The Call For Abstracts is closed.

Call for Abstracts

The Call For Abstracts is closed.

The Children’s Bureau’s Office on Child Abuse and Neglect (CB/OCAN) is committed to offering a program featuring a cadre of compelling and thought-provoking speakers. We welcome the submission of abstracts that address a wide range of topics of interest and importance to those engaged in promoting the well-being of children and families. We are interested in proposals representing a diversity of backgrounds, communities, and perspectives including: urban, suburban, and rural areas; racial and ethnically diverse populations; and involvement at the national, state, and local levels. We also strongly encourage the participation of consumers, parents, and young people with lived child welfare experience, and other community partners as session presenters.

To achieve CB/OCAN’s vision, the 21st NCCAN will offer diverse sessions addressing current approaches, policies, strategies, programs, and practices in the following five target areas.

1 Prioritize Prevention

Nurturing and safe family relationships are key to child well-being. Prioritizing families and focusing on primary prevention, through flexible funding and community-based services that strengthen the protective capacities of all parents, will help children and their families thrive. We must also focus our interventions in ways that prevent unnecessary placements, keep children in their communities and schools, and build family strengths as a primary intervention. This track explores a variety of topics related to primary prevention, in-home services, family engagement, and other service innovations intended to support families and keep children with their families.

2 Focus on Well-Being

We should ensure that our interventions support the physical, emotional, and psychological well-being of all children and families. This track explores a wide variety of topics relevant to the social, educational, economic, behavioral, cognitive, and relational well-being of children and families. We particularly welcome sessions focused on measuring well-being, addressing trauma, strengthening protective factors, and building resilience.

3 Reshape Foster Care as a Support for Families

Engagement with the child welfare system should have positive impacts on children and families—equipping parents and caregivers with enhanced protective factors, skills, and supports to safely care for their children and improve child well-being. Even when parents are unable to keep their children safe at home, children need to feel connected to their parents, siblings, and relatives. Parents should remain actively involved with their children in foster care in safe and healthy ways, with foster and birth families working together to support children and ensure successful reunification whenever possible. This track explores innovations in child welfare practice with a special emphasis on efforts that keep families meaningfully engaged and connected, even when out-of-home care is necessary. We welcome sessions highlighting approaches that promote the active involvement of parents in their children’s lives while in out-of-home care, promote healthy relationships between birth and foster parents, provide timely and successful reunification, address kinship care, and avoid unnecessary family separation and trauma.

4 Build Community Capacity

Primary prevention of maltreatment and a focus on well-being occur best in the communities where children and families live, and cannot be the work of child welfare alone. A wide array of stakeholders and systems must work together, guided by the communities they serve, to build programs and systems that get needed supports to families where they are and when they need it. This track explores ideas and initiatives for leveraging diverse community-based partnerships to better serve children and families. We especially invite proposals related to reaching rural communities, engaging non-traditional partners, and moving beyond traditional services.

5 Support the Workforce

To serve families well, we must have a strong, competent, and healthy workforce. An effective child welfare system requires social workers, attorneys, and service providers to have adequate supports and supervision, manageable workloads, and the skills needed to do their work well. Inspire, competent leadership can garner the support of community partners, staff, and families on the path to meaningful and sustained improvement. This track explores ideas and initiatives for supporting the child welfare workforce in ways that enhance their effectiveness and ensure their well-being. We especially invite proposals related to addressing secondary traumatic stress, creating a safe and supportive organizational culture, and reducing staff turnover.

The Abstract Review Process

All abstracts submitted that meet minimal acceptance requirements (i.e., submitted by the deadline, contain sufficient information in each of the required elements for reviewers to make rating decisions) will be reviewed by a minimum of three qualified individuals. Proposals will be scored in each of the required proposal elements.

The Children’s Bureau reserves the right to make all final decisions regarding which proposals to accept.

We anticipate that those submitting abstracts will be notified as to whether or not their proposal has been accepted no later than mid-December 2018.