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:

  • be currently representing DFPS or taking appointments on a CPS docket;
  • be in good standing with the State Bar of Texas;
  • be in good standing with their appointing or presiding judge; and
  • commit to completing a post-event survey from the Children’s Commission, in addition to the pre-event survey portion contained in the Commission scholarship application of their choice.

Preference may be given to attorneys who have not received scholarships from the Children’s Commission in the past 1-2 years. Other considerations include, but are not limited to, geographic diversity of scholarship recipients and whether the applicant has support from his or her presiding or appointing judge.

For all scholarships, the Children's Commission determines scholarship criteria and deploys 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 to this year’s events, please email Monica.Mahoney@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. If you do not currently receive announcements from the Children’s Commission, please link here to sign up today!

The 3rd Annual Advanced Child Protection Law Course will be hosted virtually on April 1-2, 2021.

For more information, please visit the Child Protection Law Section web page.

The Center on Children and the Law typically hosts two national conferences every other year. The National Conference on Children and the Law and the National Parent Attorney Conference bring together experienced child and parent attorneys, foster alumni, 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.

For 2021, The Center will host the National Parent Representation Conference virtually on May 20-21, 2021. For more information, please visit the ABA National Conferences webpage.

The AFL Course offers a day-long Child Abuse and Neglect Workshop each year 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 CPS docket.

 2021 Dates and Locations:

The State Bar of Texas Child Abuse and Neglect (CAN) One-Day Workshop is a part of the Advanced Family Law CLE which is currently scheduled   on August 2-5, 2021 in San Antonio, Texas. The CAN Workshop typically occurs as part of the Wednesday agenda, and is currently scheduled for August 4, 2021 in San Antonio.  Details for the CAN One-Day Workshop will be provided as it becomes available. The Children’s Commission plans to work with conference organizers to offer scholarships for this  event and hopes to announce the application process very soon. Please look for announcements from the Children’s Commission and check back here for updates.

If you do not currently receive announcements from the Children’s Commission and would like to be added to our electronic distribution list for our Resource Letters for Judges and Attorneys, please link here to sign up today!

The NACC’s 44th National Child Welfare Law Conference will be held in a dual-format this year: on site in Denver, Colorado on August 14-15, 2021 and virtually on August 16-18, 2021. More information is available on the NACC website.

The Children’s Commission hopes to announce the application process very soon. Please look for announcements from the Children’s Commission and check back here for updates. If you do not currently receive announcements from the Children’s Commission and would like to be added to our electronic distribution list to receive Resource Letters for Judges and Attorneys, please link here to sign up today!

Attorney Scholarships for State and National Certifications

The Children’s Commission offers financial support to those attorneys and judges seeking certification as a National Association of Counsel for Children (NACC) Child Welfare Legal Specialist (CWLS) by way of partial reimbursement of their application fee for those applicants who successfully pass their CWLS exam. A discount is also available for those current CWLS who choose to recertify.

Please note the following details regarding CWLS certification:

  • Attorneys and judges will be required to pay the application fee in order to take the exam. Due to the confidential nature of the application process, verification from NACC of applicant information is not available. After examination results are published, those who become Child Welfare Law Specialists will be eligible to receive reimbursement of 75% of their examination fee from the Children’s Commission. Please email Commission.Accounting@txcourts.gov to request additional information about reimbursement. 

Please note the following details regarding CWLS recertification:

  • Recertification is required every five years. The recertification process is identical to the initial application process, minus the writing sample and exam. After successfully becoming recertified, Texas attorneys and judges can return to this page to complete and return the reimbursement form and request reimbursement of 75% of their CWLS recertification fee from the Children's Commission. Please email Commission.Accounting@txcourts.gov to request additional information about reimbursement. 

For more information about becoming a CWLS and related recertification, please see the NACC webpage. Please email any questions to CCScholarships@txcourts.gov.

For more information, please visit the Texas Board of Specialization web page.