Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill, Washington, DC
April 26 – 29, 2018

Click on image to review Registration Program


The 2018 National Conference, Advancing Excellence in Practice & Policy: Building Resilience in Changing Times, will highlight how organizations are advancing excellence in child and family services in changing times. Conference presentations will feature evidence-informed/evidence-based programs and practices and their related policies and tools that lead to the successful implementation of the CWLA National Blueprint for Excellence in Child Welfare.

The conference will build on learning and examine how organizations in the United States and globally are responding to changes in funding, policies, and client needs through advocacy, community organizing, and service change; demonstrate the resiliency in organizations, families, and communities in response to changing times; and lay the groundwork for transitioning to CWLA’s second century of service in 2020.

This exciting conference is a prime opportunity for you to reconnect with your practice and policy colleagues from around the country and to interact with national-level representatives who are focused on improving outcomes for children, youth, and families. It is designed to encourage cross-system, cross-sector, and local to national communication about some of the most pressing issues related to children and families.

The conference will feature a pre-conference session focused on critical policy issues facing child welfare; Advocacy Day activities; special learning opportunities for public sector staff members; five full conference plenary sessions on current issues; workshops, poster sessions, and learning labs; and an extended learning opportunity in our two-day Training Institute.

The uniqueness of the CWLA National Conference is that it provides an opportunity for people from every state; public and private providers from child welfare and other fields of service; corporations, advocates, educators, youth, and family members to come together and share learning based on our common vision of a better future for all children.


  • Experience exceptional learning
  • Hear outstanding presentations
  • Meet your Members of Congress
  • Make YOUR voice heard—Promote child welfare policy priorities
  • Network with colleagues and peers
  • Advance excellence in child and family services
  • Share ideas and wisdom on responding to change
  • Learn about resiliency in organizations, families, & communities
  • Visit monuments & attractions in our nation’s capital

We look forward to seeing you April 26 – 29 at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill, Washington, DC.

Contact us for assistance.

The Conference is Fast Approaching! Register Today

Thanks to our conference sponsors for their generous support!

At-a-Glance Schedule

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

11:00 am – 5:30 pm

12:30 pm – 5:30 pm
National Advocacy Leaders Convening

Thursday, April 26, 2018

7:00 am – 5:00 pm

8:15 am – 10:15 am
CWLA Members-Only Leadership Session

10:30 am – 12:45 pm
Opening Plenary Session

1:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Capitol Hill Visits


1:45 pm – 3:15 pm
Public Sector-Focused Workshops A

3:30 pm – 5:00 pm
Public Sector-Focused Workshops B


5:15 pm – 7:15pm
Dinner Plenary Session

7:15 pm
Dessert Reception in the Exhibit Hall

Friday, April 27, 2018

7:30 am – 5:30 pm

7:30 am – 8:30 am
Annual Meeting Breakfast

7:30 am – 8:30 am
Breakfast in the Exhibit Hall

8:45 am – 10:15 am
Plenary Session

Friday, April 27, 2018 (cont.)

10:30 am – 11:30 pm
Learning Labs

11:45 am – 12:45 pm
Learning Labs

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Lunch in the Exhibit Hall

2:15 pm – 3:45 pm
Workshops C

4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Plenary Session

5:30 pm
Networking Reception in the Exhibit Hall

7:00 pm
Special Session – Documentary Film & Discussion

Saturday, April 28, 2018

7:30 am – 2:30 am

7:30 am – 8:30 am
Poster Sessions Breakfast

8:45 am – 10:15 am
Workshops D

10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Workshops E

12:15 pm – 2:00 pm
Lunch Plenary Session

2:15 pm – 6:00 pm
Training Institute Sessions

Sunday, April 29, 2018

8:30 am – 3:00 pm
Training Institute Sessions

9:00 am – 1:00 pm
PRIDE Model of Practice Learning Collaborative Strategies Exchange

Plenary Sessions

The 2018 National Conference Plenary Sessions will be panel presentations to share and discuss current issues for the field of child welfare.  Join us to hear from experts and leaders about these important topics and efforts for advancing excellence and building resilience in changing times.

10:30 AM – 12:45 PM

This plenary session brings together national leaders to share their knowledge about the critical issues in Congress that will impact child welfare and children and families. Come learn about the current issues and policies that all of us need to be aware of so that we can speak up for children and families who are vulnerable.

A panel of young people affiliated with United We Dream, one of the largest immigrant youth-led community organizations in the country, will share an update on current efforts related to DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival) immigrants.

Congressperson Karen Bass, a member of Congress representing California’s 37th District and Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth will share the latest on Capitol Hill action and what we all can do to make a difference.

5:15 PM – 7:15 PM

This plenary presentation will provide innovative ways to build and sustain the child welfare workforce, including effective workload supports, changes to leadership at all levels, strategic recruitment and retention, and worker resiliency and well-being. Speakers will address special supports ranging from caseload/workload protections to the use of technology.

FACILITATOR: Julie Collins, Vice President, Practice Excellence, CWLA

Allison Blake, Ph.D., L.S.W., former Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Children and Families, and CWLA Board of Directors
Sylvia Deporto, Deputy Director, Family and Children’s Services, City and County of San Francisco Human Services Agency
Linda Spears, Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Children and Families

8:45 AM – 10:15 AM

The primary goal of this plenary session is to demonstrate the potential for research to honor, respect, and give voice to community—​that is, to show how research can complement rather than compete with practice wisdom and community expertise. A second goal is to illustrate how research can facilitate opportunities for learning and improvement and generate evidence that is responsive to the needs and culture of a local community. The presentation will also highlight how researchers’ skills and expertise can deepen the understanding of the communities and families served by providers, reveal under-appreciated resources that can be more effectively leveraged, and identify ways to move toward better outcomes for children, youth, and families.

Margarita Alegría, Ph.D., Chief of the Disparities Research Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Professor, Departments of Medicine and Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
Paul Elam, Ph.D., President of Public Policy Associates, Incorporated
Allison Metz, Ph.D., Director, National Implementation Research Network (NIRN), and Senior Implementation Specialist, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Kimberly DuMont, Ph.D., Senior Program Officer, William T. Grant Foundation
Kevin McGuire, Commissioner, Westchester County (NY) Department of Social Services
Allison Blake, Ph.D., L.S.W., former Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Children and Families, and CWLA Board of Directors

4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

While much progress has taken place over the last decade to address the mental health needs of children i n general and in particular those at risk of or involved with child welfare, there is still much more that needs to be done in order to achieve the CWLA National Blueprint vision of all children flourishing. Advances in other fields such as neuroscience and implementation science, and such issues as the continuing substance use in this country—in particular the current opioid crisis— compel us to continue to try new approaches and find workable solutions. Plenary presenters, who are leaders at the federal and national level, will address what they see as the emerging issues that we will need to be paying attention to and addressing going forward.

FACILITATOR: Eileen Elias, Chair of the CWLA Mental Health Advisory Board

Matthew Biel, MD, MSC, Co-chair of AACAP's Health Promotion and Prevention Committee and Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, Director of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Georgetown University Medical Center
Justine Larson, MD, MPH, MHS, Senior Medical Advisor, Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
Elaine Stedt, MSW, Director, Office on Child Abuse and Neglect, Children’s Bureau, Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACF/HHS)

12:15 PM – 1:45 PM

As children and families are met with new and emerging challenges in our changing society, the field of child welfare must harness developing strategies and technologies to respond effectively to support the healthy development of children, families, and communities. This final plenary session will identify common themes and draw upon the research, approaches, and strategies presented through earlier plenary sessions to create a new vision and way forward for child welfare to achieve its mission and promote resilience.

Alex Morales, President & CEO, Children’s Bureau of Southern California, and CWLA Board of Directors
Vicky Kelly, former Director, Delaware Division of Family Services, and CWLA Board of Directors
Deborah Wilson Gadsden, Training Specialist, Family Design Resources, Inc.

Check back soon for more details on the plenary sessions and presenters.

Workshops, Learning Labs & Poster Sessions


Public Sector-Focused Workshops A
Thursday, April 26
1:45 pm – 3:15 pm

A1 - Virginia Children’s Services Practice Model Implementation Study
This session will highlight a policy, practice, research partnership from inception of practice profiles to evaluation of implementation. The practice profiles were developed in partnership with local child welfare agencies “innovators” and rolled out to innovator agencies and other “early adopters,” in preparation for full-scale dissemination to all state agencies. Presenters from the Virginia Department of Social Services will discuss the process used for development and implementation, including use of coaching in supervision.  The workshop will also feature the findings from a mixed-methods study of implementation contexts, strategies, and lessons learned for dissemination of the practice model to all agencies.
Presenter(s): Carl E. Ayers and Anne Kisor, Virginia Department of Social Services, Richmond, VA; and Kerrie Ocasio and Kathleen Fay, Rutgers University School of Social Work, New Brunswick, NJ

A2 – Let’s “Age Out” the Practice of “Aging Out:” Ensuring Relationships that are Safe, Nurturing, and Enduring
Everyone needs skills to transition to adulthood but these skills should not replace the need for human relationships. Young people in foster care should not be prepared for their transition to community living with participation in an independent living program as their final destination. This workshop challenges participants to identify strategies in which agencies, caregivers, and communities work together with young people to connect them with nurturing adults who can help them thrive in their communities as successful adults.
Presenter(s): Eileen Mayers Pasztor, CWLA, Manhattan Beach, CA

A3 - Embracing ICWA’s Best Practices for Serving American Indian and Alaska Native Children and Families Involved with Child Welfare
With the recent issuance of the Bureau of Indian Affairs' (BIA) Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) Guidelines and the ICWA Regulations, state child welfare agencies have been working in partnership with the tribes in their state and other relevant stakeholders to examine existing policies and practices and incorporate the best practices embedded in the guidelines and regulations. The State ICWA Managers have had a critical role in this work. During this session, participants will hear what the states have been doing to implement the best practices. Sufficient time will be allotted for question and answers.
Presenter(s): David Simmons, National Indian Child Welfare Association, Portland, OR; Alisa A. Lee, Utah Division of Child and Family Services, Salt Lake City, UT; Stacey Tadgerson, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Lansing, MI; and Nadja Jones, Oregon Department of Human Services, Portland, OR

A4 - A New Way of Removing Barriers to Permanency: Minnesota's Northstar Care for Children
In 2015, Minnesota implemented Northstar Care for Children, which was both a redesign of its foster care and adoption assistance programs and an opt-in to the federal Guardianship Assistance Program. Northstar Care for Children was meant to equalize foster care, adoption assistance, and guardianship assistance benefits for children ages 6 and older so as to reduce the time to permanency and stabilize families post-permanency. This workshop will provide an overview of the redesign efforts, implementation strategies, and lessons learned, as well as review data and outcomes related to Northstar Care for Children goals.
Presenter(s): Heidi Ombisa Skallet, Jody McElroy, Cynthia Shypulski, Mical Peterson and Kathleen Hiniker, Minnesota Department of Human Services, St. Paul, MN

Public Sector-Focused Workshops B
Thursday, April 26
3:30 pm – 5:00 pm

B1 - Innovative Strategies to Strengthen and Support the Successful Child Welfare Workforce
This session will be co-facilitated by representatives of the New Jersey Department of Children and Families and a community provider, and will focus on stabilizing the child welfare workforce. The presentation will cover hotline screening operations, the use of technology to strengthen the frontline staff, quality assurance, addressing secondary trauma in the workforce, and will speak to stabilizing the workforce through special initiatives and leadership development to contribute New Jersey’s attrition rate of less than 7%.
Presenter(s): Nancy Carre-Lee, New Jersey Department of Children and Families, Trenton, NJ; and Cherie Castellano, Rutgers University Behavioral Healthcare, Piscataway, NJ

B2 – Social Media and Technology Challenges: Risk Factors When Serving Youth in Diverse Settings
Public agencies serve youth in a variety of programs, such as family preservation, family foster care, kinship care, group homes, and residential treatment. Wherever young people live, they have access to the internet with all the benefits and risks it entails. CWLA’s National Blueprint for Excellence in Child Welfare establishes standards concerning technology, internet, and social media risks for children and youth. This workshop builds upon the National Blueprint standards by challenging participants to identify strategies to address the risks and provide safety and well-being for youth.
Presenter(s): Marcus Stallworth, CWLA, Naugatuck, CT

