Past Programs


Honoring The Expertise of Our Clients: Using their knowledge in and out of court to create sustainable change

Cross Training Dates
April 10 - May 8, 2015

Program Areas: Gallup, Las Cruces, Clovis, Albuquerque and Las Vegas

Over 300 Participants learned: the newly released Family Engagement Inventory, a tool to help professionals and volunteers use approaches more likely to effectively engage families and youth, and the basics of Motivational Interviewing, and explored methods to improve testimony about our clients' and our efforts.


Advocacy Training
(For GAL's, Youth Attorneys, and Counsel for Parents)
September 19, 2014
Albuquerque, NM

This 1-day training covered Advocating with Rules, Regs, Policy & Procedures, Appellate Issues, and an Improv training or Lawyers: Body, Brain, and Voice.

Essential Information for Practicing and Presiding in Child Welfare Cases:
A core curriculum for judges and lawyers

Albuquerque, NM
July 30 - August 1, 2014

2 1/2 day training is presented to judges and attorneys new to this area of the law, this "core curriculum" provides a comprehensive overview of the child welfare system, from investigation to appeal, emphasizing the constitutional and statutory requirements that apply to in-court proceedings and out-of-court events.

Enhancing Well-Being: Health Considerations for Families Involved in Child Welfare
April - May 2014
Program Areas: Roswell, Taos, Farmington, Albuquerque and Las Cruces

This program provided information on safety, permanency and well-being to enhance the well-being of our clients. This cross-training program provided an introduction to understanding the meaning of well-being and its many dimensions (cognitive functioning, physical health and development, mental and behavioral health, and social functioning), also described how the NM Children's Mental Health Code can be used to promote child and parent well-being, explained the different types of evaluations and assessments, and introduced developing policies for the use of psychotropic medications.

Children's Law Institute 2014
January 15-17, 2014 in Albuquerque

To view information about this year's conference: CLI website.


Parent's Representation Summit
Albuquerque, NM
October 29, 2013

This program was presented to parent's counsel and others involved in the child welfare system. The program emphasized the importance of high quality representation for parents. Judges, CCAs, GALs/YAs gave insight into how quality parent representation impacts their work and the case as a whole. State and national experts described the important practices and programs that have improved success for parents in child welfare cases.

Essential Information for Practicing and Presiding in Child Welfare Cases:
A core curriculum for judges and lawyers
Albuquerque, NM
August 1 & 2, 2013

This training was presented to judges and attorneys new to this area of the law, this "core curriculum" provided a comprehensive overview of the child welfare system, from investigation to appeal, emphasizing the constitutional and statutory requirements that apply to in-court proceedings and out-of-court events. New this year the core curriculum training began with two video conferences "Child Neglect: Essential Information" and "How a Family Enters the System", which were broadcasted to local district courthouses, then was followed-up with more in-depth information at the core training.

2013 Children’s Law Institute
January 9-11, 2013 in Albuquerque

To view information about this year's conference: CLI website.

From Trauma to Well Being: Trauma -Informed Practice and Courts
April 2013 - Carlsbad, Albuquerque, Taos, Gallup and Las Cruces Locations

This program brought in approx 475 attendess to this regional training. In this training participants learned that neurobiology, researchers and practitioners were developing ways to meet the needs of children and parents struggling with the impacts of trauma. By becoming familiar with and adopting some simple trauma-informed practices, participants learned how to recognize the causes and signs of acute, complex, chronic and historical trauma, were taught ways to reduce the traumatic reminders that trigger defensive or aggressive behaviors, learned why children and parents who seemed to be stabilized suddenly resume maladaptive behaviors, and the links between trauma, delinquency, and school failure. They also learned how to advocate for trauma assessments that can reduce misdiagnosis, promote positive outcomes, and maximize resources, and learned what trauma-informed services were available in their regional area.


2012 Children’s Law Institute
January 11-13, 2012 in Albuquerque
To view information about this year's conference: CLI website.

Noon Knowledge Seminar – “Dealing with Grief”
February 28, 2012 in Albuquerque
This 1 hour seminar was presented by the Gerard’s House.  The seminar included Natural Responses to Trauma and how it affects us and how grief manifests for children and teenagers.  Contact the office to inquire about availability of the course materials.  

