Peer Networking

CONNECT, Your Child Welfare Internet Community
CONNECT is an internet social networking site developed and hosted by MCWIC specifically with the child welfare community in mind. It serves child welfare workers, administrators, trainers, and their support network - including individuals at the state, tribal, county, and federal levels. CONNECT is free, flexible, and for those who care about the welfare of children.

CONNECT profile page CONNECT forums CONNECT group page
Screenshots of CONNECT

Other Peer Networks, Learning Communities, Communities of Practice and Information Exchanges
The following is a list of national child welfare peer networks, learning communities, communities of practice and information exchanges compiled by the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute. You can also download a pdf version of the list. Each item in the list contains a hyperlink to the associated website as well as a description of their membership and the purpose/activities of the network.

The first section below lists groups that are open to persons with specific job titles and/or specific roles in child welfare organizations (e.g. adoption program managers). The second section includes networks that are open to anyone who is interested in a particular area of practice.

NATIONAL PEER NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES


Peer Network Host Organization Network Membership Network Purpose Network Activities
BabyLaw Listserv ABA Center on Children and the Law Open to attorneys, judges, organizations, child advocates, health personnel and others working on behalf of infants, toddlers and preschoolers in the court system. To help attorneys, judges, legal professionals and others exchange information on how to improve health-related outcomes for very young children involved in the dependency or other court system. Supports a listerv which offers discussion of the latest research on infant and child development, health-related advocacy tips applying state and federal laws, literature that is useful to legal professionals, and upcoming conferences, trainings and meetings
Child Abuse and Neglect Case Listserv ABA Center on Children and the Law Open to attorneys and judges Help attorneys and judges better handle litigation issues in civil and criminal child abuse and neglect and related cases Allows for sharing of legal precedents, tactical concerns, and practical solutions to specific litigation issues through listerv
Child Welfare Workforce Connection Child Welfare Information Gateway Open to anyone with an interest in the child welfare workforce Facilitate discussion, collaboration, and the exchange of ideas, resources, and practices with other child welfare professionals in order to identify and share solutions to pressing workforce and training issues Offers threaded discussions, posting/sharing of resources, event listings, and contact information for others who are interested in the child welfare workforce
CFSR/CFSP Peer Network National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement Open to State, local and tribal Child and Family Services Review (CFSR) and/or Child and Family Service Plan (CFSP) coordinators Discuss topics of interest and share information regarding the CFSR process, the five-year CFSP and annual updates to the CFSP Provides opportunities for guest speakers, information/resource exchange across jurisdictions and peer-to-peer consultation through listerv, teleconferences and website section
Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention Listerv National Resource Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (FRIENDS) Open to anyone with an interest in the CBCAP community Support the CBCAP community as a whole through information sharing Provides useful information to the field and timely updates on funding and other events through listerv
Court Improvement Listserv ABA Center on Children and the Law Open to organizations and individuals working to improve courts' handling of child abuse and neglect cases Improve the court process in child abuse and neglect cases and related proceedings Supports the activities of the National Court Improvement Program through an online forum
Court Improvement Program Community of Practice Court Improvement Program Open to Court Improvement Program Project Directors Support the open exchange of information, experience, initiatives, and ideas Provides a directory of CIP Project Directors, information regarding "What's New"and "Upcoming Events,"and group topic discussions and resources covering a range of issues relevant to the Court Improvement Program community
Cultural and Linguistic Competence Community of Practice Technical Assistance Partnership for Child and Family Mental Health Open to system of care communities Support system of care communities by helping to enhance their efforts to integrate and implement cultural and linguistic competence Provides assistance and support to system of care communities; offers tools and resources to help system of care communities implement and improve cultural and linguistic competence; and facilitates communication and coordination among four learning communities: (1) African Heritage Learning Community; (2) Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Other Pacific Islander Learning Community; (3) Latino Learning Community; (4) Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, Intersex, or Two-Spirit Learning Community
Data Managers Network National Resource Center for Child Welfare Data and Technology Open to State Data and IT Managers Provide an opportunity for State staff to discuss topics of interest to them, share successes, and learn from the experience of peers Facilitates periodic calls and webinars
Early Childhood Community of Practice Technical Assistance Partnership for Child and Family Mental Health Open to system of care communities Encourage information sharing and collaboration related to young children between the ages of birth to 8 who have mental health challenges and are currently being served by system of care communities Offers a listerv, teleconferences and other events to support discussion, collaboration, and the exchange of ideas and resources
