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Child Abuse and Neglect Institute (CANI)

Upcoming Events / Institute / Child Abuse and Neglect Institute (CANI)

Child Abuse and Neglect Institute (CANI)

Reno, NV

June 13 – 16, 2023


The NCJFCJ’s training for dependency court judges, the Child Abuse and Neglect Institute (CANI), provides instruction for new or experienced judges on the knowledge and skills necessary to preside over an effective child abuse and neglect court process. Participants will also receive instruction on emerging and promising practices to improve outcomes for children and families in the child welfare system. This NCJFCJ model program has provided exceptional training to judges for over 25 years.

CANI brings together an outstanding cadre of expert judicial faculty and other subject matter experts to engage participants through exemplary instruction, case scenarios, and other active learning strategies. Over the four-day, in-person training participants will have opportunities to engage and network with faculty and other attendees. This leads to long-lasting collegial relationships that allow for information sharing long after participants graduate from CANI and return to their jurisdictions.

Some of the core topics of CANI include:

  • The leadership role of the judge in child abuse and neglect cases
  • Review of federal laws and policies that drive the child abuse and neglect process
  • The Indian Child Welfare Act
  • Reasonable efforts in judicial decision making
  • Judicial ethics
  • Emerging issues in child welfare – including domestic violence and the intersection with child maltreatment; substance abuse and permanency planning; bias in decision-making; child development, bonding, and attachment; the impact of neglect and trauma; trauma-informed court practice; and medical issues in child abuse and neglect
  • Applying the core best practices outlined in the Enhanced Resource Guidelines: Improving Court Practice in Child Abuse and Neglect Cases

Who Should Attend?
The institute program is for judicial officers only. CANI is designed for all experience levels, whether it be judges newly assigned to child abuse and neglect cases or more experienced judges who wish to stay up-to-date on changing laws, policies, and nationally recommended strategies. Space is limited to 50 participants. The NCJFCJ seeks a geographically diverse group of participants representing state and tribal courts. Please consider all judges in your state, including tribal judges.

Please note: This program is most effective when participants attend every day. If you cannot participate in the entire program, please get in touch with us to discuss future CANI opportunities. 

Accepted participants in the training program will receive a reservation link for the government rate room block at a local hotel.

Please contact the registrar Adriana Arzola at if you have any questions.

Coming This Summer

East Coast CANI
The NCJFCJ is hosting an additional Child Abuse and Neglect Institute in Bethesda, MD. Dates, details, and registration information will be released soon and will be available on our website at

Multi-disciplinary CANI
The NCJFCJ is pleased to announce a Multidisciplinary Child Abuse and Neglect Institute designed as a small, interactive training for teams of judicial officers and court-system partners. The institute will be held in Denver, CO.

Dates, details, and registration information will be released soon and will be available on our website at