• Welcome to the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute

    Welcome to the
    National Child Welfare Workforce Institute

    Our purpose is to increase child welfare practice effectiveness through diverse partnerships that focus on workforce systems development, organizational interventions, and change leadership, using data-driven capacity building, education, and professional development.
  • Workforce Development Month

    Workforce Development Month

    We hope you will join us in celebrating Child Welfare Workforce Development Month throughout September 2019! Explore
  • The NCWWI Leadership Academies Curricula & Training Materials

    The NCWWI Leadership Academies Curricula & Training Materials

    The NCWWI Leadership Academies provide supervisors and managers with opportunities to become skilled in leading change, fostering collaborations, implementing results-oriented decisions, and leading people. This online and in-person curriculum, along with step-by-step implementation guides, are now available! Explore
  • Online Learning Opportunities

    Online Learning Opportunities

    Access engaging, interactive online learning that builds skills in leadership, workforce development, and change implementation. Explore
  • National Webinar Calendar

    National Webinar Calendar

    This comprehensive list includes free webinars that are sponsored by a range of organizations, including NCWWI. Explore
  • Workforce Development Framework

    Workforce Development Framework

    The newly updated Workforce Development Framework (WDF) guides agency leaders to improve the health of their child welfare workforce. Explore
  • Real Stories From the Field

    Real Stories From the Field

    Learn about workforce success from all over the country. Explore

National Webinar: April 12, 2017
Learning Exchange
: April 19, 2017

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 Carré-Lee, Deputy Director of Central Operations, NJ DCF and Cherie Castellano, W2W Program Director, Rutgers UBHC. For more information, please explore our Presenter Bios.



Handouts and Resources: