SPAN The Bridge Newsletter pictorial graphic.  Your weekly access to SPAN news, resources and events.

January 24, 2024 | Issue 114 (View newsletter as webpage) Para leer este boletín en Español, haga clic aquí

Important News

Decorative image

Governor Murphy Signs Doula Access Bill Into Law

On January 16, Governor Murphy signed the Doula Access Bill

(S-4119/A-5739), which ensures every mother has the right to a doula in a hospital or birth center. The bill unanimously passed both houses on January 8, 2024 before reaching the Governor’s desk.

Under the bill, hospitals and birthing centers must develop and maintain policies that allow doulas to accompany patients before, during, and after labor and childbirth. These facilities will also be required to publicly post their policies and designate a contact to maintain communications between their staff, the doula community, and patients.

“Evidence shows that doulas help reduce birth complications, lower rates of C-sections, improve mental health, and provide overall essential support and advocacy during the birthing process, making them an indispensable part of a mother’s health care team,” said First Lady Tammy Murphy.

For more on the bill and its passage, click here.


New Jersey Citizen Action logo

Apply to Be a Paid Leave Organizer!

NJ Citizen Action has launched its 2024 Paid Leave Organizer Program and is seeking applications from those interested in organizing and paid leave policies.


The new 2024 Paid Leave Organizer cohort will take part in a 9-month training and collaborative learning experience. In 2024, 12 Paid Leave Organizers will be selected to participate in monthly trainings focused on organizing and paid leave policies, and in monthly "NJ Voices for Paid Leave" discussion forums. Organizers will also get the opportunity to participate in policy advocacy, get-out-the-vote activities and more!

To find an overview of the program before applying, click here.

To learn more and apply, click here.

Deadline to apply is this Friday, January 26th.

To learn more about Paid Leave, click here to view SPAN's NJ Paid Family Leave page.

FAMILY CONNECTS NJ: Nurse Visits Supporting Parents & Newborns at Home

Photo of mother holding her newborn baby.

Family Connects NJ is a new program that connects parents with a specially trained nurse for a personalized follow up visit at home within the first two weeks after their child’s birth. Visits are offered to all families at no cost, regardless of income, insurance or immigration status.

All New Jersey families who have welcomed a newborn into their lives, whether through birth, adoption, or as a resource parent or kinship caregiver, can receive the support they may need as they navigate the challenges, joys, and adjustments of parenthood. Whether this is your first child, or one of many, every parent can use a little extra support – and Family Connects NJ is ready and willing to serve you. 

For more information and to sign up, click here.

To learn more about SPAN's Early Childhood Initiatives, click here.

Upcoming Events

SPAN offers a variety of learning opportunities for families and the professionals who work with them.

Highlighted Event This Week

NJ Department of Education logo

DREAMS Program Information Session for School Districts/Staff

January 31, 2024

9:00 am - 10:00 am EST


The New Jersey Department of Children and Families’ Children’s System of Care (CSOC), in collaboration with the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE), will provide support to New Jersey school districts through the Developing Resiliency with Engaging Approaches to Maximize Success (DREAMS) Program.

The DREAMS initiative focuses on providing trauma-informed and healing centered supports that assist school staff and students in building positive relationships and emotional self-regulation.

The second of two information sessions to introduce school staff to the purpose, requirements and supports offered through participating in the DREAMS grant is taking place on January 31st and interested participants can now register.

For more information and to register, click here.

See all of SPAN's upcoming events with details and registration links here 

Para recibir la edición en Español de este boletín semanalmente en su correo electrónico 

haga clic aquí para suscribirse
SPAN Youth Hub image

Embracing Change

Read our latest youth blog post, Embracing Change, to learn about accepting change in order to grow. 

To access the post, click here.

Subscribe to The Bridge by CLICKING HERE

Share your SPAN testimonial story! CLICK HERE

Join the SPAN Team - View Open Positions here

Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn  Instagram