The Children's Commission regularly offers scholarships to qualifying attorneys to attend state and national conferences. Scholarships typically reimburse attorneys for conference registration fees, and occasionally, travel-related expenses. 

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.

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.

For all scholarships, the Children's Commission determines scholarship criteria and deploys an application process that includes pre- and post-conference evaluations to identify or confirm the knowledge gained; new practices attendees plan to implement, and/or a current practice they plan to change. Surveys also inquire about additional topics of interest to help inform planning for future conferences.

Please visit the sections below for more information on state and national conferences in child welfare. 

The Center on Children and the Law hosts two national conference every other year. The National Conference on Children and the Law, and National Parent Attorney Conference 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 5th National Parent Attorney Conference entitled “Valuing Dignity and Respect for All Families” was held in Tyson’s Corner, Virginia, on April 25 and 26, 2017. For conference agenda and materials, please visit the ABA National Conferences webpage for more information. 

The 17th National Conference on Children and the Law entitled “SOAR: Strengthening Our Advocacy for Results” was held in Tyson’s Corner, Virginia, on April 27 and 28, 2017.

The conferences will be held in Spring 2019 in Tyson's Corner, Virginia. 

2018 Child Abuse and Neglect (CAN) Track at the annual State Bar of Texas’ Advanced Family Law (AFL) Conference 

The AFL Course offers a day-long Child Abuse and Neglect Track each year during the annual State Bar of Texas Advanced Family Law MCLE. This one-day training covers current topics of interest to Texas attorneys who practice on the CPS docket.

This year’s live State Bar of Texas Child Abuse and Neglect One-Day Track will be held on August 15, 2018, in San Antonio, with video replays in Dallas on September 28, 2018; in Houston on October 5, 2018; and in South Padre on October 12, 2018. 

Please use this link to find out more information about the topics and speakers for the 2018 one-day Child Abuse and Neglect Track CLE: http://www.texasbarcle.com/materials/Programs/3695/Brochure.pdf  
Please note that this agenda is tentative at this time and that topic titles and speakers might change.

The Children’s Commission is offering scholarships to cover the cost of registration to qualifying attorneys. This scholarship opportunity is limited to those qualifying attorneys who are attending only the one-day Child Abuse and Neglect training and not the full 2018 Advanced Family Law Course which includes the Child Abuse and Neglect training. Applicants should note that the Children’s Commission is not able to reimburse attorneys who pay the State Bar of Texas directly.

Scholarships awarded by the Children’s Commission will be for the cost of conference registration ($125) and will be paid directly to the State Bar of Texas for each recipient.

Here is a link to the Children’s Commission scholarship application for the one-day Child Abuse and Neglect Track CLE during the 2018 Advanced Family Law Course: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SZYVN32

To meet the criteria for a registration scholarship, the applicant must:

  • currently represent DFPS or take appointments on the CPS docket,
  • be in good standing with the State Bar of Texas and with their appointing or presiding judge, and
  • commit to completing a post-event survey.

Please note that this scholarship application period will close at midnight on Thursday, May 10, 2018

Here are the locations of each of the Child Abuse and Neglect Track presentations:

LIVE San Antonio 
August 15, 2018
Marriott Rivercenter
101 Bowie Street
San Antonio, TX 78205

Video Replay, Dallas
September 28, 2018
Dallas Cityplace Events
2711 N. Haskell
Dallas, TX 75204
(214)515-5100

Video Replay, Houston
October 5, 2018

Houston Crowne Plaza River Oaks
2712 Southwest Freeway
Houston, TX 77098

Video Replay, South Padre Island
October 12, 2018

Isla Grand Beach Resort
500 Padre Blvd.

South Padre, TX 78597
(800)292-7704

The Children's Commission offers reimbursement of the National Association of Counsel for Children (NACC) Certification Exam fee for Texas attorneys and judges who qualify for and pass the Child Welfare Legal Specialist Exam (CWLS). Financial assistance is available for those Texas CWLS's who are applying for re-certification. 

Additionally, financial assistance is available to Texas attorneys and judges who are seeking re-certification of their CWLS every five years.

Child Welfare Legal Specialist (CWLS) & Re-Certifications Fee Reimbursement (FY18 Special Offer)

In celebration of their 40th anniversary, the National Association of Counsel for Children (NACC) is offering nearly 50% off for attorneys and judges seeking certification as a Child Welfare Legal Specialist (CWLS).

With the discounted offer from NACC and the scholarship offered by the Children’s Commission, attorneys and judges who qualify for and pass the Child Welfare Legal Specialist Exam in fiscal year 2018 can do so for only $87.50.

Application & Exam Fee

$650.00

$350.00

Children's Commission Scholarship

 

($262.50)

Total Cost to Attorney/Judge

 

$87.50

The scholarship is funded by the Children’s Commission and administered by NACC. Texas attorneys and judges interested in becoming CWLS certified will pay the discounted price of $350 with their CWLS application to NACC. After successfully completing the exam and receiving certification, NACC will issue scholarship reimbursements to Texas attorneys and judges in the amount of $262.50.

