The Statewide Parent Advocacy Network of New Jersey (SPAN), in collaboration with the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services Special Child Health Services, has expanded and enhanced our services to families of children with special needs. Family WRAP provides one-stop, “wrap-around” services, information, resources and support to families of children with disabilities, developmental delays and special health care needs. Family WRAP combines four SPAN programs: Family Resource Specialists/ Project CARE, Parent to Parent, Family Voices and Family to Family Health Information Center.
Patricia Paraskevacos, Director of Family WRAP
For assistance from a Family Resource Specialist:
Patricia Paraskevacos, Project Coordinator,
Services are provided to parents, caregivers, families and professionals at no cost or expense.
Project CARE: SPAN Family Resource Specialists are parents of children with special needs. These parent advocates are housed part-time at Special Child Health Services/Case Management Units in Bergen, Bu rlington*, Camden, Cape May*, Cumberland*, Essex, Gloucester*, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Passaic, Union, Salem* and Sussex counties. They provide information and advocacy on family rights to families who have children with special healthcare needs. They help families navigate the systems that help children with special needs and their families. They help smooth the transition from early intervention to pre-school and the other transitions throughout a child’s life through transition to adult life. They provide resources such as parent support groups, local and state agencies and respite care. They help prepare for and can support families at IEP meetings, health care appointments, and hospital visits, and assist families resolve conflicts with school and healthcare staff.
*The Family Resource Specialists in these SCHS CMUs are funded as part of the Parent Training and Information Center grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
Through Parent to Parent, four Regional Associates (northwest, northeast, central and south), a Bergen-Passaic Coordinator, and an Essex County Coordinator housed in SPAN’s Newark office, can match families of children with disabilities or special health care needs with “supporting parents.” They are also available to conduct orientations for parent groups and individual parents interested in becoming “supporting parents,” to build skills in effective listening, active communication, parent empowerment strategies, and methods of providing support. The Family Support Center of New Jersey provides families with crucial information about their child’s special needs, available resources, and support.
Family Voices coordinators provide telephone assistance and training on health care, health coverage, and effective health advocacy and informed decision-making. They have free literature and a newsletter available to help you advocate on behalf of your child’s health, insurance information and other medical issues affecting children with special needs. They can also provide information on New Jersey FamilyCare for your children and family.
Visit our New Section:
Family WRAP Collaborators & Program Funders
||Statewide Parent Advocacy Network
Family Voices-NJ at SPAN
NJ Department of Health & Senior Services
Family Support Center of New Jersey
For Essex Family WRAP
or to schedule an Essex County
Parent to Parent orientation or Family Voices presentation, contact:
Shirley Johnson, Essex Family WRAP Coordinator
c/o SPAN • 35 Halsey Street, 3rd Floor • Newark, NJ 07102
(973) 642-8100 x112 • Fax (973) 642-8080