TNOYS’ annual conference is an oldie but a goodie! We’ve been hosting the conference for well over 30 years now, keeping some of the key features that have made it so popular over the years but also introducing new twists to keep our content fresh.
This year, as always, we’ll have the same great opportunities for learning, networking, and fun, but we’re also introducing a few new features. Read on to find out what’s new at the conference in 2017….
#1: A New Date
After hosting the conference in August for many years, we decided to move up the date this year and hold it in June instead. We hope this new date will prove more convenient for many of our attendees, since August can tend to be busy with vacations and preparations for the new school and fiscal years.
This year, our conference pre-institutes will take place on Tuesday, June 27, and the full conference will run from Wednesday, June 28 through Friday, June 30. We may have a new date this year but we loved our 2016 location so much, we’ll be returning to it again – the Westin Galleria in Houston. Click here for information about discount hotel rates for conference attendees.
#2: New Conference Partners
This year we have two new official conference partners: The Hogg Foundation for Mental Health and the Texas Council of Child Welfare Boards. The Hogg Foundation’s Young Mind Matters team will be helping to plan content for our parent/family track as well as provide support and scholarships for both our youth and family attendees. Youth and parents are returning again to the conference again in 2017 after participating for the first time last year. The Texas Council of Child Welfare Boards will help to further expand our attendee base by recruiting and planning workshops for their own members, who are community members involved in child welfare issues and Rainbow Room volunteers.
As in previous years, the Department of Family and Protective Services will once again be working with us on the conference, recruiting their executives as speakers and the foster care youth they work with to be attendees.
We are looking forward to giving our broad provider network the chance to learn together with both the youth and families we serve, and the community volunteers who support our work!
#3: Enhanced Programming for Administrators
Youth service providers are at the heart of our annual conference, and we’ve consistently incorporated content that is useful specifically for administrators, from regulatory updates to workshops on strengthening organizational capacity. This year, we’re taking an extra step to make the event informative for administrators, by getting input and approval of the conference program from the LCCA CEU board and adding a pre-institute specifically geared toward administrators.
This all means that those of you in leadership positions at your organizations who enjoyed the conference in previous years will have even more to look forward to this time around!
#4: A Recap of Legislative Session Outcomes
The 85th Texas Legislative Session has been an important one for youth services in Texas and TNOYS has been closely involved with policymaking that impacts our members across the state. By the time our conference kicks off, the session will have wrapped up and we’ll be ready to share with you the final results of all the hours of testimony and debate. We’ll have a special presentation during the conference devoted to sharing details about how debates over foster care capacity, mental health services, homeless youth support and more played out – and how it will impact your work.
Some Returning Features to Look Forward To
While we are excited about all the new plans for this year’s conference, we’re also looking forward to some old favorites we’ll be bringing back in 2017, including:
- Content that is the “perfect balance of head and heart” (in the words of a 2016 conference attendee)
- Inspiring keynote speakers
- Over 30 engaging, informative workshops and presentations
- Updates from DFPS executives
- Presentation of annual TNOYS member awards (nominate an individual or group here)
- The opportunity to earn 15 hours or more of professional CEUs
- FREE conference pre-institute sessions
We hope you’ll be able to join us in Houston in June for all of the great fun and learning you’ve come to expect from our conference over the years. Keep checking our conference web page for updates — we will continue to add new details about workshops, speakers, and other information as we get closer to the event.