The Children’s Commission promotes child welfare-related CLE in several ways: by providing webcasts generated by the Commission; by producing CPS-related CLE in partnership with TexasBarCLE; and by obtaining Texas MCLE credit for continuing legal education from other jurisdictions and offering these “on demand” on the Commission website at no cost. Please see below for more information on current MCLE offerings within each of these categories.
The Judicial Trauma Institute was presented live on April 22-23, 2021 via webcast. The content was designed by Commission staff in partnership with the Statewide Collaborative on Trauma-Informed Care (SCTIC) Training Workgroup and hosted by the Texas Center for the Judiciary. The goal of the conference was for judicial teams to gain information and discover practical tools and resources about how to become a trauma-informed and trauma-responsive court in CPS cases. Video replays and conference materials can be accessed on the Judicial Trauma Institute webpage.
On May 22, 2020, the Children's Commission hosted a 90-minute webcast, “Effective Advocacy in the Virtual CPS Courtroom,” designed for all practitioners on the CPS docket to share best practices when preparing cases and clients for a virtual hearing.
Moderated by Hon. Rob Hofmann, Judge of 452nd District Court and Jurist in Residence for the Children’s Commission, the panel discussion includes Dennis Arriaga, Managing Attorney for Region 8, DFPS; Jana Clift-Williams, court-appointed attorney in Caldwell, Comal and Guadalupe Counties; and Ann Marie Smith, court-appointed attorney in Bexar, Comal, Hays, Guadalupe, and Caldwell counties. Topics include how to facilitate the client’s meaningful participation in a virtual hearing; how to properly elicit testimony on Zoom; how to properly enter evidence on Zoom; and how to review orders in a virtual setting.
Recorded Webcast: Effective Advocacy in the Virtual CPS Courtroom
To claim MCLE credit, please email CCTraining@txcourts.gov at the conclusion of the replay.
In partnership with the State Bar of Texas, the Children's Commission and TexasBarCLE regularly produce and make available live, archived, and accredited online MCLE courses to provide education and training for attorneys who take court-appointed cases or who represent the DFPS on CPS dockets around the state. CPS-related CLE is available in the Online Classroom of TexasBarCLE and include the following:
- Basic and Advanced Trial Skills in CPS Litigation: Persuade and Prevail
- Preparing Your CPS Case for Trial: Position Yourself to Win
- Thinking Ahead: Dealing with Appeals Issues in CPS Cases
- Effective Representation of Children and Aged Out Foster Youth: Beyond the Basics
- Tips and Traps from Appointment Through Trial: Effective Representation of a Parent in a CPS Case; and
- Special Issues in CPS Parent Representation
These live courses are later archived in the TexasBarCLE Online Classroom in the Child Welfare Practice Area. Additional webinars are added periodically while others may rotate off this list as they become outdated.
The TexasBarCLE’s Online Classroom of CPS-related webinars is available at a reduced rate to court-appointed attorneys representing children and/or parents.
For attorneys representing the State of Texas, TexasBarCLE provides scholarships based on financial need. Judges and their full-time staff attorneys can view these offerings for free.
To view the list of MCLE courses offered through TexasBarCLE, please link below to access the Child Welfare Section of the TexasBarCLE Online Classroom:
To register for any CLE course, one must be a registered user of the State Bar's website. The account is free and registrants do not have to be a member of the State Bar of Texas.
These offerings available on TexasBarCLE may be considered in some jurisdictions to meet the statutory three-hour education requirements in Texas Family Code Sections 107.004 and 107.0131 for attorneys to qualify for court appointments on child protection dockets or to qualify to remain on a court-appointed list.
Additionally, the TexasBarCLE Online Library offers reports and written materials.
Please email CCTraining@txcourts.gov if you should have any questions.