The Children's Commission supports a number of additional training opportunities including the Texas Board of Legal Specialization (TBLS), NACC Child Welfare Legal Specialization (CWLS), and is a MCLE Sponsor through the State Bar of Texas. 

Department of Family Protective Services Regional Attorney Annual Meeting

The Children's Commission provides funding to support the Department of Family and Protective Services Regional Attorneys annual training for costs such as speaker fees, facility fees and other expenses related to the meeting. The objective is to ensure agency attorneys have access to current case law, trial strategies, evidentiary issues, forensic developments, administrative law, ethics and other relevant procedural and substantive issues. The 2016 meeting was attended by approximately 100 attorneys and staff who provide legal representation to the State of Texas in approximately half the counties in the state. 

A survey was conducted after the training was complete and the responses indicated a high measure of satisfaction with the training, with Boots to the Bench, Detecting Child Abuse, and Criminal Prosecution of a CPS Case viewed as particularly successful presentations.

The next Regional Attorney Conference will be November 2-3, 2017 in San Marcos.

Keeping Infants and Toddlers Safe (KITS) Conference

The Keeping Infants and Toddlers Safe (KITS) conference is held in Houston each year. In 2016, the Children's Commission provided funding for a multi-disciplinary child abuse and neglect track which included content for attorneys representing children, parents, and DFPS, and child welfare professionals.

Texas CASA Training Grant: Collaborative Family Engagement and Family Finding

After the success of the five-year federally funded Diligent Recruitment project, Texas CASA approached the 84th Legislature and was appropriated funding for a two-year Family Finding collaboration between CASA and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). CFE is an integrated or embedded approach that establishes a true team between CASA and CPS to work together to complete the steps of Family Finding. For FY2017-2018, TexasCASA will launch additional pilot programs in the following areas:

  • CASA of Hidalgo County / Edinburg, Serving Hidalgo County
  • CASA of Tarrant County / Ft. Worth, Serving Tarrant County
  • CASA of Liberty / Chambers Counties / Liberty, Serving Chambers and Liberty Counties
  • CASA of Hood & Somervell Counties / Granbury, Serving Hood and Somervell Counties
  • CASA of Johnson County / Cleburne, Serving Johnson County
  • CASA-Hope for Children / Weatherford, Serving Palo Pinto and Parker Counties

For more on Collaborative Family Engagement, please visit the TexasCASA webpage

State Bar Child Abuse Neglect (CAN) Committee

The State Bar of Texas’ Child Abuse and Neglect (CAN) Committee supports legal and public education to improve professionalism and to ameliorate child abuse and neglect.

The CAN Committee’s stated purpose is to study and evaluate child abuse and neglect issues; define the legal profession's role in working to ameliorate the problem; mobilize the legal profession in the fight against child abuse and neglect through legal education and professional development; educate the public about legal and social problems relating to abuse and neglect of children; and to serve as a resource and forum for discussion of proposed legislation relating to child abuse and neglect.

The Committee supported the creation of a Child Welfare Law Specialty as proposed and developed by the Children’s Commission, and members of the Committee also served in various capacities in the development of the new specialty. The Supreme Court approved the creation of the new specialty on February 14, 2017. A CAN subcommittee has been formed to explore creating a Child Welfare Law Section when the new specialty is fully implemented.

The CAN Committee develops and presents the annual one-day Child Abuse and Neglect Workshop at the Advanced Family Law Course. The Committee also provides assistance to annual interdisciplinary training, the Keeping Infants and Toddlers Safe Conference (KITS) each summer.