The first annual Putting Family First, From Family Strengthening to Adoption Conference is scheduled to take place in Washington D.C. from June 21 — 23, 2015. The conference will include workshops and presentations given by an array of speakers who are focused on helping children grow up in safe, protective, permanent, loving families. It will include lectures, workshops, and exhibits as well as an environment for attendees to network and form friendships. This conference is being provided to the public by the Joint Council on International Children’s Services and the National Council For Adoption.

Registration for child welfare professionals is available now by filling out the application online or calling 703-299-6633. Those wishing to provide an exhibit are invited to select from many options listed here. Organization and carrying out of a conference of this magnitude requires a lot of resources. Sponsors are welcome and may donate at a variety of levels.

Scholarships are available for adoptees and foster care alumni. Application must include a 250 — 450 word essay on the topic “What does family mean to you?”.  Scholarships are provided by the Gladney Center for Adoption. Winners of the essay contest will receive free admission to the conference and the winning essays will be published on the NCFA blog.  Applicants must be 18 years of age or older. The scholarship is for registration only and doesn’t include travel or accommodations.

Following the conference, the NCFA will hold an Advocacy Day on Thursday, June 25, 2015. This event is free to all attendees, but does require online registration. The day will begin at 10:00 AM with a presentation, How to Talk to Congress. Following this presentation, from 11:00 AM — 3:00 PM, personal meetings will be scheduled for attendees to visit with representatives from their states. Those traveling to Washington D.C. for the conference and attending Advocacy Day will be able to share in a discounted hotel rate.