NACC Fee Waivers for Child Welfare Specialist Exam and assistance with CWLS recertification fees
The Children's Commission offers reimbursement of the Certification Exam Fee for Texas attorneys and judges who successfully qualify for and pass the Child Welfare Specialist Exam. For more information, please email email@example.com.
Keeping Infants and Toddlers Safe (KITS)
The Children's Commission provides support for the Keeping Infants and Toddlers Safe conference held in Houston each year. The next KITS conference is scheduled on June 16-17, 2016 and includes content for attorneys representing children, parents, and DFPS, and child welfare professionals.
Regional Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) Attorney Training
The Children's Commission provides support for speaker fees, facility fees and other expenses related to the annual Department of Family and Protective Services Regional Attorney Training. DFPS held a regional attorney training event in November 2015 for approximately 100 attorneys and staff who provide legal representation to the State of Texas in approximately half the counties in the state.
Texas Board of Legal Specialization (TBLS)
The Children's Commission submitted a full application for legal specialization in child welfare law to the Texas Board of Legal Specialization (TBLS) on Friday April 24, 2015. The application included the names of over 20 attorneys and judges who will serve as the TBLS Advisory Committee to oversee the development of testing standards and to assist in writing the exam. The application is under consideration by the TBLS board and the proposed standards will be published for public comment in 2016.
Trial Skills Training
The Children's Commission's Trial Skills Training (TST) is a hands-on training designed to improve the litigation skills of child welfare law attorneys in order to raise the caliber of legal services to children and families in child protection cases; includes fictional CPS fact pattern, with case file covering all statutory hearings building up to final trial; gives parent, child, and state attorneys litigation exercises in the CPS context; includes lectures and demonstrations from trained faculty comprised of senior attorneys and judges, followed by personal coaching; and is based on a Texas-specific case scenario with adapted pleadings and forms created for a termination lawsuit.
Each Trial Skills Training Course is limited to 21 total state, parent, and child attorneys. Participants are less-experienced child protection attorneys from across Texas who successfully complete an application and who have been recommended by their presiding or appointing judge. The participants are evenly divided into three groups: child attorneys, prosecutors, and parents' attorneys.
Trial Skills Training is offered each year, in the spring and in the fall. Application information is sent to judges across Texas who hear CPS cases announcing the opening of the application period for this twice-yearly training. Please link here for more information.