Focus 2023: A Sign of the Times

National Safe Place Network (NSPN) was honored to hold the biennial national conference, Focus 2023, in Louisville, KY from July 18 - July 20, 2023. The theme, “A Sign of the Times,” highlighted the importance of youth service professionals looking back to lessons learned, while moving forward to opportunities for success. The resilience of all those who are committed to supporting youth and families makes it possible to prepare today to provide critical resources for the challenges of tomorrow. NSPN and youth service professionals from across the country learned, planned for change, and networked to share ideas, experiences, and knowledge. 

Schedule at a Glance

All times shown in eastern daylight time (EDT)

Monday, July 17, 2023

1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Conference check-in

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

 Conference check-in
 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Opening Session and Keynote Panel
The Impact of the Mental Health Crisis on Staff and Programs
(plated breakfast sponsored by QuikTrip)

10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Workshop Session I
1:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. Keynote
Overview of Crimes Against Children and Youth
3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Focused Discussions
  • "Forgotten" Youth - Youth forced out and ignored by systems
  • Laws impacting LGBTQ+
  • Mental Health
  • Staffing Needs
  • Youth Violence 
5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Welcome Reception and Runaway Games
(heavy hors d'oeuvres provided)

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Awards Ceremony
(plated breakfast provided)
10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Workshop Session II
1:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. Keynote
Changing Trends in Youth Homelessness
3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Tool Time Poster Session
5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Safe Place 40th Anniversary Celebration Cocktail Hour
(beverages provided)
6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Safe Place 40th Anniversary Celebration
(plated dinner provided)

Thursday, July 20, 2023

8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. (continental breakfast provided)
9:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Safe Place Site and Learn
(site visit boarding at 9:15 a.m.)
 9:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.  Keynote
Meaningful Engagement with Young People
12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Closing Session
(boxed lunch provided)



















Education at Focus 2023

Click below to view details of the workshops, keynotes, and presenters of Focus 2023.

Learn About Focus 2023 Sessions

Tool Time Poster Session

NSPN's Tool Time Poster Session provided an opportunity to share/learn about exciting and innovative practices, resources, and tools utilized in the youth services field. Youth service providers showcased their work utilizing poster boards, handouts, and pictures.

NSPN Awards Ceremony

During Focus 2023, NSPN and attendees honored youth service professionals, dedicated volunteers, and community organizations who work diligently to strengthen youth and families in communities across the country.


Click here to learn more about the 2023 NSPN Awards.

Safe Place 40th Anniversary Celebration

NSPN celebrated 40 years of keeping youth safe during the 40th Safe Place Anniversary Night of Celebration, held the evening of July 19th. Focus attendees were invited to have dinner while listening to three mission moment speakers share their experiences with Safe Place and the impact the program made on their lives. Attendees and invited guests also participated in a raffle to assist in raising funds for the organization. NSPN is honored to share the legacy of the Safe Place program and continue to ensure there is a safety net for young people for the next 40 years and beyond.


Focus 2023 was held at The Brown Hotel. The hotel is located at 335 W Broadway, Louisville, KY 40202.


Highlights from Past Conferences

You may also view details of past conferences including Focus 2021Focus 2020Focus 2018Focus 2016, and Focus 2014If you have any questions, please contact NSPN at 502.635.3660 or [email protected].