National Child Welfare Workforce Institute - Learning, Leading Changing
Peer Mentoring, Crisis Response & Resilience-building: 
NJ DCF's Worker2Worker Program
When :
National Webinar:  Wednesday, April 12, 2017, from 3:00 to 4:30 pm EDT  
Learning Exchange:  Wednesday, April 19, 2017, from 3:00 to 4:00 pm EDT

Vicarious trauma, burnout, and lack of self-care can challenge all first responders, including child welfare professionals. First responders who care for others often need peer counseling, crisis support and other resilience-building services to normalize issues and promote retention. These activities are best provided by those with shared lived experiences that traditional mental health or employee assistance programs are not set up to deliver. To meet this need, the NJ Department of Children and Families implemented the Worker2Worker (W2W) program, a confidential peer-counseling helpline and support approach for employees in the Department's Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P) to help manage the unique stressors of frontline child welfare practice:


Coordinated by Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care and staffed by former child welfare supervisors and caseworkers, W2W provides a 7-day-a-week helpline reflective of a nationally recognized best practice model of peer support, Reciprocal Peer Support. The program offers clinical care telephone assessments, a network of referral/treatment services, and psychological first aid with crisis response services following traumatic events. In addition, the program has expanded to provide peer mentoring with training and monthly follow-up with an assigned peer mentor for all new child welfare staff, as well as regular resilience-building educational and peer support events, such as  Taming Trauma .

W2W has successfully delivered and expanded its approach to reach more than 11,000 contacts over the last three years, with marked success. Presenters will highlight how the program's components have been operationalized, as well as relevant tips, tools and lessons learned to help others develop and sustain similar trauma-reducing and resilience-building initiatives in child welfare and human service agencies and systems. 

Presenters include: Nancy CarrĂ©-Lee, Deputy Director of Central Operations, NJ DCF and Cherie Castellano, W2W Program Director, Rutgers UBHC. For more information, click on our   Presenter Bios .

A stable, resilient, well-supported workforce is a critical factor in strengthening outcomes for vulnerable children, youth and families. 

All of our NCWWI learning opportunities are provided free of charge via our WebEx platform, and are open to all, so please share the information with any colleagues and networks. Certificates of attendance are issued to attendees via email following the session. 
For more information, please visit or contact Sharon Kollar at
Warmly,  the NCWWI Team

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