Applied Learning Communities (ALCs)

The Applied Learning Communities (ALCs) facilitate dialogue among Child Protective Services (CPS) practitioners throughout Wisconsin. At the ALCs, participants learn from the communities by engaging in thoughtful discussion and reflection on practice.

Utilizing adult learning strategies, participants analyze a specific policy that governs child welfare practice in Wisconsin. Participants gain consensus on the intent of policy expectations, consider supplementary skills to support their practice, and review policy implementation. Lastly, quality improvement recommendations are shared with leaders and policymakers.

“Applied learning” is defined as “an educational approach whereby students (participants) learn by engaging in direct application of skills, theories, and models.”

SUNY, The State University of New York

Introducing the ALCs!

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What do ALC Sessions Include?

ALCs demonstrate our value for workforce support that includes:

    • Training
    • Technical Assistance
    • Team Work
    • Sensitivity to Secondary Trauma

Sessions include something for everyone, no matter what your learning style is!

A trained facilitator structures the daylong session to draw out participants’ knowledge of Wisconsin statutes and standards and support participants’ critical thinking skills.

What do ALC Sessions Accomplish?


    • Build community within and between counties
    • Increase our common understanding of how child welfare practice is experienced by staff and families in Wisconsin.
    • Provide a unique learning opportunity to build a broader perspective outside of the local agency

What's Unique about ALCs?

There are unique aspects that make them different from other training offered through WCWPDS:

    • Local child welfare agencies send teams, including at least one supervisor
    • Training curriculum is selected and developed in response to statewide practice data analyzed through Wisconsin’s Continuous Quality Improvement processes, including Systems Change Review
    • Cases are real and consultation and coaching is offered to support case practice

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Program Flyer

Frequently Asked Questions

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The Applied Learning Communities (ALCs) are developed in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF) and facilitated by the Wisconsin Child Welfare Professional Development System (WCWPDS).