January 2018
Happy New Year from NACC!
A new year, a fresh start. I remember the old days of cracking open a brand-new paper calendar - its blank pages so inviting and bright with optimism and opportunity!  But now, for many, our calendars are already six-months deep or more into 2018 with scheduled court hearings, appointments, and meetings. Yet, every year (and indeed every month and day), an opportunity presents itself for each of us to try something new. Whether it’s a novel legal strategy or technique, a renewed commitment to client-centered representation, or a pressing policy reform effort—a new year presents opportunities for us to challenge ourselves and grow. Read Kim's full New Year's Message Here
Conference Proposals - Due February 1
We are now accepting abstract proposals for workshops and plenaries at the 41st National Child Welfare, Juvenile Justice, and Family Law Conference , to be held August 23-25, 2018, at the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter. Please s ubmit your proposal to NACC by February 1, 2018.
Nationally, children and youth who encounter the child welfare, juvenile justice, or family court systems face numerous challenges. New challenges on the horizon range from harsher immigration enforcement, to increasing numbers of children in the foster care system due to the opioid epidemic, as well as trending state legislation that discriminates against potential foster families and children by allowing faith-based placement agencies to employ their own religious ideals when determining if a family is acceptable or if a particular health service is made accessible. NACC will use its annual conference to educate attorneys on how to advocate on behalf of children and families to celebrate and highlight family strengths, and to guard against potential harm from policies, practices, and legislation that infringe on the rights of children and families.

We are seeking abstract proposals to support three conference tracks: Child Welfare, Juvenile Justice, and Family Law and/or Immigration. Conference proposals should address any of the following: Substantive law, general advocacy, trial skills, policy, ethics, and/or appellate issues. Based on previous conference evaluations and membership surveys, topic areas of interest include: Issues of disproportionality, such as LGBTQ, racial minorities, American Indian/Alaska Native children, and children with specific physical and behavioral health needs; advocacy for older youth; implementation of federal law; trends in juvenile justice; strategies for achieving timely permanency; placement/facility conditions; dual-system-involved youth; and creating system change through policy advocacy. NACC is also seeking proposals on family law topics such as custody and visitation issues, parenting time, and mediation.  A ll proposals should seek to infuse diverse populations within the topic to be discussed, and all accepted abstracts must include a resource tool, such as a checklist, motion, brief, or article for their session. 

Visit our conference page t o submit your abstract, or contact us at Conference@NACCchildlaw.org .
In addition, early registration is now open for the 41st National Child Welfare, Juvenile Justice, and Family Law Conference and pre-conference! The conference will be held August 23-25, 2018 and a full day pre-conference Red Book Training will be held on August 22, 2018. Our conference and pre-conference are typically approved for CLE in all jurisdictions. Book today to reserve your seat!
Certification News-- Big Reduction in Price!
40 th Anniversary Certification Pricing

To continue our celebration of forty years of child welfare advocacy, we are finding ways to reduce expenses and drop the price for our Child Welfare Law Specialist (CWLS) certification application fee. Apply during 2018 for just $350 (normally $650)! Price includes a copy of the 3 rd edition Red Book. 

To apply, please visit our certification page or contact Ginger Burton at (303) 864-5329 or C ertification@NACCchildlaw.org
Give the Gift of Membership!

Our 40 th anniversary campaign continues, and giving the gift of membership is just one more way you can support NACC and the work we do. Give a colleague, friend, or family member a Bronze, Silver, or Gold membership or renew/extend their existing one during this very special 40% off campaign!

Click here for the gift membership order form, join yourself today , or reach out to Membership@NACCchildlaw.org   for more details!
The NACC policy department spent a day in Baltimore, MD at the Annie E Casey Foundation headquarters planning for the next phase of the Every Kid Needs a Family-Reducing Reliance on Non-Family Placements Initiative. Along with other national partners, NACC is committed to providing tools and information to assist practitioners in their everyday practice to keep children in families when possible. Stay tuned for more information on this initiative.

