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About CGE

CGE History

Continuum of Care

Founded in 1998 in Somerville, New Jersey, The Center for Great Expectations (CGE) originally operated from a modest two-bedroom house donated by the Immaculate Conception parish, catering annually to 12 expectant mothers. Over a decade in this initial setting honed CGE’s expertise in delivering dignified, compassionate support to a vulnerable demographic of individuals.

By 2008, recognizing the need for expanded services, CGE successfully fundraised $4.2 million to establish two specialized residential facilities in Somerset for adults and their children requiring long-term mental health and substance use treatments, and for adolescents with mental health issues who are pregnant or parenting—the latter being the state’s sole residential program of its kind.

CGE’s growth from 2008 to 2018 was marked by significant expansions in service offerings and capacity, evolving to meet the diverse needs of over 1000 women, men, and children annually. This expansion included the inauguration of Katy’s Place (a Child Development Center), Roots to Recovery (an outpatient program in North Brunswick for treating substance use, co-occurring, and primary mental health disorders), a Permanent Supportive Housing program offering 28 units for at-risk families, and START, a program offering free telehealth and home visitation and doula support services for those in recovery.

Throughout its evolution, CGE has maintained its foundational commitment to breaking the cycle of abuse, homelessness, and substance use by providing comprehensive, dignified care to the economically marginalized, homeless, and those dealing with mental health or substance use disorders, pregnant or parenting.

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Slide to explore our landmark years

Short story on who the Center for Great Expectations is and what we support.

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Trauma Informed Care — A Relational Recovery Model

Early Relational Health Model

Provides opportunities to build resilience from gestation through age five by building a secure attachment between parent and child.

Measurement-Based Care

CGE collaborates with Rutgers School of Social Work to consistently collect and analyze client treatment data to ensure the best possible outcomes.

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The culture at CGE embraces the inherent worth of all. A feeling of belonging is crucial for a sense of physical and psychological safety.

Safety & Growth

Dignity, Equity & Belonging

Cultural Humility




CGE’s healing-centered treatment model offers evidence-informed modalities that are responsive to the uniqueness of each community we serve. Services provided by a multidisciplinary team honor differences in the way that clients prefer to receive care.







Our approach disrupts the cycle of intergenerational trauma by nurturing the parent-child relationship, and fostering healthier interactions that enable clients to build more positive connections with their children. Central to this, our Early Relational Health model positions this bond as key to overall well-being.

Parent Child

Staff Client

Staff Staff

Community Organization



Empowerment is viewed as power with as opposed to power over. This approach to care is carried out in all of our practices. Shared power celebrates one’s voice in defining an individualized path toward wellness. To give voice to matters that reflect one’s truth is perhaps the most respectful thing we can do for another human.

Choice & Voice

Measurement-Informed Care



Leadership Staff

Edward Ratush, MD

Medical Director

Ken McGill, EdS, LMFT

Chief Operating Officer

Kim Ruoff, MHRM, LAC

Director of Human Resources

Debbie Haroldsen

Director of Finance

Anastasia Krosnick, DNP, PMHNP

Psychiatric Advanced Practice Nurse

Development Staff

Veronica Finlay

Director of Development

Noreen Whittemore

Director of Community Relations

Laurie Lachs

Public Affairs and Events Manager

The Institute of CGE

Frank Picone, LCSW

Chief Training Officer

Program Staff

Carolyn Flynn, MA, LPC, CD

Director of Early Relational Health

MaryJean DiRoberto

Program Manager, Katy’s Place

Jennifer Unger, LCSW, LCADC, CCS

Clinical Liaison

Fiorella Garrido, LSW

Program Manager, Adult Residential

Leigh Rasmussen, MS, LAC, LCADC

Program Manager, Adolescent Program

Angela Reina, MS, LAC, NCC

Program Manager, Permanent Supportive Housing

William Torres, LCADC

Program Manager, Roots to Recovery

Jennifer Kennedy, LCSW

Program Manager, START
A deep commitment to our community

Board of Trustees


Advisory Board

Trusted by our network

2023 Impact Report

Take a more in-depth look at our impact in 2023 with our 2023 Impact Report.

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