Peer Groups

The Center for States offers opportunities for child welfare professionals to connect virtually with peers working in similar practice areas or on common initiatives through networks called peer groups.

Peer groups consist of child welfare cohorts from a variety of fields who communicate online and gather at virtual events to share knowledge, tools, strategies, and resources to improve practice and outcomes. Cohorts may include:

  • Role-specific professional groups (e.g., state foster care or adoption managers)
  • Initiative-based cohorts (e.g., Children’s Justice Act Grantees)
  • Topical groups (e.g., Child and Family Services Review, county-administered states)

If you have an idea for a peer group or are interested in joining any of the following, please contact us. Membership is open to relevant audiences and determined by the Children's Bureau.

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Adoption Call to Action Community of Practice promotes collaboration among state adoption and foster care managers, Court Improvement Program representatives, and community partners working to achieve permanency for children and youth in foster care. Membership is open, with approval from group leads, to new members who are working on this initiative in their jurisdiction.

Child Welfare Training Directors Peer Group promotes collaboration among training directors and managers to enhance child welfare training and education. Membership is open to state-level training directors and other entities that provide foundational training to the state's child welfare workforce, including managers and contracted training system directors and managers. Membership requests must be approved by the Children’s Bureau.

Children’s Justice Act (CJA) Grantees Peer Group promotes collaboration among organizations and agencies that have received the CJA grant to achieve positive outcomes for child abuse and neglect victims. CJA grants are established by the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) and are provided to develop, establish, and operate programs aimed at improving the handling and investigation of child abuse and neglect. Membership is open to CJA coordinators and state task force members. Requests to join must be approved by the Children’s Bureau.

Citizen Review Panels Peer Group promotes collaboration and peer-to-peer learning and networking among state coordinators and panel members for jurisdictional citizen review panels. Panel members must be volunteers and include those who have expertise in the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect and may include adult former victims of child abuse or neglect. Panels review policies, procedures, and practices. Membership is open to state coordinators and panel members; requests to join must be approved by the Children’s Bureau.

Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI)/Child and Family Services Review (CFSR) Managers Peer Group promotes collaboration among state or territory CQI and CFSR managers to achieve quality improvements in child welfare practice and positive outcomes for children, youth, and families. Members of this group include managers who oversee statewide assessment reports, Program Improvement Plans and case reviews, and staff responsible for Child and Family Services Plans. Membership is open to those who meet the criteria and must be approved by the Children’s Bureau.

County-Administered State Partnership Peer Group promotes collaboration among peers from county-administered state child welfare programs to brainstorm peer-driven solutions that support effective management and to discuss best practices and issues related to urban and rural counties, differing budgets and local resources, and how to respond to federal requirements. This group is open to members who meet the criteria of programmatic leadership at the state level in California, Colorado, Minnesota, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin and is subject to approval by the Children’s Bureau.

Diligent Recruitment Peer Group promotes collaboration among state staff who engage in recruitment, development, and support of resource families and kin, with the goal of improving diligent recruitment and achieving positive outcomes for children and youth in foster care. Members of this group include state managers and other relevant team members responsible for recruiting, retaining, developing, and supporting resource families caring for children and youth. Membership is open to those who meet the criteria and must be approved by the Children’s Bureau.

Extended Federal Foster Care (EFFC) Programs Peer Group promotes collaboration among state coordinators and other partners of EFFC programs to achieve positive outcomes for youth ages 18 to 21 in voluntary foster care. Members of this group include title IV-E extended foster care managers and staff whose agencies are implementing federally approved extended foster care plans. Membership is limited to members who serve in this role and must be approved by the Children’s Bureau.

Family Leaders in Child Welfare Community of Practice promotes collaboration among family leaders involved in the child welfare system to achieve improvement in family empowerment and positive outcomes for children, parents, and families. Members of this group include family empowerment and parent partner program leaders, other family or parent leaders engaged by state child welfare agencies, family consultants and advocates, and state and county leaders with an interest in and responsibility for increased family and fatherhood engagement and empowerment. Membership is open to interested members and must be approved by group leads.

FFPSA Prevention Plan Leads supports collaboration and learning between state leads who are responsible for supporting prevention plan development and/or implementation in their jurisdictions to meet the requirements of the Family First Prevention Services Act. Membership is currently by Children’s Bureau invitation only.

