Stronger Together: Uniting to Advance Change

Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill, Washington, DC
April 26-28, 2023

Call for Proposals

CWLA is accepting proposal submissions for our 2023 National Conference, Stronger Together: Uniting to Advance Change, being held April 26-28, 2023, at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Using CWLA’s core values as a guide, this conference will highlight successful strategies for bridging the divide between public and private sectors of child welfare and related systems and the families and communities they serve. For three days, child-and family serving professionals, families, and community representatives will gather to explore effective ways of deepening their relationships and engaging in more effective collaboration. By harnessing our collective wisdom, we can develop and implement innovative and sustainable solutions that achieve child and family well-being.

True collaboration allows space for everyone’s voice to be heard. CWLA encourages community partners who focus on child and family well-being through childcare, Head Start, housing and other services to submit proposals. Special consideration will also be given to proposals from frontline staff and youth and parents with lived expertise.

CWLA is seeking presentations, 75-minutes in length, that feature evidence-informed and evidence-based programs, practices, and strategies that lead to the successful implementation of redesigned systems.  

Presentations should demonstrate the values shown in one or more of CWLA’s guiding stars:

  • Serving families with dignity, compassion, and respect
  • Honoring families as they define themselves and recognizing that children belong with their family of choice
  • Acknowledging and responding to the trauma experienced by children, families, workers, and communities
  • Respecting and involving parents, caregivers, youth, and families as experts on their family
  • Centering social justice in all that we do
  • Promoting protection, safety, and well-being of children as a shared responsibility
  • Fostering cross system and cross sector collaborations
  • Partnering with communities and families
  • Having a well-resourced, diverse, prepared, and responsive workforce
  • Fostering an organizational culture that is safe, supportive, and that values ongoing learning, and diversity
  • Ensuring that services and supports for families are based on their individualized needs
  • Proactively addressing the systemic impacts of poverty, racism, and other forms of oppression on families and communities
  • Being informed by and accountable to families and communities for positive outcomes
  • Championing and working to ensure appropriate resources and funding that promote the ability of children, families, and communities to flourish

Presentation topic areas include:

  • Partnerships across systems, states/counties, and within communities that have successfully eradicated barriers to support and enhanced child and family well-being
  • Effective strategies and practices that strengthen families, including:
    • Prevention of and interventions for children coming into care
    • Strategies for reunification/permanency
    • Post-adoption supports and services
    • Engaging resource families and kinship caregivers in supporting children and their birth parents
  • Innovative approaches to service delivery, particularly with strategies and lessons that speak directly to and can be implemented by frontline staff  
  • Effective methods of increasing workforce recruitment, development, and retention
  • Successful strategies to understand and promote equity, cultural humility, and strong racial, cultural and ethnic identity
  • Lessons learned from the implementation of the Families First Prevention Services Act
  • Successful applications of research, evaluation, data and CQI in programs and organizations
  • Strategies for supporting children and families impacted by mental health

Selection Criteria:

  • Relevance to the conference theme and alignment with the guiding stars and topic areas
  • Engaging format, including budgeted time for facilitated conversation, breakout groups, activities and use of handouts and PowerPoint presentations
  • Innovation and originality
  • Demonstrated leadership in advancing effective strategies, programs, and practices
  • Ability to be replicated and adapted within other communities, systems, and practice areas
  • Special consideration for proposals that include the voices of community partners and youth and families with lived expertise as presenters or co-presenters
  • Preference given to CWLA members


Selected presenters must agree to conduct their presentations regardless of the number of attendees pre-registered for the session, to provide an electronic copy of any presentation materials and handouts no later than one week before the conference, and to bring with them to their presentation paper copies of handouts in a quantity sufficient for their session participants.

CWLA’s Conference Planning Committee and CWLA staff will choose presentations using the selection criteria while ensuring a mix of speakers based on practice area, geography, and experience.

Presenters will be expected to register for the conference at the discounted presenter rate and pay their own expenses.

The submission deadline is Wednesday, August 31, 2022.

Contact for assistance.

Submit Your Proposal

Details on sponsorship, hotel rates, training opportunities and more – coming soon!