Wells Conference on Child Welfare & Adoption Law


Date: March 24, 25, 26, 2021
Topic: “Child Welfare: Lessons Learned in 2020 for 2021 and Beyond”
1:00 PM - 4:30 PM EST
This event will be VIRTUAL via Zoom.

REGISTER NOW  |  Program

FYLaw will host our 15th annual Wells Conference on Child Welfare and Adoption Law this coming March.  The conference will be a virtual event, on Zoom, three hours every afternoon on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, March 24, 25, and 26.

COVID-19 ruined the chance for a Wells conference last year.  FYLaw decided to pursue a conference this year to address the very issue that scuttled that conference, and which continues to affect professional services, now.

The theme for the experience is “Child Welfare: Lessons Learned in 2020 for 2021 and Beyond.”  The conference will address how, in light of the pandemic, the ways that child welfare professionals adjusted their work responsibilities will affect their duties for good.  Workshops and presentations will address issues like virtual technology, building rapport from a distance, using statistics and probabilities to enhance restricted capabilities, and maintaining ethical practice.

  • Wednesday’s keynote and workshops will be provided by the Safe and Together Institute. David Mandel will provide a keynote address on how perpetrators of domestic violence adjust their patterns during a situation like a pandemic.  He and Heidi Rankin will then provide four one-hour workshops, of which attendees can attend two.  Topics will include working with survivors of domestic abuse to keep their children safer, assessing the impact of abuse on family functioning, mapping perpetrator patterns, and the intersection of domestic violence, substance abuse and mental health.
  • Thursday’s keynote from Cory Frederick, with Goldfall Consulting, on lessons learned during 2020 that can enhance a professional’s sensitivity to racial and cultural dynamics. Thereafter, Bobbi Beale, with the Center for Innovative Practices at Case Western Reserve University, will deliver a workshop to enhance the resilience of professionals.
  • Friday will be devoted to a presentation on professionalism and ethics. This workshop will satisfy the biannual requirements for licensure for counselors, social workers, and attorneys.

The conference registration fee will be $40 per day, or $100 for the full nine-hour experience.  FYLaw has applied for Counselor, Social Worker, and Chemical Dependency Professional CEUs, and CLEs for attorneys. As in past years, the logistics for the conference will be aided by Capital University’s Law Review staff.


ABOUT THE EVENT: The Wells Conference on Child Welfare and Adoption Law was established in honor of N. Douglas Wells, a dedicated teacher and cherished faculty member of the Capital University Law School from 1989 through 2004. Professor Wells, whose research and teaching focused on family law, helped to establish the National Center for Adoption Law and Policy, now known as the Family and Youth Law Center.

Professor Wells joined Capital University in 1989 as an Assistant Professor of Law from the University of Illinois College of Law, where he completed his course work toward an LL.M. He taught Property, an important course in the Law School’s first-year curriculum, as well as Family Law, Administrative Law and Elder Law. As a teacher he was thoughtful, one of Capital’s best, and was well liked by his students.

Professor Wells gave freely of his time. Students having academic difficulty in his course or with law school in general could count on him for counseling and assistance. Similarly, he served as advisor to the Black Law Students Association and Res Ipsa Loquitur, the student newspaper, and he frequently judged practice rounds of various intercollegiate moot court teams. He was particularly interested and active in the admission process serving on the admission committee and conducting mock classes for prospective students. He would not hesitate to provide advice to his colleagues and read and critique drafts of articles, and was himself a scholar writing in the area of family law and professional ethics.

Professor Wells’ professional career included serving as a reporter with the Associated Press in South Carolina and New York; Staff Attorney, Legal Services of East Missouri; Assistant Dean of Admission at the University of Tennessee; and Consultant to the Department of Education and the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. He earned his A.B. degree from Morehouse College and his J.D. degree from the University of Tennessee. 

Professor Wells dedicated his life to his family—his wife Sigrid and his children Tami Wells Thomas, Jonathan, and Brittany. He also shared his life with his colleagues at the Law School and at other law schools, and he was an active member of St. Philip Episcopal Church.

Please contact FYLaw with any questions about the Wells Conference at (614) 236-6730 or email us at fylaw@law.capital.edu