Frequently Asked Questions

38th Annual Virtual Protecting Our Children Conference
March 30–April 1, 2020

How was the decision to cancel the conference made? Why is the conference being cancelled?

The National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA) Board of Directors and staff have made the difficult decision, after careful consideration and comprehensive evaluation of currently available information related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, to cancel the 38th Annual Protecting Our Children Conference in Denver, Colorado, scheduled to take place Sunday, March 29–Wednesday, April 1. NICWA has been closely monitoring and following recommendations for best practices as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Supporting the health and well-being of Native children and families is central to NICWA’s mission, and keeping people safe, especially during these rapidly developing circumstances, is paramount. As the largest national gathering of advocates for American Indian and Alaska Native children and families, we recognize our responsibility to consider the safety of families, tribes, and communities and not convene a large public gathering.

What is the 38th Annual Virtual Protecting Our Children Conference?

The 38th Annual Virtual Protecting Our Children Conference will be an opportunity for attendees to participate in the conference from their communities. We will highlight several keynote presentations as well as workshops available to view as webinars. The virtual conference will take place over the same dates as conference: March 30–April 1. You can see a complete schedule of the event here.

How can I register for the virtual conference?

You can register here.

Do I need to cancel my hotel room?

Yes. NICWA is not responsible for cancelling your hotel room and will not be reimbursing travel costs. Please contact the hotel directly to cancel your room reservation.

Will the 38th Annual Protecting Our Children Conference be rescheduled to take place later this year? 

The 38th Annual In-Person Protecting Our Children Conference will not be rescheduled to take place later this year as a result of the uncertainty the current COVID-19 pandemic. We want to ensure that our conference attendees will have an opportunity to access programming as planned since we don’t have a clear sense of what the next several months will hold.

Will paid attendees be refunded?

Paid attendees will be refunded the full amount paid minus $150, which will be transferred to registration for the virtual conference program, including a schedule of workshop and keynote presentations.

Will exhibitors and vendors be refunded?

In response to this unique situation, NICWA will refund paid exhibitors and vendor booth spaces in full.

How will refunds be issued?

Refunds will be issues via check. Please fill click “request a refund” and fill out our form by June 1 in order to request your refund. Checks will be mailed out within 45 days of receipt.

Will attendees and exhibitors be refunded for airline tickets?

No. NICWA will not refund individual airline tickets. Please contact your airline directly regarding ticket cancellations. If you purchased travel insurance, please contact your provider for information and next steps.

Will any sessions be made available virtually?

Yes, virtual sessions will take place during Monday, March 30–Wednesday, April 1. You can see a complete schedule of our virtual conference at here.

Will recordings of the virtual sessions be available?

Yes, a recording of the 38th Annual Virtual Protecting Our Children Conference will be sent out to participants following the virtual event.

Will next year’s NICWA conference take place?

At this point, we are moving forward with planning for the 39th Annual Protecting our Children Conference in Seattle, Washington, on April 11–14, 2021. As information on COVID-19 develops, we will keep you apprised with any changes to the program.

Does NICWA plan on cancelling any other upcoming events?

At this point, NICWA is moving forward with all upcoming scheduled events other than our April Training Institute which is being cancelled. We will contact you with any changes to the schedule. Our priority is to keep attendees and communities safe and healthy.

Can volunteers attend the virtual event?

Volunteers are welcome to attend the virtual event. Check your email account during the week of March 16 for more information.

I already cancelled due to COVID-19, can I still attend?

All registrants who cancelled due to COVID-19 have been re-registered and are able to attend.

What technology is needed for the virtual event?

All that is needed is a phone line. To enhance your experience it is recommended that you have a computer with internet and sound.

Can I get a full refund instead of a partial refund if I am not interested in attending the virtual event?

Unfortunately, we are only able to give partial refunds.

Are CEU or CLEs still available for the virtual conference?

Due to the changes in moving our programming to an online format, we are unfortunately no longer able to offer CEU or CLEs.

Who do we contact for questions?

Please contact us at with any questions. Note that we are understandably receiving a high volume of emails and phone calls at this time. Please be patient as we get through them as quickly as we are able.