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About SPAN

The SPAN Parent Advocacy Network is an independent 501(c)3 organization committed to empowering families as advocates and partners in improving education, health, and mental health outcomes for infants, toddlers, children and youth.  SPAN is a "first stop" for New Jersey families.  SPAN offers families, professionals, policy makers and our parent center colleagues information, resources, support and advocacy assistance addressing:  effective parent involvement, child care, general and special education, dropout and bullying prevention, child welfare, health care, mental health, youth leadership, transition to adult life, incarcerated youth, military family support, violence prevention & more.  

Our vision is that all families will have the resources and support they need to ensure that their children become fully participating and contributing members of our communities and society.  Our mission is to empower and support families and inform and involve professionals interested in the healthy development and education of children and youth.  Our foremost commitment is to children and families with the greatest need due to disability or special health/mental health needs; poverty; discrimination based on race, sex, language, immigrant or homeless status; involvement in the foster care, child welfare, or juvenile justice systems; geographic location; or other special circumstances.  Our motto is, "Empowered Parents: Educated, Engaged, Effective!"

SPAN is New Jersey's  Parent Training and Information CenterFamily to Family Health Information CenterFamily Voices State Affiliate OrganizationParent to Parent USA affiliate; and a chapter of the Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health.  We also share our expertise in serving families and youth with parent-led organizations across the U.S. and territories through four (4) technical assistance centers.  These Centers, the national Center for Parent Information and Resources, the Northeast Parent Center Assistance and Collaboration Team (Region 1 Parent Technical Assistance Center), the National RAISE Center and the regional REACH for Transition, are dedicated to building the capacity of the almost 100 Parent Training and Information Centers and Community Parent Resource Centers funded by the U.S. Department of Education to improve the outcomes for infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities through information, training and support for their families and partnerships for systemic improvement.

We can help you:

  • Know your rights as a youth, young adult, parent or caregiver.
  • Advocate for children and families.
  • Secure appropriate services.
  • Keep children in school.
  • Navigate education, health, mental health systems.
  • Prepare for life after high school.
  • Connect with other parents who understand
  • Start a parent group
  • Become an effective partner in improving our schools.
  • Be a catalyst to improve services for children and families.
  • Access resources and information.

A summary of SPAN's Confidentiality Policy and Technical Assistance Policy, can be found below.