About the Conference

Effective collaboration among State and local child welfare agencies, courts, and other partners is critical to ensuring positive outcomes for children and families. Equally important is effective collaboration among the many systems that function within each child welfare agency, such as caseworker recruitment, training and retention.

Yet creating and sustaining strong partnerships across diverse systems presents many challenges. Sometimes it’s necessary to take a new look at how partnerships function – and to re-think or re-tool them to work better for children and families.

This conference focuses on bringing together key leaders to strengthen the partnerships that support successful practice with children and families.

The conference has three components:

December 10: Court Improvement Program meeting
December 11: Enhancing Agency/Court Collaboration
December 12 – 13: Strengthening Agency Systems and Workforce Development

Who Should Attend

Participation is by invitation. Please click here for information about who is invited to attend and whose participation will be sponsored by the Children’s Bureau.

Special Features

On Tuesday, December 10, state agency/court teams will have the opportunity to explore an area of particular interest. Teams consisting of both agency and court participants will attend presentations and engage in action planning on one pre-selected topic during the day. The State child welfare agency director may indicate which topic the State team will focus on after consultation with the Court Improvement Program.

Topics will include:

  • Using Quality Assurance to improve practice
  • Involving courts in the CFSR
  • Cross-training of agencies and courts
  • Engaging youth, parents and/or other stakeholders
  • Involving state, county and private agencies in achieving outcomes
  • Integrated agency and court strategic planning
  • Strengthening case review systems
  • Using data to enhance decision-making

Another special feature of the conference will be the peer-to-peer meetings of professional affinity groups on Wednesday, December 11. These meeting will allow participants to meet with peers to discuss issues of common interest.

Facilitators will host groups for:

  • Child welfare directors at both the State and county level
  • Court Improvement Program representatives
  • CFSR coordinators
  • Training directors and university partners
  • Child welfare human resource directors
  • Children’s Bureau central office and regional staff

Conference Schedule

Monday, December 10
9:00 – 5:00 Court Improvement Program meeting (schedule to be announced)

Tuesday, December 11
8:00 – 9:00 Breakfast
9:00 – 10:30 Plenary Session
10:45 – 12:15 Pre-Selected Workshops for Agency/Court Teams
12:15 – 1:45 Lunch (on your own)
1:45 – 3:15 Action Planning for Agency/Court Teams
3:30 – 5:00 Plenary Session

Wednesday, December 12
8:00 – 9:00 Breakfast
9:00 – 10:00 Plenary Session
10:15 – 11:45 Concurrent Workshops, Session 1
12:00 – 1:30 Networking Luncheon
1:45 – 3:15 Professional Affinity Group Sessions
3:30 – 5:00 Concurrent Workshops, Session 2

Thursday, December 13
8:00 – 9:00 Breakfast
9:00 – 10:30 Concurrent workshops, Session 3
10:45 – 11:45 Plenary session
11:45 – 12:00 Wrap-up and closing

The complete agenda will be posted as soon as it’s available. Please click on the links to the left to view the agenda.