Foster Care and Education Listserv ABA Center on Children and the Law Open to attorneys, judges, organizations, child advocates, school personnel, and others working on behalf of youth Discuss and exchange information on improving educational opportunities and outcomes for youth in foster care, homeless youth, and others, nationally and within states Supports discussion of sample topics such as federal and state laws, trainings, summits and research through an online forum
Fostering Connections Discussion Forum Fostering Connections Resource Center Open to state child welfare professionals Provide state child welfare professionals with peer and other expert technical assistance regarding the implementation of the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act (Public Law 110-351) Hosts a message board to allow state child welfare professionals to interact directly with one another and with national and state foster care experts
Group Site for National Resource Center for Child Welfare Data and Technology National Resource Center for Child Welfare Data and Technology Open to child welfare professionals interested in data and technology Assist State, local and tribal child welfare agencies and the courts in improving outcomes for children and families through the use of data and information technology Provides a meeting place that hosts a shared calendar, discussion forums, member profiles, photo gallery, file storage and more
Leadership Academy for Middle Managers Peer Network National Child Welfare Workforce Institute (NCWWI) Open to participants of the Leadership Academy for Middle Managers (LAMM) Residential Trainings Facilitate the transfer of learning from the residential program to the workplace; assist training participants in continuing their learning on key topic areas; spread the leadership tools and methods of the LAMM further into the field; provide participants with a forum for receiving/providing assistance on the implementation of their issue-related projects; and encourage participants to connect on issues of interest that may develop during or after the training event Hosts webinars, teleconferences and an online virtual network that includes threaded discussions, sharing of resources, event listings and other supports
Leadership Academy for Supervisors Peer Network National Child Welfare Workforce Institute (NCWWI) Open to supervisors who are completing the Leadership Academy for Supervisors web-based training modules Facilitate transfer of learning from the training modules to the job; provide knowledge management and social support; and encourage LAS participants to continue learning and networking with their peers Offers Synchronized Network Sessions, and other activities as developed
National Association of State Adoption Programs National Resource Center for Adoption Open to State Adoption Program Managers Provide a forum to pool expertise and to promote networking activities as an association with other direct child welfare entities and individual professionals Offers annual working meetings and listerv for information and resource sharing
National Association of State Foster Care Managers National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections Open to any state employee who is identified as a "State Foster Care Manager" Help foster care managers collectively respond to immediate issues, such as new legislation, that impact their work Offers annual meetings, arranged regular informational conference calls, and listserv
NCWWI Traineeship Deans/Directors Peer Network National Child Welfare Workforce Institute (NCWWI) Open to the Deans and Directors of Social Work programs that have received federal funding for traineeship programs Support the deans and directors in developing and sustaining effective social work education programs for the preparation of future leaders in child welfare practice. Hosts annual in-person meetings
NCWWI Traineeship Faculty/Field Peer Network National Child Welfare Workforce Institute (NCWWI) Open to the faculty and field personnel associated with Social Work programs that have received federal funding for traineeship programs Provide a vehicle through which faculty can share curriculum innovations; best practices in field instruction; examples of field opportunities for students; and how to build strong partnerships with child welfare agencies Hosts regional teleconferences, national webinars, and an online virtual network that includes threaded discussions, sharing of resources, event listings and other supports
NCWWI Traineeship Social Work Student Peer Network National Child Welfare Workforce Institute (NCWWI) Open to bachelor's and master's level social work students who have been awarded NCWWI traineeships in the field of child welfare Provide trainees with a safe space for peer to peer discussion networking, and program alumni mentorship of new trainees; build leadership skills with an emphasis on CFSR and SOC principles and reinforce trauma informed practice through webinars; and build a community of practice Offers a peer networking site on Ning that includes resources, discussion topics, videos, links, and other material; peer to peer discussions via teleconference; e-mentoring; and webinars on key topics of interest to trainees
Ombudsman Listerv ABA Center on Children and the Law Open to individuals who are: (1) engaged in ombudsman or ombudsman-like work on behalf of children or families; (2) interested in developing a child-focused ombudsman program in their community, state, or country; or (3) who are studying, advocating for, or supporting child ombudsman activities To provide a vehicle for children's ombudsmen to share information about recent developments, problems encountered, and emerging issues. Hosts a listerv which provides discussion of legislation creating or strengthening state "child advocate" or "ombudsman" offices; use of litigative and subpoena powers of children's ombudsmen; how children's ombudmen interact with citizen review panels and other system oversight; and ombudsman recommendations and how they have been implemented
Parents' Attorneys Listserv ABA Center on Children and the Law Open to organizations and individuals working to improve legal representation of parents in child welfare. Provides networking opportunity for attorneys who represent parents from across the country Supports sharing of challenges and success stories, ideas on cases, tools used with clients, and efforts to improve practice through an online forum
