Conference Keynotes That Inspire From Top Motivational Speaker Derek Clark

“The Spirit of a Child: From Rejection to Connection to Direction.”  

Conference Keynotes, Half Day and Full Day Training About Trauma, Labels and Foster Care

Instructor: Motivational and inspirational speaker Derek Clark                           (raised by foster parents that were both teachers)

The best motivational speakers have an incredible story of inspiration and Derek Clark’s underdog story is one of resilience and redemption. Derek spent thirteen years in the foster care system. Before entering foster care, Derek suffered unthinkable child abuse, abandonment and emotional distress. Derek knows first hand on how to cope with adversity and overcoming hardship. His past reflects a life of humiliation, aggression, emotional distress and overwhelming anxiety. He has experienced the life of rejection, fear, suffered atrocious abuse from his biological parents and endured endless grief.  Despite years of rage and fractured relationships, Derek grew up to become a successful businessman, motivational speaker and is highly committed to his wife and four children.

Watch Derek Clark’s Motivational TED Talk

Motivational speaker Derek Clark’s inspirational speeches have rejuvenated the hearts of audiences worldwide. He has delivered inspiring conference keynote speeches to:

  • Child Welfare Directors Association of California
  • Australia National Foster Care and Kinship Care Conference
  • TEDx California – Independently Organized TED Event
  • International Foster Care Organization -IFCO World Conference
  • Ohio Supreme Court Intercourt Conference
  • National Eligibility Workers Association – California State Chapter Conference
  • Juvenile Court, Community and Alternative School Administrators of California State Conference
  • United States Attorney Conference
  • California Association of Probation
  • Court Improvement Summit
  • University of Alabama Social Work
  • John Brown University Social Work
  • Arkansas Tech University Social Work
  • Texas Women’s University Social Work
  • Nippissing University Canada
  • Texas Department of Family and Children Services
  • Texas Child Protective Services
  • Southern Christian Services
  • Bair Foster Care Foundation
  • Florence Crittenton Services
  • National Philanthropy Conference
  • Children’s Justice Conference
  • San Diego County Social Work
  • Texas Alliance of Child and Family Services
  • College of the Ozarks
  • Clark County, Las Vegas
  • Cal State University, Turlock
  • First Nations Conferences in Canada
  • Kansas Childrens Services
  • KVC Behavioral Health Systems
  • Middlesex County, New Jersey Prosecutors Office
  • Juvenile Court, Community and Alternative Schools Administrators of California
  • Wrap Around Conference, California
  • Mexico City – Colegio Anglo Mexicano De Coyoacan Preparatory
  • High School for National Autonomous University of Mexico
  • California Association of Probation Services Administrators State Conference
  • Federal Bureau of Prisons Conference
  • Ministry of Canada Crown Ward Conference
  • Circuit Court Conference
  • Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention and Awareness Conference
  • IFCO – International Foster Care Organization
  • National Foster Parent Association Conference
  • Federal Department of Labor
  • National Bureau Prisons Conference
  • CASA Conferences
  • Fundraisers
  • And many other child welfare, child abuse and neglect prevention conferences

As a popular and engaging conference keynote speaker, he has been hired by many federal, state and county agencies to rejuvenate and train employees, educators, social workers, foster parents, child welfare workers, judges, attorneys, teachers, juvenile justice, non profits and many more organizations.

Summary of Derek Clark’s Uniquely Inspiring Keynote:

Derek Clark offers professionals involved with kids in the foster care system hope, stamina and the courage to improve ‘the system’. Derek trains and inspires professionals with this purpose; to make sure that each child feels important, to help them to reclaim their dignity, to feel secure, and to know that their past does not have to infect their future. Derek’s inspiring presentations are sure to touch the heart of every foster parent and child welfare professional.

