Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

Children, Youth and Families

Peter Watson, M.P.P.

Director, National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement


335 Wishcamper Center

Contact Information

Phone: (207) 228-8330

Peter Watson has directed the National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement (NRCOI) since 2004. He has extensive management, research, and child welfare policy experience and has provided technical assistance to numerous states and agencies. Much of his work focuses on helping agencies develop and implement continuous quality improvement (CQI) systems to improve practice and overall outcomes for children and families. In particular, he has worked closely with states to define and implement systemic program improvement initiatives and measurement strategies and tie them to key leadership priorities. He also has conducted and facilitated numerous national, regional, and state training sessions and presentations on a variety of topics, including CQI, organizational change, strategic planning, and adaptive leadership approaches.

Prior to joining NRCOI, Peter served as the Director of Quality Assurance at the Massachusetts Department of Social Services (DSS). In that role, he managed DSS’s research, training, policy and foster care review units, and he also served as the project manager for the development and implementation of DSS’s new management information system, known as FamilyNet. Earlier in his career, he focused on the research side of human services through his work with several evaluation research firms in Washington, D.C.


  • Master of Public Policy, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

Nellie Mae Education Foundation nominates Pious Ali for the Lawrence W. O'Toole Award

Pious Ali

Pious Ali, Youth and Community Engagement Specialist in Cutler’s Children, Youth, and Families Programs, has been nominated for the Lawrence W. O’Toole Award by the Nellie Mae Education Foundation. Pious is one of six nominees from the New England states.

The Nellie Mae Education Foundation believes that student-centered learning – where learning is personalized, engaging, competency-based and not restricted to the classroom – will prepare young people to graduate high school ready to contribute to their communities and succeed. This award is given out each year to an individual, school district, or non-profit that has exhibited great leadership in moving student-centered approaches to learning forward in the New England region.

The winner will be selected by online voting and will be awarded a $100,000 grant to help advance student centered learning!


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MYTC 2014 Celebration

Colby Swettberg, May 2014, MYTC

Every year the Maine Youth Transition Collaborative brings together youth and adult partners from around Maine to celebrate the year's achievements and milestones.

MYTC’s fourth annual celebration dinner was held at the Brunswick Hotel and Tavern on May 13, 2014. Over seventy young adults, adult partners, professionals, legislators, adoptive families, and friends came together for an evening of fun, renewed connections, learning, and good food.

The importance of mentors in the lives of young people was the theme for the evening. The keynote speaker, Colby Swettberg, Executive Director of Adoption and Foster Care Mentoring in Boston, was introduced by Jacob Hills. Ms. Swettberg talked about what good mentor-mentee relationships look like for youth in foster care and led a discussion about best practices and challenges to bringing youth and mentors together.

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