Through the American Rescue Plan Act, the New Jersey Department of Children and Families in collaboration with the New Jersey Department of Education, invites local educational agencies along with district and school leaders to participate in the 2024- 2025 DREAMS Program (Developing Resiliency with Engaging Approaches to Maximize Success).

The DREAMS Program focuses on providing trauma-informed and healing-centered supports that assist staff and students in building positive relationships and emotional self-regulation. This program aims to promote healthy and healing school environments and to provide educators with supports to aid in both job satisfaction and in building classrooms conducive to student learning.

Participating DREAMS districts will:

  • Receive training in The Nurtured Heart Approach, which is a method for creating a supportive and positive school culture that prioritizes the building of healthy relationships, recognizes every student’s greatness and promotes the development of self-regulation strategies for both staff and students.
  • Participate in training on trauma-related topics, such as Adverse Childhood Experiences, Trauma Informed Practice for Educators, Understanding the Impact of Toxic Stress and Developmental Trauma on the Brain and others.
  • Provide access to online evidence-based and best-practice-related resources and training materials.
  • Identify two staff members to become NHA certified trainers.
  • Be connected to the NHA Community through an NHA mentor who will aid in the implementation planning of NHA within the school/district.

All LEAs are eligible to participate in this program. As a partnership between the NJDCF and NJDOE, this program and all associated trainings and professional development will be at no cost to LEAs but will require a commitment of time and designated staff to support the program. There are a limited number of spaces available.

To learn more about the required commitment and to be considered for admission into the DREAMS Program, an LEA administrator should participate in an information session on Jan. 31 from 9 to 10 a.m. Please register as soon as possible.

For any additional questions, please contact Children’s System of Care via email or the Office of Student Support Services via email.