Tools for Practice

Discussion Board

Tools for Practice

Session One:

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Multiple Transitions: A Young Child's Point of View about Foster Care and Adoption Multiple Transition Video Text

Watch this great video

Watch this Great Two Part Series "WE INTERRUPT"
Listen to what Minnesota Youth in Foster Care have to say about Permanency in their lives.  This fabulous production was made possible by Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS)
Part 1 -
Part 2 -

The Orphan Trains

Learn More About the Orphan Train Experience in American Child Welfare History 

Learn More About Children and Families of Color in the Child Welfare System

Learn More About the Adoption Experience

Learn More About the Foster Care Experience

To review the Latest AFCARS statistics on Foster acre and adoption go to


Session Two: Life Long Issues in Foster Care and Adoption 


Product Details

In his intensely personal, disturbing, and moving account of a father's struggle to come to grips with the devastating and yet preventable condition, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), Dorris gives us vital information about a crisis demanding worldwide attention. Himself a Native American, anthropologist/novelist Dorris adopted an Indian child in 1971 who, after batteries of tests and transfer from school to school, was finally diagnosed as suffering from FAS. To understand fully his son's condition, Dorris was compelled to "systematically confront Native American history." Here he tells of infants born in the throes of delirium tremens, of social workers so frustrated that they frankly discuss the possibility of incarcerating drunken expectant mothers during pregnancy or of sterilizing repeat offenders. Dorris includes a wealth of scientific data, excellent treatments of alcohol's effects upon Native American culture and of the physiopathological aspects of FAS, and a very complete bibliography.

Adopted is a 2-DVD set: A DVD teaching guide with more than 2 hours of expert advice and case studies, plus an 80 minute documentary film.





“Adopted: The New American Family” follows Jen, an adult Korean adoptee, as she confronts issues of race and identity. In the video clip below, Jen has frank discussions with her parents about being teased as a child because of her race. Watch the video and tell us about your experiences with your child’s racial identity. Or if you’re an adoptee, let us know what it was like to grow up confronting racism and how you discussed your feelings with your parents.

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The 56 minute documentary Unlocking the Heart of Adoption bridges the gap between birth and adoptive families through diverse personal stories of adoptees, birthparents and adoptive parents in same race and transracial adoptions interwoven with the filmmaker’s story as a birthmother revealing the enormous complexities in their lives with fascinating historical background.
Unlocking the Heart of Adoption
Running time: 56:40 minutes


Session Three - Pre and Post Foster Care/Adoption Issues for Birthparents, Adoptive Parents and Adopted Persons

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Definitions of Adoption


Impact of Adoption on Adopted Persons

Leslie Pate Mackinnon's website


Adopted Person Blogs

Adoptive Parent Blogs

NJ: Adoptees lobby for access to their original birth certificate records    November 28, 2010
Sealing adoption records is a relatively recent phenomenon, with a bill passed in New Jersey in 1940 and amended in 1953. This law was enacted to protect the anonymity of the biological parents and makes it so adoptees cannot access their original birth certificate. Adoptees generally get access to a modified birth certificate that includes the adoptive parents’ names on it, but not the birth parents.

What Parents are Saying About Foster Care Adoptions: Key Findings from the 2007 National Survey of Adoptive Parents [Presentation Slides].
Boo, Mary. Maza, Penelope L. Radel, Laura. Strottman, Kathleen. Vandivere, Sharon. DeVooght, Kerry. Williams-Mbengue, Nina.
Child Trends. Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.
These slides include findings from the National Survey of Adoptive Parents (NSAP), which was commissioned by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and represents the first ever nationally-representative survey on the characteristics, adoption-related experiences, and well-being of adopted children and their families in the U.S. The presentation focused on findings involving families with children adopted from foster care. Researchers from Child Trends presented key findings from the national survey, and policy experts discussed how these findings inform deliberations on adoption policies. Invited guests included adoption experts from the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI), the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), and the North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC).

Third Party Reproduction

FL: The Florida Adoption Reunion Registry helps bring families together
Gainesville Sun   December 11, 2010
The Florida Adoption Reunion Registry was established in 1982 by the Legislature for people affected by adoption to have the opportunity to meet. The registry's office is based in Tallahassee.

PA: Breaking down open adoptions: Pennsylvania's new law encourages relationships between child, birth family
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette  December 13, 2010
An informal review of agencies in some of the 23 other states with open adoption laws found that few parties ever complained to the courts, requesting enforcement of the agreements, said Todd Lloyd, child welfare director of Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children. Rather, the contracts have served more as an official acknowledgement to adopted children that it's all right to maintain some contact with their birth families, whether that means access to medical records, an occasional holiday card or a yearly visit to a birth relative's house.

