About Us


The conference is a collaborative partnership between various community agencies to provide quality training and networking opportunities to those that work with and care for children who have been connected to Child Welfare. Read our History page for a more detailed description of the formation of the Shoulder to Shoulder conference.

The conference planning committee is comprised of statewide community partners from the child welfare and child abuse prevention fields. Shoulder to Shoulder is an all-volunteer planned conference without permanent funding sources. We rely on community partners and collaborations to operate because we know the need for quality cross-system training and dialogue is high. See our Sponsor page for a full list of the community partners.

Resource (foster) parents, adoptive parents, kinship caregivers, advocates, caseworkers, social workers, lawyers, judicial officers, citizen review board members (CRB), mental health professionals, medical professionals, educators, child care workers and anyone else who is connected with Child Welfare to attend the conference are invited to attend the conference.


Comments from past conference attendees:

"It's getting better every year!" (2014)

"Fabulous speaker, what a treat!" (2014)

"Great speakers! I really enjoyed it!" (2014)

"Wonderful accommodations, meeting room, food and drinks and speaker!" (2014)

"I loved the overall spirit of the conference!" (2013)

"Thank you to everyong for putting on such an exceptional event." (2013)

"Just seeing a room full of people who cared for children in foster care lifted my spirit." (2013)

"This was my first time [at Shoulder to Shoulder] and I received a scholarship to attend. I was referred to it by my WRAP coordinator. I am so thankful that I got to come and will purchase my tickets for next year when they are available - I don't want to miss it!" (2013)

"Everything was first rate!" (2012)

"First time attending; however, I have attended a significant number of trainings over my 20+ year career in this work. I was quite impressed with the workshops offered and speakers. Additionally, [I] felt that providing a training that combined both professionals and foster families is brilliant and innovative. Nicely organized." (2012)

"I learned new strategies to better advocate for my CASA kids. The speakers were knowledgeable and passionate about their subjects." (2012)

"This was the first time I attended Shoulder to Shoulder and I went away with so much of value. I anticipate attending next year's." (2012)

"This is an amazing conference! Each session I attended was informative and useful. Thanks so much for all of the work in putting it together." (2012)

“My co-worker and I felt very inspired by the keynote speakers…” (2011)

“Great Conference – love the collaborative approach to working with foster and adoptive children! Morning keynote speaker was very inspiring and set a great tone for the day. Good, informative workshop sessions. Thank You!” (2011)

“Every step felt well planned. I was impressed with the keynote speakers and the choice of classes.” (2011)

“This is my first year attending and I was very impressed by the quality of EVERYTHING!” (2011)

“Thank you for the CEUs opportunity. This year had so many great workshops to pick from that I was wishing I could be in three places at once. I like the mix of local and out of state people to get new ideas. Humorous keynote speakers always appreciated. I liked the focus on diversity integrated into many discussions.” (2011)

“This conference is amazing and extremely imperative to my learning.” (2010)

“I love Shoulder to Shoulder and I cannot express enough what I take away from attending it each year! Thank You!” (2010)

“These conferences get better every year!” (2010)

“Many praises to the Shoulder to Shoulder Committee. This conference continues to offer meaningful workshops and valuable information and useful tools that I may not otherwise obtain. Thank you for all your hard work and thoughtfulness in bringing stellar workshops and presenters.” (2010)




2023 STS Committee Sponsors

Conference funding was made possible by federal grant funds from the Juvenile Court Improvement Program, the Oregon Department of Human Services and the Oregon Resource Family Alliance (formerly Oregon Foster Parent Association). Contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the grantors.