First Lady Tammy Murphy today introduced Connecting NJ, New Jersey’s first-of-its-kind network of partners and agencies dedicated to helping New Jersey families thrive. The website – www.NJ.gov/ConnectingNJ – centralizes information and referrals to state and local wellness services, including healthcare for mothers and children, early education programs, domestic violence support, addiction treatment, financial and housing assistance, home visiting programs, behavioral health services, and more. As a single point of entry for community members in need, Connecting NJ simplifies the process of accessing care.
Formerly known as Central Intake, the Connecting NJ brand launch includes a new website that provides community resources, programs, and services that help families care for children from pregnancy to age five. The rebrand supports a recommendation in the Nurture NJ Maternal and Infant Health Strategic Plan to improve and transform the referral system as the state continues to act as a national leader in tackling the maternal and infant health crisis.
“As we work to make New Jersey the safest and most equitable state in the nation to deliver and raise a baby, we must ensure that families have access to the resources and assistance they need,” said First Lady Tammy Murphy. “I am proud of our ongoing work to improve Connecting NJ, which will serve as a welcoming platform where state and community support systems are made easily accessible. Through Connecting NJ, we will make certain that no family, mother, or child is left without the resources they need to thrive.”
Additionally, Governor Murphy’s proposed Fiscal Year 2023 budget includes $2.1 million in funding to increase case management capacity in each of the Connecting NJ hubs. The funding strengthens the Connecting NJ network by increasing capacity for follow-up, outreach, and case management for families with young children who may need additional support to connect to resources.
Connecting NJ, which is supported by the New Jersey Departments of Health and Children and Families, utilizes a county-based, single point-of-entry system that simplifies and streamlines the referral process for obstetrical and prenatal care providers, community agencies, and families. Some of the resources include:
- NJ FamilyCare, New Jersey’s publicly funded health insurance program that includes coverage for doula care, doctor visits, prescriptions, vision, dental care, mental health, substance use services, and more.
- Community doulas who provide culturally competent, emotional, and social support to mothers before, during, and after pregnancy.
- Home visiting programs like Nurse-Family Partnership, Healthy Families, and Parents as Teachers that provide community-based education and in-home support to parents.
- Women, Infants and Children (WIC), a successful public health nutrition program that provides wholesome food, nutrition education and community support for income eligible women who are pregnant and post-partum, infants, and children up to five years old.
“Connecting NJ links families with the services they need to keep their families healthy and thriving,” said Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli. “Referrals are available for a wide variety of health and social services including doulas and access to nutritious foods and breastfeeding guidance through the Women, Infant and Children Program.”
“We recognize that New Jersey families with young children are navigating a lot every day. Providing families with a direct link to relevant and essential programs and services helps to empower them,” said DCF Commissioner, Christine Norbut Beyer. “Connecting NJ agencies, partners and support systems offer access to information and referrals to local wellness services, including healthcare for mothers and children, early education programs, domestic violence support, addiction treatment, financial assistance, home visiting programs and behavioral health services. Collectively, we’re working to keep NJ families safe, healthy and connected.”
With support from the Nicholson Foundation, the Administration worked with stakeholders including moms, dads, guardians, and the Connecting NJ hubs to ensure the network’s new name, logo and messaging remained as welcoming, inviting, and trusted as the staff supporting the system. The new name, Connecting NJ provides an approachable conversation starter and welcomes all families.
Seven community organizations oversee Connecting NJ at the county level:
1. Acenda Integrated Health
2. Central Jersey Family Health Consortium
3. Children’s Home Society of New Jersey
4. Partnership for Maternal and Child Health of Northern New Jersey
5. Prevent Child Abuse NJ
6. Project Self-Sufficiency
7. Southern New Jersey Perinatal Cooperative
To access the website, visit nj.gov/ConnectingNJ.
To learn more about Nurture NJ, visit NurtureNJ.nj.gov.
Follow Nurture NJ and First Lady Tammy Murphy on Twitter (@FirstLadyNJ), Facebook (@FirstLadyNJ), and Instagram (@firstladynewjersey).