Four Adopted Siblings
Dr. Joshua Sparrow, a child psychiatrist, addresses the challenges faced by foster and adopted children during the holidays.

The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade

Session Four: Engaging Family Partners in Child Welfare

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FOURTH SESSION – January 20-21, 2011
Partner Partners and Meaningful Parent Engagement
Sandra Jimenez
NRCPFC, New York

Meaningful family engagement with parents is critical for good practice in child welfare.
In this session, our presenter will work with the class to discuss the principles of meaningful engagement with family members in the child welfare system.

Family Leadership and Perspectives


Rise Magazine - A Magazine which publishes stories by and for parents affected by the child welfare system


Rise Workbooks
These anthologies compile our best stories along with discussion guides and journal reflection worksheets for each story. Each workbook is a readymade parent support group curriculum. Bring parents' true stories to parenting classes. Use in staff and foster parent training.

Building a Bridge

Building a Bridge
Stories about building collaboration between parents and foster parents
#CW-BRD, 130 pp. $18.95
20 stories by parents, foster parents, and teens + 14 worksheets
Positive relationships between parents and foster parents help children feel more secure in care and adjust more easily after reunification. Ideal for staff and foster parent training.

It Won't Happen Again

It Won't Happen Again
Stories about reunification by parents affected by the child welfare system
#CW-REUN, 82 pp. $12.00
Nine stories and worksheets
When children act out after reunification, parents often feel overwhelmed. Help parents understand children’s fear and anger and learn healthy responses that other parents have used to repair relationships with their children.

Healing Ourselves, Healing Our Children

Healing Ourselves, Healing Our Children
Stories about parenting by parents affected by the child welfare system
#CW-HIST, 86 pp. $12.00
10 stories and worksheets
Parents who grew up with chaos, trauma, or family separation need guidance to build safe, nurturing homes. Parents will feel capable of setting routines, improving communication, and using positive discipline when they read these stories by their peers.


Free Rise Booklets
It's OK to Need Support and One Step at a Time were designed for distribution at New York City Initial Child Safety Conferences. Parent community representatives who guide parents at these conferences—where the decision is made whether to place a child in foster care—selected these Rise stories to support parents in crisis.

'It's OK to Need Support'

'It's OK to Need Support'
A parent-to-parent guide to family support services
24 pp. / 21 stories FREE
If you need help keeping your children safe or resolving family conflicts, the stories in this booklet will help you find the support you need and take steps to protect your children and yourself.


One Step at a Time

One Step at a Time
A parent-to-parent guide to the child welfare system
32 pp. / 26 stories FREE
If your children have been removed, the stories in this booklet will take you step by step through the process of reunifying with your children.


Nuestras Historias

Nuestras Historias
Nuestras Histories is a collection of 10 stories in Spanish about parenting by Mexican-American immigrant mothers. Stories explore the challenges these mothers face maintaining safe and stable homes and supporting their children and families while living in a new culture. Stories were developed in a writing workshop at the Center for Family Life in Sunset Park

Family to Family Parent Partners
The Annie E. Casey Foundation Family to Family initiative works with child welfare systems nationwide to improve practices. Many sites develop Parent Partner programs, which work with parents who have been through the system to guide and support other parents.

Parents as Partners
Workers and families learn from each other in 15 cities nationwide.

Child Welfare Organizing Project (CWOP), New York, NY
The Child Welfare Organizing Project (CWOP) is a parent / professional partnership dedicated to public child welfare reform in New York City through increased, meaningful parent involvement in service and policy planning.

Family Engagement & Self Advocacy

Transfer of Learning Family Engagement and Self Advocacy

Session Five - Assessments and Interventions with Foster and Adoptive Families

Click to evaluate this sessionHandout - Lifelong Themes in Adoption: Assessment& Therapeutic Tools

MEPA - Multi-Ethnic Placement Act

This video presentation is sponsored by the Policy Division of the Administration for Children and Families, Children’s Bureau, in coordination with the National Child Welfare Resource Center for Adoption, a service of the Children’s Bureau.

This is a two part video presentation.  Due to the large file sizes, you may need to wait until download is complete before navigating within the video.

