Scholarships for Attorneys
The Children's Commission regularly offers scholarships to qualifying attorneys to attend state and national conferences. Scholarships typically reimburse attorneys for conference registration fees, and occasionally, for travel-related expenses.
Generally, to meet the criteria for all scholarships, the applicant must:
- currently represent DFPS or take appointments on a child welfare docket;
- be in good standing with the State Bar of Texas;
- be in good standing with their primary or appointing judge; and
- commit to completing and timely submitting a post-event survey from the Children’s Commission, in addition to the pre-event survey contained in the relevant Commission scholarship application.
Preference may be given to attorneys who have not received scholarships from the Children’s Commission in the past 1-2 years. Other considerations may include, but are not limited to, the percentage of an attorney’s law practice devoted to child welfare cases and whether the applicant has support from their primary or appointing judge.
For all scholarships, the Children's Commission determines scholarship criteria and utilizes an application process that includes pre- and post-conference evaluations to identify or confirm the knowledge gained from the training, new practices which awardees plan to implement, and/or a current practice which they plan to change. Surveys also inquire about additional topics of interest to help inform planning for future training.
Please visit the sections below for more information on state and national conferences in child welfare. Please note, the Children’s Commission may not offer scholarships to every training listed. For questions about scholarships, please email CCScholarships@txcourts.gov.
Information on scholarships will be available on this webpage and also through the Children’s Commission’s Resource Letters for Judges and Attorneys. To receive notice about scholarships to future conferences and trainings, please sign up to receive Resource Letters from the Children’s Commission.
TexasBarCLE and the Child Protection Law Section of the State Bar of Texas hosted the 4th Annual Advanced Child Protection Law (CPL) Course on March 24-25, 2022 in Houston, Texas with webcast replays on April 26-27, 2022. For more information, please visit the Child Protection Law Section web page or the Event Brochure.
The ABA’s Center on Children and the Law typically hosts two national conferences every other year. In April 2022, the Center hosted the Access to Justice for Children and Families Conference and the National Parent Representation Conference in Tyson's Corner, Virginia. These conferences bring together experienced child and parent attorneys, youth formerly in foster care, parents, judges, child welfare agency representatives, and other key stakeholders to receive not only substantive training, but also tips for returning to their home states to work on ways to improve the quality of legal representation for children and parents.
The next conferences will be held in Spring 2024. For more information, please visit the ABA National Conferences web page.
Every year, the AFL Course offers a day-long Child Abuse and Neglect (CAN) Workshop during the annual State Bar of Texas Advanced Family Law MCLE. This one-day training covers current topics of interest to Texas attorneys who practice on the child welfare docket.
The 2022 AFL is scheduled for August 8-11, 2022 in San Antonio. The CAN Workshop will be held on August 10, 2022.
More information is available on the TexasBarCLE website.
Each year, the NACC hosts a three-day training that convenes a national community of multidisciplinary advocates for children, youth, and families and usually covers a wide variety of topics. In most years, the conference also includes a one-day pre-conference training focused on the Red Book Training course, which covers the major competency areas based upon the NACC publication, Child Welfare Law and Practice (known as the “The Red Book”). The Red Book Training is designed to prepare attendees for the NACC Child Welfare Law Specialist certification exam.
The NACC’s 45th National Child Welfare Law Conference is scheduled for August 22-24, 2022 in Baltimore, Maryland. A pre-conference session is also scheduled for August 21, 2022. More information is available on the NACC website.
The Children’s Commission is offering a limited number of need-based scholarships for qualifying attorneys who currently represent DFPS. Scholarships will take the form of reimbursement of registration fees after the course has been completed. Interested applicants must apply for the reimbursement scholarship and will receive notice of their selection prior to registering for this course. Please read below for scholarship criteria, attendance and reimbursement policies, and a link to apply.
Scholarship Details and Criteria:
The Children’s Commission is currently offering 14 reimbursement scholarships for qualifying attorneys who currently represent the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) to complete the Texas District and County Attorney’s Association (TDCAA) Fundamentals of Child Welfare Law online course. This six-part online course is designed for less-experienced child welfare prosecutors and will cover the fundamental skills needed for prosecutors assigned to represent DFPS, from pretrial to final outcome of a child welfare case. Scholarships for this course are very limited and are intended for attorneys new to the practice of child welfare law.
The presenters for this course include Texas attorneys with extensive experience representing DFPS. Attendees will receive 5.25 hours of MCLE upon completion of the entire course. More information about the course is available on the TDCAA Training webpage.
The scholarship will take the form of reimbursed registration fees after the training has been completed. Applicants who meet all of the criteria detailed below will be considered for a scholarship.
To meet the criteria for this scholarship, the applicant must:
- currently represent DFPS on a child welfare docket,
- have a financial need,
- be in good standing with the State Bar of Texas, and
- commit to timely completion of the online course and a post-event survey from the Children’s Commission.
- Please note, preference will be given to those attorneys who have up to three years’ experience representing DFPS in child welfare cases and who indicate a need for training in the identified course topics.
Applicants will be asked to verify the above criteria before being considered for a scholarship.
Scholarship Notifications and Logistics:
Please note, since the TDCAA online course has open enrollment and no final date to register, the scholarship application link on the Commission’s website will remain open until the maximum number of awardees (14) is reached. The Children’s Commission staff will plan to review submitted applications on a rolling and periodic basis, or at least every 2 weeks. The Children’s Commission will notify applicants of their scholarship status after review of their application. Pending applicants should wait to hear from the Children’s Commission before registering for the course in order to learn whether they will be awarded a reimbursement scholarship.
Please note that because this is a reimbursement scholarship, awardees must register themselves for the course and pay for all course registration costs up front. Also, the Commission cannot reimburse an office or a county for an attorney’s scholarship; the Commission can only reimburse the individual attorney.
This scholarship is funded by a federal grant, which is managed by the Supreme Court of Texas Children's Commission. The Children's Commission is responsible for reporting attendance in support of the grant expenses.
All scholarship awardees must commit to participate in the training within 30 days of their registration date with TDCAA and to provide detailed responses to a post-event survey from the Children’s Commission thereafter.
The number of scholarships for this training is limited. Awardees who can no longer participate or no longer need the scholarship in order to attend should notify the Children’s Commission in writing and with as much advance notice as possible so that the scholarship may be offered to another applicant.
Each scholarship awardee will be able to submit for reimbursement of registration fees ($175) after the training has been completed.
Please note, you must submit the following supporting documentation to receive reimbursement:
- Proof of payment for registration, including date of purchase
- A copy of the certificate of completion provided by TDCAA upon completion of the training. (Please note, the Children's Commission requires this as proof of attendance only and does not submit CLE for scholarship awardees. Please refer to the TDCAA website regarding MCLE reporting.)
A reimbursement form will be provided to awardees and must be submitted to the Children’s Commission upon completion of the training.
If you have any questions, please email CCScholarships@txcourts.gov.
To apply for a scholarship, click the button below.