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Call for Abstracts – NACC’s 47th Child Welfare Law Conference

Friday November 17, 2023

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)

Virtual Conference

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.

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