Career Learning for Adult Self-Sufficiency (CLASS)

Announcement of an Upcoming Training and Technical Assistance Opportunity: "Primer Hands On" – Training For Leaders on Building Effective Systems of Care

Posted by Maisha Meminger - On October 25, 2013 (EST)




The National Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Mental Health at Georgetown University is writing to invite you, and other key leaders that you identify as strategic to implementing your system of care initiatives, to participate in our next Primer Hands On training on January 29 and 30, 2014 in Washington, DC.  This is an exciting, capacity-building technical assistance (TA) initiative that is being provided to build a network of key leaders who are trained in a detailed understanding of what it takes to build effective systems of care.  Based on Building Systems of Care: A Primer, 2nd Edition, by Sheila Pires, the training covers the structure, components, and elements of effective systems of care and the strategic processes essential to engaging partners in systems building. 


Overview of the Initiative and Criteria for Participating


This TA initiative targets leaders across child-serving systems and stakeholder groups from states, tribes, territories, and communities, the national level, family organizations, and neighborhoods who already play influential roles in the development of systems of care for children at-risk for or with serious emotional disturbances and their families.  Over a two-day interactive training, leaders will receive TA on how to use the organizing framework and strategic approach laid out in Building Systems of Care: A Primer to advance their system building efforts.  After completing the training, participants will be given copies of all the training materials so that they can use them as educational tools for their work with others in their states and communities.


You may have already participated in a Primer Hands On training.  If so, we are asking you to think strategically about others in your state, territory, tribe or community for whom the Primer training would be helpful and to forward this invitation to them.  This might include key agency directors (e.g., child welfare, education, juvenile justice, etc.), providers, supervisors, judges, family and youth leaders, legislators, or others who are critical to your efforts to build sustainable systems of care.  If you yourself have not yet participated in the Primer Hands On training, we encourage you to do so.  Space is very limited so please respond quickly.  


Each individual interested in participating must meet the following criteria and expectations:

  • Occupies a key position or plays a key role in the development of systems of care at the national, state, tribal, or community level;
  • Has a baseline of knowledge about building systems of care that this training can enhance;
  • Is a strategic thinker and leader;
  • Is in a position to work with others on building systems of care; 
  • Agrees to be part of a national network built to ensure the quality of the training provided, assist others with strategic planning, and provide feedback to further improve the Primer as a strategic planning tool;  and
  • Has access to funds to pay the registration, transportation, hotel, meals and other costs to attend the training. There is a non-refundable $390 registration fee.

Further Details About the Primer Hands On Training


Sheila Pires of the Human Service Collaborative and author of the Primer will take the lead in conducting the training.  Her co-trainers are Lisa Conlan, Family Consultant; Kathy Lazear, Research and Training Center for Children’s Mental Health at the University of South Florida; and a youth trainer.  The co-trainers bring many years of expertise in the areas of family and youth partnerships, cultural diversity, system administration, and frontline practice change.  


The training will cover in depth material from the Primer, including:  

  • Effective engagement of partners in building systems of care
  • A strategic approach to system building
  • Critical elements of effective system building processes
  • The pros and cons of different structural approaches
  • Key components and functions that need to be structured in systems of care, such as training, policy and practice protocols, financing, the collection of outcome data, etc.
  • How process and structure affect the experiences of those involved in system building and outcomes realized through practice change

Sheila Pires developed the curriculum for the training based on using Building Systems of Care: A Primer as a tool for teaching a strategic approach to system building.  The curriculum incorporates scenarios related to system building that require strategic leadership that participants can practice using the framework in the Primer.  Our hope is that those who 

complete the training will then be able to adapt Primer Hands On content and materials to use in their own work.  Participants will be provided with all of the Primer Hands On training materials, including the curriculum, case scenarios, exercises, and over 130 PowerPoint slides to assist them.  


We have built in an evaluation process for quality improvement that creates multiple opportunities for feedback on the use of the Primer, encouraging input that will continuously improve the Primer and the training. 


Signing Up To Participate


All interested participants must complete and submit an Interest Form by October 31, 2013 (Interest Form link:  If you have any questions, please contact MelKisha Knight via email at  In order to keep the size of the training to 25 leaders, interested participants will be selected from all individuals who respond by the deadline.  A notification of your acceptance will then be sent via email with an on-line registration link and a Primer website link with additional information on the training itself.  There is a $390 registration fee that will be due upon completing your registration.  In addition, participants will be responsible for all their expenses in attending the two-day training.  This includes transportation, hotel, meals not provided, and miscellaneous expenses.  A room block has been set aside at a special group rate of $159 per night for out-of-town training participants.  More details will be provided on the Primer website.     


This Primer Hands On training will be held January 29 & 30, 2014 in Washington, DC. The training will begin at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, January 29 and adjourn at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 30.  


We look forward to your response and interest in the Primer Hands On training!


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Modified On : October 25, 2013
Type : Post
Viewed : 654
In Relation : Youth Development

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