Video Part One
(Approximately 30 minutes)
Faster Connections Click Here   
Slower Connections Click Here

Video Part Two
(Approximately 15 minutes)
Faster Connections Click Here              
Slower Connections Click Here

Click here to download the PowerPoint handout (PDF f

Nuestras Familias/ Nuestras Cultura
The Goal of this Guide
Children of Latino heritage now comprise 19% of the more than 500,000 children currently in foster care, an increase from 17% in 2003 and 15% in 1990.

In response, the federal government has mandated AdoptUsKids to recruit foster and adoptive parents through a national television, radio, print and Internet advertising campaign in Spanish. Thousands of Latino families have answered the call and expressed interest in foster care and adoption.
AdoptUsKids reported 12,959 initial calls from Spanish–speaking prospective adoptive parents during the campaign’s first three years. This Cultural Guide for adoptive and foster parent recruiters, trainers, and caseworkers is the logical “next step” in promoting more effective work with the Latino population.

The Guide provides background information about Latino family and cultural values to increase our understanding of Latinos in the United States. It offers workers in the child welfare field specific tips and techniques for overcoming challenges and increasing effectiveness in working with potential foster or adoptive parents of Latino heritage. In doing so, we draw heavily upon the experiences and suggestions of Latino foster and adoptive parents, Latino youth who are in foster care or who have been adopted, and bicultural, bilingual child welfare professionals.

Many of the suggestions offered in this Guide not only make sense in working with Latino families but also are applicable to working with all prospective foster and adoptive families regardless of ethnicity. Respect, relationship-building, courtesy: these values are the foundation of all good social work!

Session Six: Attachment and Bonding

Julie A. Larrieu PhD    

Current Positions:
Professor of Clinical Psychiatry
Infant Team, Associate Director and Supervising Psychologist
Director of Training, Clinical Psychology
Consultant, Office of Public Health, Maternal Child Health

Phone: (504) 988-5405
Fax: (504) 988-4264

Julie Larrieu PhD

Click to evaluate this sessionSession Six Handout
- Attachment and Bonding


Adoption, Attachment, and Attachment Disorder Conference

Attachment Disorder and Adoption: Innovative use of video in clinical intervention” Friday and Saturday April 8th and 9th 2011


Session Seven: Abuse/Neglected and Sexually Abused Children and Youth

Click to evaluate this sessionOur Speaker for this class is:

Maris Blechner, MSW
Family Focus Adoption Services
54-40 Little Neck Parkway, Suite 4
Little Neck, NY 11362


Session Eight: Clinical Practice with Diverse Children, Youth and Families- Dr. John Raible

Click to evaluate this sessionOur Speaker for this class is:

Dr. John Raible

Who is John W. Raible? 

Dr. John Raible has been educating audiences about transracial adoption for more than thirty years. He began speaking to adoptive parents in the 1970s as a teen panelist at regional and national adoption conferences. He is one of the adult adoptees featured in the widely-shown 1998 documentary film Struggle for Identity: Issues in Transracial Adoption. More recently, he was a returning cast member for the award-winning 2007 Struggle for Identity: A Conversation 10 Years Later.
As an outspoken and nationally-known adult adoptee, Professor Raible has appeared on television talk shows such as the Joan Rivers Show and Sally Jesse Raphael, and has been interviewed by numerous media organizations, includingEssence Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, and BBC Radio’s World Service.
Dr. Raible received his doctorate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in Teacher Education & Curriculum Studies, concentrating in Language, Literacy, and Culture. His thesis examined the experience of non-adopted white siblings who grew up with adopted African American or Korean brothers and sisters.
After a long career as a public school teacher in diverse sites such as the Navajo Nation, Compton California, and upstate New York, John returned to graduate school to pursue a doctorate in Multicultural Education. Dr. Raible currently teaches courses in Multicultural Education and Family Diversity at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he is Assistant Professor of Diversity & Curriculum Studies.
Prof. Raible’s research examines the ways racial identities unfold in multicultural social contexts, as for instance, among members of transracial/transnational adoptive families or within racially integrated schools. Dr. Raible’s publications include Lifelong Impact, Enduring Need in Outsiders Within: Writing on Transracial Adoption (2006);  Beyond Categories: The Complex Identities of Adolescents (2003 & 2008, with Dr. Sonia Nieto); Transracialized Selves and the Emergence of Post-White Teacher Identities (2007 with Dr. Jason Irizarry); andReal Brothers, Real Sisters: Learning From the Non-adopted White Siblings of Transracial Adoptees (2008). His Checklist for Allies Against Racism has long been a popular reprint, along with his more recent 9 Steps to a Transracialized, Anti-racist Lifestyle.
Over the years, Dr. Raible has provided trainings, lectures, keynotes, and other presentations to a variety of audiences, including Black Administrators in Child Welfare (BACW), the North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC), National Court-Appointed Special Advocates for Children (National CASA), the Africana Studies & Research Center at Cornell University, the University of Washington School of Social Work, and the School of Social Work at Hunter College.  Dr. Raible is available as a speaker, trainer, and consultant on a variety of topics, including transracial adoption and foster care, family diversity, multicultural identities and anti-racism, and multicultural education issues.
Issues of difference, identity, and belonging affect adopted children, birth parents and adoptive parents alike. Birth parents have been parents to a child, at least during gestation, but may no longer actively parent of that child after adoption. Adoptive parents may feel they are different from biological parents because they did not give birth to this child. Children feel different because of their histories and connections to two families and the feelings of loss and lost information that is a part of their story. These differences may be compounded by additional issues of diversity brought on by transracial or transcultural adoptions, adoption by gay or lesbian couples, and/or adoption by a child's relatives. This module will explore the therapeutic implications for working with diverse families and will briefly address the issues around intercountry adoption


