STATEWIDE PARENT ADVOCACY NETWORK INCORPORATED

Empowered Parents: Educated, Engaged, Effective!

aka SPAN Parent Advocacy Network (SPAN)   |   Newark, NJ   |  www.spanadvocacy.org

Mission

SPAN's 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.

Ruling year info

1988

Executive Director

Ms. Diana Marie Therese Katherine Autin Esq.

Main address

35 Halsey St Ste 400

Newark, NJ 07102 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

22-2868501

NTEE code info

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (S01)

Children's Rights (R28)

Disabled Persons' Rights (R23)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The major problem SPAN seeks to address is the need to strengthen the capacity of families to raise and advocate for their children, and to ensure the inclusion of the voices of diverse families in the discussion and decision-making processes on issues that affect their children and families. A companion problem is the need to enhance the capacity of child and family-serving professionals and systems to meet the needs of children and families, especially those who face the greatest challenges and poorest outcomes. Sadly, despite multiple federal and state requirements to involve families, they are often not at the table – or even in the room – when key decisions are being made. Even when they are invited to the table, they are not prepared, supported, or treated as equal and powerful partners in determining the services and supports they need, identifying the barriers to access, and developing systems that are more responsive to family needs across systems.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Parent Training & Information Center for Families of Children with Disabilties

SPAN’s Parent Training and Information Center (PTI) helps families know their rights and best practices to ensure that infants, toddlers, children, youth and young adults with special needs receive the early intervention, education, and transition services they need for a productive life. SPAN helps families to work together with professionals across the systems that serve children. SPAN also works with families who have children at risk of inappropriate identification and classification.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Young adults

SPAN is developing parents as partners in decision-making in schools, district and communities. We are engaging parents of infants, toddlers, children and youth ages birth to 26 through leadership skills development, increasing their understanding of best practices in education, early childhood care and education, special education and mental health. We are helping parents, schools and school districts and community-based organizations to establish advisory groups that are creating change around the issues faced by children and families across all the systems that serve them.

Population(s) Served
Parents
Economically disadvantaged people

Operates a robust, web-based repository of products and resources for the network of 95+ Parent Training and Information Centers and Community Parent Resource Centers (Parent Centers) serving families with infants, toddlers, children, youth, and young adults with disabilities across the U.S. and territories. At the Parent Center Hub (parentcenterhub.org), Parent Centers can access useful and relevant resources to improve their programs and services and better coordinate their efforts with other parent centers. This project is in collaboration with the 6 Regional Parent Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs), the Native American PTAC, and the Military PTAC.

Population(s) Served
Parents
People with disabilities

Offers universal, targeted and specialized technical assistance to and coordinates the information and training activities of seven (7) regional/state Parent Information and Training Centers funded by the Rehabilitation Services Administration to assist youth and young adults with disabilities in achieving improved post-secondary outcomes, including post-secondary education, competitive employment, independent living, and civic engagement. Operates a website with transition and youth self-advocacy resources at www.raisecenter.org.

Population(s) Served
Parents
People with disabilities

Partners with WestEd, AIR, National Association of State Directors of Special Education, Council of Chief State School Officers, and others to provide technical assistance to state agencies in developing, implementing, and evaluating State Systemic Improvement Plans focused on improving outcomes for infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities. SPAN is part of the leadership team of NCSI, representing the collaboration between the Parent Technical Assistance Centers.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Young adults

In collaboration with Family Voices, provides support to the network of 51 Family to Family Health Information Centers (F2Fs) and Family Voices State Affiliate Organizations (FV SAOs), and to Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Programs, on diverse family and youth leadership development, engagement and mentoring. Strengthens the capacity of F2Fs and FV SAOs to effectively serve diverse families and youth to partner to improve outcomes on the US Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) core outcomes for children and youth with special healthcare needs (CYSHCN). Provides regional Serving on Groups train the trainer sessions and Leading by Convening workshops. For more information, go to spanadvocacy.org/programs/fpp.

Population(s) Served
Families
People with disabilities

Provides technical assistance to enhance the capacity of twenty-five (25) Parent Centers located in Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Vermont, and the Virgin Islands.

Population(s) Served
Parents
Families

Collaborates with 26 parent centers including the NYS Transition Partnership and the Federation for Children with Special Needs to enhance the information and training provided to youth with disabilities and their families on effective transition to adult life.

Population(s) Served
Families
Non-adult children

Provides information, training, and parent-to-parent support to families of children and youth with special healthcare needs and disabilities to help improve NJ’s performance on six core outcomes (early and continuous screening, access to medical home, community based services organized for easy use, adequate healthcare financing, family engagement, and effective transition to adult systems of care). Supports the Statewide Community of Care Consortium for CYSHCN.

Population(s) Served
Parents

Recruits, trains and supports diverse parents of children with special needs to prepare parents for and support parents at IEP meetings focused on inclusion and transition to adult life.

Population(s) Served
Parents
Families

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

National Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health State Chapter 2022

Family Voices State Affiliate 2022

Parent to Parent USA Affiliate 2022

National Center for Parent Leadership, Advocacy and Community Empowerment State Affiliate 2022

National Association for Family, School, and Community Engagement member 2022

NJ Alliance for Immigrant Justice (member) 2022

NJ Time to Care Coalition (member) 2022

NJ for Healthcare Coalition (member) 2022

NJ Juvenile Justice Reform Commission (member) 2022

NJ Center for Nonprofits (member) 2022

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Average number of service recipients per month

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Parents

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Average number of parents trained per month.