B3 - Addressing Secondary Traumatic Stress in Child Welfare Staff
Working in the child welfare field is a demanding and high-stress job. Not only does staff face burnout from a high-demand job, but also Secondary Traumatic Stress (STS) due to working with individuals and families who are dealing with trauma in their lives. This often leads to the question: Is it burnout or STS? This workshop will look at the impact of Secondary Traumatic Stress (STS) and ways to differentiate STS from burnout. Looking at the process and signs of STS, and ways to not only help individuals deal with STS, but how organizations can build processes to help monitor and alleviate STS. Presenters will discuss and explore how participants can implement the ABCs of prevention both individually and organizationally.
Presenter(s): Stan Waddell, Cenpatico, Wolfforth, TX; and Mary Armstrong, Cenpatico, Dallas, TX

B4 - Painting Pathways to Prevention
In the past five years, the volume of incoming reports for child maltreatment has increased in the United States. It is evident that the success and health of children cannot fully rely on child welfare workers, home visitors, medical professionals, and/or educational professionals that typically see children daily, but everyone has to be involved in building stronger families to prevent child maltreatment from ever occurring. This workshop will allow participants to experience a child’s life as they live with a parent who is unable to meet their needs. Participants will gain a perspective of what a child may endure while they are in a home of abuse and neglect, and outweigh building avenues to connect with a child that has been maltreated. Participants will understand how their daily professions and contact with community members provides them an opportunity to offer support and education for children and families that are affected by maltreatment so they do not have to go through it alone. Presenters will share avenues to connect to help identify local trends of child maltreatment so participants can learn to paint pathways toward prevention in their own communities.
Presenter(s): LeCole White, Arkansas Children's Hospital, Little Rock, AR

Workshops C
Friday, April 27
2:15 pm – 3:45 pm

C1 - Disproportionality: The Child Welfare Nexus
Delivering child welfare services involves multiple decisions regarding the safety, permanency, and well-being of children and their families. Unfortunately, some decisions result in disproportionate numbers of children of color being placed into out-of-home care, with many never returning to their families of origin. Because the values, skills, principles, and biases of individual caseworkers can guide these decisions, it is important to understand the impact of disproportionality on children, families, and their futures. This session will introduce the concept of disproportionality, its prevalence in child welfare and other child-serving social services, and its impact across the nation.
Presenter(s): Deborah Wilson Gadsden, Family Design Resources, Inc., Harrisburg, PA

C2 - Leading with Evidence: Moving Towards Outcome-based Workload and Caseload Standards
CWLA has embarked on a process to not only update its workload/caseload standards but to create a new framework for the calculation and management of them that is tied to outcomes for children, youth, and families. This process has been strongly influenced by administrators in public and private agencies. Concerned about the resilience of their organizations, the workforce, and the children and families they serve; they have asked for a more effective way of calculating what it actually takes to do the various components of the work, using best practices that lead to improved outcomes for children, youth and families while meeting state and federal requirements. Initial thinking related to the framework was presented at the CWLA 2017 conference and feedback from public and private agency participants was collected.

In the ensuing year, CWLA has completed a review and analysis of the literature and jurisdictional studies related to caseload and workload calculation and management. Recent innovative approaches to workload management were also examined. This workshop will highlight key findings from the final CWLA report, Child Welfare Caseload and Workload: A Synthesis of the Evidence Base, Current Trends and Future Directions, that will be available at the conference. Come hear about the key findings and how they relate to the input from 2017 conference participants. Attendees will have opportunity to engage in a discussion regarding the implications for the new outcomes-based CWLA Workload and Caseload Standards which will draw on the research evidence to improve outcomes for the children, youth, and families served. Participants will also have opportunity to provide input into the issues and questions that will inform a meeting with child welfare researchers and experts as well as hear about next steps and how they can continue to provide input.
Presenter(s): Julie Collins, CWLA, Washington, DC; and Vicky Kelly, CWLA Board of Directors, Millsboro, DE

C3 - Building Organizational Resilience through a Racial Equity Team
This workshop is designed to give participants the opportunity to explore and discuss the process for establishing a racial equity team at their organization. Participants will receive guidelines for creating a strategic plan for workforce development and organizational change that addresses issues of inequity and inclusion using an evidence-informed analysis and action framework. Tools that lead to the successful implementation of a racial equity strategic plan will be examined by exploring the journey of a racial equity team at a community-based child and family services agency for youth and families involved with child welfare in San Francisco, CA.
Presenter(s): Sharon Kollar, National Child Welfare Workforce Institute, Albany, NY; and Kimberly Bradley, National Child Welfare Workforce Institute, Berkeley, CA

C4 - Developing Outreach Programs for Child Maltreatment and Children in Foster Care in Geographic Shortage Regions
This workshop will review an established approach regarding the development, in shortage areas, of an outreach clinic for child maltreatment and foster care evaluation. Discussion will be held regarding challenges needed to bridge across multiple agencies (medical, child protective services, legal) to offer a complete “Medical Passport” that provides the child, biologic family, foster family, and CPS (in working with the medical staff) a comprehensive care plan to better serve the needs of the child and family. Presenters will discuss the challenges, which include financial struggles, limited services, and communication problems that are often faced by the multiple agencies involved in care for these children. The discussion will demonstrate how this approach is able to cast a safety net over a large region because of the coordinated and cooperative efforts by multiple agencies for these children that offers both short-term as well as long-term benefits in the care of these children.
Presenter(s): Arne Graf and Alison Larson, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN

C5 - Complex Challenges and Complex Solutions: A Continuum of Response to Human Trafficking Survivors in the Child Welfare System
Human trafficking is an inherently complex problem and, thus, requires a complex solution. Saint Francis Community Services (SFCS), a private child welfare agency in Kansas, has developed internal resources and engaged external resources in order to advance the cause of identification, treatment, and secondary prevention of human trafficking (HT). This workshop explores the underlying vulnerabilities of youth in foster care, the SFCS coordinated response to HT, and effective therapeutic strategies in supporting the healing of minor survivors. Participants can expect a dynamic and interactive workshop, designed to engage attendees in understanding the SFCS model of response to HT, as well emerging needs being identified.
Presenter(s): Melanie A. Miller Garrett, Saint Francis Community Services, Salina, KS; and Vickie McArthur, Saint Francis Community Services, Wichita, KS

C6 - Global Youth in America: Policy Review, Immigration Trends, Fostering Resiliency
At the helm of a national network of foster care providers, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) has remained nimble and proactive in the changing landscape of American immigration policy. Session attendees will receive a history of the federally funded Unaccompanied Children (UC) foster care program; an overview of the administration’s impact on the UC’s served by the LIRS foster care network; and LIRS’ response to this impact at individual, programmatic, and national levels. Presenters will dive into practical examples of the resilience found in the children in care, the agencies serving them, and the national policies shaping the landscape.
Presenter(s): Julia Hutton and Caitlin O'Donnell, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services, Baltimore, MD

C7 - Now is the Time: Developing a Comprehensive Kinship System of Care
Kinship care practice and policy has progressed over the years with laws, regulations, and services that have supported kinship families and the children and youth in their care. Dynamic attention to current kinship care policy and practice issues was demonstrated during the CWLA 2014 National Kinship Conference in New Orleans and the 2017 CWLA special issue of Child Welfare journal, “Kinship Care and Child Welfare: New Directions for Policy and Practice.” Just as kinship care reflects family history, this session will focus on how kinship care evolved over the past 30 years and, most importantly, the direction for the future. Presenters will discuss the current realities of kinship policy and practice, and engage participants in answering the question: What should be a comprehensive response to the needs of all kinship families to create a system of care?
Presenter(s): Gerard Wallace, NYS Kinship Navigator, Delmar, NY; Eileen Mayers Pasztor, School of Social Work California State University, Long Beach, CA; Alison Caliendo, Foster Kinship, Las Vegas, NV; Bob Ruble, OC Kinship & Support Org, Buena Park, CA; and Marla Spindel and Stephanie McClellan, DC KinCare Alliance,Washington, DC

C8 - Promising Ways to Serve Families Affected by Substance Use Disorders: Improving Outcomes by Infusing Effective Family Drug Court Strategies into Child Welfare and Dependency Court Systems
Research and practical experience has established the prevalence of parental substance use disorders (SUD) among families in child welfare systems. The Family Drug Court (FDC) Model serves as a promising approach to improving outcomes for children and families affected by parental substance use disorders and is based on 7 Essential Practices. This presentation will explore the FDC movement and the opportunities for serving more families affected by substance use disorders, keeping families together, and reducing child maltreatment by infusing effective FDC strategies into dependency court and child welfare systems.
Presenter(s): Phil Breitenbucher, Children and Family Futures, Lake Forest, CA

C9 - Supporting Older Youth: What’s the Brain Got to Do With It
Adolescent brain development research provides clear evidence that adolescence is a unique period of time, different from both early childhood and adulthood, ripe with opportunities for skill building, healing and growth. This interactive session is designed to translate adolescent brain science concepts into daily practice guidance for those who work with and support young people. Presenters will share relevant research on the importance of authentic engagement; the interconnection between risk-taking and reward-seeking; and opportunities to promote healthy adolescent development especially for young people who are in or transitioning from foster care.
Presenter(s): Leslie Gross and Alexandra Lohrbach, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Baltimore, MD

C10 - The Atlas Project: How Trauma-Informed Practice Can Improve Outcomes for Children in Foster Care
Increasingly, child welfare providers are looking to become “trauma-informed” in an effort to more effectively address the impact that abuse, neglect and other adversities have had on the children and families they serve. There is less consensus, however, about what trauma-informed child welfare practice consists of, how agencies can become trauma-informed, and its impact on child outcomes. This workshop will share findings from a project focused on implementing trauma-focused practices with treatment family foster care programs in New York City and provide strategies and tools that can be implemented in a range of child welfare settings.
Presenter(s): Erika Tullberg and Bonnie Kerker, NYU School of Medicine, New York, NY

C11 - Using Employee Engagement and Strength-Based Leadership Strategies to Support the Health, Safety, and Well-Being of Children and Families
The leadership style of supervisors is an important consideration for determining organizational effectiveness and employee job satisfaction. Employee performance, morale, and job satisfaction may directly relate to the culture of leadership within the organization. Given that turnover rates of child welfare social workers increase the level of vulnerability for children who have been abused and neglected, it is critical for social work administrators to employ engagement strategies to increase the retention and engagement of social work staff. The goal of the workshop is to provide effective strengths-based employee engagement strategies that support the strategic outcomes of an organization.
Presenter(s): Marie Brown-Mercadel, Sandy Howard, Charity Douglas, Derrick Perry and Jennifer “Linn” Ramirez, Riverside County-Department of Public Social Services, Riverside, CA

C12 - A Roadmap for Success: Managed Care Strategies That Work for Children, Youth, and Young Adults
Anthem (Amerigroup) specializes in population health management and has been the managed care partner of the Georgia child welfare system since 2014. Together with state partner DFCS and other state agencies, including Juvenile Justice, Education, Behavioral Health and Medicaid, Anthem has seen a marked change in outcomes in serving 27,000 children, youth and young adult's each day. The outcomes reflect the results in health, well-being and independence outcomes for young members along with positive pharmacy trends, Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility transitions to family-based care and permanency. Presenters will share a step by step approach to serving and supporting the children, youth and young adults in foster care, adoption and juvenile justice from a Medicaid fee-for-service into a single statewide, integrated managed care approach under one organization.
Presenter(s): Mark Washington and Manny Arisso, Anthem, Washington, DC

C13 - Agile/Scrum: Building Organizational Resilience
Agile/Scrum is a method of project management and implementation born of the software development field that has migrated to organizational change management in a variety of industries. Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) is the first agency to embrace this methodology and apply it to child welfare. A tragic high profile case in 2013 highlighted the need for DCF to make dramatic, sustainable agency improvement. Presenters will explain Agile/Scrum, recount DCF’s learning curve and adaptations, discuss the benefits and challenges, report the significant contributions of Agile/Scrum to building the agency’s resilience, and summarize data that demonstrates this effective model for quality improvement.
Presenter(s): Linda Spears, Ruben Ferreira, Lian Hogan, Ryan FitzGerald and Marcia Roddy, Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, Boston, MA

C14 - How Child Welfare and Fatherhood Programs Can Work Together to Improve Child Well-Being
This interactive session will provide an introduction to the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse (NRFC) and how to access its related resources. Participants will learn about how child welfare agencies and staff can partner with federal, state, and locally funded fatherhood programs to improve child and family outcomes. Presenters will share background information on lessons learned from child welfare agencies who have successfully engaged fathers and what strategies they used. The session will also include an overview of the NRFC’s Responsible Fatherhood Toolkit, which features a chapter on child welfare and fatherhood partnerships as well as facilitation strategies, downloadable activities, and programmatic design tips.
Presenter(s): Eugene Schneeberg and Nigel Vann, National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse, Fairfax, VA

