The Peer Learning Network is a component of SPARC that is designed to help advocates from different states share their experiences at advocating on child welfare issues with peers in the field.  In addition to sharing their knowledge about advocating on specific child welfare reforms, the peer learning network will highlight the key messages that have made a difference in their child welfare advocacy efforts.  Peer learning will be geared toward areas of interest identified by the advocates and will be organized and facilitated by SPARC staff and partners.

The work of the Peer Learning Network is carried out through a series of conference calls and webinars. Each call or webinar is be coordinated by SPARC and highlights child welfare topic, providing an opportunity for states to share experiences and learn from one another. In addition, for those interested in 1:1 peer learning opportunities, SPARC can help facilitate one-on-one discussions between advocates by connecting them and coordinating discussions on issues of interest.

Connecting and supporting child welfare advocates
SPARC provides multiple forums for advocates to share real-time advocacy successes and challenges and to develop a collective understanding of child welfare advocacy goals, including:

  • Participation in a peer learning network (PLN), an active listserv for state advocates which provides a forum for advocates from different states to share resources and advocacy strategies and to build valuable connections with peers in the field that can further their work in the short and long term.
  • Peer learning exchanges on critical child welfare policy issues. For a schedule or ideas for future peer learning opportunities (e.g., meetings, webinars, conference calls), please contact Shadi Houshyar.
  • Facilitated dialogue about strategies and opportunities to focus on prevention, early intervention, and child wellbeing.
  • Blog posts by state advocates and national partners on recent policy efforts.
  • Stories about key state policy wins.
  • Access to “mini-grants” for PLN partners for special projects, available to support activities that align with SPARC ‘s core objectives and support state advocates working on the continuum of child welfare policies.

How can advocates join the SPARC network?
Free SPARC network membership is available to independent children’s advocacy organizations. SPARC welcomes organizations who have no child welfare advocacy experience as well as those who are seasoned child welfare advocates. To join the network, please contact Shadi Houshyar.