National Child Welfare Association

2015 NICWA Annual Conference
Conference Agenda and Workshops


Lauren Shapiro

Events Manager

(503) 222-4044, ext. 118

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We're excited to announce that the world-famous sketch comedy group, the 1491s, have confirmed as the headlining entertainment for our conference banquet on Tuesday, April 21, 2015, at the Hilton Portland and Executive Towers in downtown Portland.

Conference attendees automatically receive one banquet ticket as part of their registration fees. However, NICWA is also releasing a limited number of banquet tickets to the public for purchase. Now, those who want to see the 1491s can join us even if they do not attend the conference. Buy your banquet-only tickets here.

You've seen them on The Daily Show. You've watched their videos online. Now join us for an evening of entertainment and good food while supporting our cause. In addition the  NICWA banquet will feature a reception, silent auction, and announcing the 2015 Champion for Native Children. Items such as a mini iPad, jewelry, and area attractions are just a few examples of the exciting items in the silent auction. 

Agenda-at-a-Glance / Listing of Workshops

Conference Schedule-at-a-Glance

Sunday, April 19
3:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.

4:30 p.m.
Presenter Orientation

6:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.
Reception/Annual Membership Meeting

Monday, April 20
7:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

8:30 a.m.–Noon
Opening General
Session/Keynote Speaker

1:30 p.m.–5:00 p.m. Workshops A and B

Tuesday, April 21
7:30 a.m.–Noon

8:30 a.m.–10:00 a.m.
General Session

10:30 a.m.–Noon
Workshop C

1:30 p.m.–5:00 p.m.
Workshops D and E

6:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m.
Dinner Banquet

Wednesday, April 22
8:30 a.m.–10:00 a.m.
Workshop F

10:30 a.m.–Noon
Closing General Session/Keynote Speaker

Workshop Tracks

Data and Research

Learn about current research in the fields of Indian child welfare, children’s mental health, and youth development. Learn how to use data to evaluate and improve program services, and hear from tribal and urban Indian community programs that are using evidence-based practices or are establishing and documenting new best practice models. Learn how to share data effectively across systems, integrate data systems among tribal programs, develop tribal or community-based management information systems, and use data to inform budget and programming decisions.

Child Welfare, Foster Care, and Adoption Services

From grant writing for child welfare programs to implementing differential response and identifying best practices in family team decision making, you are sure to find the latest and most up-to-date information. Explore topics including providing effective prevention services and planning for youth engagement while establishing transitional services.  Workshops will support improvements in your child welfare, foster care, and adoption services as well as the skills of program staff, which could impact your program, tribe, and community for generations to come.

Children's Mental Health

Leaders in the field of children’s mental health will share experience and information on the issues that impact Indian children everywhere. Learn how to support and nurture families dealing with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and empower young people using new community engagement techniques. Learn about Systems of Care, how to address the difficult topic of youth suicide, and what can be done to change the future for young people to bring promising results.  Incarceration is a common result of historical trauma; explore new techniques for culturally appropriate services, including traditional healing and other ways to heal our children, families, and communities.

Youth and Family Involvement

Youth and families are the experts in their own lives; they should have an active role in their care management. Learn to engage youth and families involved with systems in an empowering, strengths-based way. Gain insight on trauma-informed methods of engaging youth and families in productive ways; learn steps to developing successful youth leaders. Get to know what diverse AI/AN communities across the country are currently doing and have done in the past to involve Native youth and families. Reflect on what your community can do to improve youth involvement and family engagement at every level, ensuring that youth and families have decision-making power in systems.

Legal Affairs and Advocacy

The well-being of AI/AN children and families is impacted by tribal, federal, and state laws and policies that guide practice in child welfare, juvenile justice, and mental health services. In this track, participants will learn about these laws and policies and how they are implemented. Workshops will discuss effective legal practice on behalf of AI/AN children and families, programmatic challenges to implementing federal policies, tribal code development, innovative tribal court practices, intergovernmental agreements, and how effective collaboration can lead to meaningful systems change.

Workshops for management and administrators will be highlighted! These workshops will focus on topics including funding, leadership, and administrative planning.