Spotlight on Switchboard’s Communities of Practice – Peer Learning Groups for Service Providers

As colleagues working across the resettlement community — whether we work for states, resettlement agencies, or other organizations — we bring a wealth of expertise to our work, but it can be challenging to find spaces in which we can share our knowledge and learn from one another.  

Switchboard hosts ten communities of practice (CoPs) for service providers working with Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) eligible populations. 

Switchboard: Community of Practice, Client-Centered Services 

Switchboard: Community of Practice, Economic Empowerment  

Switchboard: Community of Practice, Monitoring and Evaluation 

Switchboard: Community of Practice, Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) 

Switchboard: Community of Practice, Newcomer Education and Youth Services 

Switchboard: Community of Practice, Unaccompanied Refugee Minors 

Refugee Housing Solutions: Community of Practice for State Refugee Coordinators 

Karen Organization of San Diego: Community of Practice for Leaders of Ethnic Community-Based Organization 

Society for Refugee Healthcare Providers: Afghan Women’s Health Community of Practice 

VECINA: Community of Practice for Immigration Legal Services 

These communities provide an online space to share relevant resources, learn from peers across the network, and solve problems of practice together. To learn more about communities of practice and the benefits of social learning, click here. 

Members of Switchboard’s CoPs have access to a supportive network of staff and leaders for meaningful conversations about contemporary issues facing refugees, immigrants, and resettlement in general while sharing a variety of creative solutions, techniques, tools, and approaches within the field. Each CoP meets virtually on a monthly basis. CoP members are active creators of the CoP experience and may take on different roles, including, e.g., planning meeting content, sharing resources, facilitating discussions, or taking meeting minutes. Details of roles and responsibilities are determined by each CoP Coordinator in conjunction with the CoP membership.  

If your organization serves refugees or other ORR-eligible populations in the U.S., apply to join a Switchboard CoP today!

Read more about each CoP, here:

Client-Centered Services Community of Practice 

Switchboard’s Client-Centered Services CoP is a professional community committed to strengthening and improving direct client-facing services, as well as providing a space of learning and support for those serving clients and other resettlement employees supporting direct-service staff. This group is open to direct service providers, program supervisors, leaders, and other interested staff who serve ORR-eligible populations. This group shares information and innovative approaches to client-centered service provision through many lenses, including cultural competency and trauma-informed care, always centering the client’s experience and agency at the heart of service provision. Discussion also extends to understanding available services, networks, and resources available to clients to support their successful growth and outcomes. This group meets on the second Wednesday of each month from 3-4pm ET. 

 

Economic Empowerment Community of Practice  

Switchboard’s Economic Empowerment CoP is open to workforce development, microenterprise, and financial capabilities practitioners from various organizations across the country who work to ensure the financial wellness of ORR-eligible newcomers. In our monthly virtual meetings, we will share promising practices, innovative program designs, and client success stories, followed by discussions about ways that the intervention is helping to overcome challenges and improve client outcomes. Alternately, some monthly sessions will focus on collaboratively and innovatively solving member problems of practice. This group meets on the third Thursday of every month from 2-3pm ET.   

 

Monitoring and Evaluation Community of Practice  

Switchboard’s Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) CoP is open to local resettlement agency workers and state agency workers who serve ORR-eligible populations. Discussion topics include designing impact-driven projects, inclusive project design, data collection, data management, data analysis, and reporting. We welcome staff members experienced in M&E as well as those who are new to the field or those who are simply interested in learning more about M&E. This CoP meets on the second Tuesday of every month from 3-4pm ET.  

 

Newcomer Education and Youth Services Community of Practice 

Switchboard Newcomer Education and Youth Services CoP is for education and youth services professionals who support Refugee School Impact (RSI) and Refugee Youth Mentoring (RYM) programs. Membership is open to resettlement agency workers, school district employees, and other community-based organization workers who serve ORR-eligible populations. This diverse group of educators, caseworkers, and other professionals will meet monthly to discuss a central topic, reflect together on challenges faced, and share best practices implemented across various newcomer youth-serving contexts. This CoP will meet monthly on the second Wednesday of every month from 1-2pm ET. 

