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, for 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 from the Children’s Commission, in addition to the pre-event survey portion contained in the Commission 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 from the training, new practices which awardees plan to implement, and/or a current practice which they plan to change. Surveys also inquire about additional topics of interest to help inform planning for future training.

Please visit the sections below for more information on state and national conferences in child welfare. Please note, the Children’s Commission may not offer scholarships to every training listed. For questions about scholarships to this year’s events, please email Monica.Mahoney@txcourts.gov.

Information on scholarships will be available on this webpage and also through the Children’s Commission’s Resource Letters. If you do not currently receive announcements from the Children’s Commission, please link here to sign up today!

The 3rd Annual Advanced Child Protection Law Course previously scheduled for March 26-27, 2020 has been cancelled.

For more information, please visit the Child Protection Law Section web page.

The Center on Children and the Law hosts two national conferences every other year. The National Conference on Children and the Law and the 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.

The Center’s next National Conferences will be held in November 2021. For more information, please visit the ABA National Conferences web page.

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

 

2020 Dates and Locations:

The 2020 TexasBarCLE Child Abuse and Neglect One-Day Track is currently scheduled  as a virtual CLE on August 5, 2020, with video replays in Houston on October 2, 2020; in South Padre on October 16, 2020; and via webcast on October 23, 2020.

The Children’s Commission is currently working with conference organizers to offer scholarships for this year’s event and hopes to announce the application process very soon. Please look for announcements from the Children’s Commission and check back here for updates.

If you do not currently receive announcements from the Children’s Commission and would like to be added to our electronic distribution list, please link here to sign up today!

The NACC’s 43rd National Child Welfare Law Conference will be held virtually this year on August 24-28, 2020. More information is available on the NACC website.

The Children’s Commission is currently working with conference organizers to offer limited scholarships for this year’s event and hopes to announce the application process very soon. Please look for announcements from the Children’s Commission and check back here for updates.

If you do not currently receive announcements from the Children’s Commission and would like to be added to our electronic distribution list, please link here to sign up today!

Attorney Scholarships for State and National Certifications

The Children’s Commission offers financial support to those attorneys and judges seeking certification as a National Association of Counsel for Children (NACC) Child Welfare Legal Specialist (CWLS) by way of a reimbursement scholarship for their application fee or exam fee for those applicants who successfully pass their CWLS exam. The scholarship is funded by the Children’s Commission and administered by the NACC. Texas attorneys and judges interested in becoming CWLS certified will pay their CWLS application fee and exam fee to NACC. The NACC will issue scholarship reimbursements directly to Texas attorneys and judges after they successfully complete the exam and receive certification. A discount is also available for those current CWLS who choose to recertify.

Please note the following details regarding CWLS certification:

  1. For those attorneys who applied prior to 2018 and paid the application fee but received a scholarship from NACC or a source other than the Children's Commission to cover the $350 exam fee, Children's Commission funding can reimburse the $300 application fee once certification has been awarded.
  2. For those attorneys who applied prior to 2018 and paid the exam fee but received a scholarship from NACC or a source other than the Children's Commission to cover the $300 application fee, Children's Commission funding can reimburse the $350 exam fee once certification has been awarded.
  3. Judges who applied between January 1, 2018, and September 30, 2019, and are certified by September 30, 2019, are eligible to be reimbursed 75% of their CWLS combined application fee once awarded certification.

Recertification is required every five years. The recertification process is identical to the initial application process, minus the writing sample and exam. Texas attorneys and judges who are re-certified by September 30, 2019, are eligible to be reimbursed 60% of their recertification fee.

For more information, please visit the Texas Board of Specialization web page.