2018 Colorado Child Welfare Conference Call for Presentations

Conference Overview

The Colorado Department of Human Services Division of Child Welfare (CDHS) is hosting a state conference for professionals involved in the child welfare system November 7-9, 2018 in Loveland, Colorado. The conference will focus on providing educational and inspirational opportunities for those who work in and around child welfare, offering in-depth coaching, skill building, interactive, adult-learning opportunities and networking. 

It is an important time for those working in the field of child welfare in Colorado to come together. The Family First Prevention Services Act is meant to transform the child welfare system as we know it today. Meanwhile, Colorado is in the process of finalizing a performance improvement plan (PIP) with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families Children’s Bureau (Children’s Bureau) to address areas in child welfare needing improvement; and CDHS is beginning the process of drafting a new state Child and Family Services Plan (CFSP), which is essentially a five-year strategic plan for child welfare. This conference will serve an important role in helping Colorado achieve the strategies, goals and activities outlined in the PIP and provide an opportunity for stakeholders to help inform the development of the CFSP.

PLEASE NOTE: Presentations that relate to the PIP are given greater consideration in the scoring criteria outlined below. The PIP has not been finalized yet and is currently being reviewed by the Children’s Bureau; however, potential presenters are strongly encouraged to review the latest version of Colorado’s PIP which can be downloaded HERE.

Potential Presenters

CDHS is soliciting presentations from innovative experts from throughout the United States, and around the world. Our intention is to offer professionals working in Colorado’s child welfare workforce an opportunity to consider new and emerging and best practices, trends, and research related to the children, youth and families they serve.

Additionally, Colorado is well-known throughout the nation for leading innovative practice changes to improve our child welfare system. CDHS would like to offer Colorado health and human service departments, local coalitions and collaborations and community-based nonprofits the opportunity to showcase innovative practices and effective programs serving children, youth and families involved in the child welfare system and the prevention of child abuse and neglect.    

Presentations from state employees within the Colorado Department of Human Services and other Colorado state departments are welcomed. If you are a state employee and interested in presenting information at the conference, please email lorendia.schmidt@state.co.us.

Conference Theme and Topics of Interest

The theme for the 2018 Colorado Child Welfare Conference is “Inspiration. Innovation. Illumination”, designed to inspire child welfare employees in their work, discover new innovative ways to complete their job and illuminate the successes and trials they face in their line of work.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

Family engagement and trauma informed care

  • Family search and engagement
  • Fatherhood engagement
  • Engagement and support for LGBTQ children, youth, and families
  • Prevention services
  • Post-permanency support
  • Embed family-centered practices across the child welfare continuum
  • Expand the use of kin for out of home placements and permanent connections
  • Trauma informed care

Continuous quality improvement

  • The use of data to improve child welfare practice
  • Continuous quality improvement process
  • Improve timeliness to permanency for children/youth
  • Screen out referrals and early intervention
  • Achieve timeliness of initial response to abuse/neglect of assessments

System innovation, policy and collaboration

  • Evidence-based programs, strategies, emerging practices
  • Best practices serving children from birth to five
  • Improve statewide data system and licensing
  • Early childhood and child welfare collaborations
  • HB1451 Collaborative Management Program and fostering collaboration with child welfare services
  • Cross-over youth models
  • Family First Prevention Services Act
  • Strategies, goals and activities outlined in Colorado’s Program Improvement Plan.
  • Increase collaboration and multi-system coordination across systems to improve services
  • Community outreach


  • Inspirational stories of success related to the field of child welfare
  • Workforce resilience
  • Strategies to address secondary trauma
  • Retention of foster families

Scoring Criteria

Presentation proposals will be scored on the following criteria, allocating the points listed below for a maximum total of 100 points. Please take these criteria into consideration as you prepare presentations. Only presentations proposals that answer all the application questions will be scored.

Workshop presentation proposals must address all of the criteria listed below:

  1. Relates to the conference theme “Inspiration. Innovation. Illumination.” and topics of interest, as described in the call for presentations (20 points)
  2. Research outcomes and promising practices (20 points)
  3. Clear learning objectives (15 points)
  4. Clearly identifies the relationship to a PIP strategy, goal or activity (15 points)
  5. Cultural inclusivity and humility (10 points)
  6. Application for policy, practice and advocacy (10 points)
  7. Resources for practitioners (5 points)
  8. Interactive presentation style and clear application of adult learning theory (5 points)

Presenter FAQs

Who attends the conference?

Colorado’s child welfare system is state supervised and administered by Colorado's 64 counties. The CDHS Division of Child Welfare oversees child welfare practice, provides policy direction and provides 80 percent of the funding for services. Counties contribute approximately 20 percent of the funding through local revenues. It is anticipated that many of the more than 2,100 local county child welfare case workers and supervisors will attend the conference along with administrative staff in the county human services departments and employees at the Colorado Department of Human Services Division of Child Welfare.

In addition, practitioners adjacent to the child welfare system are also encouraged to attend to learn more about child welfare practices. Those professionals would include contracted behavioral providers, therapists, educators, attorneys and advocates. 

Who selects the presentations?

Members of the Training Steering Committee, the Colorado Child Welfare Training System and the CDHS Division of Child Welfare will participate on a Conference Planning Committee and evaluate and score presentation submissions based on the outlined criteria to inform the selection process. The CDHS Division of Child Welfare Training Unit Manager will ultimately select presentations based on the Conference Planning Committee member presentation scores, CDHS priorities and topics of interest, presenter availability and budget.                                           

Will a presenter per diem be provided?

The budget for the conference has not been finalized. CDHS may be able to provide a per diem to select presenters. The electronic presentation application does provide space to request financial compensation. If your presentation is selected, you will be notified if CDHS is able to provide the requested per diem.

Is travel included in the per diem?

Presenters are responsible for travel and lodging accommodations, and other associated costs for this conference. These fees and costs will not be reimbursed. For lodging block and travel information, please stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.

Will conference organizers be providing presentation materials to attendees?

Presentations materials will be provided to attendees electronically utilizing a conference app. If your presentation requires printed materials, the presenter will be required to provide those materials during the presentation.

When will presenters be notified?

Notification will be sent out electronically to the main contact on all proposals no later than Monday, September 17, 2018.

Additional FAQ will be posted at www.co4kids.org/CCWC as they are received.

Proposal Application Elements

Download the Call for Presentations to review content that will need to be submitted online. Please consider the scoring criteria when responding to the application.


  • August 1, 2018  Open call for presentations
  • August 29, 2018  Deadline to submit proposal 
  • August 30 – September 12  Proposal review and scoring 
  • September 17, 2018  Electronic notification of proposal selections


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