The Children’s Commission, in partnership with the Texas Center for the Judiciary (TCJ) hosted the 16th Annual Child Welfare Judges Conference (CWJC) on October 23-25, 2023. A pre-conference training was held on the opening day of the conference, and was followed by the full conference. Registration was limited to judges who handle civil child welfare cases.
The pre-conference training, entitled “Assessing and Addressing Children’s Well-being, From Infants to Young Adults,” focused on child development, resources, and issues such as education, mental health, building protective factors against trafficking, and normalcy across three age groups: infants and toddlers, middle school aged children, and teens and older youth.
The full conference curriculum provided 16.5 CJE, 1.0 ethics hours, and 15.5 FV hours. Presentations included a Keynote Address from Dr. Scott LePor, Medical Director of the Texas Juvenile Justice Department titled “Foundation of the Trauma-Responsive Model,” as well as an update from the Office of Court Administration; a presentation on appellate issues; a legislative update; a panel on supporting kinship placements; a panel on youth-centered approaches to meeting the needs of commercially sexually exploited youth; an interactive session on understanding the social determinants of health; an update on the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) and related best practices; a presentation from the DFPS leadership team; an interactive session on the Child and Family Services Review (CFSR); a panel on options for older youth; a panel on supporting parents in the child welfare system from prevention through reinstatement; and a panel recognizing judicial leadership and innovation. Additionally, Regional Breakouts were convened with DFPS and Single Source Continuum Contractors (SSCC) staff.
The 2024 CWJC is scheduled for October 21-23, 2024. Please return to this page for updates.