Number of meetings held with decision makers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Families

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of testimonies offered

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Families

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of entities served by expertise

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SPAN is committed to strengthening the voice and impact of families and family-led organizations to improve services to and outcomes for infants, toddlers, children, youth and young adults and their families, especially those who face the greatest challenges and disparities across systems (early childhood, education, health and mental health, child welfare, juvenile justice, etc.) We also work to improve the capacity of professionals to partner with and support diverse families in these systems. Our goal is to empower families and inform and involve professionals and others interested in the healthy development and education of children so that all children will become fully participating and contributing members of our communities and society. Our strategic vision is that SPAN will have the resources – professionally, organizationally and financially – to be recognized as a leading voice and resource for the growing parent advocacy movement.

SPAN's activities toward achieving our goal include providing information, training, technical assistance, parent-to-parent/family-to-family support, leadership development, and advocacy to families of children birth to 26 with and without special needs, and to women of childbearing age to promote positive health, improve birth outcomes, and prevent birth defects and developmental disabilities. Parent leadership development is an essential component of all SPAN projects. All families may access information and support through telephone/email assistance, parent-to-parent support, in-person or archived web-based workshops, and our website. Families with more intensive needs receive support from our Family Resource Specialists. In addition, through our national and regional projects, SPAN enhances the capacity of family organizations including Parent Centers and Family to Family Health Information Centers to positively impact children, youth and families at the individual, program, and systems level.

SPAN has a staff of 65 trained parents of children with and without special needs that represents New Jersey’s diversity: our staff is over 60% of color and speaks 8 languages. Our Board is a majority parents and represents experts in the field of health, education and adult education, advocacy, and the business community. Our Executive Directors has decades of experience in non-profit management and advocacy across systems. Our project directors and line staff have expertise in early childhood, education, transition to adult life, health, mental health, school health, child welfare, military family support, juvenile justice, human services, disability rights and services, family leadership development, family and professional development, individual assistance, and family organization capacity-building. We have strong and longstanding partnerships with government agencies and other organizations at the national, state, and local level. We are mission and values-driven.

SPAN has staff in every county in New Jersey, and is recognized nationally for our expertise in education, health and mental health, cultural competence, and parent engagement and leadership. Our trainings and individual assistance are rated as high quality, relevant and useful by over 95% of participants. SPAN participates on a myriad of national, state and local task forces. We have made a real difference in policy around issues such as state special education regulations, Family Leave Insurance, paid sick leave, our statewide children's system of care, and family support. Our impact has been recognized by awards from the NJ Department of Health for Reducing Health Disparities and Leadership in Maternal and Child Health, the Genetic Alliance with their Art of Novel Partnership Award, and multiple awards for SPAN staff and Resource Parent volunteers including most recently the 2022 Keys to Access Award from CADRE, the national technical assistance center for dispute resolution in early intervention and special education, and the 2022 Lifetime Achievement Advocacy Award from the NJ Council on Developmental Disabilities, for our Executive Director. Our national and regional support to family organizations is also highly rated by those organizations as well as our funders.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    All families will have the resources and support needed to ensure that their children become fully participating and contributing members of our communities and society. Mission: 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; 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.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes, Community meetings/Town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We made significant changes to our most recent Parent Center and Family to Family Health Information Center 5 year grant applications based on input from parents, youth, and our partners. We have created a Materials Review Committee with representation from diverse parent constituencies to review trainings and materials prior to publication to ensure that they are appropriate, relevant and useful for diverse populations. We are now translating our weekly Bridge e-newsletter into Spanish and releasing it simultaneously with the English version, and are translating all of our workshops into Spanish. We are revising our website in order to make it more accessible for people with disabilities and also improving the search function to make it easier for families and professionals to find info.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    We have a Stakeholder Council that provides input and feedback on our individual assistance, training, resources and materials, and act on their recommendations. We facilitate a Community of Care Consortium around maternal and child health that provides family leaders, state and local government agencies, service providers, community-based organizations, and advocacy groups the opportunity to work together to improve systems. Receiving and acting on feedback from the people we serve - families and professionals - gives them the power to influence our work, from what we focus on to what we do to how we measure success.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

STATEWIDE PARENT ADVOCACY NETWORK INCORPORATED
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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STATEWIDE PARENT ADVOCACY NETWORK INCORPORATED

Board of directors
as of 08/18/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. John Morel

Marsh USA, Inc.

Term: 2021 - 2023

Barbara Glazewski

Retired

Kaleena Berryman

Director, Abbot Leadership Institute, Rutgers University-Newark

Nekia Lewis

Global Health & Wellness Strategy, Verizon

John Morel

Marsh USA Insurance & Risk Management

John Pennett

EisnerAmper LLP

Libby Stone-Sterling

Maine Department of Labor

Dara Baldwin

Center for Disability Rights

Nancy Romanyshyn

Willis, Towers, Watson

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 8/15/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Native American/American Indian/Indigenous
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Person with a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 02/09/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.