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Conference Overview

Baton Rouge, Louisiana   l   April 10 - 12, 2024

The Louisiana CASA Conference will be a dynamic, three-day event hosted on Wednesday, April 10 through Friday, April 12, 2024. Hosted at L'Auberge Hotel & Casino in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the conference offers CASA staff, volunteers, and stakeholders to come together for collaboration, celebration, training, and professional development. The conference brings our statewide network together for in-depth learning, networking opportunities and collaborative discussions about the issues that impact our work and the future of child welfare in Louisiana. 


2023 CASA Advocate of the Year, David Clark

Wednesday, April 10th

Special Edition Advocate Supervisor Roundtable

TOF Refresher

Welcome Reception 

Thursday, April 11th

Conference Sessions & Keynotes

Happy Hour & Networking 

30th Anniversary Celebration

Friday, April 12th

Executive Leadership Workshop

Annual Louisiana CASA Member Meeting

Conference Registration

The 2024 CASA Conference will provide an opportunity for you to network and connect with your colleagues. Discussing current issues in-depth, connecting and celebrating with friends and peers, and sharing and learning from one another are all highlights of the 2024 Louisiana CASA Conference. There are 3 different ticket options to choose from below. Choose the option that best suits you and select 'Register Now' to purchase your ticket and register for the 2024 Louisiana CASA Conference.

CASA Multi Day
Conference Ticket

This ticket is for current CASA Staff

& Volunteers Only

Ticket includes:

  • CASA Conference T-Shirt and Goodie Bag

  • Hotel Room* View terms and conditions.

  • Admission to keynote, learning sessions, and network opportunities

  • Admission to Welcome Reception on Wednesday (Hors d'oeuvres and Drinks Served)

  • Admission to 30th Anniversary Celebration & Awards of Excellence (Dinner Served)

  • Admission to Keynote Luncheon on Thursday (Lunch Served)

  • Option to attend additional special events including the Special Edition Advocate Supervisor Roundtable, TOF Refresher, and Welcome Reception & Networking.

30th Anniversary Celebration 

This ticket is for those who only want to attend the 30th Anniversary Celebration

Ticket includes:

  • Admission to 30th Anniversary Celebration & Awards of Excellence 

  • Dinner & Live Music (Cash Bar Available)

General Admission One Day
Conference Ticket

This ticket is for stakeholders & other attendees

Ticket includes:

  • CASA Conference T-Shirt and Goodie Bag

  • Admission to keynote, learning sessions, and network opportunities

  • Admission to Keynote Luncheon on Thursday (Lunch Served)

Meet the Speakers

Louisiana CASA is proud to host a knowledgeable lineup of speakers who are experts in the field of child advocacy. Get ready to be inspired and informed as you learn from these passionate individuals who share a common commitment to improving the lives of children in need. In this section, you'll find comprehensive profiles of each speaker, giving you an insight into their expertise, background, and the invaluable knowledge they will bring to the conference. 

Session Descriptions

This section provides a detailed overview of the diverse keynotes and breakout sessions that will be offered throughout the conference. Each session is carefully crafted to address key issues and emerging trends in the child welfare community, designed to empower professionals and volunteers with the tools and strategies they need to make a real impact. Whether you're seeking in-depth discussions on specific topics, skill-building, or the latest best practices, our session descriptions will help you plan your conference schedule to make the most of this invaluable learning experience. During registration, you will have the opportunity to choose your preferred breakout sessions. 

Matlock Hilton
Fuller 1 McFaland 1
EMDR Wayne

Join us for the opening session of the 2024 Louisiana CASA Conference with David Matlock, the newly appointed Secretary of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). Secretary Matlock brings a wealth of experience and a strong commitment to Louisiana's youth, having served as Chief Judge of the Juvenile Court for Caddo Parish and earning accolades for his dedication to juvenile justice and child welfare. In this session, Secretary Matlock will share his vision for DCFS, outlining his plans and priorities for the coming year. Drawing from his extensive background in juvenile justice and his passion for serving Louisiana's youth, he will discuss how he intends to lead DCFS forward, addressing key issues, implementing innovative strategies, and fostering collaboration within the community.