Workshops D
Saturday, April 28
8:45 am – 10:15 am

D1 - Supporting Permanency Outcomes through Diligent Recruitment and Segmented Marketing
This presentation and interactive discussion offers attendees the first-hand opportunity to learn how “diligent recruitment,” specifically segmented marketing, implemented by the federally funded Florida Intelligent Recruitment Project has impacted outcomes for three of Florida's Community Based Care lead agencies. Project leadership will discuss strategic marketing campaigns developed by project partner, Gold and Associates, and demonstrate how the plans, as well as other components of diligent recruitment, have strengthened their approach to recruiting foster and adoptive parents, specifically for older youth in care. The workshop will present project objectives and research findings related to implementation strategies, return on investment, and child-specific outcomes.
Presenter(s): John Cooper, Kids Central, Inc., Wildwood, FL; David DeStefano, Strategic Solutions, Lafayette, IN; and Keith Gold, Gold & Associates, Inc., Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

D2 - Weaving Safety into the Fabric of the Community: Challenging the Narrowing Mandate of Child Protection
Brant Family and Children’s Services in Ontario, Canada, is a child welfare agency providing an innovative community-based program model that integrates community capacity building with child protection. Early help strategies combined with partnerships within the community enhances opportunities to build relationships and mitigate risk. This strength-based approach builds community cohesion, improves accessibility to supports and strives to prevent unnecessary separation of children from their families. As child welfare mandates narrow, this framework weaves social work values and philosophical underpinnings into the everyday work. A shared responsibility of child well-being belongs to the community and child welfare is part of that community.
Presenter(s): Sarah Robertson, Leanne Irwin, Karen Bulmer and Jill Esposto, Brant Family and Children's Services, Brantford, Ontario

D3 - Recognizing and Honoring the Burden and Dignity of Difference: Putting Mindfulness Into Practice
Westchester Building Futures (WBF) is a federally funded, multi-year initiative, awarded to the Westchester County Department of Social Services (WCDSS), that seeks to eliminate homelessness among youth/young adults who are at risk and have child welfare/foster care histories. This presentation will highlight WBF’s culturally-responsive work focused on building and fortifying relationship wealth with those served, and within professional teams through the lens of recognizing and honoring the burden and dignity of difference. Presenters will facilitate an engaging, crucial conversation with workshop participants centered on the intersectionality of race, ethnicity, culture, and other “-isms.” The objective of this interactive workshop is to offer concrete tools that professionals can use as we all work to advance culturally-responsive interactions and outcomes.
Presenter(s): Tara Linh Leaman, Westchester County Department of Social Services, White Plains, NY

D4 - What Comes Next? Understanding How Child Welfare Workers and Domestic Violence Agencies Collaborate for Change
Experience and data tell us that the overlap of child abuse and domestic violence is not only a reality but also an imperative needing attention. This workshop focuses on the overlap of child welfare and domestic violence with a focus on solutions and how to improve family outcomes. Presenters will review how states are addressing this gap and how this information informed a larger programmatic evaluation. Presenters will also discuss what is occurring currently in the state of New Jersey through the Domestic Violence Liaison program (DVL). This workshop will also share the successes and challenges experienced with partnering organizations, what factors they believe have made the collaboration successful, and how participants can take these lessons back to their home agencies.
Presenter(s): Catie Buttner and Judy Postmus, Center on Violence Against Women and Children, New Brunswick, NJ; and Allison Blake, New Jersey Department of Children and Families, Trenton, NJ

D5 - Applying A Code of Ethics as an Advocacy Strategy to Strengthen Family Foster Care Services
When parents cannot keep children safe and kinship care isn't an option, child protective services "outsources" care of these children to foster parents. Loss and trauma histories of these children require special parenting skills, but foster parents also need system supports. The National Foster Parent Association supports foster parents in achieving safety, well-being and permanency for children in their care. Using a Code of Ethics for Foster Parents is an advocacy strategy that can strengthen family foster care. This workshop demonstrates this strategy is commensurate with CWLA's National Blueprint for Excellence and can be replicated nationwide.
Presenter(s): Irene Clements, National Foster Parent Association, Pflugerville, TX; Peggy Kirby, Louisiana Foster and Adoptive Parents Association, Monroe, LA; Eshele Williams, CWLA, Altadena, CA; Eileen Mayers Pasztor, School of Social Work California State University, Long Beach, CA; and Marcus Stallworth, CWLA, Naugatuck, CT

D6 - Reconciling Parental Substance Use, Child Safety, Housing First, and Harm-Reduction Principles
Working to keep child welfare involved families safely together can be overwhelming when faced with complex intersecting familial challenges such as parental substance use and family homelessness. This session will highlight collaborative practice approaches between the fields of substance abuse treatment, child welfare, and juvenile courts and explore the applications to helping families find success in child welfare, housing, and treatment. This session will engage the audience in a discussion about innovative approaches to serve highly vulnerable families with a housing-first and harm-reduction approach to child welfare services coupled with supportive housing.
Presenter(s): Andrew Johnson, CSH (Corporation for Supportive Housing), San Diego, CA; and Phil Breitenbucher, Children and Family Futures, Inc., Lake Forest, CA

D7 - A Focus on Healing: A Trauma-Informed Team Approach Supporting Commercially Sexually Exploited Children
This presentation will follow the case of a commercially sexually exploited minor from identification, to court, through social service interventions and aftercare, highlighting the nuances of this work, the need for partnership, and challenges of maintaining a trauma-sensitive culture while creating safety for victims. The Honorable Judge Lori A. Dumas, who presides over a diversion court for commercially exploited youth, and Salvation Army staff will share their roles in this process, the philosophy behind the diversion court, and how the shared values of trauma-informed care lay the foundation for this innovative and important work.
Presenter(s): Susan Brotherton and Jamie Manirakiza, The Salvation Army of Greater Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA; and The Honorable Judge Lori A. Dumas, Philadelphia Family Court, Philadelphia, PA

D8 - Tailoring Multisystemic Therapy for Child Welfare Preventive Populations: Reports on an In-Progress Adaptation
This session will provide an overview, description, and preliminary outcome data for an in-progress adaptation of Multisystemic Therapy (MST) known as MST Prevention. This pilot project is a partnership between The Children's Village, MST Inc., and the New York City Administration for Children's Services. This case study will describe the process of tailoring and adapting evidence-based interventions developed in other human service fields to the needs of child welfare populations through a collaborative process involving funders, providers, model developers, and the public. This new adaptation is designed to help keep families together, disrupt the school to prison pipeline, and keep children safe in their homes and communities.
Presenter(s): David Collins, and Daphne Torres-Douglas, The Children's Village, Dobbs Ferry, NY

D9 - Kinship Caregivers and Parent-Child Reunification
As child welfare agencies have increased reliance on kinship caregivers as the preferred option to care for children who must be separated from their parents, discussion of permanency for children has focused primarily on the kinship caregiver as the permanency solution that is assuming guardianship or adopting the children. However, parents and children do not lose their right to resolve issues that resulted in separation of children from parents and to reunify when children are cared for by kin. Kinship caregivers are uniquely qualified to help children and parents realize this right due to their family relationships and knowledge of the child welfare system. This workshop will focus on the role kinship caregivers can fulfill in promoting reunification with parents. Strategies for navigating complex and difficult intra-family relationships, assuring the safety of children, and supporting healing and growth of parents will be addressed.
Presenter(s): Donna Petras, CWLA, Lincolnshire, IL; and Charlene Ingram, CWLA, Erial, NJ

D10 - Strategies for Implementing Greater Normalcy for Youth in Out-of-Home Placement: Normalcy Toolkit, Current Projects and Education PSA from the New England Youth Coalition (NEYC)
The New England Youth Coalition (NEYC) is a partnership of six public child welfare agencies that has been meeting since 2008. Following their creation and approval of the Normalcy Bill of Rights and Normalcy Definition, the group has created a Normalcy Toolkit which will be presented. Participants will also learn about the three new projects that were developed from strategic planning during their annual Regional Youth Leadership Conference which include: (1) "Driving to Success" – ensuring youth obtain a driver's license; (2) "Project Stability" – extending foster care; and (3) "Normalcy Implementation" – expanding the Normalcy toolkit online.
Presenter(s): Grace Hilliard-Koshinsky, New England Association of Child Welfare Commissioners and Directors, Boston, MA

D11 - Building Communities of Hope: Lessons Learned from Community Support Programs
Can we effectively lead and share the responsibility of caring for and protecting children, families and communities? This presentation will explore the way in which communities across the country are successfully partnering to provide innovative preventive and supportive services. A collective impact approach has been utilized with a shared goal of stabilizing families. Information on bold and innovative collaborative efforts and the effective strategies used will be shared. Join presenters for an interactive session highlighting the journey and lessons learned from jurisdictions across the country that are redefining how communities share a vision of hope to assure that children and families are safe and thrive.
Presenter(s): Paul DiLorenzo, Casey Family Programs, Bala Cynwd, PA; and Kary A. James, Mainstruct Consulting, LLC, Waldorf, MD

D12 - Works Wonders: A Youth Participatory Approach to Improving Employment Outcomes for Youth in Foster Care
In this interactive workshop, participants will learn about the five elements of Works Wonders, evaluation results, and replication efforts of this innovative model to help youth in foster care to meet the next century’s needs. Participants will develop mastery of the youth participatory philosophy and approach, which are critical for fidelity to replication. Participants will learn how to build resiliency for youth and for program sustainability, by blending funding beyond typical child welfare proper funding sources. Participants will understand how to leverage public/private partnerships through inclusion of an evidence-informed model that changes the trajectory of outcomes for youth who are vulnerable.
Presenter(s): Kat Keenan and Bernadette Tavares, Foster Forward, East Providence, RI

D14 - Building and Maintaining a Resilient Workforce
Explore the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute’s Workforce Development Framework. The Framework offers a comprehensive and innovative approach to recruiting, developing and retaining a committed, competent and culturally responsive workforce. Discover the key steps and core components you need to address your agency’s workforce challenges. Learn about the Tool Kit and Facilitator Guide available to help comprehensively assess and strategize around workforce improvements. Participants will experience the highly interactive MyNCWWI website, generate ideas to close the gaps, and learn of critical resources. Bring your electronic device to the session for real-time polling and an online learning portal demonstration.
Presenter(s): Carole Wilcox, Butler Institute for Families, University of Denver, Denver, CO; and Sharon Kollar, National Child Welfare Workforce Institute, Albany, NY

Workshops E
Saturday, April 28
10:30 am – 12:00 pm

E1 - Take the Guesswork out of a Trauma-Informed Care Wellness Training for Staff
Want to nurture your staff? Create team harmony and foster an atmosphere of trust and caring? Learn how to integrate wellness into staff meetings by using the Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) Wellness Guide. Teach staff to recognize the widespread impact of trauma, integrate knowledge of trauma in treatment, and promote healing. To support staff wellness and help employees build TIC into their daily routine, this guide offers 52 TIC tips—one for each week of the year. Broken into six categories, come ready to participate in learning a TIC concept, how to elaborate, reflect and summarize each week’s training.
Presenter(s): Stacey Roth, Samira Vishria, and Andrew Cantalano, Hillsides, Los Angeles, CA

E2 - Using Data and Storytelling to Advocate for Children’s Services - CANCELLED

E3 - Is It All About Drugs? How the Opioid Crisis Impacts Foster Care Caseloads
After more than a decade of sustained declines in the national foster care caseload, beginning in 2011 the number of children entering foster care began to rise. While many believed parental substance use was the primary cause of the increase, there was little empirical evidence to support this assertion. This mixed-methods study, including both quantitative and qualitative analyses, was conducted to better understand how substance misuse and use disorders relate to the changing trend in foster care caseloads. The quantitative portion of the study examines the strength of the relationship between the prevalence of opioids in a county, the drug overdose death rate, and the number of children entering into foster care. The qualitative portion of the study, based on site visits to 11 communities around the United States, provides rich, contextual information. It documents the perspectives and experiences of child welfare administrators and practitioners, substance use treatment administrators and practitioners, judges and other legal professionals, law enforcement officials, and other service providers—the local experts—who on a day-to-day basis work with families struggling with substance use disorders. Combined, the quantitative and the qualitative results describe how the child welfare system interacts with community partners to serve an increasing population of parents whose substance use disorders have impaired their parenting and placed their children at risk.
Presenter(s): Laura Radel, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), Health and Human Services (HHS); and Melinda J. Baldwin, Children's Bureau, HHS