Advanced Trial Practice for Child Welfare Attorneys
March 30, 2012
Building on the workshops conducted by Marvin Ventrell at the 2012 children’s Law Institute, this program focused on expert witnesses and included lecture, demonstrations and breakout practice sessions.  This one day training session was mainly for NM Contract Attorneys and Children’s Court Attorney’s.  There were a total of 50 participants who participated.

Cultural Matters: Best Practices in Indian Child Welfare Cases
May 4, 2012
Drawing an audience of nearly 110 participants, this presentation brought National experts Dr. Dolores Subia BigFoot (psychologist and Co-Director of the Indian Country Child Trauma Center), Margaret Burt (child welfare expert and  attorney), and Jill Tompkins (Director of the American Indian Law Program at the University of Colorado Law School and President of the National American Indian Court Judges Association).  The presentation helped participants understand how law, history, and culture  intersect when Indian children are involved in the child welfare system.  They offered judicial, legal, and social work best practices for implementing the requirements and spirit of the Indian Child Welfare Act.

Basic Child Advocacy Trial Skills Program
June 25 – 27, 2012 in Albuquerque, NM
This program focused on developing skills related to direct exam, cross exam of a fact witness, impeachment, making objections, controlling witnesses, introducing exhibits, laying a foundation, and making persuasive closing arguments. The goals of this program was to help participants improve their skills as trial lawyers and advocates. 

Child Abuse and Neglect: Essential Information for Practicing and Presiding in Child Welfare Cases
July 19-20, 2012 in Albuquerque, NM
This annual, 2-day training introduced the central legal concepts and practices unique to civil child abuse and neglect cases in New Mexico. Both new and experienced judges and attorneys, attended "core curriculum" which provided a comprehensive overview of the child welfare system, from investigation to appeal, emphasizing constitutional and statutory requirements that apply to in-court proceedings and out-of-court events. There were 29 participants at this year successful training. This program was videotaped and will be available soon on our website.

August 2012 - Education Stability:  Helping Children in Care Thrive
Recognizing the potentially devastating, long term impact of school changes, numerous laws require that children in care remain in their school of origin unless remaining is not in their best interests. This year's cross-training focused on how school stability decisions should be made, factors to be considered (such as placement stability, sibling contact, relative placements, and whether the current school is meeting the child's educational needs), who should be part of the decision-making process, when and how otherwise confidential information can be shared, and when an education decision maker should be appointed.

November 8-9, 2012 – Children and the Law (State and Tribal Judges who preside in Children's Court Cases)
With generous funding from the J.F. Maddox Foundation, the Corinne Wolfe Children's Law Center partnered with the National Judicial College and the New Mexico Judicial Education Center. About 15 judges attended this two-day event. Topics included, The Role in Dismantling the School-to-Prison Pipeline, Children as Witnesses, The Trauma-Informed Juvenile Court and Lessons Learned from the Models for Change Initiative. This was a very engaging and informative training for the judges.


Attorneys: MCLE Self-Study credits are available. Programs that are eligible are noted under the titles of the programs. Please be sure to refer to the rules and regulations of self-study credit requirements from the MCLE website.

Collaborative Responses to Domestic Violence and Child Abuse and Neglect
August 12, 2011 in Albuquerque.
Drawing an audience of nearly 250 participants, this Summit brought together members of the domestic violence advocacy community and the child welfare system to increase our understanding of how domestic violence and child maltreatment intersect and to discuss ways to improve coordination of services for the families involved. National experts, wisconsin Children's Court Judge Marshall B. Murray and Nancy Grigsby of the Ohio Domestic Violence Network, exploring the goals and principles of the child welfare system and domestic violence advocates, the impact of co-occurring domestic violence and abuse on children and parents, and the protective capacity of parents experiencing inimate partner violence.

2011 Child Abuse and Neglect: Essential Skills for Practicing & Presiding in Child Welfare Cases
April 7-8, 2011 in Albuquerque.
This 2-day training introduced the central legal concepts and practices unique to civil child abuse and neglect cases in New Mexico. This training was designed for both new and experienced judges and attorneys, this "core curriculum" provides a comprehensive overview of the child welfare system, from investigations to appeal, emphasizing constitutional and statutory requirements that apply to in-court proceedings and out-of-court events.

