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Call for Abstracts: NACC 46th National Child Welfare Law Conference

Monday January 2, 2023

From Learning to Action: Shared Accountability for Disrupting Harm and Promoting Healing

Hyatt Regency Minneapolis

Minneapolis, Minnesota
August 10–12, 2023, PreCon Aug 9

Virtual Conference

Your office/home!
September 20–22, 2023

NACC’s Call for Conference Abstracts is now closed.
All applicants will be notified of NACC’s selection decisions by the end of April. 

For Informational Purposes

NACC seeks abstracts for its 46th 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 Minneapolis Hyatt Regency (room rate $165/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 welfare court systems. Many attendees have a diverse practice which also includes 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 welfare 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 From Learning to Action: Shared Accountability for Disrupting Harm and Promoting Healing. The conference theme recognizes that all system actors have a shared responsibility to promote family integrity, center the voices and experiences of individuals with lived expertise, engage in authentic partnerships, and actively work towards equity and justice. NACC seeks abstract submissions that translate bold, innovative ideas into action and convey concrete tips and skills for all attorneys and professionals to integrate into their daily practice.  See NACC’s Conference Abstract FAQs.

Specific topics of interest include:

  • Trial skills (i.e., 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 related topics
  • Topics related to the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) and representing Indigenous families
  • Appellate advocacy
  • High-quality legal representation of children, including working with transition-age youth
  • 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 time
  • Mental health advocacy, including ensuring quality treatment
  • Cross-sector presentations that address the intersections of child welfare, juvenile and criminal legal systems, poverty, and/or homelessness
  • Policy advocacy and systems reform
  • Innovative legal service delivery systems, multidisciplinary and pre-petition representation, and law office management
  • Sessions geared toward Minnesota practitioners (based on Minnesota 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 three presenters, but note that only two presenters per session and any presenters with lived expertise in the child welfare or juvenile legal system (as a child/youth, parent, or kinship caregiver) will receive full scholarships for conference registration. A third presenter without lived expertise must pay for conference registration. All presenters are responsible for their own travel and hotel costs.

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 lived experience experts for their time preparing and presenting at the conference. The investment in and authentic engagement of lived experience experts is a shared responsibility. NACC only covers these expenses for members of NACC’s National Advisory Council on Children’s Legal Representation.

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 or handicap, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, or age. NACC embraces diversity among its Board, staff, members, and volunteers.

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