Welcoming Remarks and Vision for DCFS

Welcome - Thursday, April 11th - 8:00AM

Bridging the Future for Youth with Foster Care Experience 

Morning Keynote - Thursday, April 11th - 8:30AM

Join Jaime Hilton, Project Coordinator of Better Futures at LSU School of Social Work, for an inspiring keynote presentation on empowering foster youth through post-secondary opportunities. Discover how Better Futures helps students in foster care graduate high school and explore their options for college or vocational training. Learn how Better Futures cultivates self-determination skills and provides one-on-one coaching, engaging workshops, and summer institutes to support youth on their journey to higher education. Don't miss this insightful session on closing the gap in accessing post-secondary education for youth in foster care.

Adolescents can be a difficult population to interview due to their social, emotional and cognitive development.  This module will focus on educating the investigator about adolescent development and the challenges development presents in the investigative interview.  Complicity issues and how to overcome this barrier while conducting interviews will be addressed.


  1. Gain knowledge of adolescent development.

  2. Be able to identify major changes in cognitive and sexual development.

  3. Develop an understanding as to how technology and social media impacts the adolescent brain.

  4. Discuss investigative steps for cases with compliant victims.

Adolescent Victims

Breakout Session 1 - Thursday, April 11th - 9:45AM

Embark on a transformative journey as we explore the evolving landscape of volunteerism. Engage in lively discussions and hands-on activities, delving into common recruitment challenges and gaining invaluable insights to enhance recruitment efforts. This workshop helps lay the foundation for developing a clear and effective path to recruitment success, enabling you to reimagine and invigorate your approach in response to changing times. Don’t miss this opportunity to gain practical tools and strategies for designing and targeting recruitment efforts, ensuring your organization attracts the people power needed to thrive.

Revitalizing Volunteer Recruitment

Breakout Session 1 - Thursday, April 11th - 9:45AM

EMDR Therapy and How It Can Help Children

Breakout Session 1 - Thursday, April 11th - 9:45AM

This session will explain how Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy works and how to be useful for children in foster care or going through adoption. EMDR Therapy is a structured therapy that encourages the participant to focus briefly on the trauma memory while simultaneously experiencing bilateral stimulation (typically eye movements).. We will also discuss how EMDR Therapy can help the brain "digest" traumatic events to relieve the negative effects of trauma specifically in children.

Helping Children in Foster Care Grow into Successful, Independent Young Adults

Lunch Keynote - Thursday, April 11th - 12:00PM

As foster parents and professionals in the lives of children in the foster kids, we all want the same thing: to see them happy, self-confident and ultimately capable of thriving in the adult world. In this keynote address, Joshua will share practical tools that we as the caring adults in their lives can use to help make that a reality. This talk will address how to:
•    Build Strong & Supportive Relationships
•    Get Them to Both “Listen Up” and “Open up”
•    Help Them Learn From Mistakes & Adversity
•    Help Them Get on the Path to Adulthood & Independence

Recent advancements in technology paired with the explosion of online gaming and social media platforms have cultivated interactive contexts that allow motivated predators to have frequent and often unfettered access to minors. Unfortunately, this combination of factors means that, globally, minors have become increasingly more vulnerable to technology-facilitated sex crimes (TFSC), including sexual exploitation, sextortion, and image-based sexual abuse. This presentation will include an exploration of TFSC, including perpetrators’ motives and methods, risk factors and the potential impact on victims; and brief discussion of statute-specific questions to assist with gathering relevant investigative information during forensic interviews.  

Technology Facilitated Sexual Crimes (TFSC)

Breakout Session 2 - Thursday, April 11th - 1:15PM

Let's Spell it Out: ASFA, APLA, LR &

During this session, we will discus The Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) of 1997, it's recommendations, and policy changes. We will also break down all of our child welfare acronyms, discuss what is required by law and how aspects of the law work in unison to attain more permanent outcomes for our children and families in Louisiana.

