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In response to COVID-19 guidance, many states are waiving online/on-demand CLE restrictions and limits. View the state-by-state status of changes.


NACC is thrilled to launch our 2020 Member Webinar Series!  


NACC membership benefits now include access to live webinars and previously recorded webinars.  In 2020, NACC increased webinar frequency to monthly and is offering CLE credit opportunities.


Members:  Click here to view prior webinars at your leisure.

Not a member?  Click here to join.




The Next Level: Appellate Practice in Child Welfare Cases (Part I)

Tuesday April 7, 2020

2:00-3:30 PM EST

An appeal is a powerful tool in the child welfare system. Not only are appeals a means to challenge legal errors and correct wrongs in individual cases, but they also can create broad change by obtaining precedent-setting decisions on wide-reaching legal questions. In this two-part webinar series on appellate fundamentals in child welfare law, the presenters will provide concrete tools and take-aways to attorneys filing and responding to appeals. This webinar series will be beneficial to both attorneys who have previous experience handling appeals and those who have not yet had the chance to do so.  

Part 1 of the webinar will provide an overview of basic appellate principles and key appellate doctrines such as standing, mootness, jurisdiction, and issue preservation.  Because a strong appeal starts with a sound trial record, the presenters will share pointers from an appellate perspective that attorneys can use in their everyday trial practice. This webinar will prepare attorneys to strengthen their cases before both the trial judge and the appellate bench and help practitioners answer the question: how do you make the best trial record possible from an appellate perspective?  


Webinar Presenters

Melissa Colangelo 

Abraham ‘Abe’ Sisson


Register Here!

Accredited for 2 hours of CLE in Colorado.  CLE approval in at least one state can streamline an attorney’s CLE application in another state.  Check with your jurisdiction for details on simplified CLE applications and online/on-demand learning requirements.  



The Next Level: Appellate Practice in Child Welfare Cases (Part II)

Tuesday May 5, 2020

2:00-3:30 PM EST

Part 2 of the webinar will build on Part 1, focusing on the procedural and substantive aspects of appellate practice in greater detail. The presenters will provide tips on drafting persuasive and powerful briefs and dispositive motions, give a refresher on effective usage of citations and proper formats, and offer guidance on how to prepare for and present an effective oral argument. 


Webinar Presenters

Melissa Colangelo 

Abraham ‘Abe’ Sisson


Register Here!

 Accredited for 2 hours of CLE in Colorado.  CLE approval in at least one state can streamline an attorney’s CLE application in another state.  Check with your jurisdiction for details on simplified CLE applications and online/on-demand learning requirements. 




How To Use the Federal Reasonable Efforts Requirement to Advocate for Older Youth (2 CLE Credits)

Tuesday March 17, 2020

Advocating for older youth in foster care presents unique challenges, barriers, and opportunities. While laws and service delivery have improved over time for transition-aged youth, data on permanency and transition outcomes continue to show that large numbers of older youth are leaving foster care without permanency and the skills they need to thrive as adults.  Recent developments in federal child welfare legislation can bolster advocates’ ability to improve permanency and transition outcomes for older youth. And longstanding provisions, like the reasonable efforts requirement, can be marshaled to support improved planning and services for older youth.


This webinar will examine the key provisions of federal legislation that can be used to improve outcomes for older youth. The presenters will offer advocacy tips and strategies for incorporating these statutes in cases involving older youth. The webinar will also discuss common barriers to achieving permanency for older youth and the acquisition of adult living competencies after foster care, creative ways to address and mitigate those barriers, and how to empower clients to be active participants in their case plans. Through hypotheticals and case studies, participants will leave with concrete strategies for how to use the language of reasonable efforts to lead to stronger outcomes for youth emancipating from foster care.


Webinar Presenters

Kristen Pisani-Jacques, JD 

Jenny Pokempner, JD


What Do Foster Youth and Other Stakeholders Want From Their Lawyer? Research Findings Chart the Course to High-Quality Legal Representation

February 4, 2020 (1 CLE Credit)

Nationwide, high-quality legal representation for children is in the spotlight. Yet most policy conversations focus on how professionals envision the legal advocate’s work. How do foster youth define effective representation? How does current empirical research of their perspectives shape our work? This interactive webinar will synthesize several new studies examining stakeholder (e.g., foster youth, foster parent, child welfare workers, attorney guardians ad litem) perspectives about the quality of legal representation for youth in care. After a brief overview of extant research and policies, the presenters will share findings from recently published research and discuss emerging conceptual models for effective legal representation, from the perspective of foster youth. Presenters will also share preliminary findings from a recent survey of attorney perspectives. Participants who join this webinar will gain an appreciation for the involvement of key stakeholders to understanding effective legal representation, understand newly published research findings and their application to developing high-quality children’s representation models, and examine areas for future inquiry and development related to legal practices with foster youth.


Webinar Presenters

Jay Miller, Ph.D.

Jessica Donohue-Dioh, MSW, Ph.D.


New Legal Resources for Incorporating the Family First Act into Your Practice in 2020 (2 CLE Credits)

In Fall 2019, more provisions of the Family First Prevention Services Act became effective in states across the country. This webinar will highlight two new resources: a Family First Legal Guide and a Tool for Engaging the Legal Community in Family First Implementation. The Legal Guide is written for attorneys, judges, magistrates, and court personnel, and provides an overview about how the Family First Act changes federal child welfare law, identifies opportunities to use the Act in legal advocacy and judicial decision-making, and offers guidance on supporting effective  implementation in local communities.


Webinar Presenters

Prudence Beidler Carr, ABA Center on Children and the Law

Cristina Ritchie Cooper, ABA Center on Children and the Law

Moderated by Allison Green, NACC Legal Director


View this recorded webinar here.