Please join NACC and our coalition partners in supporting funding and reauthorization of the State Court Improvement Program (CIP) to improve the legal process in the child welfare system, improve outcomes for children and families, and enhance collaboration between child welfare agencies, the legal system, and tribes--including resources to improve legal representation for all parties in child welfare cases.

Click here for more information about the COURTS ACT , as well as a sample call script, sample letter, and list of House and Senate representatives and staff.
Training News
The NACC training team regularly works with states, court improvement, and other organizations to deliver high-quality training for child welfare attorneys. 

Looking for a single session, a full-day intensive, or even tacking on our signature Red Book Training to your event? Contact us at Training@NACCchildlaw.org .
Welcome NACC's 2018 Board of Directors

  • Mickey Aberman, JD, MBA
  • Janet Bledsoe, JD, CWLS, LLM - Secretary: 1/18-12/19
  • Currey Cook, JD
  • Gerard Glynn, MS, JD / LLM
  • Joseph D. Gunn III, MD
  • Amy Harfeld, JD
  • Leslie Starr Heimov, JD, CWLS - Vice President: 1/18-12/19
  • H.D. Kirkpatrick, Ph.D., ABPP - Past President: 1/18-12/19
  • Stephanie Smith Ledesma, MA, JD, CWLS
  • Candi M. Mayes, JD, MJM, CWLS - President: 1/18-12/19
  • Jane Okrasinski, JD -Treasurer: 1/18-12/19
  • Hon. Erik S. Pitchal
  • Henry J. Plum, JD
  • Robert Schwartz, JD
  • Janet G. Sherwood, JD, CWLS
  • John H. Stuemky, MD
  • Whitney Untiedt, JD
  • Sonia C. Velazquez
  • Hon. Judith Waksberg
Call for Papers - Due February 16
The Children’s Legal Rights Journa l is a national journal sponsored by Loyola University Chicago School of Law in cooperation with the National Association of Counsel for Children. We publish articles on a variety of children’s legal issues and we are the only journal in the country addressing legal needs of children.
We are pleased to announce a special edition of the CJRJ to commemorate the 40 th Anniversary of the NACC. We invite you to submit articles that address the prominent issues impacting children’s justice over the last 40 years. We will be reviewing and accepting articles on a rolling basis until February 16, 2018. Click here for more information.

This special edition will be released in the summer of 2018 with a symposium to follow.

SAVE THE SYMPOSIUM DATE: October 25, 2018 in Chicago. 

Other Child Welfare News
Upcoming Events
Free Webinar for Attorneys from The National Research Center for Parents with Disabilities
February 21, 2018, 2:00pm Eastern
 This webinar will provide information about how to best work with parents with
intellectual disabilities and their families, including the definition
of intellectual disabilities, background information on parents with
disabilities, the application of disability law in the child welfare
system, recent case law, information about accessible and appropriate
parenting assessments, and strategies for representing parents with
intellectual disabilities and their families.
People who are interested in attending must register here .
How Courts and Attorneys Help Strengthen Families
Court Improvement Program (CIP): Family Justice Talks
February 28, 2018, 1:00 – 5:00 PM
National Association of State Courts (NCSC) Moot Courtroom
300 Newport Ave, Williamsburg, VA 23185
The event will feature nine succinct talks by nationally recognized child welfare experts all detailing the roles that courts and attorneys play in advancing vital Children’s Bureau priorities. Click here for more information.
Children’s Rights are Human Rights: 20 Years of Fearless Lawyering for Children
May 1, 2018
University of San Diego Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice
San Diego, CA

Join the ABA Children’s Rights Litigation Committee for a day-long symposium to celebrate our anniversary as well as the victories in our field during the last 20 years. We also will convene a dynamic and interactive conversation among all attendees, who will include both the pioneers of children’s law as well as the newest generation of children’s justice advocates, focused on where we need to be going next for our child clients. Click here for more information or to register for this free event.
National Association of Counsel for Children | www.NACCchildaw.org