to minimize trauma and offer support. The multidisciplinary team brings partners together to make decisions that promote advocacy and healing for victims, on a case-by-case basis. We understand the value of this work, now more than ever due to the surge in child abuse cases during COVID-19 quarantine, and appreciate the time and commitment Dr. Monagas has extended to serve the most vulnerable. To learn more about the New Jersey Children's Alliance, Inc., visit, https://njcainc.org/.