CWLA National Conference


APRIL 9-11, 2025


Call for Proposals Now Open!

Our collective mission is clear: to build a future where every child is safe, every family is strong, and every community flourishes. To further this common goal, CWLA holds an annual conference that gathers the brightest minds in child welfare and allied fields to share innovative and sustainable solutions that strengthen child and family outcomes.

CWLA is now accepting proposal submissions for our 2025 National Conference, Inspiring Change, Igniting Progress, which will be held April 9-11, 2025, at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

CWLA is seeking workshop presentations, 90 minutes in length, that feature evidence-informed and evidence-based programs, practices, and strategies that drive significant progress in the well-being of children, parents, families, and communities.

We encourage applicants to take inspiration and guidance from CWLA’s whitepaper, Creating a High-Quality, Humane, and Respectful Approach to Advance Our Vision, and the CWLA National Blueprint for Excellence in Child Welfare.

Presentation topic areas include:

  • Partnerships across systems, states/counties, and within communities that have successfully eradicated barriers to support and enhanced child, parent, family and community well-being
  • Innovative approaches to service delivery, particularly with strategies and lessons that speak directly to and can be implemented by frontline staff members
  • Effective methods of increasing workforce recruitment, development, and retention, and addressing secondary trauma and compassion fatigue, including for resource parents and parent partners/advocates
  • Successful strategies to understand and promote equity, cultural humility, and strong racial, cultural, and ethnic identity
  • Efforts to improve services for specific populations, including immigrants; children and resource parents who are LGBTQ+; Latino, Black, and Native American families; children and families with disabilities; and families in rural areas
  • 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 or substance misuse, including residential treatment
  • Successful efforts to expand access to treatment for mental health and substance use or impact from exposure through Medicaid and other health systems with a special focus on services to children, adolescents, and youth
  • Strategies to address the impact of increased exposure, or likelihood of exposure, to gun violence on child and adolescent populations
  • Efforts to rethink front-end services, including working differently with parents, families, and communities and improving mandated reporting systems

Effective strategies and practices that strengthen families, including:

  • Prevention of and interventions for children coming into care
  • Strategies for permanency, including reunification, kinship care, guardianship, and adoption
  • Post-adoption supports and services
  • Engaging resource parents and kinship caregivers in supporting children and their birth parents
  • Engaging parent partners/advocates and youth advocates with lived expertise in supporting caregivers and youth
  • Addressing poverty and other social determinants of health, including responding to the concrete needs of children and families

Selection Criteria:

  • Alignment with the topic areas
  • Innovation and originality, including inventive ideas from other systems that can be used in child welfare
  • Ability to be replicated and adapted within other communities, systems, and practice areas
  • Demonstrated leadership in advancing effective strategies, programs, and practices
  • Engaging format, including budgeted time for facilitated conversation, breakout groups, activities, and use of handouts
  • Preference will be given for proposals that include the voices of community partners or youth and families with lived expertise as presenters or co-presenters
  • Priority will be 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 two weeks before the conference.

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.

CWLA recommends a maximum of 2 or 3 presenters per workshop, due to time and room size constraints. If you wish to have additional presenters please contact us.

Presenters will be expected to register for the conference at the discounted presenter rate and pay their own expenses. Only two presenters per session can receive the discounted rate.

The submission deadline is Friday, August 9, 2024.

Contact for assistance.