2011 Children's Law Institute
January 12-14, 2011 in Albuquerque.
To view information about this year's conference: CLI website.


2010 Safety Management and Decision making For The Child Welfare System
Statewide Judicial District Workshops - August thru December 2010
This day-long training introduced safety concepts and tools for decision-making. Some of the discussion addressed were:
— New approaches to safety assessment, planning, and management in New Mexico and nationally
— The concept of present and impending threats of danger
— The individual child's vulnerability to threats of danger
— The protective capacities of caregivers nd how they can control threats of danger
— The timing of safety assessments throughout the life of the case, and
— Our respective roles in assuring a child's safety

Admissibility of Electronic Evidence - November 12, 2010
Program Materials and DVD are Available.
This one hour seminar covered the rules of evidence as they apply to electronic media in children's court cases. Prof. Barbara Bergman, UNM School of Law presented this seminar.  Contact the office to inquire about availability of program materials.  

"The Role of the Judges in Managing Juvenile Sex Offense Cases: Keys to Informed Decision making" - October 1, 2010
This day-long training was designed to provide practical information to juvenile court and tribal judges and hearing officers about youth who engage in sexually abusive behavior, and to enhance their day-to-day decision making in these challenging cases. The training covered:
— Differences between juveniles and adults who commit sexual offenses
— Unique considerations for judges at key decision points throughout the juvenile court process
— Specialized assessments, treatment, and supervision approaches from the perspective of the judiciary
— Strategies for facilitating family engagement from the bench
— Local policies and practices for juvenile sex offenders, victims, and their families
— Roles the judiciary can assume in promoting effective juvenile sex offender management efforts

Child Abuse and Neglect:
Essential Information for Practicing & Presiding in Child Welfare Cases
April 8-9, 2010
The Courtyard by Marriott, Albuquerque

This annual, 2-day training introduces the central legal concepts and practices unique to civil child abuse and neglect cases in New Mexico. Perfect for both new and experienced judges and attorneys, this "core curriculum" provides a comprehensive overview of the child welfare system, from investigation to appeal, emphasizing constitutional and statutory requirements that apply to in-court proceedings and out-of-court events. Registration forms are available here: DOC | PDF

2010 Children’s Law Institute — January 13-15, 2010
Despite budget challenges and furlough days for state employees, this year's CLI drew nearly 900 participants. The program, Creating Opportunity in a Changing Economy, included three plenary sessions and over 35 workshops designed to stimulate creative thinking and implement innovative approaches in a climate requiring all of us to do more with less. Highlights of the CLI included presentations by Shay Bilchik, founder and Director of the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform at Georgetown University’s Public Policy Institute; Dr. Eileen Mayers Pasztor from the Department of Social Work, California State University, Long Beach; Judge James Payne, Director of the Indiana Department of Child Services; Judge Len Edwards, Judge-in-Residence at the Center for Families, Children & the Courts at the California AOC; and Dr. Donna Beegle, president of Communication Across Barriers and founder of Poverty Bridge. Presenters' materials will be available indefinitely on "Workshops" page of the CLI website.


Pacing Permanency: Promising Practices and Local Perspectives — September - December 2009
Throughout the fall, the Children's Law Center, working with the Court Improvement Project and the Administrative Office of the Courts, offered 13 Pacing Permanency programs around the state. After hearing some of New Mexico's foster youth describe their thoughts and feelings about permanency, the programs introduced data from each judicial district to provide a snapshot of what's happening locally for children, factors that may be contributing to abuse/neglect, and barriers to permanency. After considering promising practices from around the state and nation, the meetings then brought together all members of the child welfare system to brainstorm and create local action plans for achieving permanency for children and families--action plans that are already being implemented.