This webinar is available to all, members and nonmembers alike, thanks to funding from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.


Additional Resources:

Tool for Engaging the Legal Community in Family First Implementation

Leveraging the Family First Prevention Services Act to Improve the Title IV-E Gap

Legal Professional Roles Implementing Family First

Family First and Legal Representation


Accredited for 2 hours of CLE in Colorado.  CLE approval in at least one state can streamline an attorney’s CLE application in another state.  Check with your jurisdiction for details on simplified CLE applications and online learning requirements.  All the documents needed to support your CLE application are posted here: 

Child Welfare Year in Review (2 CLE Credits)


Steven Olender, Senior Policy Associate at the Children's Defense Fund

Allison Green, Legal Director for National Association of Counsel for Children


2019 was a busy and exciting year for child welfare law practitioners. Join the webinar to hear about the new statutes, case law, and policy changes that left their mar on the field. This webinar will be foundational for strong advocacy in the year ahead!


The Intersection of Child Welfare and Civil Rights: A Conversation with the ACLU 

Jason D. Williamson, Deputy Director of ACLU's Criminal Law Reform Project

Somil Trivedi, Senior Staff Attorney of ACLU's Criminal Law Reform Project


This session presented ACLU’s work and structure, along with the various ways in which the ACLU partners with other organizations committed to social justice. Presenters will then discuss some of the intersections of child welfare practice and the ACLU’s advocacy around sacred constitutional protections, including those guaranteed by the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendments.


Family Separation at the Border: Updates from the Front Lines and What You Can Do About It!

Vanessa Pineda, Managing Attorney of Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights

Miriam Abaya, Policy Associate of Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights


August 2019: This webinar explains the government’s practice of family separation over the last two years, including the formal policy of “zero tolerance” that led to thousands of separations and the nearly 1,000 separations that have occurred since a court ordered an end to separations.  Presenters focus attention on strategies for pursuing reunification of families, protecting their legal rights, and the role of independent Child Advocates in their cases.


Children's Right to Counsel: Statutory Reform, Litigation, Delivery Systems

Amy Harfeld, JD, National Policy Director & Senior Staff Attorney, Children's Advocacy Institute

Bob Fellmeth, JD, Executive Director, Children's Advocacy Institute

Kim Dvorchak, JD, Executive Director, National Association of Counsel for Children


July 2019: This webinar reviews children's right to counsel in the context of state statutes, federal law, litigation, and delivery system development.  The webinar will include an overview of the newly released Children's Advocacy Institute and First Star's National Report Card on Legal Representation for Abused and Neglected Children, 4th Editionreview the status of the reauthorization of the Child Abuse Treatment and Prevention Act (CAPTA) as it pertains to children's representation, as well as discuss resources from the QIC-ChildRep Center to inform legal delivery system development in the context of Title IV-E funding.


A Courtroom Advocate’s Guide to the Family First Galaxy

Allison Green, JD, CWLS, Legal Director, National Association of Counsel for Children

Stefanie Sprow, JD, Deputy Director of Child Welfare & Mental Health, Children's Defense Fund


JUNE 2019: This webinar provides an overview of key components of the 2018 Family First Prevention Services Act, the most sweeping piece of federal child welfare legislation in decades. Attendees will learn how to translate the law’s mandates into daily courtroom advocacy and legal innovation. Specifically, the session will focus on advocacy tips applied to each stage of a child welfare case: pre-petition, initial hearings, placement decisions, services and permanency pathways. Participants will gain increased confidence and urgency to leverage the language and the spirit of Family First on behalf of the children, parents and caregivers they represent. 


Title IV-E Funding for Legal Representation 

Gerry Glynn, Chief Legal Counsel, Embrace Families

Erin Lovell, Executive Director, Legal Counsel for Youth and Children

Tom Rawlings, Director, Georgia Division of Family and Children Services


APRIL 2019: The Federal Government recently expanded how the states can receive reimbursement for foster care related expenses to include reimbursement for funds spent providing legal representation to children and parents in child welfare proceedings.  This session will explain the federal funding scheme and how states can use these funds before and during child welfare cases to provide quality legal representation to children and parents.  The presenters will also provide practical steps for participants, encouraging everyone to think big and to help their states maximize their funding under this new scheme. 


Active Efforts and the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA)

Judge Len Edwards, California

Vida Castaneda, Senior Analyst, Tribal/State Programs, California Judicial Counsel


FEBRUARY 2019: This webinar addressed the meaning of Active Efforts as contained in the ICWA, discussing appellate case law describing Active Efforts, comparing Active Efforts to Reasonable Efforts, and suggesting how attorneys should argue the active efforts requirement in court. 


Child Welfare and Poverty

Diane Redleaf, Author & Advocate, Family Defense Consulting

Ruth White, Executive Director, National Center for Housing and Child Welfare

OCTOBER 2018: The child protection system is supposed to protect children from abuse and neglect and promote their health and well-being.  But that system tends to confuse poverty with genuine neglect, impoverishing the families who are the targets of its intervention in the process and causing deterioration in children’s stability and prospects for self-sufficiency. This discussion, with housing and child welfare advocates and academics working in the child welfare and poverty law arenas in the US, will focus on the many respects in which the child protection system contributes to child and family poverty. Topics will include: how child protection systems misidentify and mistreat poverty; how race, national origin, and class bias intensify the maltreatment of families; how child abuse registers operate as employment blacklists in the low-income work force; economic security issues facing children aging out of foster care; and how policies that criminalize poverty operate unchecked in child protection systems in the US.


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