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Professional live training and continuing education are a core focus of the National Association of Counsel for Children, and a major benefit to both our members and their clients. Below, you’ll find a course listing highlighting just some of the ways we can work together. To discuss training needs in your jurisdiction, please email


Child Welfare Training

The Red Book: Child Welfare Law and Practice

The Red Book Training follows the NACC publication Child Welfare Law and Practice: Representing Children, Parents, and State Agencies in Abuse, Neglect and Custody Proceedings. It explores the intersection of federal law and state practice. The training has been delivered across the country and is consistently praised for providing valuable information on a broad array of pertinent topics in child welfare law. One Day, Intermediate Level


The Red Book II: Advanced Practice for Child Welfare Law Specialists

The Red Book II is an advanced practice training specifically designed for Child Welfare Law Specialists (CWLS) and attorneys with substantial experience in dependency law. This mastery-level training focuses on expert skills for parent’s, agency, and children’s attorneys. One Day, Expert Level


Trial Skills for Lawyers Practicing Child Welfare Law

This hands-on training provides one to three days of trial skills practice. Experts from the child welfare profession work with attorneys in small groups to develop practical skills, like delivering effective opening and closing statements, witness examinations, introducing exhibits, impeachment, objections, and building effective trial notebooks. One, Two, or Three Days; Basic, Intermediate, or Expert Level


Evidence and Children

Conducting meaningful and productive investigations, interviewing children in an age-appropriate manner, and providing children with Child welfare attorneys must consider a wide array of evidentiary issues and standards. This course teaches attorneys how to argue for and against child hearsay, records of complaints or injuries, and child testimony. One Day, Intermediate Level


Child Sexual Abuse in Civil Cases

Being a child’s zealous advocate means in some cases seeking alternative remedies for abused children, such as civil damages. This training equips children’s attorneys to handle civil cases that serve their clients’ interests and vindicate their rights in forums other than dependency court. One Day, Basic Level


Interviewing, Counseling, and Examining Children

Interviewing, Counseling, and Examining Children teaches specific strategies child welfare professionals can immediately translate into their practice. Topics include suggestibility, testimonial competence, effects of testifying on children, hearsay considerations, and strategies for examining the child-witness. One Day, Intermediate Level


Child Safety: What Legal Professionals Need to Know

Child Safety covers everything legal professionals need to know about information gathering, assessment, and safety planning for maltreated children so that attorneys can make the best use of that information in their advocacy. Child Safety is particularly relevant as part of system reform programs addressing concerns about child mortality. One Day, Basic Level


Immigration and Child Maltreatment

Immigration law and child welfare law overlap. Attorneys representing children who are not United States Citizens must understand the interplay of these laws. Immigration and Child Maltreatment examines Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, VAWA, U and T Visas, and other forms of immigration relief relating to child welfare proceedings. One Day, Expert Level


Advocating for Foster Youth in Mental Health Commitment Proceedings

Children subject to mental health proceedings face unique considerations. This training begins with the legal framework governing mental health proceedings, and then explores therapeutic jurisprudence and the ethical roles and responsibilities of the child’s advocate. Trainees will learn practice tips for protecting children’s rights in residential treatment centers and advocating for legal entitlements and services for children. One Day, Expert Level


Representing Parents in Child Welfare Cases

Attorneys who represent parents in dependency proceedings are charged with protecting the fundamental liberty interests of their clients. Representing Parents in Child Welfare Cases explores the unique challenges facing parent’s counsel, such as: establishing trust, understanding and completing treatment plans, and navigating dependency proceedings. Particular attention is paid to Termination of Parental Rights hearings. One Day, Intermediate Level

Child Welfare Appellate Law and Practice

Appellate practice is an art. This training covers writs, appeals, strategy, time limits, structuring an argument, brief writing, and oral argument. The course is customized to cover state-specific appellate rules. Trainees will engage in a mock appellate oral argument. Two Days, Intermediate or Expert Level


Motions Practice

Motions Practice teaches lawyers how to draft compelling motions and briefs, structure effective legal arguments, and conduct efficient legal research. Trainees will also be provided with several sample motions and briefs to serve as models for future practice. One Day, Intermediate or Expert Level


Expert Testimony

This training provides hands-on experience as trainees practice asking and answering questions on direct, cross, and redirect examination. Expert Testimony emphasizes problem-based learning, live peer review feedback, and practical tips. Special focus is given to narrative testimony and establishing and maintaining the expert’s credibility. One Day, Basic Level


Reports and Records of Abuse and Neglect: Confidentiality, Privilege, and Disclosure

This training provides an in-depth analysis of state-specific confidentiality rules as they relate to reports and records of abuse and neglect. Trainees will learn to navigate the law and make well-reasoned decisions about disclosure and information sharing. The training covers attorney-client privilege, psychotherapist-patient privilege, FERPA, substance abuse treatment records, confidentiality statutes, HIPPA, school records, and professional rules of conduct. One Day, Basic Level


Upholding ICWA

In February 2015 the Bureau of Indian Affairs release revised ICWA guidelines. According to recent research, numerous states are struggling to comply with the Indian Child Welfare Act’s statutory mandates. Upholding ICWA demystifies the federal law and its requirements, outlines the 2015 guidelines, sets ICWA in its broader historical context, and provides specific practice tips for compliance. One Day, Intermediate Level


Interstate Compacts: ICPC, ICAMA, ICMH

Understanding the interplay of state compacts and the effect they have on placement, medical assistance, and mental health is essential for child welfare professionals. This training provides a comprehensive review of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act, and three Interstate Compacts (Placement of Children, Adoption and Medical Assistance, and Mental Health). One Day, Intermediate Level


