Call for Abstracts – NACC’s 47th Child Welfare Law Conference
Working Together, Working Differently: Justice, Compassion, and New Tools for Modern Advocacy
Hyatt Regency Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City, Utah
August 12-14, 2024 (pre-conference: August 11)
The Comfort of Your Home!
September 11-13, 2024
NACC seeks abstracts for its 47th National Child Welfare Law Conference. The annual conference is an opportunity for us to bring together professionals from child welfare law and intersecting fields and further NACC’s mission through the exchange of ideas, information, and collective efforts.
The conference will be in-person at the Hyatt Regency Salt Lake City (room rate $199/night) in August and online in September. NACC seeks abstract submissions from presenters willing to present in-person, online, or in both formats.
Conference sessions should be designed for a national audience, expand attendees’ understanding of the law, provide practical tools, and lend information and strategies for systems improvement.
Most conference attendees are attorneys and judges who work in child protection court systems. Many attendees have diverse practices which also include work in the juvenile and criminal legal systems. Attendees also include professionals with lived expertise and from other disciplines including medicine, policy, community advocacy, immigration, education, social services, homelessness, and civil rights, as well as law students and other child protection stakeholders.
NACC encourages submissions that will apply to attorneys who represent children, parents, agencies, and kinship caregivers, as well as judges and multidisciplinary professionals working in child welfare. NACC also seeks abstracts for its pre-conference Children’s Law Office Convening.
The theme of this year’s conference is Working Together, Working Differently: Justice, Compassion, and New Tools for Modern Advocacy. This year’s conference theme reminds us that if we truly want the child protection legal system to look different, we must be different. This begins by centering the voices, wellbeing, and rights of children and parents in our daily work. From there, emerging trends in high-quality legal representation, harm reduction, compassion-based practice, technology, and preventive advocacy help chart the course forward. Looking inward plays a role as well – embracing discomfort, challenging established narratives, and leveraging privilege for a purpose. NACC seeks abstract submissions that build on these ideas and convey concrete tips and skills for attorneys and practitioners. As a community of advocates, if we want to end at a different destination, we must start from a different place.
Specific topics of interest include:
- Trial skills (e.g., objections, developing effective arguments or examinations, introducing exhibits), evidence, and motions practice
- Practical, skill-based trainings for out-of-court and in-court advocacy
- Sessions that feature professionals with lived expertise
- Authentic youth and parent engagement
- Ethics (including conflicts, confidentiality, and communication)
- Vicarious trauma, secondary traumatic stress, and burnout
- Antiracist and culturally humble legal practice; recognizing, interrupting, and addressing bias; race equity and justice; and diversity and inclusion in the legal profession
- Representing parents and youth with disabilities
- Working with LGBTQIA+ youth and parents and related topics
- Topics related to the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) and representing Indigenous families
- The intersection of religion and child protection practice and policy
- Appellate advocacy
- High-quality legal representation of children, youth, and emerging adults
- High-quality legal representation of parents
- High-quality legal representation of agencies
- Effective collaboration amongst parties and professionals
- Constitutional law, due process, and federal and Supreme Court jurisprudence
- Concrete advocacy strategies for keeping children with family, assessing and ensuring child safety, promoting kinship care and sibling relationships, and supporting quality family/parenting time
- Advocacy around mental health and substance use diagnoses, including ensuring quality treatment
- Cross-sector presentations that address the intersections of child welfare, juvenile and criminal legal systems, poverty, domestic violence, and/or homelessness
- Specialty courts, including family wellness and recovery courts
- Policy advocacy and systems reform
- Innovative legal service delivery systems, multidisciplinary and pre-petition representation, and law office management
- Technology: innovations, efficiencies, and concerns
- Sessions geared toward Utah practitioners (based on Utah law and practice)
In addition to the specific topics of interest, NACC will consider the following in reviewing abstract submissions:
- Diversity, equity, and inclusion – which includes diversity in presenters, topic areas, and geographic representation
- Authentic inclusion of the voices and experiences of individuals with lived expertise in the child welfare system in both the preparation and presentation of the session
- Practical application and concrete tips and takeaways that will elevate legal practice
- Interactivity and activities that attend to different learning styles
Abstracts may include up to two presenters for breakouts and three presenters for plenaries. Conference presenters receive full scholarships for conference registration. All presenters must pay for their own travel and accommodations.
NACC expects lead organizations submitting abstracts including persons with lived expertise to cover the hotel and travel expenses of presenters with lived expertise and compensate them for their time preparing and presenting at the conference. The investment in and authentic engagement of persons with lived expertise is a shared responsibility. NACC only covers these expenses for members of NACC’s National Advisory Council on Children’s Legal Representation.
Abstracts are due Wednesday, January 31, 2024; no late submissions will be considered.
All applicants will be notified of NACC’s selection decisions by the end of April.
Stop! Have you read NACC’s Conference Abstract FAQs before submitting your abstract??
NACC Non-Discrimination Policy
It is the policy of the National Association of Counsel for Children not to discriminate against any individual or group on the basis of race, culture, ethnicity, national origin, religion or religious beliefs, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, or age. NACC embraces diversity among its Board, staff, members, and volunteers.
Submit your conference abstract!
Please note: you cannot save your progress when filling out the online submission form. You will need to enter all the required information at one time. We recommend that you create a separate document with your abstract information on it in case you lose your progress or want to refer to it later. Also, be mindful of character limits, as the form will not let you submit answers that are over the limit.
Join Team NACC!
NACC is currently hiring for two remote positions to start in January 2024: Training Manager and Staff Attorney. These positions offer exciting opportunities to work at the national level promoting high quality legal representation in the child protection system. NACC strongly encourages interested persons to submit their applications by December 1, 2023. NACC will continue to accept applications on a rolling basis until the positions are filled.
The Training Manager works to ensure legal professionals have the resources they need to provide high-quality representation of children, parents, and agencies. This is a full-time senior level position responsible for managing NACC’s training department and external organizational training relationships. This includes developing and presenting content for NACC-created trainings and contract work, leading content selection for NACC’s annual conference, and supervising training department staff. The Training Manager has strong legal research and writing skills and is skilled at presenting, facilitating, and moderating trainings and external projects. They have experience with supervision and value collaboration, teamwork, and relationships. They have strong project management and organizational skills and the ability to maintain a realistic balance among multiple projects. This position requires a minimum of five (5) years’ experience in child welfare practice. See Full Training Manager Position Description.
The Staff Attorney is a full-time member of NACC’s training department who works to ensure legal professionals have the resources they need to provide high-quality representation of children, parents, and agencies. This includes developing and presenting content for NACC-created trainings and contract work, contributing to member resources, and assisting with content selection for NACC’s annual conference. The Staff Attorney has strong legal research and writing skills and is comfortable presenting, facilitating, and moderating trainings and external projects. They value collaboration, teamwork, and relationships. They have strong project management and organizational skills and the ability to maintain a realistic balance among multiple projects. The Staff Attorney must value and contribute to initiatives that promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, as well as the authentic inclusion of individuals with lived expertise in the child protection system. This position requires a minimum of three (3) years’ experience in child welfare practice. See Full Staff Attorney Position Description.