E4 - Embracing a Model of Practice to Develop and Support Foster and Adoptive or Resource Parents as Team Members in Child Protection and Trauma-Informed Care of Children
The ongoing challenge to recruit and retain foster or resource parents is being more successfully addressed by agencies that recognize the benefit of having a model of practice to provide the consistent use of best practices by all staff who engage with these essential team members. While recruitment, preservice training, mutual family assessment (home studies) and approval or licensing are critical steps, much stronger efforts must be made to support these families once they bring children who have experienced loss and trauma into their families. Two primary goals of the workshop are to ensure that all work in support of resource families is true to agency mission and that the skills developed by prospective resource families are reinforced and enhanced through these families' tenure with their respective agencies. A particular focus will be on disruption prevention and ensuring that birth children of resource parents also are supported in the fostering and adopting process.
Presenter(s): Theresa Broome and Michael McHugh, Children and Families First, Wilmington, DE; Linda D. Brooks and Alfred R. Steward Jr., Virginia Beach Department of Human Services, Virginia Beach, VA; Marcus Stallworth, CWLA, Naugatuck, CT; and Eileen Mayers Pasztor, School of Social Work California State University, Long Beach, CA

E5 - Trauma-Responsive Information Sharing: Key Lessons Learned with Specialized Courts and Multi-Disciplinary Teams Supporting CSEC Youth
With more than 30,000 youth in foster care, and a significant issue with commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC), Los Angeles, CA, has had to develop some unique approaches and policies to sharing information in order to create efficient services, collaborative courts, and partnerships with non-government organizations. The lessons learned from these policies allow the youth access to support they need. This session will review how to best work with information-sharing guidelines to allow multidisciplinary teams to support children with a collaborative model.
Presenter(s): Amber Davies, Saving Innocence, Los Angeles, CA; Jenny Cheung-Marino, Children's Law Center, Los Angeles, CA; and Maria Griglio, Los Angeles County Counsel, Monterey Park, CA

E6 - Serving Immigrant Children in the Child Welfare System
This workshop will provide attendees with information on the common forms of immigration relief that immigrant children in the child welfare system may be eligible for, so that field staff and attorneys involved in the child welfare system are able to recognize a child’s potential eligibility for various forms of relief. Presenters will also highlight the steps the New Jersey Department of Children and Families has taken in the area of immigration to more effectively and efficiently serve its immigrant population base, and share successful implementation strategies for agencies to consider in the area of immigration.
Presenter(s): Meredith Pindar, New Jersey Department of Children and Families, Trenton, NJ; Randi Mandelbaum, Rutgers University Law School, Newark, NJ; and Joanne Gottesman, Rutgers Law School, Camden, NJ

E7 - Building Resilience in Teenagers: An Evaluation of the Community-Wide Implementation of Reaching Teens©
In 1999, Fort Worth, TX, suffered a community tragedy after an armed gunman entered a place of worship and fatally injured seven innocent teens and adults and injured seven others before taking his own life. This tragedy was the catalyst for an in-depth examination of the city’s mental health system and the creation of the Mental Health Connection (MHC). For the past 17 years, the MHC has spearheaded opportunities for collaborative problem solving, networking, access to collaborative funding opportunities, coordinated training and education on the latest research informed practices, and formed many successful collaborations that has brought about a collective impact in Tarrant County. This workshop will highlight one of many community collaborations of the MHC, a 3-year pilot project and evaluation of the evidence-informed manual Reaching Teens© which was developed to build a more trauma-informed and resilient community.
Presenter(s): Patsy Thomas, Mental Health Connection of Tarrant County, Fort Worth, TX; Sonya Mosley and Stacey Lewis, Lena Pope, Fort Worth, TX

E8 - Identifying and Addressing Secondary Trauma in Child Welfare Settings
Through their daily work with children and family members that have been impacted by trauma, child welfare staff are at particularly high risk for developing secondary trauma reactions, which can mimic those of post-traumatic stress disorder and impair personal and professional functioning. Additionally, child welfare staff often experience primary trauma as part of their work, and work within organizations whose cultures are negatively shaped by trauma. This workshop will describe efforts to better understand and address such trauma within a large, multi-service agency, and provide attendees with strategies they can apply with their staff.
Presenter(s): Erika Tullberg, NYU School of Medicine, New York, NY; and Georgia Boothe, Children's Aid Society, New York, NY

E9 - Healthy Connections
Early brain development is relationship-based. Every infant/toddler being raised in a family struggling with substance use should have the opportunity to build a healthy brain through healthy relationships with caregivers. Family members need support in both recovery and parenting. This presentation will describe the development of Healthy Connections, an innovative family-centered, model for enhancing development and building healthy relationships with families with newborns exposed to the effects of substance abuse in utero. Presenters will share lessons learned and specific strategies related to building a supportive community response to the treatment of mothers struggling with addiction and the well-being of their families.
Presenter(s): Louis Nieuwenhuizen, Marshall University Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, Huntington, WV; and Jo Dee Gottlieb, Marshall University, Huntington, WV; and Todd Davies, Marshall University Clinical Research Center, Huntington, WV

E10 - Supervision: An Effective Practice Tool for Supporting Staff Development and Service Goal Achievement
This workshop will examine the function of supervision in the delivery of child welfare services and its role in supporting child welfare staff. The quality of supervision has an impact on the achievement of enhanced family, child, and youth service outcomes, and staff development and retention. This interactive workshop will explore evidence-informed approaches to supervision, six key functions of supervision, and organizational structure that supports effective supervision. Two primary goals of the workshop are to enhance skill development in the application of key supervisory functions, and promote the view that effective supervision is a partnership that depends on mutual respect and a collaborative approach.
Presenter(s): Charlene Ingram, CWLA, Erial, NJ; and Donna Petras, CWLA, Lincolnshire, IL

E11 - Improving Access to Healthcare and Reducing Costs for Transition-Aged Youth with Behavioral Health Problems
This workshop will describe findings from an implementation, outcomes, and cost study of a program designed to link transition-aged youth with behavioral health problems in foster care to community services and supports including access to primary and reproductive health care, education, employment and life skills. COACHES, initially supported by a grant from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services to a private/public partnership between Amerigroup, an insurance provider, and Families First, a private family services provider, is now sustained by state and insurance funding. Presenters will share the initial implementation plan and findings, revisions to the approach based on preliminary findings, health care cost savings, successful sustainability and plans for continued monitoring and evaluation.
Presenter(s): Michael Rodi, Families First, Atlanta, GA

E12 - Family Link: Building a Comprehensive Model for Shared Parenting between Birth and Foster Parents in the District of Columbia
Family Link is the District of Columbia's unique shared parenting initiative, designed to build supportive relationships between birth and foster families. Family Link was developed through the strong partnership of the Foster & Adoptive Parent Advocacy Center, a local foster parent advocacy group, and DC's Child and Family Services Agency. Family Link has created a significant systemic and culture shift in how families relate to each other and how the system supports these relationships. This interactive session will cover the partnership’s philosophical framework; the importance of the partnership in this effort; current resources and tools; and successes and challenges with systemic integration.
Presenter(s): Latasha Carroll, District of Columbia Child and Family Services Agency, Washington, DC; and Donna Flenory and Blaire Crumbley, Foster & Adoptive Parent Advocacy Center, Washington, DC

E13 – Trauma-Informed Approach: Transforming Your Organization One Step at a Time
This presentation will provide attendees with foundational knowledge about adopting a trauma-informed approach, share practical ways in which providers can collaborate with community partners to make foundational changes, and highlight critical success factors for promoting sustainable organizational change. Presenters will also share their experience participating in the National Council for Behavioral Health’s Trauma-Informed Care Learning Community, an effort to assist organizations in planning, implementing, and maintaining trauma-informed care and a trauma-informed approach throughout the agency and to create safe environments for children and families to receive services, as well as the successes and failures they encountered in promoting organizational change.
Presenter(s): Jacey Coy and Theresa Lindberg, Casa de los Ninos, Tucson, AZ

E14 - Including Fathers in Service Delivery to Children and Families to Ensure Their Well-Being: Rethinking the Social Service Model
This workshop session will address the benefits derived when social service agencies engage fathers to become involved or increase their involvement with their children.  The need for agencies to develop strategies and increase their skills in locating and engaging fathers to promote positive family outcomes will be discussed.  Presenters will focus their presentations on: R.E.A.L. Fatherhood Innovations: Improving the Social Capital of Fathers; and Including Father in “FAMILY”: Intentional Fatherhood Work in Child Welfare.  This workshop session will be a precursor to the Fatherhood Engagement Training Institute session which will highlight fatherhood empowerment strategies that reinforce the importance of improving the well-being of children and families.  Attendees will benefit from both sessions independently.
Presenter(s): Kevin M. McGuire, Westchester County Department of Social Services, White Plains, NY; and Alan Michael-Graves, Project Fatherhood, Children's Institute, Inc., Los Angeles, CA


Learning Labs
Friday, April 27
10:30 am – 11:30 am

LL1 - Early Support Beyond Educational Walls: Professionals and Parents Collaborating for Youth
This presentation will be from both a professionals and parents perspective of children that experience behavioral health challenges between the ages of birth to 8-years old. The presenters will focus on behavioral early intervention and support for families, and share their own professional and personal experiences. As leaders in The Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health, the presenters will also share information about resources and various supports, including agency, groups and peer support, as well as understanding acronyms and important definitions pertaining to behavioral health care. Additionally, the presenters will highlight the importance of parents and professionals working hand and hand to strengthen parents, families and children, and/or students.
Presenter(s): Monique Jackson, Early Steps Family Resources, Dacula, GA; and Teresa Wright Johnson, Younger Years & Beyond, Decatur, GA

LL2 - The Complementary Roles of CASA/GAL Volunteers, Children's Counsel, and Child Welfare Professionals in Court
This session will provide an overview of the complementary roles of Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)/guardian ad litem (GAL) volunteers, children’s counsel and child welfare workers in child abuse and neglect proceedings. Children’s counsel provides legal representation throughout the often long and complex court process. CASA/GAL volunteers advocate for a child’s best interest by providing critical information to judges about the child’s needs and well-being. Child welfare professionals play an integral role as representative of the agency legally charged with the care of the child and efforts to help the child achieve permanency. In a time of diminishing resources, the effective collaboration of partners is essential to assure support of and advocacy for children and families.
Presenter(s): Sally Wilson Erny, National CASA Association, Washington, DC; and Diane Nunn, National CASA Association, Seattle, WA

LL3 - From Child Welfare to Child and Family Well-Being: Integrating a Child and Family Well-Being Framework Into Child Welfare Practice by Implementing Evidence-Based Assessments and Interventions That Improve Long-Term Child and Family Outcomes
Evidence-based assessment can effectively provide a better understanding of a child and family’s needs, which can lead to more targeted and timely service delivery. This presentation will provide an overview of a well-being practice framework and how evidence-based well-being assessments were integrated into child welfare services in order to improve child and parent functioning. The presenter will outline the process of identifying assessments and interventions that align with current child welfare practice and family well-being needs. Future directions for expanding assessment and intervention catalog and use of predictive analytics will be discussed.
Presenter(s): Luke Waldo, Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI

LL4 - 21st Century Strategies for Outcomes Driven Continuous Quality Improvement
Continuous quality improvement (CQI) responsibilities often remain the purview of CQI units within child welfare agencies. Frontline workers and middle managers feel that CQI happens “to” them rather than an agency-wide process that involves them. Executive leadership review data and make decisions disconnected from policy to practice feedback loops. This session will present strategies for creating an integrated approach to CQI for purposes of improving outcomes. Core strategies include: (1) having a measurable set of priority outcomes; (2) establishing an organization-wide governance structure oriented toward outcomes improvement; and (3) building CQI capacity at all levels of the organization.
Presenter(s): Yolanda Green-Rogers, Krista A. Thomas, and Khush Cooper, Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

LL5 - Right-Time Risk Taking
Since 2008 and passage of Fostering Connections to Success Act, “successful advocacy” has been restricted to “cost neutral” proposals--that is, any expansion of needed child welfare services must cut funding from other child welfare services. Yet during this same time frame, our field has provided more data about what works to prevent or ameliorate poverty on child well-being, opioid and addiction crisis and treatment, violence, and trauma-based behaviors and dysfunctions. Presenters will examine challenges and barriers to our work of healing families, politically and fiscally. Participants will be encouraged to brainstorm new ideas for advocacy around prevention and intervention services.
Presenter(s): Dr. Laura Boyd, Family Focused Treatment Association, Norman, OK; and John Sciamanna, CWLA, Washington, DC