Peer Consultation National Resource Center for Child Welfare Data and Technology Open to State Data and IT Managers Enhance the capacity for the use of technology and child welfare data in policy, practice, and management decision-making. Facilitates child welfare professionals from various States directly sharing unique ideas on resources, problem avoidance, and best practice through focused technical assistance with other States
Peer Matches Center for the Study of Social Policy Open to interested states and localities Provide targeted peer-to-peer technical assistance Structures opportunities for teams from two or more jurisdictions to exchange practical knowledge and jointly develop solutions for improving results for children, families and neighborhoods
Peer Training Network National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement Open to child welfare trainers, curriculum writers, training managers, academics and others with an interest in child welfare training Help members learn from each other, share ideas and materials, and join discussions on various child welfare training topics Provides a quarterly conference call series focusing on child welfare training and offers a website section with documents and recordings from previous Network calls, shared knowledge and materials from Network members in response to information requests, and various child welfare training-related resources
QIC on Early Childhood Learning Network National Quality Improvement Center on Early Childhood Open to a multidisciplinary group of organizations and individuals who share the commitment to maltreatment prevention in very young children. Serve as an active mechanism for the exchange of information between the QIC-EC and a multidisciplinary group of organizations and individuals who share the commitment to maltreatment prevention in very young children and are encouraged to contribute ideas, questions, and information to the group Host quarterly webinars, resource sharing, and learning centers at the ZERO TO THREE National Training Conference and the Strengthening Families Leadership Summit
Quality Improvement (QI) Peer Network National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement Open to Quality Improvement professionals and others with an interest in QI activities Encourage the discussion of critical QI issues through the leadership and contributions of Network participants Enables QI staff to share and make use of the experiences of others through regular teleconferences highlighting state and county successes in specific topic areas critical to QI work, as well as related barriers, challenges, and strategies
SLO Support & Communication National Resource Center for Child Protective Services Open to State Liaison Officers (SLOs) for Child Protective Services with responsibility for their respective jurisdiction's CAPTA grant Provides support and communication devoted to assisting and informing CPS State Liaison Officers (SLOs) with implementing CAPTA requirements and operationalizing good practice Provides periodic interest and needs assessment, website, annual meetings, teleconference calls on SLO selected topics, and newsletters
Systems of Care Grantees Information Exchange National Technical Assistance and Evaluation Center for Systems of Care Open to recipients of cooperative agreements from the Improving Child Welfare Outcomes Through Systems of Care program Offer members technical assistance on issues arising in the design and implementation of systems of care within states or communities Hosts website to aid in individualized programmatic and evaluation technical assistance from peers and the Center
TBD National Quality Improvement Center on Differential Response TBD Establish a national collaborative information-sharing network, resource and peer learning community on differential response and its related child welfare outcomes Forthcoming
TBD National Quality Improvement Center on Non-Resident Fathers and the Child Welfare System Open to subgrantees, the Children's Bureau, public child welfare agencies, private service providers, child support enforcement, the courts and legal systems, and other stakeholders Facilitate problem-solving networks that include subgrantees, the Children's Bureau, public child welfare agencies, private service providers, child support enforcement, the courts and legal systems, and other stakeholders Forthcoming
TBD National Quality Improvement Center on Privatization of Child Welfare Services Open to subgrantees, the Children's Bureau's T&TA Network, public child welfare agencies, private service providers, and other stakeholders Facilitate a data-sharing and problem-solving network among subgrantees, the Children's Bureau's T&TA Network, public child welfare agencies, private service providers, and other stakeholders Host a discussion board (currently under construction), and support online resource sharing via website
Title IV-E Child Welfare Agency/University Partnerships University of Louisville Kent School of Social Work Open to Title IV-E Child Welfare Agency/University Partnership Directors and others with an interest in IV-E Agency/University Partnerships Support the development of partnerships across the country to further collaboration and sharing of information regarding Title IV-E Child Welfare Agency/University Partnerships Offers a vehicle for information sharing through the Title IV-E Partners Listerv (managed by Alberta Ellett, University of Georgia School of Social Work) and a website providing for the collection and posting of IV-E Partnership Contacts, current research projects, child welfare curricula, journal articles and papers, funding announcements, and a database of partnership characteristics
Transition-Aged Youth Community of Practice Technical Assistance Partnership for Child and Family Mental Health Open to system of care communities Provide an opportunity for discussion, collaboration, and the exchange of ideas and resources related to transition-aged youth with mental health challenges currently served by system of care communities Hosts quarterly conference calls, events and a Listserv that provides opportunities for system of care communities to share information, ideas, and strategies

