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, in addition to the pre-event survey portion contained in the 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; new practices attendees plan to implement, and/or a current practice they plan to change. Surveys also inquire about additional topics of interest to help inform planning for future conferences.

Please visit the sections below for more information on state and national conferences in child welfare. 

These conferences are held every other year and 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.

In April 2017, the 5th National Parent Attorney Conference entitled “Valuing Dignity and Respect for All Families” was held in Tyson’s Corner, Virginia, on April 25 and 26, 2017.

The 17th National Conference on Children and the Law entitled “SOAR: Strengthening Our Advocacy for Results” was held in Tyson’s Corner, Virginia, on April 27 and 28, 2017.

Child Abuse and Neglect (CAN) Track at the annual State Bar of Texas’ Advanced Family Law (AFL) Conference 

The AFL Course offers a day-long Child Abuse and Neglect Track 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.

This year’s live State Bar of Texas Child Abuse and Neglect One-Day Track will be held on August 9, 2017, in San Antonio, with video replays in Houston on September 22, 2017; in Dallas on September 29, 2017; and in South Padre on October 13, 2017.

2017 Child Abuse and Neglect One-Day Track Agenda
Please note that this agenda is tentative at this time and that topic titles and speakers might change.

The Children’s Commission is offering scholarships to cover the cost of registration to qualifying attorneys. This scholarship opportunity is limited to those qualifying attorneys who are attending only the one-day Child Abuse and Neglect training and not the full 2017 Advanced Family Law Course which includes the Child Abuse and Neglect training. Applicants should note that the Children’s Commission is not able to reimburse attorneys who pay the State Bar of Texas directly.

Scholarships awarded by the Children’s Commission will be for the cost of conference registration ($125), and will be paid directly to the State Bar of Texas for each recipient. The application for this scholarship is now closed. 

To meet the criteria for a registration scholarship, the applicant must currently represent DFPS or take appointments on the CPS docket, be in good standing with the State Bar of Texas and with their appointing or presiding judge, and commit to completing a post-event survey.

Locations: 

LIVE 1-Day Track
San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter
101 Bowie Street
San Antonio, TX 78205

Video Replay
Houston Crowne Plaza River Oaks
2712 Southwest Freeway
Houston, TX 77098

Video Replay
Dallas Cityplace Events
2711 N. Haskell
Dallas, TX 75204

Video Replay
South Padre Island
Isla Grand Beach Resort 500 Padre Blvd.
South Padre, TX 78597

The Children's Commission offers reimbursement of the National Association of Counsel for Children (NACC) Certification Exam fee for Texas attorneys and judges who qualify for and pass the Child Welfare Legal Specialist Exam (CWLS). Financial assistance is available for those Texas CWLS's who are applying for re-certification. 

Additionally, financial assistance is available to Texas attorneys and judges who are seeking re-certification of their CWLS every five years.

For more information, please submit a request to Children@txcourts.gov 

The National Association of Counsel for Children Annual Conference offers nationally known expert speakers on multi-disciplinary topics related to legal representation in child abuse and neglect cases. The 2016 conference was held August 12-14 in Philadelphia. 

The 2017 NACC Annual Conference will be held August 10-12, 2017, in New Orleans.