LL6 - Show Me Strong Families
This session will share challenges, successes, and strategies from three different urban home visiting programs in St. Louis, Missouri (the Show Me State) working with a targeted population (teens, single parents, foster parents, grandparents parenting, incarcerated parents). Presenters will share how their own experiences coupled with the evidence-based curriculum help them partner, facilitate, and reflect with their families.
Presenter(s): Dallyda Tatchi-Banda and Randall Hinton, Parents as Teachers National Center, St. Louis, MO

LL 7 - Preserving Families through Partnerships
Preserving Families through Partnerships uses five years of successful Regional Partnership Grant experience to share prevention and permanency outcomes in rural and urban populations. Results are achieved through partnering with the state child welfare agency in using the Signs of Safety Child Protection Practice Framework quickly partnering with families to address their identified needs. Using experiential activities to demonstrate the effectiveness of both the RPG and Signs of Safety models, this session will share examples of what works most effectively with rural vs. urban populations. Emphasis is placed on how intensive case management, peer mentoring, and supported transitional housing impact families.
Presenter(s): Beverly Long and Mary Turner, Preferred Family Healthcare, Springfield, MO

LL8 - Fostering Sibling Connections: Legal, Policy, and Practice Strategies to Support Siblings in Foster Care
Presenters will explore the legal, policy, and practice landscape relating to the rights of siblings in foster care ten years after enactment of Fostering Connections to Success. This session will include: an overview of the literature demonstrating the importance of the sibling connection to positive outcomes for foster youth; a discussion of the federal and state laws addressing the rights of siblings to joint placement, visitation, and post-adoption contact; and positive practice developments that have demonstrated success in supporting sibling bonds. Presenters hope to include a youth formerly in foster care and a foster parent who can share personal experiences.
Presenter(s): Leecia Welch and Anna Johnson, National Center for Youth Law, Oakland, CA; and Lily Colby, California CASA, Oakland, CA

LL9 - The Executive Coaching Model of Mentoring Youth who are At Risk
The Executive Coaching model of mentoring offers a focused, goal-oriented strategy for mentoring youth who are at risk—especially high school dropouts—with the objective of helping them develop a career interest and a plan of action to achieve that objective. The model utilizes volunteer mentor-coaches recruited from companies whose professional workforce is motivated to "give back" and who are also able to provide hands-on work experience through job shadowing and internships. An additional benefit to the program is the opportunity to engage employers in a meaningful way. Pre- and post-tests document gains in optimism about the future and perceived quality of life.
Presenter(s): Bob Stewart and Carolyne Ouya, Access, San Diego, CA

LL10 - Prevention Network for the Ortenaukreis in Germany
The Prevention Network Ortenaukreis, PNO, funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research, aims to promote physical and mental health as well as social inclusion of 3- to 10-year old children and their families in the Ortenau district. Within a period of four years starting November 2014, a community network will be established. Presenters will share all essential components of the network.
Presenter(s): Sarah Henschke , Landratsamt Ortenaukreis, Offenburg, Germany

LL11 - Expanding Proven Program Models Through Public-Private Partnerships
Allegheny County Department of Human Services recently launched YVLifeSet in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania through a partnership with Youth Villages. YVLifeSet is designed to help young people aging out of care to live successfully through intensive, individualized services. In 2015, MDRC released findings of a randomized control trial which showed that YVLifeSet produced positive outcomes in multiple domains. Through joint funding from a Youth Villages grant and the Allegheny County Department of Human Services and its private partners, in addition to collaboration in planning and implementation, this public-private partnership has been successful in bringing a proven and effective service model to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Presenter(s): Katja Russell, Youth Villages, Memphis, TN; and Courtney Lewis, Allegheny County Department of Human Services, Pittsburgh, PA

LL12 - Building Better Outcomes for Transitioning Youth through the Homeless Youth Legal Network
This session will focus first on how child welfare stakeholders must insure that transition planning for youth in foster care prioritizes the prevention of homelessness and must be knowledgeable about legal issues that can impact a youth beyond the dependency case and can contribute to homelessness. Second, the session will highlight the launch of the ABA Homeless Youth Legal Network. HYLN is mapping all available legal services to this population, whether in a traditional legal aid office, or a law school clinic, or an incubator program, or through pro bono services provided by a law firm or bar association. It has identified twelve model sites of legal services programs for homeless youth. HYLN is working to build best practices for the delivery of legal services to this population, to mentor and expand existing programs, to develop programs where none exist, and, finally, to address policy issues consistent with the prevention of homelessness.
Presenter(s): Linda Britton, American Bar Association, Washington, DC

LL13 - Staying Online: Blended Learning and Leadership for Today's Workforce
This presentation will focus on effective and creative ways to utilize blended learning to motivate and inform the diverse needs of staff in the residential treatment milieu. Evidence-based research in online learning will be discussed. Strategies to best devote live training time to the development of leadership for a stable and upwardly mobile workforce will be explored. While today’s training and learning platforms offer a multitude of options for online education, time and attention span is at a premium. The question is, how do we make the most efficient use of our time to develop leadership excellence?
Presenter(s): Sarah Ruback, St. Christopher's Inc., Dobbs Ferry, NY

LL14 - Gender Matters: Meeting the Needs of Youth in Multiple Systems through Evidence-Based, Gender-Responsive Programs
This session will focus on utilizing gender-responsive programs to improve strategies for building safety and respect, reducing risk factors, and increasing protective factors while providing services to meet the needs of children, youth, and families. The session will present three nationally recognized gender-responsive program models implemented across all cultures, races, ethnicities, and socioeconomic statuses—specifically Girls Circle®, The Council for Boys and Young Men®, and Mother-Daughter Circle®. Presenters hope to provide participants with the foundational guidelines for implementing these highly effective evidenced and research-based models in child welfare, schools, juvenile justice, mental health, and community-based settings.
Presenter(s): Victoria Mahand, One Circle Foundaiton, San Rafael, CA

Learning Labs
Friday, April 27
11:45 am – 12:45 pm

LL15 - Child Care and Child Welfare: An Innovative Service Collaboration for Children who are Vulnerable
Child care and child welfare systems are both concerned about the safety and well-being of young children and yet rarely collaborate in a systematic way. This new strategy for providing child care services to young children placed in foster care, foster parents, and kinship providers will help meet their complex needs. The Los Angeles Child Care Resource Center, the University of Southern California, and the Department of Children and Family Services present a unique collaborative model based on their own research, data-sharing, and months of work. This model has implications for child welfare and child care policy throughout California.
Presenter(s): Ellen Cervantes and Serena Bezdjian, Child Care Resource Center, Los Angeles, CA; Adrienne Olson, Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, Van Nuys, CA; and Jacquelyn McCroskey, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

LL16 - Building Safe, Resilient Communities
Achieving sustainable change requires developing comprehensive strategies which address the many factors that create toxic stress in families, neighborhoods and communities and keep them from realizing their potential for success. This session focuses on strategies for working with partners and communities that increase safety, resiliency and the potential for success using the At-Promise Youth and Family Center which opened in August 2017 and serves the highest crime area in Atlanta, Georgia.  Partners include: The Atlanta Police Foundation, Atlanta Police Department, Atlanta Public Schools, CHRIS 180, Atlanta Urban League, Street Smart Youth Project, the Boys and Girls Club, and local neighborhoods.
Presenter(s): Kathy Colbenson and Cindy Simpson, CHRIS 180, Atlanta, GA

LL17 - Building Resilience in Changing Times Through Pursuit of Cultural Competencies: Enhancing Child Welfare Worker Education and Retention
Public child welfare workers and administrators often contend with politicized agendas that can cause practice dissonance impacting client outcomes and contribute to workforce issues. Client-centered practice becomes minimized in favor of standardized interventions that unintentionally stereotype and prejudice outcomes contributing to racial disproportionality. Ineffective interventions then decrease worker efficacy leading to turnover or job disengagement. With attention to diversity, this presentation seeks to help practitioners realize challenges as pro-active opportunities to build a resilient workforce through cultural humility competencies reflected in social work education. Models of cultural humility and resiliency are presented in this session.
Presenter(s): William Wong, Cal State LA School of Social Work, Los Angeles, CA; and Retchenda George-Bettisworth, University of Alaska- Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK

LL18 - JCCA's Health Home Campaign: Using a "Sprint" Management Model to Effect Service Delivery
This workshop will present the use of an innovative management technique called a “sprint.” A “sprint” is a short-term, rapid-paced effort to resolve an ineffective or challenging process that can negatively impact services to clients. JCCA used this management technique in order to meet the challenge of a shift to Medicaid managed care business model in New York State. The technique served to rally the JCCA workforce around specific, short-term goals that would have a deep impact on our ability to effectively serve the families and children in our care.
Presenter(s): Joanna Kibel-Gagne, Tracy Jenkins and Ronald E. Richter, JCCA, New York, NY

LL19 - Increased Father Involvement: A Key Component to Child and Family Outcomes
You've probably heard it before: "Father absence contributes to poor outcomes for children." But how exactly does it affect children, and what can you do about it? Learn the latest research on the effect of father absence on children, the benefits of father involvement, and how the evidence-based fatherhood program 24/7 Dad® and other fatherhood resources help to address the 5 protective factors. Presenters will provide an informative and energetic session presenting data from the 24/7 Dad® Fatherhood Program. Results demonstrate that the 24/7 Dad® program had a positive impact on young fathers and effectively improved their beliefs on partnering roles, fathering knowledge and overall attitude towards co-parenting and fathering. Presenters will also share impact statements and success stories from their work with fathers and families which help to establish the significance of what happens when clients make a meaningful shift in their perceptions, attitudes, and beliefs around fatherhood.
Presenter(s): Carter W. Patterson, UIH Family Partners, Trenton, NJ

LL20 - Financial Resilience: Surviving a Perfect Storm of Challenges in Funding for Nonprofit Agencies
Since the economic downturn in 2008, nonprofit agencies have been facing a combined set of new challenges that threaten their continued existence and ability to provide effective services for families and children. This presentation will share ideas and strategies that allow nonprofits to adapt to the changing economy and support new strategies that can help them strengthen their financial infrastructure, and create a stronger basis for future sustainability. It will include options to strengthen Board engagement and policies, creating agency investment/endowment options, developing other fundraising tactics, along with marketing ideas to better compete for limited funding.
Presenter(s): Rush Russell, Prevent Child Abuse New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ

LL21 - A Unique Community Partnership to Serve Families Experiencing Homelessness
This presentation will discuss the unique public/private collaboration between Social Services, the Family Care Network, and Housing Authority of San Luis Obispo, along with realtors/property managers, and community members working together to create housing for families that are experiencing homelessness. This will include strategies and activities for reunifying youth in foster care, prevented due to family homelessness, and early intervention and prevention strategies for housing TANF-eligible families, coupled with providing skill building, services and supports to promote successful independence. Presenters will also discuss the use of public funding to leverage additional resources and community integration to secure housing.
Presenter(s): Devin Drake and Tracy Schiro, San Luis Obispo County Department of Social Services, San Luis Obispo, CA; Jim Roberts and Jon Nibbio, Family Care Network, Inc., San Luis Obispo, CA; Scott Smith, Housing Authority of San Luis Obispo, San Luis Obispo, CA

LL22 - All Children - All Families Framework for Improving Practice with Youth who are LGBTQ and their Families
This session will provide attendees with a foundation of knowledge on youth who identify as LGBTQ, their families, and their experiences within the child welfare system. Participants will explore key concepts and terminology, research on families with LGBTQ parents or guardians, and experiences of youth in foster care who are LGBTQ, as well as the steps every child welfare professional can take to welcome and affirm these youth and families within the walls of their agencies and beyond. The HRC Foundation's All Children - All Families framework for practice improvement will be explained, including best practice policies and staff training in order to ensure LGBTQ-inclusive practice settings. The program's free, online innovative tools for agency self-assessment will be explained. Attendees will walk away with clear ideas for both short- and long-term goals related to LGBTQ practice improvement.
Presenter(s): Alison Delpercio, Human Rights Campaign Foundation, Washington, DC