Babies Can't Wait: How Children's Court Can Address the Mental Health Needs of Maltreated Infants & Toddlers — November 13, 2009 — DVDs Available
This provocative and engaging program introduced the fact that even the youngest foster children can suffer mental health problems as a result of their abuse, neglect, and removal from their families that require special attention from our entire child welfare system. Looking first at the attachment and brain development problems that occur when young children are abused or neglected, we looked at how Infant Teams can be used in child welfare cases to assess infant and toddler mental health, provide coordinated and timely treatment to the infant and the family, and inform advocacy strategies and judicial decision-making. Then, turning to the legal side of the training, we focused on the existing legal framework for meeting the mental health needs of infants and toddlers, as well as immediate changes that lawyers and judges can make to improve outcomes for infants and toddlers without the creation of a formal Infant Team. The day ended with a description of the Infant Team being developed in New Mexico's 1st Judicial District. This entire program was videotaped for those who were unable to attend. If you are interested in viewing the program on DVD, please contact Anna Roybal.

Representing Parents in Civil Abuse and Neglect Cases: Trial Practice and Appellate Update — June 4, 2009
In this day-long program, attorneys who represent parents in Children’s Court learned about new child welfare cases and recent revisions to the Children's Code and Children's Court Rules, discussed ways to support their clients throughout the life of a case, and examined the impact of a civil abuse or neglect cases on parents' immigration status and ability to obtain various licenses. A considerable portion of the day was spent in a practical and entertaining review of evidentiary rules and advocacy skills, focusing on the use of hearsay rules in child welfare cases and effective techniques for cross-examination.

Separation and Attachment — April 3, 2009
Concepts and Strategies In and Out of the Courtroom
At this day-long training program sponsored by the Corinne Wolfe Children's Law Center, guardians ad litem and attorneys for youth in foster care gathered to learn concepts and strategies for use in and out of the courtroom to support their child client and include the child's voice. A highlight of the training was a moving and informative presentation by a former foster youth and her attorney. Participants also learned about attachment, options for maintaining connections with incarcerated parents, the challenges of transitioning to adulthood, and ethical considerations when shifting from GaL to Attorney.

Child Abuse and Neglect: Essential Information for Practicing & Presiding in Child Welfare Cases — April 23 & 24, 2009
This core curriculum was developed under a Court Improvement Project grant for judges and attorneys presiding or practicing in Children’s Court. Over two days, our expert faculty of children’s court judges, attorneys, a forensic pediatrician, and investigative and treatment social workers provided a comprehensive survey of the law, practices, and principles involved in child welfare cases.

One Child, Two Systems, Multiple Disciplines: Building Understanding to Help Children — February 6, 2009
Victor Vieth, Director of the National Child Protection Training Center, and other national faculty presented at a daylong, CJAAG-funded program addressing matters of common concern to professionals and volunteers who work in the criminal justice and child protection systems. This well-attended program was co-sponsored by the New Mexico Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs and the Corinne Wolfe Children’s Law Center.

16th Annual Children’s Law Institute — January 7-9, 2009
Held annually, the New Mexico Children’s Law Institute has become one of the largest children’s law conferences in the country. The 2009 Children’s Law Institute drew nearly one thousand people from around New Mexico. Attendees included judges, young people, attorneys, social workers, Juvenile Probation Officers, CASAs, citizen review board members, foster parents and community providers. This year’s program focused on Trauma: Foundations for an Effective Response and featured Dr. Bruce Perry of the TraumaAcademy and Charlie Appelstein, author of No Such Thing As a Bad Kid, as the keynote speakers.


Core Curriculum for Judges and Lawyers — April and November 2008
On April 3-4, almost 50 judges and attorneys participated in the field test of a new program, Child Abuse and Neglect: Essential Information for Practicing & Presiding in Child Welfare Cases. The program was repeated for 30 additional practitioners in November, 2008, and will be held again in April 2009. Funding permitting, the program will be offered once or twice each year to allow all judges and lawyers who work with children and families in the child welfare system to benefit from this comprehensive overview of fundamental principles and practices.

Educational Advocacy for Children and Youth in Foster Care — Fall 2008
To improve educational outcomes for children and youth in foster care, the CLC held regional cross-training programs on educational advocacy in 5 locations around the state this fall (Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Santa Fe, Carlsbad, and Gallup). The programs were co-sponsored by the NM Court Improvement Project and the Children, Youth and Families Department and attended by child welfare judges and attorneys, CYFD workers, CASA and CRB volunteers, counselors, educators, and foster parents.

