Public Information Officers Learning Collaborative

The Center for Juvenile Justice Reform (CJJR) at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy, has partnered with the Annie E. Casey FoundationCasey Family Programs, the Communications Consortium Media Center, and the Justice Policy Institute, to conduct an annual learning collaborative for juvenile justice and child welfare public information officers (PIOs) at Georgetown University. The three-day learning collaborative is designed for public agency officials and provides an opportunity to strengthen the communication efforts of these two groups of PIOs. This is done through a curriculum focusing on communication strategies and ways to bring their work together across child, youth and family related issues.

The public information officers considered for this learning collaborative are selected by CJJR and its current partners. The selection is based in part upon the following criteria: the quality of the information officer’s current work, a sustained commitment to working on children and youth related issues, and the information officer’s work in jurisdictions where strong progressive reform efforts are underway.

The curriculum for the collaborative includes techniques to deal with crisis situations and ways for public information officers to employ proactive messages about their jurisdiction’s reform efforts, both individually and across systems. As a result of this collaborative, the public information officers develop and 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 this collaborative have formed a cadre of mutually supportive communication specialists in the children, youth and family-serving field that strengthens their overall work and promotes support for reform efforts nationwide.