REGIONAL PEER NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES


Peer Network Host Organization Network Membership Network Purpose Network Activities
CONNECT Midwest Child Welfare Implementation Center Open to child welfare professionals in ACF Regions V & VII Help child welfare professionals learn new ways to look at things and validate current practices through peer connections and support Provides a social networking site to help people who work in the child welfare community at the state, tribal, county, and federal levels share thoughts and ideas, frustrations and satisfactions, and documents or slide shows with peers
Learning Leaders Council & Learning Community Atlantic Coast Child Welfare Implementation Center Open to child welfare professionals in ACF Regions III & IV Provide a foundation for the Center's peer to peer network, which includes one representative from each state and tribe with a depth of understanding of their state's/tribes child welfare programs and resources Provides for the exchange of information around the successes and challenges to implementation of sustainable system change through an online forum
MPCWIC Online Forums Mountains and Plains Child Welfare Implementation Center Open to child welfare professionals in ACF Regions VI & VIII Discussion Boards Coming Soon Discussion Boards Coming Soon
Peer Learning Opportunities Western and Pacific Child Welfare Implementation Center Open to child welfare professionals in ACF Regions IX & X Provide an opportunity for discussion, collaboration and the exchange of ideas and resources related to systems change in child welfare Help sites share strategies and lessons learned in planning and implementing systems change through webinars and conference calls; a listserv; a regional forum; and other training opportunities
TBD Northeast and Caribbean Child Welfare Implementation Center Open to child welfare professionals in ACF Regions I & II Share implementation experiences and provide mutual aid and problem-solving Provide support through site visits and Peer to Peer Network Calls, which will be scheduled, recorded and available for download