Focus 2018 "Heart of the Matter"

NSPN's national conference, Focus 2018: "Heart of the Matter," will take place July 18-20, 2018 at The Brown Hotel in Louisville, KY. Pre-conference institutes will be offered July 17. Focus 2018 provides opportunities for youth and youth service professionals to network with participants from across the country to share ideas, experiences, and knowledge. The theme, Heart of the Matter, highlights the reasons our work is important. It also highlights the launch of the NSPN campaign to provide a digital canvas for youth to share their stories through art.

Click here to register now.
Early bird registration discounts end March 31.

Pre-conference Institutes

  • YouthThrive* - This full-day, certification institute will highlight critical components of Youth Thrive, including: research on brain development, the impact of stress with focus on trauma-informed approaches, and the importance of creating and maintaining meaningful relationships with youth.To learn more about YouthThrive, please click here.

  • Youth Mental Health First Aid* - This full-day, certification institute will introduce the unique risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems in adolescents, build understanding of the importance of early intervention, and teach how to help youth who are experiencing a mental health challenge. Mental Health First Aid is provided by a certified trainer and is designed for adults who work with youth. For more information about the training, please click here.

  • Safe Place Basics - This afternoon session will provide information about key Safe Place program topics for those from existing licensed agencies and others who may want to learn more about program implementation and operation standards. Topics include: history and development of Safe Place, policies and procedures, implementation standards, education and outreach, and community partnerships. To learn more about Safe Place, please click here.

  • Youth Empowerment - Youth, ages 12 to 21, are invited to participate in an afternoon pre-conference institute full of fun, networking, and empowerment. This institute provides youth an opportunity to get to know each other and discuss their involvement in the youth services field. Whether connection is due to receiving services directly or being drawn to the field in another way, each young person has an idea of what the “Heart of the Matter” is for them. This pre-conference institute sets the tone for Focus 2018 and helps young people consider their involvement in the movement to create a world where all youth are safe.

*certification opportunity for youth care workers

Conference Tracks

  • Organizational Development - This track will feature sessions with content and experiences assisting organizations to provide the best possible services to youth and families. These sessions will address systems, structures, and practices that support organizational capacity and program sustainability.

  • Professional Development - This track targets the “professional” needs of staff in youth and family serving organizations. Each workshop session should address advancing the skills of the individual worker.

  • Training - This track will feature sessions for staff to enhance their efforts with youth and families. These sessions will target emerging or innovative approaches to serving youth.

  • Safe Place - This track addresses topics specifically related to Safe Place implementation and outreach. It is appropriate for those responsible for the operation/coordination of Safe Place in their community.

  • NEW! Youth Empowerment - This track will provide interactive sessions geared toward assisting youth participants with finding and using their voices to positively impact youth and family services as well as communities.

Event Rates

Pre-conference Registration (Certification Institutes)
Professional Development member rate – *$50
NSPN member / licensed Safe Place agency rate – $75
Standard pre-conference certification institute rate – $100

Pre-conference Registration (Safe Place Basics)
Professional Development member rate - *$20
NSPN member / licensed Safe Place agency rate – $30
Standard pre-conference rate – $50

Pre-conference Registration (Youth Empowerment)
All youth up to 21 years of age - $0 (Must be registered to attend Focus 2018)

Focus 2018 Registration Rates
NSPN member / licensed Safe Place agency rate – $350
Standard registration rate –$400
Book before April 1, 2018 and save $50 off Focus 2018 registration rates!

Click here to register.

Hotel Accommodations

Focus 2018 will be held at the Brown Hotel located at 335 W Broadway, Louisville, KY 40202.

NSPN has secured a reduced room rate of $149 (based on single/double occupancy in a deluxe room) for attendees. To obtain the discounted room rate, reservations must be made by calling the hotel directly at 502.583.1234 or 888.888.5252 and referring to the event "Focus 2018".You can also make reservations online.

Click here to start your hotel reservation.

All reservations must be accompanied by a first night room deposit or guaranteed with a major credit card. Cancellations or arrival revisions must be received three days prior to the date of arrival, or result in a charge of one night's room and tax. The deadline to register and receive the discounted rate is 5:00 p.m. EDT on June 14, 2018.

NSPN is Now Accepting Workshop Proposals for Focus 2018

Interested in sharing your knowledge and expertise to a wide variety of youth and family service providers from around the country? Do you have a particular passion or expertise for one of the topics listed below? Do you know a colleague or youth who would make an excellent workshop presenter? Join us at Focus 2018 “Heart of the Matter” as a workshop presenter. NSPN is looking for workshops that will be of most benefit to youth and service providers in the youth services field and that fit within the theme and workshop tracks outlined above. 

Click here to submit your workshop proposal.

Please check back for continued updates and information about Focus 2018. If you have any questions, please contact your NSPN team at or 502.635.3660.

Focus 2018 - HOM

You may also view details of past conferences including 2016 and 2014.