Essential Staff in Therapeutic Residential Care: Exploring the expertise both for and from staff providing direct care in residential interventions



Deadline for receipt of proposals is December 31, 2020


Dear Interested Professionals,

The Association of Children’s Residential Centers seeks presentations for its Essential Staff in Therapeutic Residential Care International Virtual Conference, to be held February 24, 2021. 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.

There is no question that those individuals working directly with children and families are to be considered essential staff and their mastery of countless positive, relational moments are the building blocks of healing and thriving. We look forward to hearing from childcare workers, therapists, educators, and staff who support the daily therapeutic milieu.

Proposals that relate to direct care work will be considered with a preference for those that reflect innovative and effective practices. We seek presentations in the form of a 60-minute workshop that may be presented on a virtual, interactive platform within the 24-hour event timeframe, at the time of your preference.  This is an excellent opportunity to share your good work with the field!

Below are suggested themes to consider, however all papers relating to the general theme will be considered:

  • 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, independent living, partnering with local schools, police departments, emergency rooms, churches, and volunteers
  • 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, to name a few.
  • Preparing Young Adults as they age out of care: higher education, housing, permanency
  • Co-Occurring Disorders: the intersection of mental health and substance abuse, hearing impairment, developmental disability, and so on
  • Workforce Development: hiring and retaining staff, caring for the carers, staff diversity, training curriculum, creating a positive and healthy working environment
  • Resilience Building in youth, families, staff, 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, talking to youth about racial trauma
  • COVID-19 and the Workplace: new policies and procedures during the pandemic, building relationships, unique family engagement, distance learning, safety in the milieu
  • Youth/Family Voice: welcoming and respecting the voice of lived experience in treatment planning, organizational policies, staff hiring, policy making


Selection of Presentations Presentations for this 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. Do NOT market or sell a product, consultant, model or program
  5. 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 submissions during the vetting process

Presenter Attendance

ACRC extends a complimentary registration for this event to all presenters.

Presenter Responsibilities

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

  1. You will provide your power point presentation one month prior to the event 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.

*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 words or less prepared specifically for this request for papers and provide other requested information (bio, resume, photo, presentation experience)
  2. Designate a primary author in your proposal. Only that person will receive communication initially from ACRC and will then be responsible for informing any co-author/co-presenter(s).
  3. Deadline for receipt of proposals is December 31, 2020
  4. Submissions must be uploaded to our website


Questions may be directed to:

Amanda Prange +1 (414) 359-6548 or

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