Breakout Session 2 - Thursday, April 11th - 1:15PM

Differentiating between Autistic Spectrum Traits and Sexual Abuse Indicators in Youth

There are many traits that are shared or 'crossover' between youth with Autistic Spectrum Disorders and youth that are survivors of sexual abuse. Differentiating is helpful to effective treatment. This session will provide the DSM5 Diagnostic Criteria of Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This will be followed by examining the ‘crossover’ traits of youth diagnosed with ASD and those diagnosed with PTSD, specifically due to sexual abuse. Challenges differentiating these diagnoses and treatment challenges if both diagnoses are present will be discussed. 

Breakout Session 2 - Thursday, April 11th - 1:15PM

Louisiana's Response to Human Trafficking

Minors who are survivors of sex trafficking in Louisiana now have access to relational advocacy services throughout our state. The Department of Child and Family Services has contracted with two advocacy agencies, BCFS and Unbound Now, to provide long-term case management and crisis response for commercially sexually exploited youth, a program also known as CSEY advocacy services.

Breakout Session 3 - Thursday, April 11th - 3:00PM

This session will focus on educating attendees on the foundational principals of developmental screening for children 0-5, with an emphasis on identifying developmental milestone checklists and validated screening tools. Attendees will receive information on pertinent resources for families and resources for support services.

Developmental Screening Basics

Breakout Session 3 - Thursday, April 11th - 3:00PM

Volunteers initially get involved for many different reasons, typically arriving motivated and full of enthusiasm. How do you sustain that energy and capitalize on all volunteers have to offer? By properly supporting volunteers, organizations can maximize their ability to contribute meaningfully to the mission and avoid the costly “revolving door” of people who lose their initial motivation and enthusiasm and ultimately stop volunteering. In this session, we’ll look at how to support and nurture volunteers, avoid burnout and create an environment conducive to keeping volunteers motivated, committed, and coming back!

Keeping Volunteers Engaged

Breakout Session 3 - Thursday, April 11th - 3:00PM

Fuller 2 Johnso
Jacob Unbound
North McFarland 2

30th Anniversary Celebration

Thursday, April 11th   l   6:00PM - 9:30PM

Mark your calendars for an unforgettable evening as we commemorate our 30th anniversary with our grandest celebration to date. On the evening of April 11, 2024, we invite you to join us at L'Auberge in Baton Rouge for a celebration like no other. Each year we highlight innovation and exemplary service at our Awards of Excellence. This year’s awards ceremony will also highlight Louisiana CASA's 30th anniversary. We will celebrate programs and individuals doing incredible work in their communities and reflect on the precious moments, the dedicated volunteers, and the transformed lives that have graced our path over the last 30 years. After the awards ceremony, we will celebrate with dinner and live music!


The 30th Anniversary Celebration will include: Awards of Excellence ceremony, dinner, and live music (cash bar available). Join for an evening of inspiration and celebration. It will be an occasion to revel in our achievements, honor our dedicated volunteers, and set the stage for the next 30 years of serving Louisiana's most vulnerable children.  This event will be open to the public.

2023 Awards of Excellence Winners

David Clark, Advocate of the Year

Christine Aucoin, Director of the Year

Shelia Scott, Staff Member of the Year

Shenica Joseph, DCFS Staff Member of the Year

Reiss Provost, Board Member of the Year

Judge John Davidson, Judge of the Year

Special Events

Elevate your conference experience with a series of exclusive special events hosted by Louisiana CASA. Tailored to enrich your CASA journey, these events provide unique opportunities for networking, skill enhancement, and community engagement. Choose from a diverse selection, including the Special Edition Advocate Supervisor Roundtable, TOF Refresher, Welcome Reception, and the CASA Executive Leadership Workshop. As an attendee, you have the flexibility to curate your conference agenda by selecting the events that align with your goals and interests. Don't miss these invaluable moments to connect, learn, and contribute to the collective mission of advancing child advocacy. Secure your spot by indicating your preferred special events during the registration process and make the most out of your 2024 Louisiana CASA Conference experience.