LL23 - Measuring Resilience of Youth in Treatment
The IARCA Outcome Measures Project has evolved over the past 20 years to include strength-based assessment tools. The Child and Youth Resilience Measure (CYRM) is a widely recognized resilience tool. The project is one of the largest users of CYRM globally (2016, N = 3,200). CYRM is user friendly and easy to complete. It assists in treatment planning and yields useful outcome data to providers at both youth and program levels. This presentation will overview the integration of the tool, outcome analysis, and comments from executives and clinicians regarding utilization of the tool, outcome measures, and benefits to providers.
Presenter(s): Mark L. Hess, Indiana Association of Resources and Child Advocacy (IARCA), Indianapolis, IN; Steven J. Butera, Dockside Services, Inc., Highland, IN

LL24 - Supporting Permanency Options Through Social Security
Financial constraints may be a significant barrier to permanency for many youth in foster care. For youth who are eligible, obtaining Social Security benefits is one strong and stable mechanism to financially assist youth in foster care, support placements with relatives, and pay for necessities. This session will identify the three main types of Social Security, including Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Income (SSDI), and Social Security Survivor Benefits (SSSB). Presenters will discuss eligibility criteria, how Social Security funds can be used, and highlight a current partnership in Delaware to ensure that Social Security is used to help support youth in foster care and promote permanency.
Presenter(s): Trenee Parker, Delaware Division of Family Services, Wilmington, DE; Eliza Hirst, Office of the Child Advocate, Wilmington, DE

LL25 - AMPlementation: Implementing Achieve My Plan (AMP) Inside Five Rural Departments of Social Services to Improve Outcomes for Youth who are Transition-Aged
Thrive@25 ( is an effort across five rural departments of social services in Maryland to design, implement, and evaluate an intervention to improve outcomes and reduce homelessness for transition age youth in foster care. The intervention is an individualized, youth-driven, strengths-based transition planning process, employing Achieve My Plan (AMP), an evidence-informed practice to increase youth engagement in team planning. Presenters will share the process of modifying an evidence-informed intervention for child welfare, including training and coaching methods. Presenters will also discuss strategies developed to address unexpected challenges in effecting system change, examine approaches to ensuring sustainability, and explore policy implications.
Presenter(s): Deborah Harburges and Sara Bowman, The Institute for Innovation & Implementation at the University of Maryland School of Social Work, Baltimore, MD; and Linda Webb,Talbot County Department of Social Services, Easton, MD

LL26 - “Putting the Pieces Together” at Our Kids of Miami-Dade and Monroe, Inc.
This presentation will provide information on how a supervisor training series was implemented at Our Kids of Miami-Dade/Monroe, Inc. Presenters will provide distinct perspectives on their roles and experiences in the program and the unique opportunity it presented to shift the current paradigm within the participating agencies. Discussion will include an overview of the program model, supervisor feedback based on personal experience and focus group data, the importance of mentoring in supporting supervisors, and the sustainability of the training initiative. A particular focus will be placed on the evaluation strategies utilized, performance data collected and results of measurable outcomes.
Presenter(s): Adrienne Celaya and Denise Gil-Perez, Our Kids of Miami-Dade/Monroe, Inc., Miami, FL; and Carole Wilcox, University of Denver's Butler Institute for Families, Denver, CO

LL27 - Keeping Families Intact: A New Approach to Helping Mothers with Addiction
Presenters will highlight a new program in which Maryville Academy has partnered with the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) of Illinois, as well as the Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse (DASA). The Moms Recovery Home is dedicated to keeping families intact and offering mothers and their children a safe and stable environment to live while the moms are newly sober and entering into the recovery process. As an alternative to automatically removing children from the care of their mothers who are struggling with addiction, Maryville has partnered with DCFS and DASA to provide a treatment model that is focused on holistic healing and keeping families together. The Moms Recovery Home offers supports and services that are focused on parenting, trauma recovery, addiction and sobriety, and mental health.
Presenter(s): Sarah Melgarejo, Donita Jackson and Fred Smith, Maryville Academy, Des Plaines, IL

LL28 - Building Leaders through E-Learning: One Agency’s Experience with the Leadership Academy for Supervisors
Learn how you can implement the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute’s Leadership Academy for Supervisors (LAS) in your organization—what it takes and how it supports your supervisors' resilience, growth, and leadership development. Presenters will share how the Connecticut Department of Children and Families adopted the LAS as a regular part of its training for supervisory development. Presenters will also discuss how to prepare for and deliver the LAS and how e-learning design strategies were used to maximize outcomes for LAS participants. Learn how this free supervisory leadership development program can support your agency's need for effective supervisors and future leaders.
Presenter(s): Gretchen Robbins and Crystal French, Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy, University of Southern Maine, Augusta, ME; and Marshall Soloway, Muskie School of Public Service, University of Southern Maine, Augusta, ME; and Tim Monahan, Connecticut Department of Children and Families’ Academy for Family & Workforce Knowledge Development, Hartford, CT


Poster Sessions
Saturday, April 28
7:30 am – 8:30 am

1 - Data-Informed Advocacy in Texas: Increasing Investments Across Our Child Welfare System, from Prevention to Workforce
Texas has made significant investments in its child welfare system, including improvements in workforce salary, child abuse prevention, and kinship care. Pivotal aspects for these investments are attributed to data transparency and accessibility in Texas’ child welfare system. This presentation will provide an overview of innovative data processes currently used to inform child welfare advocates, highlight an example of how an interactive geographical risk mapping is used to advocate for child welfare in Texas using agency data, and share strategies to inform lawmakers and other key stakeholders on community needs and how to incorporate agency data indicator to solve community problems.
Presenter(s): Dimple Patel, TexProtects and Texas Chapter for Prevent Child Abuse America, Dallas, TX; and Dana Booker, TexProtects, Dallas, TX

2 - Evaluation of a Program for Parents With Learning Difficulties and Their Children Following Child Protection Investigation
A review of a pilot program measured through quantitative means to decreasing anxiety and increasing parental competence in parents with learning difficulties. This presentation will cover an overview of how parents with learning difficulties were referred for services for the purpose of increasing parental competency and asked to participate in a 24-week program including participation in weekly individual counseling, parent training groups, parent coaching and parent processing sessions. Results shared include the importance of developing an interpersonal relationship between parents and service providers; parental reduction in anxiety, increasing parental attunement; and increasing parental competency can strengthen the interpersonal relationship with and between the parent, child, and service providers.
Presenter(s): Denice Mock, ParentsWithPromise, DeKalb, IL

3 - Strong & Stable Families: Integrating Healthy Relationship Skills to Build Resiliency
Empowering families with the necessary tools and resources to strengthen their interpersonal skills using healthy relationship education (HRE) can strengthen families to break cycles of dysfunction and change the trajectory for families most at risk of separation and for those that have been separated to help build skills that help families successfully reunite, as well as build the capacity of kinship providers and adoptive and foster families. This presentation will provide resources, tools, and successful strategies on integrating HRE to build family resiliency and safe, stable, and healthy homes for children.
Presenter(s): Robyn Cenizal, National Resource Center for Healthy Marriage and Families/ICF, Fairfax, VA

4 - Raising Black Boys
A 2015 survey of all Cradle families raising black children revealed that the majority have experienced racism. Many fear for the safety and well-being of their black sons. The Cradle launched its Our Children initiative in early 2016 with a roundtable on Raising Black Boys, followed by a webcast on the same topic. Raising Black Boys addressed the discussions that families must have with their sons and preparations needed to ensure their safety. Presenters will share questions and concerns parents have raised, insights from panelists, and expand the discussion to educate professionals.
Presenter(s): Nijole Yutkowitz and Mandy Jones, The Cradle, Evanston, IL

5 - Quality Standards for Residential Care: Crosswalk of Regulations and Guidelines
This presentation will highlight a review of quality residential care and treatment practice standards identified in published English-language sources. Sixty quality standards were identified and a cross-walk of individual practices across the published sources for each standard was developed. The nuances of practice underlying these standards will be shared. Meeting all or most of the 60 identified quality standards will require consistent, persistent effort and dedicated resources, but can produce good long-term outcomes that research has shown will result in positive return on investment.
Presenter(s): Jonathan Huefner, Boys Town, Boys Town, NE

6 - Reducing Childhood Trauma: The Teddy Bear Trauma Reduction Program
Childhood trauma is one of the most "overlooked" conditions that children of all ages experience at various stages of their life. In many situations an actual traumatic event compounds the overall traumatic experiences of a child, resulting in a condition referred to as "enduring trauma.” Presenters will define and share the various conditions of "trauma" and offer an efficient and economical program that can be used in almost every child-serving agency in almost every locality in the world.
Presenter(s): Peter Breen, CWLA and Caring for Children, San Anselmo, CA

7 - Promoting Racial Equity through Workforce and Organizational Actions
Families and children of color involved in today’s child welfare system experience worse outcomes as a whole. Racial equity means that racial identity no longer predicts how someone will fare in the child welfare system related to assessment, service quality, or opportunities. “Promoting Racial Equity through Workforce and Organizational Actions” provides initial guidance to child welfare leaders on how to define racial equity, why action on racial equity is important and how to get started. This poster presentation will provide participants with an opportunity to explore their role in promoting racial equity and to identify a starting point for their work.
Presenter(s): Sharon Kollar, National Child Welfare Workforce Institute, Albany, NY

8 - District of Columbia Child and Family Services Agency’s Safe & Stable Families Redesign: Shifting Course of Supports and Services Using Continuous Quality Improvement
This presentation will share successful strategies using Continuous Quality Improvement processes to build organizational and community capacity, and to design and implement supports, interventions, and services based on evidence, data, and knowledge. The presenters will also detail the use of CQI processes embedded in their agency-wide CQI system to improve services that ultimately lead to preventing foster care entry, improving family functioning and the safety and well-being of families.
Presenter(s): Brittney Hannah and Nichole Cobbs-Sterns, District of Columbia Child and Family Services Agency, Washington, DC


Wednesday, April 25, 2018 • 12:30 pm – 5:30 pm

This special pre-conference event will build on our recent activism and work with CWLA members and leaders. Participants will receive the latest updates from Capitol Hill and have an opportunity to engage in important policy discussions about the legislative challenges and opportunities in these changing times. The Convening will feature several panel discussions and speakers on the vital issues coming before Congress in 2018. Panelists will include key legislative staff from the Senate Finance Committee and House Ways and Means Committee.

Of particular focus will be discussion of legislative proposals to address the impact of the opioid epidemic on child welfare, the Administration’s 2018 positions and priorities for child welfare, the impact of the latest health care initiatives—especially regarding the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid—and the range of budget cuts and appropriations. The Convening will wrap up with instructions and discussion on going to Capitol Hill—which is conveniently just a few minutes’ walk from our conference venue.

Featured Speakers:

Jerry Milner, D.S.W.
Associate Commissioner, Children’s Bureau
Acting Commissioner, Administration on Children, Youth and Families

Senator Todd Young (R-IN)
Senate HELP (Health, Education, Labor & Pensions) Committee
and Subcommittee on Children and Families

Thursday, April 26, 2018 • 1:00 pm – 4:30 pm

Join Us for Advocacy Day 2018 and Go to the Hill!

CWLA members and conference participants will have an opportunity to take what they have learned from the National Advocacy Leaders Convening on Wednesday afternoon and information from the Thursday-morning policy plenary to go to Capitol Hill and meet their Senators and House Members. This year, we are providing a dedicated time to go to Capitol Hill. The conference hotel is a short distance away from Capitol Hill offices—just a brief walk to reach your Senators and Representatives.

The most important thing you can do while you’re at the conference is to promote child welfare priorities on Capitol Hill! In these alarming times of budget cuts, devastating health care proposals, and a range of legislative challenges affecting children—from home visiting, to CHIP, to CAPTA, to the Social Services Block Grant and potential changes to foster care, adoption and kinship care—it is more important than ever to make your constituent voice heard. CWLA staff will provide instructions and information so that you can set up meetings with your members of Congress and Senators before you come to Washington. Meeting with your members of Congress or their key staff is incredibly important—especially in times like these, with the opioid epidemic impacting children and families and 2018 being the first full year of the new administration’s legislative agenda. Even if you don’t meet with members of Congress themselves, their staff members are their closest advisors and can heavily influence decisions. Value every moment with them!

In 2017, CWLA was in the fight: the Affordable Care Act, Home Visiting, CHIP, Medicaid block grants, budget cuts, and much more! What will the fight be in 2018? Block Grants? Cuts in Child Welfare funding? Cuts to your children’s funding?

Your Voice is Powerful When You Deliver it in Person!

Training Institute

The two-day Training Institute offers an extended learning opportunity for conference attendees. Select the “Premium” Full Conference Registration to participate in an additional day and a half of exceptional educational offerings. The Training Institute sessions will provide you with an opportunity for in-depth learning on some of today’s most relevant topics. Participants should select both a Saturday and Sunday training session when registering. Lunch will be provided on Sunday.

