Attorney Scholarships to National and State CLE Conferences

The Children's Commission regularly offers scholarships to qualifying attorneys to cover the registration fee and occasionally other related expenses to attend several national and state conferences. In 2016, the Children’s Commission awarded scholarships to 104 attorneys from across the state to attend the State Bar of Texas (SBOT) Child Abuse and Neglect 1-Day Workshop and 81 attended either the live conference in San Antonio in August or the video replays in Dallas and South Padre in October; and six attorneys were sent on CC scholarship to attend the NACC Annual Conference in Philadelphia in August.

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.

Please note that attorneys may apply for one of the national conferences (ABA or NACC) and still be eligible for a Children’s Commission scholarship to the state conference (State Bar of Texas’ Child Abuse and Neglect Track).

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.

Child Abuse and Neglect (CAN) Track at the annual State Bar of Texas’ Advanced Family Law (AFL) Conference – The AFL conference offers a day-long Child Abuse and Neglect training each year during the annual State Bar of Texas Advanced Family Law Conference. This track covers current topics of interest to Texas attorneys who practice on the CPS docket. The Advanced Family Law CLE 1-Day CAN track was held in San Antonio, Texas on Wednesday August 3, 2016 with video replays in Dallas on September 23, 2016 and South Padre Island on October 21, 2016.

This year’s live State Bar of Texas Child Abuse and Neglect 1-Day Workshop will be held on August 9, 2017, and the Children’s Commission plans to follow our usual scholarship process to send qualified attorneys to attend the live and fall 2017 video replay MCLEs.

For more information about the 1-Day CAN CLE agenda, please see the 2017 CAN Conference Agenda 

Information from the 2016 conference can be found here: CAN Conference Brochure.

American Bar Association (ABA) Center for Children and the Law’s Parent Attorney Conference and Children and the Law Conference – 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 ABA Center on Children and the Law will host two, back-to-back conferences for child, state, and parent attorneys. This year, the 5th National Parent Attorney Conference entitled “Valuing Dignity and Respect for All Families” will be 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” will be held in Tyson’s Corner, Virginia, on April 27 and 28, 2017.

National Association of Counsel for Children (NACC) Annual Child Welfare Law Conference – The NACC 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 over August 10-12, 2017, In New Orleans. For conference details, please visit the NACC Conference webpage

National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) Conference - The Children's Commission funds limited scholarships for qualifying judges to the annual conference of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ). The 79th annual conference was held July 17-20, 2016 in Monterey, CA. Twenty-four Texas judges attended the conference. The conference agenda included a child welfare track and featured the following presentations:

  • Immigration Issues in Child Welfare Cases
  • Substance-Exposed Infants
  • Enhanced Resource Guidelines
  • Safe Babies Court Teams
  • Pregnancy Prevention Among Foster Youth
  • What State Court Judges Need to Know About ICWA
  • Enhancing the Quality of Permanency Planning Hearings

The post-conference survey indicated that the scholarship recipients attended the child welfare track primarily and the family violence track secondarily. The session that was most attended and of concern to judges was the session on substance exposed infants.

The 80th Annual Conference will be July 16-19, 2017 in Washington, D.C. For conference information, please visit the NCJFCJ conference webpage

Applicants with questions are welcome to email the Children’s Commission at

Texas Stamp
   Physical Address
    Children’s Commission
Supreme Court Building
201 W. 14th Street, Room 104
Austin, TX 78701
   Mailing Address
    Children’s Commission
P.O. Box 12248
Austin, TX 78711
(512) 463-5384
(512) 463-8895