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SPAN Programs & Projects

Working Hands-on with Families and Professionals

Making a positive impact on the lives of all families, with a focus on children, youth, and young adults with the greatest needs, including those with disabilities and special healthcare needs

SPAN receives numerous federal, state, and other grants and funding to run a variety of programs and projects that support our vision and mission. Through the activities of these programs, we provide families and professionals with the resources and support they need to ensure that their children become fully participating and contributing members of our communities and society.

Local and State

Our Projects & Programs

Building Bridges to Success: Parent Training & Information (PTI) Center

Helping families know their rights and best practices to ensure that infants, toddlers, children, youth, and young adults with disabilities receive the early intervention, education, and transition services they need for a productive life

Child Welfare Family Advocacy Program

Enhancing parent engagement and increasing the ability of families involved in Family Court and with the Division of Child Protection and Permanency to more effectively advocate on behalf of their child and families

Community of Care Consortium

Bringing together stakeholders who care about maternal and child health, including promoting health, preventing disabilities, and supporting families of children with special healthcare needs

Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) Mentoring and Family Engagement Project

Increasing the number of newborns and infants identified as Deaf/Hard of Hearing (D/HH) enrolled in Early Intervention services, and providing support to families/parents/caregivers of newborns and infants who are D/HH

Education & Health Rights of Children and Youth with Special Needs in Child Welfare & Juvenile Justice

Training and supporting families of children and youth with special needs in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems; training all new Department of Children and Families Social Workers as part of their orientation

Empowering Women in Community Leadership for Healthier Families

Providing leadership training and education, and supporting and facilitating community engagement for NJ women of childbearing age whose children are at risk of elevated blood lead levels and/or at risk of being born with fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS)/fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD)

Essex Family Council & Grandmothers as Caregivers

Providing information, training, support, and leadership development to parents and grandparents in Essex County, especially those who are raising children, youth and young adults with special needs, including mental health needs.

Family to Family Health Information Center @ Family Voices-NJ

Providing support for families of children with special health care needs to access health care, health coverage and financing, community services, early screening, transition to adult services, and family-professional partnerships

Family WRAP

Providing support on decision-making rights about a child’s health and education, support group resources, and respite care; preparing for IEP meetings, health care appointments, and hospital visits; and resolving conflicts with school and health staff

Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health Chapter

Providing information, training, technical assistance, and support to families and youth with emotional, behavioral, and mental health needs, and working to improve services and policies that impact them

Military Family Support 360 Center

Assisting military families—active duty and retired military and National Guard and Reserve personnel throughout New Jersey—who have infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities aged birth to 26

NJ Inclusive Child Care Project (NJICCP)

Provides trainings and technical assistance to child care providers and families on practices to enhance child care programs’ capacity to serve children with disabilities in early childhood placements including before/after school and summer camp programs

Early Childhood Initiatives

Celebrating children’s development; improving early identification; working to get children and families the services and support they need by addressing the needs of parents, parents-to-be, infants, and young children; and focusing on parent leadership development

New Jersey Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (NJLEND)

Preparing graduate-level health and allied health fellows with high-quality, interdisciplinary, family-centered, culturally competent care addressing the complex needs of children with autism, related disabilities, and other maternal and child health populations

NJ Statewide Parent to Parent

A statewide network of parents and caregivers supporting families of children with developmental delays, disabilities, mental health challenges, or other special health needs

Parents as Champions for Healthy Schools

Employing the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) framework to provide family leadership development workshops to engage families in advocacy for healthier school environments

Special Education Volunteer Advocates (SEVA)

Training SPAN Resource Parents to serve as volunteer supports for families preparing for and participating in IEP meetings focused on inclusion and effective transition to adult life

Sister to Sister Community Doulas of Essex County

Supporting black women in Newark, NJ, with community doula care and advocacy to access prenatal, natal, and post-natal care in order to improve birth outcomes, increase breastfeeding, and reduce black infant and maternal mortality and unnecessary C-sections

START–Engaging Parents of Students with Disabilities

Offering programs and services that support the engagement of families to improve outcomes for students, including developing and supporting Special Education Parent Advisory Groups (SEPAGs) in communities and school districts

Transition from School to Adult Life

Providing information, training, and technical assistance for youth, their families, and professionals in order to support informed and effective transition from school to adult life for youth with disabilities

Youth in the Know

Providing links to resources and guides for youth to begin conversations with parents and health care providers about medical decisions, healthcare, career opportunities, education, college, transportation, housing, and much more

Beyond NJ

Regional & National Projects

Below are SPAN’s “National” and “Regional” programs that support the almost 100 Parent Training and Information Centers (PTIs) and Community Parent Resource Centers (CPRCs) within the US and US Territories funded by the US Department of Education. These national/regional projects help build the capacity of the PTIs and CPRCs that provide information, training, and support for families; build partnerships for systemic improvement; and improve outcomes for infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities throughout the United States.


Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR) (National)

A central resource of information and products for the 96 Parent Training & Information (PTI) Centers and the Community Parent Resource Centers (CPRC) serving families of children with disabilities across the US and its Territories

Leadership in Family–Professional Partnerships (National)

Building the capacity of (1) Family to Family Health Information Centers, Family Voices State Affiliates, and other family-led organizations to reach and serve diverse families in their state, and of (2) state and local Maternal and Child Health programs to partner with diverse family and youth leaders

Navigating Excellence–Parent Center Assistance & Collaboration Team (NE-PACT) (Regional)

Provides TA for state Parent Centers servicing families of children with special needs and working with state agencies on improving services for infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities

RAISE Technical Assistance Center (National)

Coordinates with Rehabilitation Services Administration Parent Training and Information Centers (RSA-PTIs) supporting youth with disabilities on transition from high school to higher education, employment, and independent living

REAL Transition Partners (Regional)

Provides information, training, individual assistance, and support to help youth/young adults with disabilities and their families transition to adulthood