2:00 pm – 6:00 pm

The Value of Accreditation: Moving Your Agency toward Excellence and Meeting the Accreditation Requirement in the New FFPSA
Accreditation provides agencies the opportunity to make a commitment to excellence and best practice standards by providing quality services and effectively managing resources. The recent approval of the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) means that it is a critical time for leaders in public and private child welfare agencies to examine what it will take to be accredited, especially for the new category of Quality Residential Treatment Program (QRTP). While there are many questions surrounding the QRTP requirement in the new legislation, and while everyone is awaiting further clarification and guidance from HHS, now is a good time to hear from the three major accrediting bodies named in the legislation.

In this session, you will learn how CARF, COA, and The Joint Commission—accrediting entities for this important out-of-home service—will respond to the increased demand for accreditation over a short period of time depending on the number of states that decide to opt into the FFSPA. Learn how each entity will be working with and helping agencies such as your own, as well as interfacing with public child welfare agencies around the FFPSA requirement. Take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to hear from all three of the major accrediting bodies, gathered in the same room at the same time. Even if you are not a provider of congregate care, you will want to attend this session to inform your decision-making regarding accreditation.    
Facilitator(s): CWLA Board Members – Allison Blake, former Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Children and Families, Trenton, NJ; and Joseph Costa, CEO, Hillsides, Pasadena, CA
Trainer(s): Leslie Ellis-Lang, Managing Director, Child and Youth Services, CARF International, Inc., Tucson, AZ; Julia S. Finken, Executive Director, Community Behavioral Health Care and Psychiatric Hospitals, The Joint Commission, Oak Brook, IL; and Grace Perry, Senior Accreditation Coordinator for Public Agency Accreditation, Council on Accreditation, New York, NY

Using the 3-5-7 Model® to Improve Child Well-Being: Fidelity and Implementation Management
Children and youths engaged with the child welfare system can experience grief and loss because of trauma, broken relationships, and inadequate attachments. Interventionists are often challenged to implement effective strategies that help youths to reestablish trusting relationships and to promote overall psychological well-being. The 3-5-7 Model®, a strengths-based approach that empowers children, youths, and families to engage in grieving and integrating significant relationships, is an evolving scientifically based model. In this session, participants will learn about the 3-5-7 Model®. A multifaceted learning approach is used to impart critical lessons about model implementation, coaching, training, supervision, and evaluation.
Trainer(s): Dr. Ramona Denby-Brinson, Associate Dean for Research, Arizona State University, College of Public Service and Community Solutions, Phoenix, AZ; Dr. Darla Henry, President, Darla Henry & Associates, Inc., Harrisburg, PA; Stephanie Hodge Wolfe, Program Director, Darla Henry & Associates, Inc., Harrisburg, PA; Dr. Keith A. Alford, Director, Syracuse University, School of Social Work, Syracuse, NY; and Efren Gomez, Visiting Researcher, The Brookings Institution, Center on Children and Families Economic Studies, Washington, DC

Technology and Teen Suicide
Advancements in technology and social media have brought the world closer in many ways. For some, their online presence is directly related to social status and peer acceptance. When faced with rejection, many users are turning to injurious behavior often resulting in suicide. This training will explore ways to identify and reduce risks associated with social media and suicide, particularly for children in child welfare. The intended audience for this training includes administrators, supervisors, direct service workers, and caregivers of children and youth in care.
Trainer(s): Marcus Stallworth, LMSW, CWLA Training and Development Specialist, Naugatuck, CT

Becoming Trauma-Informed: Moving from Awareness to Action
Exposure to traumatic stress is increasingly understood as a public health issue with far-reaching consequences for individuals and society. Impacts are seen in the behavioral health, physical health, homelessness, child welfare, and justice systems. Awareness of the effects of trauma has led to a call to adopt a trauma-informed approach organization- and system-wide. In a trauma-informed agency, all aspects of a service delivery system—from how the workforce is trained to what procedures and policies are adopted—are designed to promote resilience and healing for service users, providers, and organizations. Participants in this training will have the opportunity to learn about: a framework and process for adopting a trauma-informed approach program- or organization-wide; individual and organizational strategies for providing trauma-informed care; and an instrument that measures current capacity in trauma-informed care at an organizational level.
Trainer(s): Kathleen Guarino, LMHC, Senior TA Consultant, American Institutes for Research, Washington, DC

Rural Community Models for Recruiting, Retaining, and Supporting African American Families who Adopt
Although African American youth represent 14.5 % of the U.S. child population, they represent 23% or 24,312 of the 111,820 children waiting to be adopted in the U.S. foster care system. Most state and local agencies are challenged to find permanent families for these waiting children. Often, recruitment of African American families is primarily focused on urban communities. However, this training session will focus on the successful adoptions of hundreds of African American children by African American families living in rural communities in South Carolina and Texas. Specifically, the presenters will focus on findings from a recent study that identified agency, community, spiritual, and familial factors that led to these successful placements of more than 700 African American children from foster care. This hands-on training will provide strategies for developing innovative, community-based models to expand options for achieving permanency for African American children and will include exercises related to the recruitment, retention, and support of families for all children.
Trainer(s): Kathleen Belanger, MSW, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Social Work, Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches TX; Joe Haynes, Adoption Advocacy, Spartanburg, SC; and Ruth G. McRoy, MSW, PhD, Donahue and DiFelice Endowed Professor, Boston College School of Social Work

Including Fathers in Service Delivery to Children and Families to Ensure Their Well-Being
The Fatherhood Engagement Training Institute will highlight fatherhood empowerment strategies that reinforce the importance of improving the well-being of children and families. The session will feature presentations on topics that contextualize and operationalize responsible fatherhood approaches within the context of the CWLA National Blueprint.  Participants should expect theoretical and practical solutions to better incorporate fathers within the children and families well-being framework.

The session will include a focus on:

“Next Level Thinking Part I – Changing the Culture”
Optimizing your service delivery and broadening your reach: What does it mean to be an Accredited Father Friendly Flagship Agency (3FA)?

“Next Level Thinking Part II – Leveraging Resources and Research”
Lessons from the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement

This Fatherhood Engagement Training Institute is for educators, researchers, and other human service practitioners from across the nation who are committed to including fathers throughout the lives of their children and the family’s involvement with supports and services. Workshop E14 is a precursor to this session.  Attendees will benefit from both sessions independently.
Trainer(s): Dr. Rufus Sylvester Lynch, The Strong Families Commission Incorporation, Philadelphia, PA; Karen Andrade-Mims, UIH Family Partners, Trenton, NJ; Victoria Bennett, Episcopal Community Services, Philadelphia, PA; Folasshade Laud-Hammond, Turning Points for Children, Philadelphia, PA; and Commissioner Scott Lekan and James Murray, Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE), Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Washington, DC

SUNDAY, APRIL 29, 2018
8:30 am – 3:00 pm

Neighbors Helping Neighbors to Reduce Child Abuse and Neglect: How We Are Doing and How We Can Do Better
Almost 25 years ago, the U.S. Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect (CAN) said that a strategy to eliminate child abuse and neglect must ensure neighborhoods are “safe havens” for children and families since “child maltreatment in a neighborhood is often tied to the quality of life in that neighborhood.” Further, the Advisory Board said that addressing CAN requires contributions from many stakeholders, including health, law enforcement, mental health, social services, education, housing, transportation, and the communities themselves. While the Advisory Board did not specifically use the words “social determinants of health” (SDOH), their approach clearly includes addressing them. The Advisory Board also stated that families, communities, and youth should be empowered to identify their needs and identify solutions.

This training will help formulate answers to the following questions:

  • How are we doing in addressing the social determinants of health in order to eliminate CAN?
  • How can we do better, particularly with regard to empowering communities and youth?

In this session, participants will be provided:  an analysis of data on child abuse and neglect (CAN) and CAN fatalities and recommendations from fatality reviews as a way of identifying critical SDOH and how they have or have not been recognized or addressed; and a few examples of how different sectors (law enforcement, education, child welfare) have worked with communities to solve their problems and how youth themselves have been a powerful force for change.

This training will engage participants in: critical conversation around the challenges and solutions to address the social determinants of health in the prevention of CAN; assessing how the recommendations of their fatality reviews (child death review, domestic violence fatality review, fetal infant mortality review) could assist in addressing the SDOH; and identifying three new strategies that could be implemented to engage communities and youth in preventing child abuse and neglect and the most tragic outcome: fatalities.
Trainer(s): Liz Oppenheim, JD, Vice President, Hyzer Group, Arlington, VA

Youth Involved with Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice: The Power of Partnership in Building Youth and System Resiliency
Youth who touch both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems, also known as “dual status youth,” are among the most vulnerable served by each system. Those working with these youth recognize the challenges inherent in serving children who often have high needs, significant trauma, and tenuous or largely absent support systems. Systems are strained by these challenges, and youth are suffering the consequences, as demonstrated by poor outcomes in both adolescence and adulthood. The Robert F. Kennedy National Resource Center for Juvenile Justice has developed a framework for addressing these challenges and promoting collaboration between agencies that together can achieve what no single system can alone. In this training, staff from the RFK National Resource Center will provide dynamic guidance on the tools, approaches, and recommended practices to improve outcomes for this population of youth, thereby strengthening the systems and agencies serving these valuable young people.

The session will include child welfare practitioners who have successfully built partnerships with their juvenile justice counterparts and witnessed the establishment and strengthening of a true alliance in serving these highly vulnerable youth.  Participants will engage in interactive discussions and activities to explore the benefits and challenges of collaborative work on behalf of the youth involved in child welfare and juvenile justice, and will leave with knowledge, tools and a roadmap for strengthening their agency or organization’s ability to serve dual status youth.
Trainer(s): Jessica Heldman, Associate Executive Director, RFK National Resource Center, Boston, MA; and Melissa Blom, Manager, Children Youth and Families Division, ‎Outagamie County Department of Health and Human Services, Appleton, WI

Protecting Our Children: Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking
What is human trafficking—also known as modern day slavery—and what is domestic minor sex trafficking (DMST)? The biggest concern for those combating human trafficking in the United States is helping US- born youth in DMST. This training will give professionals and caregivers the skills and tools needed to recognize the signs of DMST, and to engage and protect the children involved. The training is interactive and uses scenarios, group discussion, and videos to demonstrate how to address DMST.

The training, based on the CWLA curriculum Protecting Our Children: Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Training for Out-of-Home Care Professionals, utilizes a train-the-trainer model designed to equip participants to engage others in learning how to identify, report, and prevent DMST in the community at large and in out-of-home-care settings (family foster care, residential facilities, drop-in centers, homeless shelters, juvenile justice settings, aftercare programs).
Trainer(s): Emily Wampler, MSW, LSW, Protecting Our Children Curriculum Author, Columbus, OH

Quality Improvement: A Roadmap to Measuring Change
9:30 am – 3:00 pm
(please note start time)
Quality improvement provides a framework for measuring organizational performance and the impact services have on clients served. As organizations respond to changes in policies, funding and an increased need for services, creating an environment rooted in data-driven decision-making is critical. This training will demonstrate how quality improvement is a catalyst for successful achievement of strategic goals and program outcomes. It is designed to help organizations develop a comprehensive approach to a quality improvement process that will advance an efficient, effective service delivery system and enhance organizational capacity to deliver quality services. Learn about developing specific client outcomes, logic models and improvement plans as key components of measuring progress.
Trainer(s): Kerry Deas, LMSW, Quality Improvement Manager and Grace Perry, LMSW, Senior Accreditation Coordinator for Public Agency Accreditation, Council on Accreditation (COA)

Be sure to check back regularly for updated information regarding additional training sessions!

National Awards

CWLA to Honor Journalist, Social Work Professionals, and Nonprofits at National Conference - 2018 Awardees Announced

2018 National Conference Award Winners

CWLA is pleased to accept National Award nominations for our 2018 National Conference. The CWLA National Awards program is designed to encourage excellence and innovation in serving children and families who are vulnerable and to acknowledge the various stakeholder groups that are committed to advancing excellence in child welfare. We are especially interested in honoring youth and/or young professionals and organizations that embody the principles of the CWLA National Blueprint for Excellence in Child Welfare, which has a critical focus on advancing child welfare services that are linked to and operate in partnership with families and communities.

We are seeking to identify the exceptional individuals and organizations that positively impact our work in child welfare, deserve this national level recognition, and will serve as a role model to others.

Selected nominees will be invited to attend the conference and receive their recognition in person.  Nominations should be submitted by February 9, 2018.