Hotline/Intake/Screening Managers (HISM) Peer Group promotes collaboration among child welfare professionals responsible for overseeing child abuse and neglect reporting systems to enhance hotline, intake, and screening functions and processes. Members of this group include state or county HISMs that are recommended and approved by each state’s State Liaison Officer for child abuse and neglect.

In-Home Services Managers Peer Group promotes collaboration among in-home services managers (or managers from program equivalents) to achieve positive outcomes for children and families that receive in-home services. In-home services managers oversee programs that provide services to children and families who have been reported to child protective services for possible child abuse or neglect and who are assessed as being able to benefit from services delivered in the home. Membership is open to individuals who meet the criteria and must be approved by the Children’s Bureau.

Kinship Navigators Peer Group promotes kinship family support services and peer-to-peer connection and collaboration among state, territory, and tribal kinship navigator program leaders, contracted providers, technical assistance partners, and advocacy organizations focused on kinship family support services. Membership is open to individuals who meet the criteria and must be approved by the Children’s Bureau.

National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) Peer Group promotes collaboration among state coordinators and other partners responsible for collecting data through NYTD. Members of this group include state NYTD coordinators and other staff whose agencies participated in the NYTD federal pilot reviews. Membership is limited to those that meet the criteria and must be approved by the Children’s Bureau.

P.L. 113–183: Reasonable and Prudent Parent (RPPS)/Normalcy Peer Group promotes collaboration among child welfare professionals responsible for implementing the RPPS and other related normalcy provisions contained in the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act (P.L. 113–183). Members of this group include child- and youth-serving professionals interested in sharing information about and building capacity for providing normalcy for children and youth in foster care.

Preventing and Addressing Sex Trafficking in Child Welfare Peer Group promotes collaboration among child welfare professionals responsible for coordinating the response to sex trafficking and the multidisciplinary partners they work with, including law enforcement, courts, and service providers. Membership is open to individuals who meet the criteria and must be approved by group leads.

Programmatic Data Analysts Peer Group promotes collaboration among programmatic data analysts to improve data quality and use and achieve improvements in child welfare practice and positive outcomes for children, youth, and families. Members of this group include business-level data analysts who translate complex analyses into action-oriented practice discussions and CQI activities. Membership is open to those who meet the criteria and must be approved by the Children’s Bureau.

Promoting Safe and Stable Families (PSSF) Managers Peer Group encourages collaboration among PSSF managers (or managers from program equivalents) to achieve positive outcomes for children and their families. PSSF managers oversee programs aimed at preventing unnecessary separation, improving the quality of care and services, and ensuring permanency for children. This group is closed; members must be leading PSSF programs within their jurisdiction and membership must be approved by the Children’s Bureau.

State Adoption Managers Peer Group promotes collaboration among members of the National Association of State Adoption Programs (NASAP) to achieve positive outcomes in the areas of adoption and guardianship. NASAP exists to enable state adoption managers to pool their expertise for progressive improvement in the quality of care to children, youth, and families served by state adoption services. This group is closed, and each jurisdiction currently determines their membership.

State Chafee and Education and Training Voucher Coordinators Peer Group promotes collaboration among Chafee Foster Care Independence Programs (CFCIPs) to achieve positive outcomes for youth transitioning from foster care. Members of this group include child welfare professionals engaged in CFCIPs, such as state child welfare independent living coordinators and staff involved in education training and voucher programs. This group is open only to members who meet the criteria, and membership must be approved by the Children’s Bureau.

State Foster Care Managers Peer Group promotes collaboration among members of the National Association of State Foster Care Managers (NASFCM) to achieve positive outcomes for children and youth in foster care. NASFCM exists to enable state foster care managers to pool their expertise for progressive improvement in the quality of care to children, youth, and families served by foster care. This group is open only to state-level foster care managers. The board and the Children’s Bureau determine membership.

State Liaison Officers (SLOs) Peer Group promotes collaboration among SLOs to achieve positive outcomes in the area of child protective services and programs. SLOs serve as the point of contact between a state or territory’s public child welfare agency and the Children’s Bureau for child protective services issues. SLOs also possess knowledge about their jurisdiction’s CAPTA-related policies, procedures, and programming. This group is open only to members who meet the criteria, and membership must be approved by the Children’s Bureau.

Strengthening Child Welfare Systems Grantees Peer Group promotes collaboration among organizations and agencies that have received the Strengthening Child Welfare Systems to Achieve Expected Child and Family Outcomes grant to improve permanency outcomes. This group is open only to members who meet the criteria, and membership must be approved by the Children’s Bureau.