Beyond the Basics: Best Practices in Child Welfare Advocacy
October 19-20, 2012

About the Conference

From the emergency hearing to final trial, children in foster care face countless issues that demand strong advocacy. This conference will cover how best to represent your child client and address issues vital to a child’s success while in care. Presentations from experts in the field will include: educational services, assessments, visitation, the family service plan, immigration, ethics and transitioning youth.

Conference Details

  • Location: University of Houston Law Center (Click for address and directions)
  • Date: Friday, October 19 & Saturday, October 20, 2012.
  • CLE Hours: 13 hours (Family Law), including 3 ethics hours

Conference Agenda:

      Friday, October 19, 2012

      8:00-9:00 AM Check-in and On-Site Registration
      9:00 AM Welcoming Remarks
      Professor Ellen Marrus
      9:15 AM Strategies at the Show Cause Hearing
      Miriam Riskind
      10:30 AM Family Service Plans: Opportunities for Child Advocacy
      Judge Bonnie Crane Hellums and Dr. Connie Almeida
      11:45 AM Lunch
      12:15 PM Best Practices in Court Oversight of Psychotropic Meds
      Associate Judge John Hathaway, Travis County and Ian Spechler, Special Project Attorney, Disability Rights Texas-Austin
      2:00 PM Accessing Services Outside CPS
      Chloe Walker
      3:00 PM Immigration & Child Welfare
      James De La Cruz, Federal Field Specialist Division of Unaccompanied Children's Services and Kristin Zipple-Shedd, Supervising Attorney
      4:00 PM

      Ethical Issues in Child Representation
      Judge Angela Ellis

      Saturday, October 20, 2012

      9:00 AM Educational Rights of Children in Foster Care
      Dustin Rynders
      10:45 AM Visitation: An Essential Tool in Achieving Permanency
      Katrina Griffith and Dr. Connie Almeida
      11:30 AM Representing the Child in Termination Hearings & Preserving the Record
      Bill Thursland
      12:30 PM Lunch
      1:30 PM Texas Children in Long-Term Foster Care: Outcomes, Court Hearing Practices, and Court Costs
      Rebecca Lightsey and Brett Merfish, Texas Appleseed
      2:45 PM Legal Issues for Transitioning Yout h
      Mary Christine Reed
      4:00 PM Ethical Considerations with Mandatory Reporting
      Professor Ellen Marrus and Valerie Brock

Recommended Conference Hotel

Registration Fee

  • $70 if you register early by Friday, October 12, 2012
  • $100 if you register after Friday, October 12, 2012
  • FREE for current University of Houston law students.
    To register, e-mail us and we'll place you on the registration list.

Register Online through Paypal

  • All paid registration includes a Visitor Parking pass. You will receive the pass upon checking in at the event.
  • PRICE: $70 (through October 12th)
Texas State Bar No. (for CLE):
Firm/Agency Name:

Register by Mail

  • Print and return the printable Conference Registration Form.
  • Include your registration check payable to "UHLC/CCLP"
  • Send the form and payment check to:
    • University of Houston Law Center
      Center for Children, Law & Policy
      100 Law Center
      Houston, TX 77204-6060


  • Please do not hesitate to e-mail us if you have any questions or concerns!