Child Advocacy Training Institute — October 15-17, 2008
The New Mexico Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs and the CLC sponsored a nationally renowned intensive trial skills training program for attorneys in child welfare cases. The training was provided by the National Institute of Trial Advocacy, held at the UNM School of Law and funded by the NM Children’s Justice Act Advisory Group.

Juvenile Forensic Evaluations: Competency to Stand Trial and Treatment Amenability — May 30, 2008
In collaboration with CYFD and ValueOptions New Mexico, the CLC sponsored a day of training for Children’s Court judges, prosecutors and public defenders with Dr. Thomas Grisso, a nationally recognized expert in adolescent development and the juvenile justice system.

Youth Attorney Roundtable — April 14, 2008
Co-sponsored by the CLC, the New Mexico Court Improvement Project, Advocacy Inc., and Pegasus Legal Services for Children, the Youth Attorney Roundtable was a participatory dialog about the Youth Attorney model of representation in New Mexico. Over the course of the day, participants learned about this model, identified the strengths and challenges of direct representation of youth, considered the ethical issues raised by such representation, and discussed practical ways to improve the model.

Protecting Our Children & Families: Effective Court Orders & IV-E Eligibility — March 28, 2008
This symposium aimed to inform tribal leaders, judges, attorneys, advocates, and social workers, about the benefits, challenges, and requirements of entering into agreements with the State for IV-E foster care funding. Judge William Thorne, a former tribal court judge and currently on the Utah Court of Appeals, was the keynote speaker. The CLC cosponsored this event with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, CYFD, the American Indian Law Center, Inc., Casey Family Programs, Navajo Nation Division of Social Services, and the Indian Child & Family Resource Center.


Delinquency Program for Prosecutors and Defense Counsel
With funding support from the Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee, the CLC conducted a joint training for prosecutors and juvenile defenders on delinquency issues. This December 4, 2007 program was offered at the Hotel Albuquerque in conjunction with the 2007 NM Juvenile Justice Conference, which took place December 5-6.

Subtitled The Legacy of Gault: Professional Excellence in Delinquency Practice, the December 4 program recognized the importance of the practice of delinquency law on both sides of the aisle. Specific topics included: credibility and competency, ethical issues, and issues surrounding juvenile sex offenders, including implications of the Adams Walsh Act. Close to one hundred state and tribal prosecutors and defense attorneys from around the state attended the program.

Engaging Families and Preserving Connections: Best Practices in Children’s Court — Fall 2007
In its first set of regional cross-training programs, the CLC addressed best practices for engaging children, youth, parents, foster parents, extended family and community in court and treatment. The morning sessions focused on hearing the child’s voice in court and ensuring the foster parent’s right to be heard, while the afternoon sessions were on open adoption guidelines, best practices, and mediating post-adoption contact agreements. Three hundred people participated in the trainings held in Albuquerque, Roswell, Gallup, Santa Fe, and Las Cruces and co-sponsored by the Court Improvement Project and CYFD.

Older Programs

Regional Trainings on 2005 Changes to Children’s Code – Powerpoint Slides Available
The New Mexico Legislature passed most of the changes to the Children’s Code recommended by a 2004 statewide taskforce, including a number of changes to the provisions of the Code on delinquency, families in need of services, abuse and neglect cases, and adoption. The Legislature also passed a number of amendments to related laws, such as the Safe Haven for Infants Act and the laws on criminal record checks for CYFD employees and adults living in foster homes and proposed adoptive homes. All of these changes were the subject of day-long training programs that took place in Roswell, Las Cruces, Santa Fe, Farmington and Albuquerque in late June and early July, 2005. Open to the public, these programs drew a total of twelve hundred people. Anyone who missed them can take a look at Powerpoint presentations on the following topics:

  • Overview and Miscellaneous Changes PPT
  • Delinquency PPT
  • Abuse and Neglect PPT
  • Youth Attorneys PPT
  • Adoption PPT

The materials are also available in hard copy from the Institute of Public Law, which houses the Children’s Law Center.