Special Edition Advocate Supervisor Roundtable

Wednesday, April 10  l  10:00AM - 12:30PM

Join Louisiana CASA for discussion and support in the aspects of volunteer coaching. Advocate Supervisors are welcome to bring various topics to discuss as this will be a general discussion among supervisors across the state. Roundtables will be hosted in-person quarterly.  They are open to all Advocate Supervisors throughout the state, but will rotate to different regions for each session. This quarter's roundtable will be hosted at Capital Area CASA in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. To register, please select that you will attend the 'Advocate Supervisor Roundtable' during the 2024 CASA Conference registration process. Registration is required, lunch will be provided. This event is for CASA staff only.

TOF Refresher

Wednesday, April 10  l  12:30PM - 3:30PM

Facilitating the National CASA Curriculum for new advocates is a big part of the role of CASA staff across the state. The tools and resources offered during the Training of Facilitators training lay the ground work for adult learning and facilitation. This training will offer fresh ideas to the facilitation of the National CASA Pre-Service curriculum and highlight key components to train adults in advocacy for children. This TOF Refresher will be hosted at Capital Area CASA in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. To register, please select that you will attend the 'TOF Refresher' during the 2024 CASA Conference registration process. Registration is required, lunch will be provided. This event is for CASA staff only.

Welcome Reception & Networking

Wednesday, April 10  l  5:00PM - 9:00PM

Kickstart the 2024 CASA Conference experience with our Welcome Reception & Networking event at the Edge Lounge located inside the L'Auberge Casino & Hotel! Join us on the first night of the conference as we gather to celebrate the power of community, collaboration, and shared commitment to making a difference in the lives of children in need. This evening is more than just an icebreaker; it's a warm embrace to greet old friends and make new ones. Connect with  fellow attendees from across the state who share your passion for child advocacy. Share stories, ideas, and experiences, and forge meaningful connections that will last throughout the conference. Enjoy an array of delicious appetizers and refreshing beverages as you mingle and unwind. We can't wait to welcome you to the 2024 CASA Conference at this lively and engaging reception!

CASA Executive Leadership Workshop

Friday, April 12  l  8:30AM - 3:00PM

Mark your calendars for the Executive Leadership Workshop on Friday, April 12, 2024, from 8:30AM to 3:00PM. Join us for a day of professional development in partnership with CASA AP. This workshop day also includes our Annual Louisiana CASA Member Meeting. Additional information and registration will be sent to those in executive leadership roles within the CASA network.

Venue & Lodging

L'Auberge Casino & Hotel Baton Rouge

The L'Auberge Casino and Hotel is a boutique hotel and casino experience on the banks of the Mississippi River. Located in the heart of Baton Rouge and minutes away from downtown Baton Rouge, L'Auberge is the perfect place to spend a few days in the capitol city. 

A block of rooms is reserved for the 2024 Louisiana CASA Conference at the L'Auberge Casion & Hotel for CASA staff and volunteers. Rooms are included in the conference registration* for CASA volunteers and staff thanks to our generous donors. During online registration, please mark if you need a hotel room or not. Louisiana CASA will make hotel reservations on behalf of CASA staff and volunteers who choose to stay in the room block. Deadline to reserve a hotel through online registration is March 8, 2024.

*Hotel rooms are available on a first come first serve basis. Double occupancy is required per funding, no exceptions. Louisiana CASA will only book your room if you choose that selection during the online registration process. For those who do not choose to include a hotel room with your online registration, you will be responsible for booking and paying for your own hotel room.


TWC/Pelican Center
Brett A Cloyd & Associates, Inc.
LANTEC Corporate Training

Magellan Healthcare
VIA Link

The CASA Shop


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Brett A Cloyd & Associates, Inc. 


Jackson Vaughn Agency, Inc.


2024 Louisiana
CASA Conference

Baton Rouge, Louisiana   l   April 10 - 12, 2024

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