PbS > News > State Coordinators Engage Their Peers in the First PbS Fireside Chat

State Coordinators Engage Their Peers in the First PbS Fireside Chat

The best illustration I’ve ever seen of the powerful networking and support amongst the Performance-based Standards (PbS) community was the “Fireside Chat” session at the 2014 PbS State Coordinators Training in Tampa last week. PbS State Coordinators showed what they can achieve when they work together.

The scene: PbS State Coordinator Chris Blessinger sits facing her open laptop, papers laid on the tables all around her, cell phone at her fingertips as if at her desk in Indiana. Sitting opposite of Chris is PbS State Coordinator Shari Wolf, also working with her laptop and phone, papers and folders in piles as if at her desk in Ohio. Shari starts to read aloud an email letting her know one of the Ohio facilities was included on the list of facilities with the highest rates of sexual victimization in the Bureau of Justice Statistics (2013) Report.

“Oh no, this is not good,” Shari says. “Not good at all.”

She starts typing an email, reaching out to her fellow PbS state coordinators for help. She gets a quick reply and learns Indiana was in the same position the previous year and Chris is willing to help. Shari dials Chris’ number and the whole room waits for Chris to answer.

And answer Chris did. Every question, every concern; sending documents and sharing experiences. The two talked candidly and openly about the issues they faced and strategized ways to ensure their facilities made changes necessary to eliminate sexual victimization. They traded information about hiring and training, policies and practices and responding to elected officials and the media.

You could have heard a pin drop in the room as the nearly 60 training participants listened. I could almost hear the crackle of the fire projected on the screen behind Shari and Chris.

PbS is a unique community of professionals across the country who believe we can help young offenders mature to be successful adults, we can provide safe and nurturing residential programs with effective rehabilitation services and the best way to operate a juvenile facility is to treat all youths as one of our own. It’s hard work shared by all PbS state coordinators and team members that is made easier with the support and connections to each other and the PbS staff and coaches. The 2014 PbS State Coordinators Training brought the PbS community closer together and I believe will help us all grow individually and expand our impact as a group.

This article was retrieved from the CJCA blog.

Friday, February 7, 2014 at 2:27 PM