When Derek speaks, it is from his passionate soul. He brings along his music to sing the journals of his life. He believes that music is one of the purest ways to touch and communicate with the hearts of the audience. His audience will be ignited with passion and have the courage to make a difference in the life of a grieving child. He will inspire and teach you to push yourself beyond your perceived limits.

The story of Derek’s life is truly amazing. Even against unbelievable odds, Derek never gave up. Derek’s presentations have an informative message of hope, change and perseverance. His mission is to help others find strength and solutions for their own lives.

Keynote Topics

  • You Cannot Think Negative About a Child and Expect a Positive Outcome
  • If You Will Believe, The Child/Youth Will Achieve!
  • How To Build Trust, When They Won’t Trust
  • From Rejection to Connection to Direction
  • How To Inspire Youth to Find the Strength to Overcome Adversity
  • How To Plant Seeds of Courage In a Child’s Mind
  • Why a Foster Child or a Troubled Youth Needs YOU To Believe In Them
  • How Having Hope Activates Life For Those In Despair
  • The Worth of a Soul and How To Find The Leader Within
  • How Words and Labels Kill The Spirit of a Child
  • How To Help a Child Discover The Will To Thrive Despite a Painful Past

Derek’s motivational keynote speeches are designed to implement positive change by presenting startling facts based on Derek’s personal experience from surviving severe child abuse and being misdiagnosed mentally handicapped throughout the first 8 years of his life. He also talks about how he  survived abuse, rejection and loss and became a positive statistic in the world of foster care. He shares his feelings on how he felt his mothers “conditional love” as she dropped him off at the county shelter, yet kept his brother and sister. Derek takes you down his road of hate, anger, mistrust in adults, violent tendencies, rejection, lack of love, child abuse and the memories that haunted his life. He believes that by changing the way you look at a child or youth, you can significantly impact their life. Your actions will speak louder than your words but your words are so powerful to a child. Your words can either be used to build up a child or defeat a child.

He teaches on the subject matter, “You cannot think negative thoughts about a child and expect them to live a positive life.” He teaches you how to commit and build upon your strengths when encouraging youth to have hope. He also teaches you how to overcome negative thinking towards a specific foster child or troubled youth. Social workers and foster parents need to know that they do make a difference if they put their heart into it.By setting the good example of personal strength and by having courageous and insightful thoughts, you and your foster child will prevail.

As an inspiring motivational speaker, Derek’s keynote speeches take you on a journey through his life sharing a collection of thoughts, case histories, poems, journal entries and hard lessons that he has learned. His vulnerabilities and triumphs are a great way to connect with the audience’s heart.


Derek’s Presentations are intended to provide education and inspiration for:

  •   Social Workers
  •   Foster Parents/Adoptive Parents
  •   Foster Children and Youth
  •   CASA Volunteers and Staff
  •   Family Court Personnel
  •   Group Home Staff
  •   Residential Treatment Center Staff
  •   Mental Health Professionals
  •   Teachers
  •   Youth Development Staff
  •   Child Protective Services – CPS
  •   Department of Children and Family Services
  •   Child Welfare Professionals
  •   Judges – Circuit Court Summits
  •   Juvenile Justice Employees

Contact Information: Derek Clark

Phone Number: 1-800-980-0751


Ways that Supervisors can support the Transfer of Learning:

 Before Derek’s Speech:

  1. Overwhelmed and not enough Belief in their abilities
  2. Have lost hope and the energy to continue to have optimism
  3. Feeling that they are not making a difference or connecting
  4. At a loss on how to overcoming the child’s obstacles
  5. Want to give up
  6.  Compassion Fatigue – Burn Out

After Derek’s Speech:

  1. Will be inspired and re-energized to have hope again as they will see where Derek came from to where he is now in life.
  2. They will have examples of what a difference they can make in their child/youth and connect with them.
  3. Their box of obstacles will have been broken down. They will see the child as an individual that has a bright future.
  4. They will be rejuvenated within their spirit and have faith in their abilities
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