Sister to Sister Community Doula Project

SPAN Parent Advocacy Network
Project Period: 
Funding Amount:
Program Area:
Primary Care
Geographic Area: 
Newark, Essex County

The SPAN Parent Advocacy Network is a nonprofit organization based in Newark, whose mission is to empower and support families and inform and involve professionals interested in the healthy development and education of children and youth across systems. Its primary commitment is to children and families with the greatest need due to disability or special health or mental health needs; poverty; discrimination based on race, sex, gender, language, immigrant or homeless status; involvement in foster care, child welfare, or juvenile justice systems; or geographic location.

This project, a collaborative effort with the DOH, is a component of the DOH’s statewide Healthy Women Healthy Families initiative. It supports efforts to address the high rate of Black infant mortality in New Jersey by developing a community doula program that serves Camden and Atlantic City.  As a first step in this effort, SNJPC recruits women living in these communities to become doulas. Once selected, the doulas attend an eight-day training using the Uzazi Village Perinatal Doula Curriculum, which focuses on the experiences of women of color. Working with Community Health Workers (CHWs), the doulas reach out and engage women who are pregnant, accompany them to three prenatal appointments and the labor and delivery. In addition, the CHWs have two in-person visits with each woman during the postpartum period, providing them with support and information about local resources and services that promote child and family wellness.

The SPAN Parent Advocacy Network is one of three organizations participating in this initiative. The other two organizations are:

Learn more about the SPAN Parent Advocacy Network.