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

January 18, 2022 | Issue 14 (View newsletter as webpage)

Important News

The White House official logo

FACT SHEET: Biden-Harris Administration Increases COVID-19 Testing in Schools to Keep Students Safe and Schools Open

On Jan. 12, the Biden-Harris Administration announced 

continued commitments to keeping all schools safely open for full-time in-person learning. The Administration is taking new action to increase access to COVID-19 testing in schools. They will increase the number of COVID-19 tests available to schools by 10 million per month. These additional tests will help schools safely remain open and implement screening testing and test-to-stay programs.

To view the fact sheet go to this link.


Division for Early Childhood Recommended Practices Logo

Bridging the Gap Between Research and Practice for Young Children

The Division for Early Childhood(DEC) of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) is an international membership organization for those who work with or on behalf of young children (0-8) with disabilities and other special needs and their families. ​

Recommended Practices: A DEC initiative that bridges the gap between research and practice, offering guidance to parents and professionals who work with young children who have or are at risk for developmental delays or disabilities.

The primary goal of the Recommended Practices (RPs) is to inform and improve the quality of services provided to young children with or at risk of disabilities or delays and their families.

Resources: The Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA) has developed free resources to support practitioners, families, and professional development providers in the use of the DEC Recommended Practices.

Key resources include:

Performance Checklists:

Practice Guides for Practitioners:

Practice Guides for Families (English):

Guías de práctica para las familias:

For questions or more information: Contact Deepa Srinivasavaradan, DEC aRPy Ambassador: [email protected]

Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities ECHO Network

Project ECHO logo

This virtual network provides real-time access to experienced experts in the field of mental health for people with developmental disabilities. MHDD ECHO gives participants the opportunity to take an active role in rich dialogue with the team and with their fellow participants.

Each session includes a brief lecture, case presentation, and open discussion facilitated by an interdisciplinary team.

The Winter-Spring 2022 MHDD ECHO Hub Team includes a psychologist, a clinician, an applied behavior analyst, and a parent.

The 8 sessions run for 90 minutes from 9:00 - 10:30 am Alaska time which is 1 - 2:30 pm EST every other Thursday from January 20th - April 28th, 2022.

Topics for lectures and discussions include:

  • Brief Introduction & Family Perspective
  • History and Prevalence of Dual Diagnosis & Needs Assessment
  • Person-Centered Trauma Informed Care
  • Cognitive Considerations
  • Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Testing & Diagnosis

Register at this link

Learn about SPAN's role as the Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health NJ State Organization (NJ FFCMH) at this link

Upcoming Events

See what's happening this month

SPAN offers a variety of learning opportunities for families and the professionals who work with them. Check out our Event Calendar (link) for details and registration links.

Upcoming Events include (links):

And more (link)!

Decorative images of parents with children

JMacForFamilies Logo

Social Transitional Empowerment Project (S.T.E.P.)

JMacForFamilies is a non-profit that works to abolish the current punitive and harmful child welfare system, and create a system that truly supports families and communities. They are hosting a virtual Social Transitional Empowerment Program (S.T.E.P.) for young adults, ages 18-24, who have been impacted by the child welfare system and want to change it.

Participants will begin the process of healing by:

  • Discussing the history of the child welfare system
  • Developing advocacy skills for themselves and their community
  • Building additional skills, such as: presenting testimony to lawmakers, writing op-eds, building a resume, and identifying local resources

Zoom sessions will be every Wednesday night from 6-:00-7:30PM EST from Wednesday, February 2nd, 2022 through May 4th, 2022.

Those who successfully complete the sessions will receive a $500 stipend at the end of the program.

Complete the on-line application at this link

before January 26, 2022

Contact [email protected] with any questions

To attend a SPAN workshop about Education and Health Care Rights in the NJ Child Protection System register at this link.

Share your SPAN testimonial story! CLICK HERE

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