The 2018 National Conference Awards include:

Anna Quindlen Award for Excellence in Journalism on Behalf of Children and Families – This award honors journalists in both print and broadcast who have provided constructive, informative reporting that advances awareness, understanding, and action to meet the needs of children and families who are vulnerable. Submissions should include articles, editorials, columns, videos, etc., in support of the nomination. Links to online articles and videos are acceptable.

Congressional Advocate of the Year – This award honors a member of Congress who has provided leadership on behalf of children and families who are vulnerable and achieved demonstrated policy or funding improvements related to services and supports for children in the child welfare system. This selection is made in partnership with the CWLA National Commission, but ideas for awardees can be submitted by CWLA member organizations.

Cassaundra Rainey Youth Champion Award – This award honors a young person (age 26 or younger) who is/was under the auspices of the child welfare system and is actively involved in improving outcomes for children and youth as a volunteer or young professional. If the nominee is a young professional, the nomination should demonstrate that they have gone above and beyond the requirements of the job, and one of the testimonial letters should be from their supervisor detailing their meaningful contribution to the field of child welfare. Nominations must be made by a CWLA member agency.  The award is named in memory of CWLA Vice President, Cassaundra Rainey, who was a passionate youth advocate.

CWLA National Blueprint Champion for Excellence – This award honors a CWLA member organization that has demonstrated innovation and excellence in the delivery of programs and services for children and families, and/or accomplished successful community partnerships and collaborative efforts to advance improved outcomes for children and youth utilizing the principles of the CWLA National Blueprint for Excellence in Child Welfare.

We would also like to recognize CWLA member agency accomplishments during the conference and in the coming year as we build up to our 100th anniversary. CWLA members are encouraged to share any significant milestones or achievements for your agency or staff that we can shine a spotlight on (i.e., employee’s 30 years of service, agency’s 75th anniversary, youth/family success stories, etc.). Videos are welcome.

Award Nomination

Interested individuals should submit a completed nomination form and statement addressing how the nominee exhibits the awards overall vision and description, and if applicable, embodies the principles and vision of the CWLA National Blueprint for Excellence in Child Welfare.

Nominators may also submit additional materials, including newspaper clippings, printed materials, photos, testimonial letters, etc., to support the nomination.

Nomination forms and supporting materials must be received by February 9, 2018. Electronic submissions are required. Email nominations to CWLA Member Services at

Selection and Presentation

The CWLA Conference Awards committee will review nominations and select the award recipients by March 2, 2018. All awards will be presented during the 2018 National Conference.

Hotel & Travel

Conference Location and Accommodations

Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill

400 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 737-1234
Conference Room Rate:  $249

Hotel Reservations

Hotel reservations must be made directly with the hotel. You can reserve by phone at 1-888-421-1442 or online at Hyatt Reservations. Room availability and special rates are guaranteed only until April 5, 2018, or until the space is filled.


The closest airport to the conference is Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). A map of the area, driving directions, and ground transportation options are available at Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill.


Join us as a Conference Sponsor and enjoy networking with hundreds of the most influential experts and service providers for America’s children, youth, and families. NEW this year is an exciting mobile event app that assures increased impressions and exposure for sponsors and exhibitors and will maximize attendee engagement with you. Review the Conference App Sponsorship options. There is an opportunity for every business and budget!

Make a lasting impression on child and family experts and advocates. Become a conference sponsor or sponsor a special event, food function, or conference item. For more information, please contact


  • Company logo and name billing on conference signage
  • Inserts for conference tote bags
  • Company logo on sponsor page in conference final program


  • Exhibit booth discount (50%)
  • Quarter-page ad space in the conference final program

SILVER SPONSORS - $15,000 (All the above AND)

  • One-time use of the pre- and post-conference attendee mailing lists
  • Half-page ad space in the conference final program
  • Exhibit booth
  • Acknowledgement from the podium during a General Session
  • Recognition in five conference e-blasts

GOLD SPONSORS - $25,000 (All the above AND)

  • Add-On Eligibility (see options below)
  • Company logo on CWLA conference material and on CWLA website
  • Full-page ad space in the conference final program
  • Special recognition in five conference e-blasts

PLATINUM SPONSORS - $50,000 (All the above AND)

  • Webinar opportunity
  • Two “specialty advertisements” in CWLA’s The Networker, our twice-monthly e-news brief
  • Upgraded exhibit booth (Premium)
  • Company logo on conference tote bag
  • Full-page ad space in the conference registration program (mailed to 13,000+ mailing list)
  • Special recognition in ALL conference e-blasts
  • Discounted Add-Ons (25%)

SPONSOR ADD-ONS (For Gold and Platinum Levels Only)

  • PATH TO EXCELLENCE - $5,000 (per day)
    • Company name, logo, and booth number on floor arrows from front door of hotel directly to your exhibit booth, featured outside of the exhibit hall entrance (first come, first served)
  • KEYS TO EXCELLENCE (two options):
    • Key Cards - $3,000 - Company name/ logo (your design and message) on all attendee hotel key cards
    • Adhesive Cell Phone Wallet - $5,000 - Company name/ logo (your design and message) on all attendee souvenir adhesive cell phone wallet for key cards/credit cards

COFFEE/SNACK BREAK SPONSORS - $10,000 (four available)

  • Exhibit booth discount (50%)
  • Quarter-page ad space in the conference final program
  • Company logo and name billing on meal function signage


  • One-time use of the pre- and post-conference attendee mailing lists
  • Half-page ad space in the conference final program
  • Exhibit booth
  • Acknowledgement from the podium during a General Session
  • Recognition in five conference e-blasts
  • Company logo and name billing on meal function signage
  • Exclusive sponsor for conference box lunch (ONE available)


  • Company logo on CWLA conference material and on CWLA website
  • Full-page ad space in the conference final program
  • Special recognition in five conference e-blasts
  • Four breakfast or lunch sponsorships available


  • Webinar opportunity
  • Two “specialty advertisements” in CWLA’s The Networker, our twice-monthly e-news brief
  • Upgraded exhibit booth (Premium)
  • Company logo on conference tote bag
  • Full-page ad space in the conference registration program (mailed to 13,000+ mailing list)
  • Special recognition in ALL conference e-blasts
  • Acknowledgement during reception champagne toast
  • Exclusive sponsor for opening reception (ONE available)


  • Exclusive sponsor of conference charging station
  • Company logo and name billing on charging station signage
  • Quarter-page ad space in the conference final program

CONFERENCE WI-FI - $5,000 (two available)

  • Company logo on Wi-Fi cards distributed to attendees with password


  • Company name and logo on business card flash drive/USB


  • Company name/logo on conference name badge lanyards


  • Exclusive sponsor of conference Zumba class
  • Company logo on water bottles for all class participants

Exhibiting & Advertising



Meet face-to-face with CEOs, administrators, workers, researchers, advocates, and other child and family experts and advocates who are eager to explore new thinking and new products. As a bonus, CWLA vendors will receive the pre- and post-conference attendee mailing lists for marketing.

Exhibiting is an easy and economical approach to share your company brand and products. The exhibit hall is the hub of the conference being the location of the opening reception, breakfast, lunch, and a snack/coffee break. This year, we will have a scavenger hunt and exciting raffle prizes sure to drive excitement and traffic to and through the exhibit hall!

Past exhibitors who have expressed success at our conference include software companies, publishers, insurance brokers, banks, trainers, accreditors, member and non-member agencies, and other organizations with a message for child and family professionals and leaders. Exhibiting at CWLA is easy, effective, and rewarding.

Interested in sponsoring the overall conference or the room key cards, flash drives, adhesive cell phone wallets, lanyards, conference Wi-Fi, or a coffee break?  Check out our Sponsorship Opportunities. We have options for nearly every organization and budget.

Special Events in the Exhibit Hall:

  • Snack/Coffee Break
  • Opening Reception
  • Scavenger Hunt
  • Raffles and Prizes

Exhibit Fees (per 8′ x 10′ space):

  • $1550 for Premium Vendors (high traffic space)
  • $1295 for General Vendors
  • $1095 for CWLA Member Organizations


    • 8′ x 10′ space with standard booth drapery
    • 6′ x 2′ draped table
    • 2 side chairs
    • A complimentary registration for one exhibit staffer with access to all conference sessions, workshops, and meal functions.
      Additional exhibit staffers must register at a special rate of $425.
    • A 7″ x 44″ booth identification sign
    • Optional add-ons: tote bag insert, raffle tickets, etc. (see below)
    • Registrant mailing list for pre-conference marketing (one-time use)
    • Post-conference attendee list for follow-up outreach (one-time use)
    • Dedicated exhibit hall times and functions
    • A 30% discount on all conference advertising

Scavenger Hunt – Promote Your Specialty

Attendees will be given a list of items to find around the exhibit hall. They won’t know which exhibitor has which item on the list, so they will have to visit each one until they have collected all the coveted scavenger items. As an exhibitor, you can promote your service or product by “sponsoring” an item for the hunt. This means that a desired “item” on the list will be found only at your exhibit booth!

  • Cost: $250
  • Provide an item from your booth as a required object for the Scavenger Hunt
  • Promote your company services/specialty (i.e. Find the booth that provides first class training for social workers; Find the booth that helps improve quality services with accreditation)

Meet & Greet Raffle

All exhibitors will receive 25 raffle tickets to give to anyone who visits your booth. If you want to be super popular, you can sponsor a roll of raffle tickets (200) and give visitors to your booth EXTRA tickets if they stay and listen to your presentation or sign up for more information. The more tickets they receive, the more chances they have to win fabulous prizes!

  • Cost: $250
  • Attendees can win prizes with raffle tickets provided by Exhibitor (i.e. Give one raffle ticket if they stop by; give five tickets if they sign-up to receive more information, etc.)

Tote Bag Inserts – An Exhibitor/Sponsor Exclusive!

  • Cost: $400
  • Limit: One item per bag, per Exhibitor

Exhibit Hall Dates & Times (subject to change without notice)

  • Set up: Thursday, April 26, 2018, 5:30 pm
  • Dismantle: Friday, April 27, 2018, 7:00 pm
  • Exhibiting Dates & Times: Thursday, April 26, 2018, 7:15 pm – Friday, April 27, 2018, 7:00 pm

Registration and Payment:

  • To Exhibit, REGISTER ONLINE. Registering means you agree with the TERMS AND CONDITIONS.
  • Payment in full is due with ONLINE REGISTRATION. Pay by credit card or select “Bill Me” option to receive an invoice.
  • Space will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis beginning November 1, 2017.


Questions?  E-mail



Maximize your exposure! Advertise in the conference final program.


  • Full-color advertising!
  • Exhibitors receive a 30% discount on all conference advertising.


  • Reserve final program ad space by March 2, 2018.
  • Submit art by March 12, 2018.

Ad Rates and Options:

Ad Type Size (Inches) Exhibitor Cost Non-Exhibitor Cost
Sixth Page 2.5 x 4.75 $210 $350
Quarter Page Vertical 3.37 x 4.75 $420 $675
Half Page Vertical 3.75 x 9.25 $840 $1,300
Half Page Horizontal 7.50 x 4.75 $840 $1,300
Full page (no bleed) 7.50 x 10.00 $1,680 $2,500
Full page (bleed) 8.75 x 11.25 $1,680 $2,500
Back Cover (no bleed) 7.50 x 7.000 to 8.000 $2,100 $3,450
Back Cover (bleed) 8.75 x 7.25 to 8.25 $2,100 $3,450

Registration and Payment:

  • To Advertise, REGISTER ONLINE. Registering means you agree with the TERMS AND CONDITIONS.
  • Payment in full is due with ONLINE REGISTRAITON. Pay by credit card or select “Bill Me” option to receive an invoice.


Questions?  E-mail


Take-One Exhibiting

Can’t be with us in person, but have a message for conference attendees? Send fliers, brochures and other material for our Take-One tables in the Exhibit Hall and/or near Conference Registration.

Cost: $300.00 per item

General Shipping Instructions:

  • Clearly label all boxes.
  • Ship by traceable means.
  • Leftover items will not be returned.
  • Materials should not arrive earlier than Tuesday, April 24, 2018.

Registration and Payment:

  • For Take-One Exhibiting, REGISTER ONLINE. Registering means you agree to the TERMS AND CONDITIONS.
  • Payment in full is due with ONLINE REGISTRATION. Pay by credit card or select “Bill Me” option to receive an invoice.


Questions?  E-mail

We look forward to seeing you in Washington!

Register now for the best conference rate.