Call for Papers - NOW OPEN

San Diego, CA • April 6-9, 2020


Dear Interested Professionals,

The Association of Children’s Residential Centers seeks presentations for its 64th Annual Conference, to be held April 6-9, 2020. The outstanding success of 60+ years of ACRC conferences can be attributed to the timely and innovative contributions from our members and their colleagues. We invite you to join us in raising the bar of excellence across our field.

In 2020 we find ourselves in Southern California, which conures up images of beaches, parks and the famed San Diego zoo. It's also a community on the border and a community saturated with military personnel and their families, posing unique challenges for mental health providers, to be sure. 

Several broad topics will illuminate the theme. Proposals that relate to the suggested topics will be considered as well as papers focusing on other topics that reflect innovative and effective practices. We seek presentations in the form of a 90-minute workshop as well as in a poster format for our poster presentation session. Both are an excellent opportunity to share your good work with the field at large.

We ask that each potential presenter submit only one presentation for consideration.

Below are suggested themes which ACRC’s program committee requests be the focus of submissions:

- Demonstration of the specific, planned integration of the content of ACRC’s position papers to improve service delivery, please find our position paper series here:

- Partnering with Communities: Community based services, local schools, police departments, emergency rooms, churches, volunteers, independent living.

- Innovative Organizational Operations: Managing managed care, peer leadership, succession planning, social entrepreneurship, blending for and non-profit models.

- Practices Informed by Neurobiology, Evidence, Trauma, Cultural and Linguistic Competence.

- Transformational Milieu:  Eliminating restraint and seclusion, integrating non-verbal therapies, relational interactions, innovative practices, removing points and levels.

- Serving Specialized Populations: Migrant Children, Children of Military Personnel, CSEC, Autism, Transgender, Juvenile justice, as examples.

- Preparing Young Adults as they age out of care.

- Co-Occurring Disorders: Substance abuse and mental health, hearing impaired and mental health, developmentally disabled and mental health.

- Workforce Development:  Hiring and retaining staff, caring for the carers, succession planning.

- Resilience Building in youth, families and communities.

- Cultural Sensitivity, Inclusion, and Promotion: Understanding and appreciating cultural differences and similarities; the right to express and interpret culture; how culture is used as a primary resource to achieve outcomes that are meaningful to that family as the language and actions used to define and measure outcomes is saturated in heritage, legacy and connection to the past, present and future.

-Executive Skills Development: Board/administration relations, fundraising, media relations, succession planning

Selection of Presentations

Presentations for our annual conference are carefully chosen by ACRC’s Program Committee. The committee will be looking for papers/presentations which:

1. Model best practice and innovation. 

2. Use people-first language and incorporate family-driven, youth-guided values. *

3. Include youth and/or family members as co-presenters. ACRC will comp registrations and hotel accommodations for young people presenting at our annual conference. *

4. Include outcomes data

5. Presentations may NOT market or sell a product, consultant, model or program

6. Embrace the principles outlined in ACRC’s Redefining Residential Series as well as the Building Bridges Initiative, all of which can be found on our website at

*Extra weight will be given to these submission during the vetting process

Presenter Attendance
ACRC extends a $100 registration discount to the person identified as the primary presenter and a $50 discount to any secondary presenters for anyone wishing to be a full conference attendee.

Presenter Responsibilities
Should your presentation be selected*, you would be responsible for the following:

1. You will give all A/V, room set-up, and other logistical requirements to the ACRC by 2/1/20 and work with ACRC to assure logistical requirements are met. Additionally, you will provide information about co-presenters (name, title, organization, contact information) to ACRC.
2. You will give your presentation in the allotted time, allowing for questions, and will not use this opportunity to market any product or program to attendees.
3. You will submit a full paper or power point no later than 2 weeks before the conference to be shared with conference attendees on our website:
*Submission of a paper means that you understand and agree to these responsibilities.

Guidelines for Submission of Proposals

1. Complete the online submission with an abstract of 500-700 words prepared specifically for this request for papers and provide other requested information.
2. Designate a primary author in your proposal. Only that person will receive communication from ACRC and will then be responsible for informing any co-author/co-presenter(s).
3. Deadline for receipt of proposals is Monday, August 19th, 2019
4. Submissions must be uploaded to our website


You will be asked to submit the following, all of which are REQUIRED for submission.
Please have these items ready BEFORE starting the submission process. Once you start, you will need to finish, or start over from the beginning.

There is NO option to save and return later. 

You will be asked to submit the following:
1. Abstract: 500-700-word abstract of your proposed presentation
2. Topic
a. Focus of presentation
b. How presentation relates to conference topic
c. Whether the presentation will be clinical, theoretical, or researched based
3. Bio and Resume: A short (4-6 line ONLY) biographical statement and your resume (5 pages max) for all presenters.
4. Learning goals
a. Learning goals for participants
b. Two true/false or multiple-choice questions participants will be able to answer if they are present
5. Brief description of your presenting experience.
6. Photos of all presenters.

Questions may be directed to:

Amanda Prange (414) 359-6548 or