2023 Children's Law Institute - Call for Proposals

Virtual Conference | January 11-13, 2023

The Future We Need Now: Cultivating a Community of Trust to Build Our System of Care

We are living in transformational times. Trends in our professional, societal, and natural environments are paving the way for the future to come. Let’s roll up our sleeves and continue constructing the responsive community serving systems that New Mexicans deserve. The 30th Annual Children’s Law Institute is both an invitation to celebrate the innovative restructuring that is happening and a challenge to break ground where the system still needs renovating. Join us as we lift up the work of stakeholders committed to creating an equitable, inclusive, and hopeful system of care.


The CLI is a statewide, multidisciplinary conference that brings over 1,000 various professionals together in a unique learning environment focused on improving the health, safety, and wellbeing of the children and families who are involved in–or who are at risk of becoming involved in–state or tribal child welfare or juvenile justice systems in New Mexico.

The 30th Annual Children’s Law Institute (CLI)

is seeking proposals for virtual, skill building workshops.

Submissions due September 9, 2022

Submissions will continue to be accepted on a rolling basis through September

Criteria for Submission

We are looking for 1.5 hour long virtual workshops (75 min presentation with the last 15 mins for Q & A) that relate to the professionals and volunteers who work in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems, including social workers, service providers, advocates, educators, and legal professionals. Workshops can be geared toward one or more professions. We are seeking intermediate and advanced interactive virtual presentations for experienced professionals and volunteers. Academic paper proposals are not likely to be accepted.

To be considered, proposals must

  • Be relevant to conference theme and attendees
  • Demonstrate proficiency with online facilitation and ability to be engaging and creative on a virtual platform
  • Use innovative and applicable knowledge that is solution focused
  • Incorporate tools for skill building and real-world application that can be applied to an attendees’ individual area of expertise
  • Include virtual audience interaction and critical thinking
  • Include content related specifically to the cultures in New Mexico and the particular and unique challenges we face
  • Provide examples of the resource(s) you will utilize during the workshop and share with participants (handouts, PowerPoint slides, additional resources etc.). We request all presentations provide handouts or other visual aid to accompany the presentation.
  • Presenters must be available to coordinate virtual practice session with conference planning team.
  • Priority will be given to proposals and presentations that incorporate data.

Themes & Suggested/Requested Topics

Any topics that meet the criteria above are welcome. We are looking specifically for intermediate and advanced virtual workshops that focus on solutions.
The following topics are of particular interest, but additional topics will be considered.

Click the plus sign + for specifics under each topic area.

Timely Issues related to addressing socio-economic disparities and environmental justice

  • Existing and developing infrastructure that creates safety and protection and/or creates opportunities to scaffold families out of poverty.
  • How is New Mexico doing as a whole related to socioeconomic status: unemployment rates, access to financial support, access to education, and access to behavioral health services?
  • Addressing environmental concerns including but not limited to:
      • Technological and logistical resource and service gaps in rural communities
      • Fallout of displacement caused by New Mexico wildfires
      • Addressing disparities within communities impacted by COVID-19, including the disproportionate impact in rural and Tribal communities

Application of systems change in New Mexico - what these changes look like in implementation & practice

Reflection and discussion of recent programmatic and legal changes in New Mexico – including strategy, successes, challenges, and early outcomes related to:

  • CARA (Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act implementation in NM)
  • Dependency Courts
  • Office of Family Representation and Advocacy
  • Direct Legal Representation for children in child welfare cases
  • Enhanced Family Support – Pre-legal initiatives, Quality Family Time
    • Increasing and improving family time
  • New Mexico/Bernalillo County ICWA Court Expansion and ICWA Court Practices
  • Protective Services System and Practice Changes
    • Individual Planning Process (IPP)
    • Child & Adolescent Needs & Strengths (CANS)
    • Quality Parenting Initiative
    • Kinship Guardianship and subsidized guardianships
  • Juvenile Justice System and Practice Changes
  • NM Family Advocacy Program/interdisciplinary model of legal representation

