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, 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. 

The 2nd Annual Advanced Child Protection Law Course was held at the Crowne Plaza Dallas – Market Center, 7050 N. Stemmons Fwy, Dallas, TX 75247 on Thursday, March 28, 2019, and Friday, March 29, 2019.

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

The Center on Children and the Law 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.

The Center’s next National Conferences will be held in 2021.


2019 Conferences

The 18th National Conference on Children and the Law: Access to Justice for Children and Families was held on April 9-10, 2019 in Tyson’s Corner, Virginia. The National Conference on Parent Representation was held on April 11-12, 2019, also in Tyson’s Corner, Virginia. 

For more information, please visit the ABA National Conferences web page.

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.


2019 Dates and Locations

The 2019 State Bar of Texas Child Abuse and Neglect One-Day Workshop will be held on August 14, 2019, in San Antonio, with video replays in Dallas on October 4, 2019; in Houston on October 11, 2019; and in South Padre on October 18, 2019. Please see the locations for the workshops below. For more information about the topics and speakers, please see the agenda for the 2019 one-day Child Abuse and Neglect Workshop CLE. Please note that this agenda is tentative and may change.

Live CAN CLE - August 14, 2019
Marriott Rivercenter
101 Bowie Street
San Antonio, TX 78205

The video replays will be held on the following dates and venues:

Dallas Replay - October 4, 2019
Cityplace Events
2711 N. Haskell Avenue
Dallas, TX 75204

Houston Replay - October 11, 2019
Hilton Houston Westchase
9999 Westheimer Road
Houston, TX 77042

South Padre Replay - October 18, 2019
Isla Grand Beach Resort
500 Padre Boulevard
S. Padre Island, TX 78597


Scholarship Criteria:

The application period for scholarships closed on May 17, 2019.

The Children’s Commission offers financial support to those attorneys and seeking certification as a National Association of Counsel for Children (NACC) Child Welfare Legal Specialist (CWLS) by way of a reimbursement scholarship for their application fee or exam fee for those applicants who successfully pass their CWLS exam.  The scholarship is funded by the Children’s Commission and administered by the NACC. Texas attorneys interested in becoming CWLS certified will pay their CWLS application fee and exam fee to NACC. The NACC will issue scholarship reimbursements directly to Texas attorneys after they successfully complete the exam and receive certification. A discount is also available for those current CWLS who choose to recertify.

Please note the following details regarding CWLS certification:

  • Attorneys who applied prior to January 1, 2018, are eligible for the $350 exam fee reimbursement OR the $300 application fee reimbursement once awarded certification.
    • For those attorneys who applied prior to 2018 and paid the application fee but received a scholarship from NACC or a source other than the Children's Commission to cover the $350 exam fee, Children's Commission funding can reimburse the $300 application fee once certification has been awarded.
    • For those attorneys who applied prior to 2018 and paid the exam fee but received a scholarship from NACC or a source other than the Children's Commission to cover the $300 application fee, Children's Commission funding can reimburse the $350 exam fee once certification has been awarded.
  • Attorneys who applied between January 1, 2018, and September 30, 2019, and are certified by September 30, 2019, are eligible to be reimbursed 75% of their CWLS combined application fee once awarded certification.

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. Texas attorneys and judges who are re-certified by September 30, 2019, are eligible to be reimbursed 60% of their recertification fee.

This one-day pre-conference training and the subsequent three-day training will convene a national community of multidisciplinary advocates for children, youth, and families and will cover a wide variety of topics. The Red Book Training course covers the major dependency competency areas based upon the NACC’s 3rd Edition of the Child Welfare Law & Practice guide (known as the “The Red Book”) and prepares attendees for the NACC Child Welfare Law Specialist certification exam. The Red Book training may be relevant for Texas attorneys who would like to learn more about federal laws related to child welfare issues, without regard to their possible interest in the NACC’s Child Welfare Law Specialization Exam.  


2019 Dates and Locations: 

The 2019 NACC 42nd National Child Welfare, Juvenile & Family Law Conference will be held on August 26-28, 2019 in Anaheim, California. The optional pre-conference Red Book Training course will be held at the same venue on August 25, 2019.

The conference location is:

Anaheim Marriott Hotel
700 W. Convention Way
Anaheim, California 92802

To find out more about the topics and speakers for the 42nd NACC National Conference and optional pre-conference Red Book Training, please link to the Conference Brochure.


Scholarship Criteria:

The application period for scholarships closed on May 17, 2019.


Scholarship Guidelines and Requirements:

Please note the following guidelines and requirements for awardees:

  1. The Children’s Commission will submit the names of attorney awardees to the NACC, which will register each awardee for the Red Book Training, the Conference, or both as awarded in the scholarship.
  2. Awardees wishing to cancel their registration for either or both the Red Book Training or the Conference must cancel their registration(s) BEFORE July 26, 2019 to avoid the Children’s Commission incurring any financial penalty.
  3. Awardees who cancel their registration for either or both of these CLEs AFTER July 26, 2019, causing the Children’s Commission to incur costs associated with each registrant’s anticipated attendance, will be ineligible to receive any scholarship from the Children’s Commission for two years.
  4. The awardee’s managing attorney or judge will be notified of the late cancellation for any cancellation after July 26, 2019.
  5. Awardees with emergency situations requiring cancellation after July 26, 2019 must email children@txcourts.gov as soon as possible so that the Commission can try and fill the slot from any wait list.

Payment for conference-related travel expenses is contingent upon completion of a post-event survey from the Children’s Commission, which is separate from the NACC survey. Please view additional reimbursement guidelines for travel-related expenses. 

The NACC Red Book Online Training Course is designed to cover the fundamentals of NACC’s legal treatise, Child Welfare Law and Practice, 3rd Edition (aka the Red Book) in a convenient and accessible format. This course will assist with preparations for those seeking certification as a Child Welfare Law Specialist (CWLS) as well as provide a useful and practical child welfare law course covering material relevant to child, parent, and agency attorneys as well as judicial officers. More information on the course is available on the NACC website


Dates and Locations:

The third round of the NACC Red Book Online Training Course will be delivered live between September 18, 2019 and December 4, 2019. The course will consist of seven, 60-to-90-minute webinars, and each session is delivered with opportunities for questions and interaction and is also recorded and available on-demand for viewing at the participant’s convenience throughout the course.


Scholarship Criteria:

The application period for scholarships closed on May 17, 2019.