April 12, 2006
Contact: Kaylyn Kendall Dines
Phone: (973) 972-3000
Partnership Between UMDNJ and SPAN To Help Children and Families
-The American Counseling Association named April as Counseling
NEWARK—A new collaborative agreement between the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network will enhance services for families of children who receive care at UMDNJ's University Behavioral HealthCare in Newark.
As a result of the partnership, beginning this month, a SPAN representative will be available at UMDNJ-University Behavioral HealthCare on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., to inform parents of local resources, training, technical assistance and support groups. SPAN staff members will help parents navigate through education, social, health and human service agencies to resolve their concerns.
The UMDNJ-University Behavioral HealthCare provides a full range of outpatient services to children and adolescents between ages three and 17. UMDNJ's behavioral health professionals, including psychiatrists, nurses, psychologists, social workers and counselors, treat children who have experienced anxiety, depression, stress, trauma, social skills, attentional and learning difficulties.
"As we continue providing children with behavioral health care services, the partnership between UMDNJ and SPAN is intended to connect our patient's parents with an advocate who will help empower families at no cost," said Christopher O. Kosseff, president and CEO of UMDNJ-University Behavioral HealthCare.
SPAN representatives will talk to parents about the challenges they encounter, which are barriers to the healthy development and education of their children. SPAN staff will provide suggestions for overcoming obstacles, join parents during visits to agencies to resolve concerns, and communicate via e-mail, phone, letters, or in person on behalf of the family.
"We wanted to bring our services to where they can be utilized," said Diana Autin, executive co-director of the Statewide Advocacy Parenting Network. "Our presence at UMDNJ is intended to be an asset to parents who may need assistance with obtaining services for children who have special needs, accessing health insurance, and helping to strengthen family communication as a way to steer children away from violence and substance abuse."
SPAN is funded by the U.S. Department of Education to provide technical assistance and support to federally funded parent centers throughout the Northeast United States and to families of children with special needs in New Jersey. For more information about the partnership, call UMDNJ, 973-972-6831, or SPAN at 973-642-8100.