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Our Programs and 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.

Our Programs and Projects by Category

Our List of Programs and Projects 

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

Center for Youth Voice, Youth Choice

The Center on Youth Voice, Youth Choice is a resource center for youth with disabilities.

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 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

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

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

Genetic Alliance on the National Genetics Information and Family Support Center

The Family Center provides tools and resources to support family engagement in genetic services through a partnership between Genetic Alliance, SPAN Parent Advocacy Network, and Parent to Parent USA

Health Care Enrollment and NJ Paid Family Leave

Since March of 2020, NJ FamilyCare/Medicaid has followed special rules related to the federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE). These rules have allowed most NJ FamilyCare/Medicaid members to keep their health coverage, even if they no longer qualified – for example, if their income was too high.

Kinship Care

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.

Leaders Empowered as Advocates with Dignity (LEAD) project

The Leaders Empowered as Advocates with Dignity (LEAD) project proposes to serve families and individuals of childbearing age for whom their children or future children are at risk of preventable I/DDs, specifically FAS/FASD.

Medicaid Unwinding Project

Conduct outreach and education to ensure New Jersey families are aware of NJ Familycare/Medicaid unwinding, specific eligibility, enrollment qualifications, timelines, and the availability of resources and services in their communities.

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

New Jersey 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

New  Jersey Inclusive Higher Education Collaborative

More and more high school students with disabilities are planning to continue their education in postsecondary schools, including vocational and career schools, two- and four-year colleges, and universities. We have  partnered with three New Jersey colleges that offer programs for students with I/DD

New Jersey Integrated Care for Kids (NJ InCK)

Improving access to health and social services for children/youth with special healthcare needs from birth through age 21 residing in Ocean and Monmouth counties.

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

New Jersey 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

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

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

Family Engagement and Leadership in Systems of Care (FELSC)

Funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), the Family Engagement and Leadership in Systems of Care is a national center funded to provide technical assistance to support family-professional partnerships aimed at improving outcomes for children and youth with special healthcare needs (CYSHCN).

Center for Transition to Adult Health Care for Youth with Disabilities

Provide healthcare transition training and resources to youth and young adults with ID/DD, ages 12-26, their families, and the professionals who serve them.

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

New Jersey Family Engagement Hub

NJFEH provides technical assistance (TA) and training to the New Jersey (NJ) State educational agency (SEA) and local educational agencies (LEAs), educators, administrators, family organizations, family leaders, families, and community-based organizations (CBO) in the implementation and enhancement of systemic and effective family engagement (FE) policies, programs, and activities that lead to improvements in student development and academic achievement.