25th Annual Champion for Children Child Abuse Prevention Conference

Every year, the Champion for Children Conference helps communities throughout the Big Country kick off Child Abuse Prevention/Awareness Month.

April 4-5, 2024

Who will benefit from this conference, click here.

About the Conference

The Annual Champion for Children Conference April 4-5, 2024, will be held in Abilene, Texas. Our Theme this year will be Painting a Better World for Children. The 1 1/2-day interdisciplinary conference will explore key themes related to resiliency in children and their families. This will include a focus on: Concepts and theories of resiliency in children and families across cultures, interventions that help build resiliency in children and families, including prevention and treatment, research methods and findings from the study of resiliency across cultures and contexts.

This conference will be of interest to law enforcement, clinicians, medical support nurses, family workers, social workers, therapists, educators, child advocates, youth workers, community workers and people form the voluntary sector.

Attendees will be able to share their work and ideas regarding factors that are critical to the child and family health, well-being and resilience. The conference will provide a unique opportunity to discuss and integrate the latest work and ideas involving resiliency theory, research and practice. It will reflect a wider discourse that will include solution-focused and various therapy perspectives. Presenters will follow the themes: Resilience and Cultural Issues- the Young Child- Family Work – Mental Health/Well-Being, Vulnerable Children/Young People – Education – Post-modern Perspectives and Research Methodologies and Legal Case studies.


Planning Committee

The purpose of this Champion for Children Conference Planning Committee is to help maximize the quality of the Annual Child Abuse Awareness Conference and providing feedback on how to handle high-level policy decisions and ways to engage agencies and other stakeholders about upcoming changes.

Diana Hall - Chair

​Heather Champion - BCFS - Vice Chair

Melissa Milliorn - ​Abilene VA Clinic - At Large

Lindsay Vaughn - BCFS - Secretary

Demory Bonilla-Cowell  - HSU Social Work - Treasurer

Janna Atkins - West Central Texas Council of Governments - TCOLE Provider

Det. Josh Ward - Abilene Police Department

Mia Parker - TX Dept. of Family and Protective Services - Awards Luncheon

John Graham - Taylor County Sheriff’s Office - TV Media

Kim Copeland - 2Ingage - Exhibitor and Sponsorship Chair

Will Meiron - 2Ingage - Exhibitor and Sponsorship

Dr. Lauren Cantrell - Hardin-Simmons University - CEU Provider

Beth Ferguson - Hardin-Simmons University - CEUs

Lee Ann Millender - CASA -

Angela Derrick - TX Department of Family and Protective Services - Social

Allison Wesson - New Horizons - Exhibitors and Sponsors

Colleen Rud - Regional Victim Crisis Center - CEUs

Cindy Fraizer - Abilene Recovery Council - Registration and Merchandise Chair

Brody Powell - Growth Point Counseling - Registration and Merchandise

Julisha Robinson - Noah Project - Photographer

Elena Schun - Noah Project - Exhibitors and Sponsors

Noreen White - Betty Hardwick ECI - Exhibitors and Sponsors

Dean Pye - Betty Hardwick Child and Adolescent Program - Registration and Merchandise

Shanna Shaeffer - TX Dept. of Family and Protective Services - Awards Chair

Brianna Vine - MCH - Awards