Discounts are also available for Texas attorneys and judges who are seeking re-certification of their CWLS. To be eligible for the discount, re-certifications must be filed by May 31, 2018.

Re-Certification Fee

$300.00

$200.00

Children's Commission Scholarship

 

($120.00)

Total Cost to Attorney/Judge

 

$80.00

For more information, please submit a request to Children@txcourts.gov 

The newly-formed Child Protection Law Section of the State Bar of Texas is offering a two-day CLE entitled “First Annual Advanced Child Protection Law Course” on April 19 and 20, 2018. This training will cover current topics of interest to Texas attorneys who practice on the CPS docket.

Dates and Locations:

The first day of this year’s live CLE will be held in the Texas Supreme Court Building (located at 201 West 14th Street, #104, Austin Texas) on April 19, 2018.  The second day of the live CLE will be held at the Texas Law Center’s Hatton Sumners Conference Room (located at 1414 Colorado Street, Austin, Texas) on April 20, 2018.

Agenda:

Advanced Child Protection Law Course Agenda

Some of the topics which will be presented include Preservation of Error in CPS Cases; Top Ten Appellate Tips for Trial and Appellate Advocates; Privatization: What We Know and Don’t Know; and a Caselaw Update. The program will also include a tour of the Supreme Court of Texas.

Scholarship Criteria:

The Children’s Commission is offering $125 scholarships to the first fifty qualified attorneys who meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • be a current member of the Child Protection Law Section of the State Bar of Texas (this pre-requisite is required by the Section);
  • 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.

 

Please link here to become a member of the Child Protection Law Section of the State Bar of Texas: https://childprotectionlawtx.com/?page_id=26

Reimbursement is not available:

Applicants should note that the Children’s Commission is not able to reimburse attorneys who pay the Child Protection Law Section of the State Bar of Texas directly.

Scholarship Application:

Please link here to apply for a scholarship: 2018 Advanced Child Protection Law Course. Please note that the application period for this scholarship runs from February 26, 2018, until March 12, 2018.

CLE Registration:

Scholarships awarded by the Children’s Commission will be paid directly to the State Bar of Texas for each recipient. The State Bar will register all awardees for the April 19 and 20, 2018 MCLE.  Confirmation of the scholarship award will be sent to qualifying attorneys on or before the week of April 2, 2018. If you are notified that you have received a scholarship, you do not need to self-register.

This one-day pre-conference training and the subsequent three-day training will convene a national community of multidisciplinary advocates for children, youth, and families and will cover a wide variety of topics. The Red Book Training course covers the major dependency competency areas based upon the NACC’s 3rd Edition of the Child Welfare Law & Practice guide (known as the “The Red Book”) and prepares attendees for the NACC Child Welfare Law Specialist certification exam. The Red Book training may be relevant for Texas attorneys who would like to learn more about federal laws related to child welfare issues, without regard to their possible interest in the NACC’s Child Welfare Law Specialization Exam. To find out more about the topics and speakers for the 41st NACC National Conference and optional pre-conference Red Book Training, please see the Conference Agenda.   

This year’s NACC Conference will be held on August 23-25, 2018, in San Antonio, with the pre-conference Red Book Training held at the same venue on August 22, 2018. 

The Children’s Commission will provide $1000 scholarships to 100 qualified attorneys in the form of waived registration fees and conference-related travel expenses of up to $1000. The funds can be used toward the one-day pre-conference Red Book Training ($200) and/or the three-day 41st National Child Welfare, Juvenile & Family Law Conference ($400), with any remaining funds available for conference-related travel expenses.   Registration fees for the Red Book training and/or Conference will be paid directly to the NACC for each recipient. 

To meet the criteria for a scholarship, the applicant must currently represent DFPS or take appointments on the CPS docket, be in good standing with the State Bar of Texas and with their appointing or presiding judge, and commit to completing a post-event survey. Additionally, qualifying attorneys must be supported by their presiding or appointing judge.  Judges with applicants from their jurisdiction will be notified by the Children’s Commission and asked to respond regarding the applicant(s)’s suitability for the NACC scholarship (the applicant does not need to initiate the communication with his or her judge.)

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.
  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 23, 2018, 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 23, 2018, 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. The awardee’s managing attorney or judge will be notified of the late cancellation for any cancellation after July 23, 2018.
  5. Awardees with emergency situations requiring cancellation after July 23, 2018, must email children@txcourts.gov as soon as possible so that the Commission can try and fill the slot from any waitlist.

Payment for conference-related travel expenses is contingent upon completion of a post-event survey to the Red Book Training and/or the 41st National NACC Conference. Please review the additional Reimbursement Guidelines for Travel-related Expenses.

To apply, please link at the following for the scholarship application.

Please note that this scholarship application period will close at midnight on Thursday, May 10, 2018.  Scholarships are limited so applications to the Red Book Training and/or the full Conference should be submitted so as soon as possible.