Changes in Federal and State policies and statutes and how New Mexico is addressing them

  • NM Fostering Connections Act – Extended Foster Care
  • Families First Act
  • Indian Family Protection Act (IFPA)
  • Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA)

Other Programs, Topics and Initiatives of Interest - with focus on New Mexico

  • Expecting and Parenting Youth with System Involvement
  • Resource Family Connections and Training- updates to Pre-Service Training for Resource Families
  • Substance use and the importance of harm reduction and an unbiased, non-judgmental approach.
  • Working with differently abled parents – ADA
  • Children’s Mobile Response and Stabilization
  • Infant Mental Health teams and Child Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) providers
  • High-Fidelity Wraparound and other Evidence Based Practice expansion throughout the behavioral health service array
  • Collaboration in an adversarial system (when, why, and how)
  • Data – How data can be used in the courtroom/how data can support, shift and support work
  • Examples of success stories and/or ideas for accepting and flourishing through change
  • Incorporation of family and youth voice into planning, implementation, and evaluation processes
  • Improving understanding of the legal processes related to child welfare and juvenile justice
  • Implementing the Children’s Court Improvement Commission 2021 – 2024 Strategic Plan https://centerofinnovationnm.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/CCIC_Strategic-Plan-2021-24-FINAL.pdf
  • Implementing accountability practices from within our systems (grievance processes, review boards, increased transparency, etc.)
  • Leveraging funding to increase community based behavioral health services
  • New Mexico Commission on Mental Health and Competency
  • People first language & non-labeling language
  • Successful implementation of solution-focused, prevention-based services

Racial Justice

  • Addressing racism in child welfare and/or juvenile justice systems
  • Addressing the intersection of immigration and child welfare
  • How system reforms address the intersectionality of race, poverty, and gender and the impact of reforms on outcomes
  • Proven approaches to address implicit bias, racism, homophobia, or transphobia, etc.
  • Violence prevention, alternatives to detention, and restorative justice
  • Working collaboratively with indigenous populations and sovereign governments within tribal systems

Youth & Families

  • Evolving models of family representation including multidisciplinary legal practice
  • How should systems be designed to focus on the well-being of families and communities?
  • Improving outcomes for youth aging out of CYFD (protective services and juvenile justice).
  • Youth voice – workshops/presentations led by system impacted youth about topics important to them
  • Family voice – workshops/presentations led by system impacted parents/families about topics important to them
  • Resources and services for children, youth and families in NM – what is available, how are we doing at meeting the needs in our communities, what needs remain unmet, and where are there service gaps? Including but not limited to:
          • Community based behavioral health services
          • Infant Mental Health and Child Parent Psychotherapy Services
          • Resources available for Native children and families
          • Support of and for kinship providers
          • Support for youth impacted by homelessness

Professional Development/Role Specific Training

  • Enhancing Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice Practice
  • Innovative approaches to wellness and self-care, understanding secondary trauma, mindfulness, etc.
  • Interdisciplinary collaboration between legal teams and social services; legal workshops for non-attorneys
  • Prevention & Response – substance misuse, sexual abuse, human trafficking, trauma, etc.
  • Sessions specifically for CASA, SCAC members, advocates, service providers etc.
  • Specialized skills training for social workers, case workers, supervisors, CASAs, and community partners.
  • Skill building for attorneys – motions practice, trial preparation and trial skills, understanding changes in the law and how they impact legal practice, mediation advocacy
  • Workshops for State and Tribal Judges – how changes in laws/policy should be addressed in the courtroom, what judges need to know about the education, medical, and social history of individuals and families, courtroom management/setting expectations for other professionals/holding parties and counsel accountable.

Covid-19 Pandemic Related

  • Trauma related to COVID-19 for children & families and/or practitioners
  • How covid has affected mental health and/or learning losses in youth

Submissions will continue to be accepted on a rolling basis through September

Questions? Email [email protected] or call at (505) 859-0541