How does a Virginia-based technology company and a University in Central Illinois end up at the same drawing board? A shared vision for improving child welfare and ultimately changing how the work is done, from training the workforce to gathering information and making critical decisions. The partnership between the University of Illinois, Springfield (UIS) Child Advocacy Studies (CAST), Child Protection Training Academy, and Creative Information Technology Inc. (CITI) brings a modern mash-up of child welfare best practices, experiential and simulated learning, evidence-based tools, cross-sector collaboration, and technology innovation to move child welfare practice to the next level. As we journey forward, we will share our experiences and lean on allies that bring different perspectives and new findings in our new Podcast series, Candid Conversations in Child Welfare. Candid Conversations is a series grounded in authenticity and being ‘real’ about the complexities of our profession. We bring industry experts and other allies to the table to discuss tough topics and the realities of the work. We’ll cover everything from how to better train and prepare our workers to public policies that shape how the work is done. We’re excited and honestly, a little bit nervous, but here we go.