The Statewide Parent Advocacy Network (SPAN), NJ’s PTI, worked with NJ’s early intervention system and the Boggs Center, NJ’s UCEDD, to develop a framework, policies, and procedures for NJ’s early intervention system’s dispute resolution system. The dispute resolution system includes Family Support Coordinators at Regional Early Intervention Collaboratives and an EI Procedural Safeguards Office that includes regional parent dispute resolution support and a Statewide Procedural Safeguards Coordinator. SPAN, the UCEDD, Disability Rights NJ (the P&A), and EI system staff have provided ongoing training to service coordinators, EI service providers, families, and mediators on how to access and use procedural safeguards and the dispute resolution mechanisms including informal and formal mediation, due process, and complaint investigation. These procedures were formalized into regulations and are contained in NJ’s “Family Rights in NJ’s Early Intervention System” guide for parents. Other resources for families include a recorded teleconference with resource materials for families on the PTI’s website. The collaboration between NJ’s PTI and EI system has ensured that families are aware of their procedural safeguards, and that families and service providers are knowledgeable about and can easily access available dispute resolution mechanisms.

Showcasing Exemplary Practices: CADRE's 5th National Symposium