|2013 PIOLC Participants
Earlier this month, Georgetown University's Center for Juvenile Justice Reform (CJJR), the Campaign for Youth Justice (CFYJ), the Communications Consortium Media Center (CCMC), and the Public Welfare Foundation (PWF), hosted the 2013 Public Information Officer Learning Collaborative (PIOLC). The PIOLC is a professional development opportunity for juvenile justice and child welfare public information officers. The conference is in its fourth year, and 27 public information officers from across the country were in attendance, all committed to working on children and youth related issues.
CJJR has been supporting juvenile justice and child welfare reform efforts through leadership development in various capacities since its inception. The Learning Collaborative allowed the PIOs who work in juvenile justice and child welfare field to learn from one another and from experts in the communication field.
Sessions were led by Shay Bilchik (CJJR), Kathy Bonk (CMMC), and Aprill Turner (CFYJ). Some of the workshop topics were: What it means to be a PIO in a Cutting Edge World, Communicating Reform, Social Media, Polling and Effective Messaging, Reactive/Proactive Strategies Supporting Reform, and a Roundtable Discussion with Journalists.
“They are very few opportunities and resources available for career development in my current position, so it was extremely valuable to get an opportunity to learn from and collaborate with such a talented and diverse group of professionals, “ said Jess Harvat, Communications Coordinator for the Colorado Department Of Human Services.
The curriculum for the collaborative also included techniques to deal with crisis situations and ways for PIOs to implement strategies to engage their peers in other child and youth-serving agencies in order to better communicate about their reform efforts and utilize more consistent and comprehensive strategies in reaching their constituencies.
The PIOs who attend the collaborative have undoubtedly formed a cadre of mutually supportive communication specialists in the children, youth and family-serving field that will strengthen their overall work and promote support for reform efforts nationwide.