2022 Annual Conference

Stepping into the Light

Thursday July 14th, 2022, Golden Colorado

Join experts with lived and learned experience to understand how we can Step into the Light and help Colorado’s families and children.

About Stepping into the Light

Join us Thursday July 14th, 2022 at the Mt Vernon Canyon Club in Golden Colorado. The annual CAFCA conference provides a day for learning, networking and celebrating for professionals working in child welfare, mental and behavioral health, foster care and community based services for children and families. Participants include and are not limited to agency leaders and staff, local and state government partners, foster and kin parents, policy makers, and others working to support these stakeholders.  

Sixto Cancel Headshot

Keynote Speaker – Sixto Cancel

Sixto Cancel is the Founder and CEO of Think of Us. Think of Us (TOU) is an Action Tank driving systematic change in child welfare. Through focused projects and sweeping initiatives, TOU drives structural changes in child welfare policy and practice. Sixto was named as Forbes Top 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneurs and is on the 2021 Forbes Under 30 Lister Board. Sixto has been recognized by the White House as a “White House Champion of Change”, a “Millennial Maker” by BET, and a named “Top 24 Changemakers in Government under 24” by the Campaign for a Presidential Youth Council and Sparkaction.

Sixto has served as a Young Fellow at Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative since 2010 where he has played a key role in the initiative’s work of extending foster care permanency for older youth. Sixto is a Clinton Global Initiative University Alum, a FastForward Alum, an Ashoka Fellow, a Board Memer of Adventr – an interactive SMART video tech company – and most recently on the Advisory Board for Box, Inc. Sixto and the team at Think of Us are working hard to ensure that every person has the conditions they need to heal, develop, and thrive.

Workshops –
Open for Submission

Please check back later for full Schedule


The workshops will be 1.5 hours. This Call for Presenters is open to the public and no affiliation with CAFCA is necessary to apply.
Workshop Topics:  The Stepping Into the Light conference serves professionals and stakeholders in child welfare, human services, state and county government, foster care and child policy advocacy. Topics are open-ended as long as relevant to child welfare stakeholders.

While topics are unlimited, we are especially interested in the following issue areas: 

  • Addressing Urgency of Youth Mental Health Needs
  • Racial Justice, Equity and or Implicit Bias (as related to staff, clients, work culture, etc.)
  • Foster Parenting Recruitment, Retention, Stabilization, Support
  • LGBTQ+ Awareness, Issues, Services
  • Trauma Informed Care and Culture
  • Human Trafficking
  • Creative Collaboration
  • Meaningful Engagement of Lived Experience
  • Legal Advocacy for Children, Youth and Families
  • Youth Aging Out, Independent Living
  • Preventing, De-Escalating, and Addressing Youth on Run and or Dysregulation
  • Education Issues, Facility Schools, Day Treatment
  • Secondary Staff Trauma, Self-Care, Mental Health for Service Providers
  • Other

Please Submit your Application by 5pm Friday, June 16, 2022


For more information, contact Becky Miller Updike, Executive Director, CAFCA

Email: [email protected]  or Cell: 720-560-3810

Pricing &  Registration

Excellence Awards

Every year CAFCA is honored to recognize individuals and groups who exemplify excellence in their service for children, youth and families. This is a great opportunity to celebrate colleagues who lead with professionalism, compassion, and dedication. Nominees and award winners will be announced at the 2022 CAFCA Conference on July 14, 2022.

**Nominations due by 5pm, Friday, June 16, 2022.