 

Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) Community of Practice 

Mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) providers require specialized knowledge and skills to provide effective, culturally sensitive, trauma-informed services to refugees and newcomers. Switchboard’s Mental Health Community of Practice aims to co-create a dedicated space for MHPSS providers to connect, reflect, and share expertise and resources. Membership is open to staff whose roles primarily consist of providing MHPSS services to ORR-eligible populations, including mental health caseworkers, counselors, psychologists, supervisors, and program managers. This CoP will meet monthly on the 3rd Wednesday from 3-4pm ET.   

 

Unaccompanied Refugee Minors 

The Unaccompanied Refugee Minors (URM) service providers require specialized and versatile skills and training that combines child welfare knowledge with expertise in refugee resettlement. Yet there are limited options for training and/or a dedicated space that speaks directly to the diverse needs of the URM program and clients. This group is geared toward caseworkers, managers, supervisors, and others whose role includes directly supporting URM clients. Discussion also extends to understanding available services, networks, and resources available to URM clients to support their successful growth and outcomes. This group meets on the second Thursday of each month from 4-5pm ET. Note: This CoP will focus on services for Unaccompanied Refugee Minors (URM), not  Unaccompanied Children (UC). For training and technical assistance on Unaccompanied Children, see ICF 

 

Refugee Housing Solutions Community of Practice for State Refugee Coordinators 

In partnership with Switchboard, Refugee Housing Solutions (RHS) has recently launched a virtual Community of Practice (CoP) for State Refugee Coordinators (SRC’s). The SRC CoP is designed to connect state-level focal points in the nationwide refugee housing space. At each meeting, RHS engages with SRCs and other subject matter experts on current barriers facing newly arriving refugees in accessing safe, affordable, and long-term housing. The overall aim of this Community of Practice is to facilitate a dialogue between state refugee focal points, share best practices, and produce solutions. This monthly meeting is hosted virtually on the third Wednesday of every month from 1-2pm ET. 

 

Karen Organization of San Diego Community of Practice for Leaders of Ethnic Community-Based Organizations 

In partnership with Switchboard, Karen Organization of San Diego has launched a virtual Community of Practice (CoP) for Leaders of Ethnic Community-Based Organizations. This CoP is designed for ECBOs leaders – which we define as people who have a leadership role in the management and sustainability of the ethnic community-based organization. This is a unique and safe space for ECBO leaders to connect and uplift each other’s work, and to learn and share best practices, challenges, and tools. This monthly meeting is hosted virtually on the last Tuesday of every month from 1-2:30pm ET.  

 

Society for Refugee Healthcare Providers Afghan Women’s Health Community of Practice 

In partnership with Switchboard, the Society of Refugee Healthcare Providers is launching a CoP for all service providers working with the Afghan community on women’s health issues. Together we will identify CoP members’ top challenges and workshop innovative solutions on topics including pre- and post-natal care, gender and health, navigating the U.S. healthcare system, interpretation access, emotional wellness and more. This CoP will meet virtually on the first Thursday of every month from 1-2pm ET.  

 

VECINA Community of Practice for Immigration Legal Services 

In partnership with Switchboard, VECINA will facilitate a CoP for Immigration Legal Services open to attorneys and DOJ accredited representatives at ILS programs that receive ORR funding. This group allows participants to connect with ILS providers from other resettlement agencies to share best practices about immigration program management. We will discuss topics designed to increase and improve the availability of legal services, such as effective use of pro bono volunteers, case management software, best practices in conducting intakes, staff training and development, and more. This group meets on the fourth Wednesday of each month from 2-3pm ET. 

  • 00

    days

  • 00

    hours

  • 00

    minutes

  • 00

    seconds

Date

Jun 01 2024

Time

All Day

Organizer

Switchboard
Powered by Modern Events Calendar