December 2018
The Arc of New Jersey Family Institute is dedicated to providing the resources and referrals necessary to navigate through the system of care. We provide timely information and work to bridge the gap between service changes and families.
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Governmental Affairs Update
Family members celebrated National Family Caregiver Month at the State House in November by speaking with their elected officials about their day-to-day experiences of supporting a loved one with I/DD. This annual event, hosted by The Arc of New Jersey Family Institute, gives families the chance to  meet and speak to their elected officials and talk about the issues they care about. This included the important role of Direct Support Professionals and caring for a loved one at home. Senate President Sweeney, members of the Senate and Assembly Budget Committees and legislators from both Houses stopped by to speak with families during the event. 
Op-Ed - Care professionals in NJ deserve better wages
Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) provide all supports necessary for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to live in their communities. However, NJ currently has a DSP workforce shortage. A few months ago Paula Solomon, mother and member of The Arc of New Jersey Family Institute's Family Advisory Board, published an op-ed on New Jersey's current Direct Support Professional (DSP) workforce crisis and how it directly affects her daughter's life in the community.

Better IEPs: Trauma-Sensitive IEPs
Recent research points to one of the most effective ways to overcome adverse childhood experiences and promote more positive outcomes – relationships. These can be with typical peers, mentors, or kind and caring adults. They can provide safe and supportive learning environments necessary for children with trauma.

The Community Health Law Project

The Community Health Law Project can provide legal and advocacy assistance to individuals and families in the community who are receiving services from the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) .  Assistance is available in several areas including:

  • Housing advocacy such as landlord-tenant disputes;
  • Public entitlements, including eligibility for SSI, SSDI, public assistance, and food stamps;
  • Medicaid, Medicare, and other healthcare issues such as managed care disputes;
  • Child support, visitation, domestic violence;
  • Barrier-free accessibility, American with Disabilities Act and New Jersey Law Against Discrimination matters;  
  • Surrogate decision making issues including wills, living wills, advance directives, powers of attorney, and uncontested guardianships (also limited guardianship and conservatorship).

Essex - 973-680-5599
Union - 908-355-8282
Hudson - 201-630-6201
Monmouth -732-380-1012
Ocean -732-349-6714
Mercer - 609-392-5553
Burlington - 609-261-3453
Camden - 856-858-9500
Atlantic - 856-858-9500
Mission to Transition

New Jersey Work Incentives Network Support (NJWINS) program assists Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) beneficiaries to start, continue or increase work efforts while maintaining benefits for as long as they are needed.
Navigating the System

The Family Support Coalition of New Jersey is an advocacy network made up of Family Support provider agencies throughout the state and families who are caring for a loved one with an intellectual and developmental disability at home. The Coalition supports the power of families and individuals with disabilities to shape policies that impact on their lives. 
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