The Children’s Commission is currently offering scholarships for qualifying judges to attend the National Association of Counsel for Children’s (NACC) 42nd Annual Conference and Red Book Training in Anaheim, California in August 2019 and the third round of the NACC Red Book Online Training Course, which starts in September 2019. Please see details about the scholarships below.

Please note that the purpose of the post-conference surveys mentioned below is to let the Commission know what topics and speakers you would like to have the Commission bring to Texas for future educational opportunities. 

A day-long Child Abuse and Neglect Workshop is offered each year during the annual State Bar of Texas Advanced Family Law Course. This one-day training covers current topics of interest to Texas judges who hear child welfare cases and Texas attorneys who practice on the CPS docket.

This year’s live 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. Locations for each workshop are listed below.

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

More information on the live CLE and replay dates will be available on the State Bar’s website.

The registration fee is waived for Texas judges by TexasBarCLE. Judges wishing to attend the 2019 Child Abuse and Neglect Workshop should contact TexasBarCLE directly. 

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 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 and judges 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 and judges 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:

  1. Judges who applied prior to January 1, 2018, are eligible for the $350 exam fee reimbursement OR the $300 application fee reimbursement once awarded certification.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Judges 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.

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 Commission is currently offering a limited number of registration scholarships for the third round of the NACC Red Book Online Training Course, which 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 Children’s Commission will provide scholarships to 7 qualified attorneys and judges in the form of waived registration fees for the NACC Red Book Online Training Course.

To apply, please link to the NACC Red Book Online Training Course Scholarship Application.

Please note, the deadline to apply for the scholarship is midnight on Thursday, May 2, 2019.

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 Sunday, August 25, 2019.

The main conference typically includes tracks on child welfare, juvenile justice, and family law issues.  The pre-conference Red Book Training prepares attendees for the NACC’s Child Welfare Law Specialist exam but may also be of interest to those judges wanting an overview of federal issues in child welfare law. The NACC’s goal is to improve the lives of children and families through high-quality legal representation and other forms of advocacy, by offering a child welfare law certification process accredited by the American Bar Association, training and technical assistance to child law attorneys and other child welfare professionals, and engaging in public policy and legislative advocacy aimed at improving the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.

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 Children’s Commission is offering scholarships to 10 judges and qualified attorneys to cover registration costs and conference-related travel expenses of up to $1,000. The funds can be used toward the one-day pre-conference Red Book Training ($200) and/or the three-day 42nd National Child Welfare, Juvenile & Family Law Conference ($400), with any remaining funds available for reimbursement of conference-related travel expenses following the event. Registration fees for the Red Book training and/or Conference will be paid directly to the NACC for each recipient.

To be eligible for a scholarship, judges must hear child welfare cases, with preference given to judges who hear a higher percentage of these kinds of cases. Awardees must complete a post-conference survey from the Commission in order for their reimbursement request to be processed.


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. 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 link here to view additional reimbursement guidelines for travel-related expenses:

http://texaschildrenscommission.gov/media/84068/travel-reimbursement-guidelines-and-form-website-april-2019.pdf

To apply for the scholarship, please link to the NACC 42nd National Conference and/or optional pre-conference Red Book Training Scholarship Application.

Please note, the deadline to apply for the scholarship is midnight on Thursday, May 2, 2019.

The NCJFCJ 82nd Annual Conference will be held on July 28-31, 2019 in Orlando, Florida. This year’s conference will feature plenary sessions on family law, juvenile justice, child welfare, and family violence, as well as break-out sessions featuring practical and innovative solutions on these same topics.  

Details about the conference are available on the NCJFCJ website.

The application period for scholarships to attend the NCJFCJ 82nd Annual Conference closed on April 12, 2019


Scholarship Notification and Travel Logistics:

If you were selected to receive a scholarship, Texas Center for the Judiciary will notify you and assist with registration and hotel logistics.  Please do not call the conference hotel or make reservations for the conference prior to receiving a scholarship acceptance email from Texas Center for the Judiciary. For questions regarding the NCJFCJ judicial scholarships logistics, please contact Heidi Penix of TCJ at heidip@yourhonor.com.

For information regarding eligible travel expenses, please review the Texas Center for the Judiciary’s Travel Reimbursement Guidelines

Awardees must complete a post-conference survey to receive reimbursement, which is limited to registration fees and conference-related expenses such as travel, lodging, and meals, up to $2,000.  Any additional expenses must be covered by the scholarship recipient.

The 2019 applications for Child Welfare Law Specialization are now available online until April 30, 2019, at the TBLS “Get Certified” page. Among other requirements, applicants must be licensed to practice law for at least 5 years and show substantial involvement in specific matters and cases as listed below. Applicants are notified in July 2019 of the TBLS decision to admit them to take the Exam, and the Exam will be held on October 14, 2019, in Austin. For details concerning the application process and exam information, please visit www.tbls.org or contact TBLS at tbls@tbls.org, or call 1-855-277-8257.

Child Welfare Law Specialization applicants are required to have:

  • Devoted a minimum of 25% of his or her time practicing child welfare law in Texas during each of the three years immediately preceding the application;
  • Served as lead counsel for a party or child from the inception of the case or time of appointment or engagement to final judgment in 10 cases that meet one of these requirements:

1. a contested child welfare case in a trial court of record that involves oral testimony and factual findings, excluding default judgments; or

2. an appeal in a child welfare case that is fully briefed on the merits at the appellate level. Under (b), an appeal that applicant prosecutes or defends in an intermediate appellate court and in the Supreme Court of Texas counts as one case.

  • Participated in 20 cases that meet one of these requirements:

1. A contested child welfare case in which applicant served as lead counsel for a party or a child and that was resolved without a trial on the merits; or

2. Post-trial proceedings in which the applicant played a substantial role.

Certification without Examination

The new specialty area offers an option of granting certification without requiring a written examination to an applicant who:

1. Has been licensed for 10 years;

2. Is certified by TBLS in Family Law.

3. Meets all of the Substantial Involvement requirements of the Child Welfare standards.

This grandfather option is only available for the first 3 years, ending with the 2020 certification applications.

For further information, please consult the complete Child Welfare Standards for Attorney Certification

Exam Fee Reimbursement

Attorneys and judges will be required to pay the application fee and the examination fee in order to take the exam. Following successful completion of the exam, those who become Board Certified in Child Welfare Law will be eligible to receive reimbursement of their examination fee from the Children’s Commission.

Due to the confidential nature of the application process, verification from TBLS of applicant information is not available. After examination results are published, those who have successfully passed the exam can return to this page to complete and return the reimbursement form and request reimbursement of their exam fee from the Children's Commission.

TBLS Exam Fee Reimbursement Request Form

For more information, please email any questions to Children@txcourts.gov