The 22nd National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect (NCCAN) was held virtually on July 27—29, 2021. More than 1,200 people participated in sessions that addressed advancing equity, prioritizing prevention, focusing on well-being, reshaping foster care as a support for families, building community capacity, and supporting the workforce.
The conference theme, Thriving Children and Families: Prevention with Purpose, reflected the Children’s Bureau’s resolve to be proactive and intentional in making sure that every family is safe and secure; keeping families together and strong; and supporting families in getting the help they need before a breakdown occurs.
This first virtual conference built on an NCCAN history that began 45 years ago, in 1976. As the federal government’s only national conference addressing child abuse and neglect, NCCAN has served as a vital forum for tackling our field’s most challenging issues, exchanging viewpoints, reviewing research, examining policies and practices, and sharing lessons learned.
NCCAN has always been distinctive in the deep diversity of its participants, including parents, volunteers, researchers, policymakers, and professionals from a wide diversity of disciplines who share a common commitment to ensuring the well-being of children and families.
Children’s Bureau Champion Awards
The 2021 Children’s Bureau Champion Awards recipients were announced during the 22nd NCCAN. The Champion Awards honor individuals or groups who have made exceptional contributions to promoting the health and well-being of children and families. The 2021 Children’s Bureau Champion Award recipients are:
For Advancing Equity:
- Corey Best, founder of Mining for Gold, Incorporated
For Building Community Capacity:
- The Honorable Amy L. Nechtem, Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Juvenile Court
- Think Of Us, in Washington, D.C.
For Preventing Child Maltreatment:
- Dr. Melissa Merrick, President and CEO of Prevent Child Abuse America
- FIRST Legal Clinic, of Everett, Washington
For Promoting Child and Family Well-being:
- Cosette Mills, Federal Operations Administrator for the State of Utah Division of Child and Family Services, in Salt Lake City
- Truancy Prevention Outreach Program in Las Vegas, Nevada
For Reshaping Foster Care as a Support for Families:
- Carole Shauffer and Jennifer Rodriguez of the Youth Law Center in San Francisco, California
For Supporting the Workforce:
- Mark Harris, Executive Director of The Pelican Center for Children & Families, in New Orleans, Louisiana
- Maine Behavioral Healthcare’s Department of Clinical Innovation, in Portland, Maine