Who We Are

Champion for Children mission is to design a 2-day Conference to energize and mobilize people to put into action ideas that will improve the lives of abused children in our communities and to provide leadership on child abuse issues.


19th Annual Champion for Children Child Abuse Prevention Conference

Every year in March, Champion for Children helps by leading communities throughout the state kick off Child Abuse Prevention/Awareness Month with their annual conference.

March 23rd & 24th, 2018

Who will benefit from this conference, click here.

About the Conference

The Annual Statewide Champion for Children Conference March 23th and 24th 2018 will be held in Abilene Texas. Our Theme this year will be It Starts With Us! The two-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. Our Second Day will also include a focus on Infant and Toddler Resiliency and care.


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.

Lori Bunton - Regional Victim Crisis Center

Shaun Bustillos - Regional Victim Crisis Center

Chasity Williams - Regional Victim Crisis Center

Diana Hall - Regional Victim Crisis Center

Janna Atkins - West Central Texas Council of Governments

​Melissa Milliorn - ​Hardin-Simmons University

Donald Dolton - Pathways Youth and Family Services

Carl Leake - Betty Hardwick Center

Melanie Copeland - Zarrow Foundation

Lindsey Morris - TX Dept. of Family and Protective Services

Mia Parker - TX Dept. of Family and Protective Services

Rosa Rodriguez - Region XIV Education Service Center

Det. Erin Bennett - Abilene Police Department

Lt. Joe Tauer - Abilene Police Department

John Graham - Taylor County Sheriff’s Office

Carley Martinez - Noah Project

Cynthia Diane Bradley - RVCC/Community

Syd Simonton - RVCC/Community

Megan Harbin - Methodist  Children’s Home

Samantha Manske - Mental Health America Abilene

Andrea Cruce - Superior Health

LaKiesha White - ARCADA

Alice DeLaGarza - New Horizons

Buff Bustillo - Photography

Susie Striegler RN - Hendrick Health Services

Pam Sites - Abilene Convention & Visitors Bureau

Sandra Shirley - CASA

Angela Sharpe - CASA

Melissa Holmans - Baptist Children and Families

Patty Wenetschlaeger - Resolution Solutions

Marla Polk - Resolution Solutions

Justin Whitely - Communities in Schools