Cultural Competence

Although few lawyers engage in overt cultural insensitivity, our own experiences color our perspective. Trainees will learn to identify and eliminate assumptions and perceptions about race, ethnicity, and child welfare. Trainees will also learn practice tips regarding culturally appropriate questioning, interviewing, and examining different players throughout a dependency case. One Day, Intermediate Level


Non-Adversarial Case Resolution

In this training, practitioners are introduced to alternatives to the adversarial system, and given advice on choosing the model best suited for the child-client or her best interests. One Day, Intermediate Level


The Letter of the Law: ADA, ICWA, ASFA, and MEPA

The Letter of the Law reviews in detail four federal laws that impact the daily practice of caseworkers and attorneys. The course emphasizes practical application of the legal requirements under each statute, and provides tips to ensure compliance. One Day, Intermediate Level


Child Development Fundamentals

Child Development Fundamentals surveys various theories of human development, explores the effects of child maltreatment on child development, and draws practical connections to child welfare practice. Clients are better-served by both attorneys and caseworkers who have been trained in the “science of growing up.” One Day, Basic Level


The Basics of Substance Abuse

This course provides an in-depth look at the basics of substance abuse addiction, its effect on child safety, and treatment options for both children and adults. Special attention is paid to the enduring impact of substance abuse addiction on child development and adulthood. One Day, Basic Level


Juvenile Justice Training

Trial Skills for Juvenile Defense Counsel

This multi-day, skills-based training teaches Juvenile Defense attorneys how to strengthen their advocacy skills in the courtroom. This course is practice-heavy and filled with practical litigation tips. One, Two, or Three Days; Intermediate Level


Ethical Obligations of Juvenile Defense Counsel

Attorneys must provide competent, diligent, and zealous representation of their clients. But juvenile defense is tough. Attorneys often confront systemic problems that impede the ability to uphold these standards. This training explores the ethical obligations and real-life challenges of providing juvenile defense, such as decreased educational and employment opportunities for juveniles, restriction of access to public benefits and privileges, and placement on lifelong registries. One Day, Basic Level


Determining the Competency of Juvenile Client to Stand Trial

Because developmental immaturity may play a significant role in a juvenile’s ability to stand trial, attorneys must be particularly sensitive to the competency of their clients. This training covers topics such as seeking qualified experts, understanding the potential outcomes of a finding of incompetency, and recognizing when a juvenile client may be incompetent to stand trial. One Day, Intermediate Level


Interviewing a Juvenile Client

Juvenile Defense attorneys must be prepared to identify how their individual clients communicate based on their differences, immaturity, and/or disabilities. This course introduces various techniques and skills to interviewing individual juvenile clients to ensure an effective attorney-client relationship. One Day, Basic Level



Juvenile clients are entitled to specific pieces of evidence depending on their jurisdiction. It is up to Juvenile Defense attorneys to know the rules of discovery and obtain discoverable evidence. This course teaches jurisdiction-specific discovery rules and strategies for responding to discovery requests. One Day, Intermediate Level

Family Law Training

Representing Children in Family Law Cases

Attorneys appointed to represent a child in a family law case must understand their client’s wishes, but also the broader “business of childhood,” such as child development, age-appropriate counseling, and the effects of litigation on the child-client. This training provides the nuts-and-bolts of representing children and specific litigation strategies to ensure their rights are protected. One Day, Basic Level


Interviewing, Counseling, and Examining Children in Family Court

Knowing how to question and counsel children is essential for family law practitioners. This course teaches specific interview techniques to elicit material facts in an age-appropriate and ethical manner. One Day, Basic Level


Non-Adversarial Case Resolution

There is a growing trend in non-adversarial and alternative dispute resolution services across the country. In this course attorneys learn about alternative forums and services in their jurisdiction. One Day, Intermediate Level


Competing Interests in Family Law

Children’s attorneys in family law cases must balance competing interests and determine the best outcome for their client. This training teaches attorneys how to advocate for their client in the face of competing interests and ethical dilemmas. One Day, Intermediate Level


Third Party Rights

Family law cases often involve multiple parties, like grandparents, extended family, or psychological kin that may have an interest in the case. This training provides information to non-traditional litigants and their attorneys. Topics include the nuts-and-bolts of court proceedings, third party standing and rights. Participants will learn steps they can take to ensure their rights are preserved throughout the case. One Day, Intermediate Level


The “Know Your Rights” Series for Children and Youth

Clients should know their rights. Children are no exception. The “Know Your Rights” training series is a unique legal education program designed specifically for children and youth. Each course is designed to teach children and youth what their rights are in a specific court proceeding, and how to articulate their wishes through the help of counsel. NACC staff attorneys use age-appropriate pedagogy to empower youth to know their rights, raise their voice, and seek justice in any forum.

Know Your Rights: Child Welfare

Children and youth will learn about their right (or lack thereof) to an attorney, parental rights, sibling rights, rights to benefits and visitation, and how to advocate through their attorney to improve their own well-being.


Know Your Rights: Juvenile Justice

Children and youth will learn about their due process right to defense counsel, the basic rules of evidence, rules governing probation, expunging records, and access to services and benefits.

Know Your Rights: Family Law

Children and youth will learn about their rights in custody proceedings, how to voice their concerns with or without separate counsel, and how to effectively engage the court.


Know Your Rights: Civil Law

Children and youth will learn about their rights as a civil plaintiff, remedies available to victims of abuse and neglect, and how to bring an action against defendant abusers.

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