Session Nine: Search and Reunion Issues for Adoption Triad Members

Click to evaluate this sessionPatricia Martinez Dorner, MSW
San Antonio, Texas









20 THINGS by Sherrie Eldridge









Louisiana Adoption Registry:


Session Ten: Clinical Practice/Therapeutic Strategies with Adoptive Triad Members: Wrap Up

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Adoption Notice: New Intercountry Adoption Website
The Office of Children’s Issues has launched a new website to allow you to access important intercountry adoption information and updates more easily.  We have new sections dedicated to describing the overall process as well as specific information on the Hague Convention process, country specific information, Immigrant Visas, and information geared towards the adoption
community.  We invite you to explore the new website and get familiar with it.  If you have any questions or comments about our new website please contact the office at or 1-888-407-4747. 



$12 a day for a foster child?
Omaha World-Herald  February 17, 2011
Esau was among several people who testified in support of a bill that would require the state to develop new payment rates for foster parents by July 1, 2012. Under Legislative Bill 199, the new rates would have to be enough to cover the basic needs of a foster child. The bill also would require that private agencies contracting with the state pay foster parents on a timely basis.

Bill giving adoption information in Neb. advances
Associated Press  February 17, 2011
The bill (LB94) by Omaha Sen. Gwen Howard would provide the opportunity for those seeking to adopt a state ward to read the child's case file kept by the Department of Health and Human Services.

U.S.: A Families-First Approach to Foster Care
New York Times February 21, 2011
It’s difficult to change systems even when they are widely acknowledged to be broken. That’s the situation facing the nation’s foster care system.

AR: State Supreme Court strikes down adoption ban
Arkansas News Bureau  April 7, 2011
A state law banning unmarried, cohabiting couples from adopting children or becoming foster parents is unconstitutional, the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled unanimously today.

AZ: Arizona House approves bill on adoption preference
Associated Press  April 7, 2011
A bill giving married couples what amounts to a tie-breaker preference for adoptions is near the finish line at the Arizona Legislature amid debate that centers on what's best for children.

FL: Equity funding will erode gains within top performing child welfare agencies
St. Petersburg Times  April 8, 2011
New legislation in the Florida Senate calls for reducing funding for all community-based care lead agencies by 25 percent. That amount then would be used to create so-called equity for all lead agencies in the state contracted to provide child welfare, foster care and adoption services.
NY: When blame isn’t enough (Op-Ed by Olivia A. Golden)
New York Times  April 7, 2011
I examined institutions like airlines and some hospitals that have reduced deaths and injuries. Through rigorous data analysis, they have developed systemic approaches to safety, focusing on clear communication, minimum-staffing requirements and “fail-safe” strategies to reduce the consequences of inevitable human error. Such strategies can be applied to protecting children.

Star-Telegram  April 6, 2011
Just when there is reason to hope for improvements to the way Texas treats foster children, a lawsuit filed by a New York advocacy group threatens to throw a wrench into the works.

VA: Debate intensifies over gay adoption rules
Richmond Times-Dispatch  April 7, 2011
Lobbying efforts are intensifying over a proposed regulatory change that would prohibit Virginia adoption agencies from discriminating based on sexual orientation.

US: Fewer Russian adoptions since mom sends son back
NPR  April 7, 2011
Though adoptions have continued, they've been at a much slower pace. In 2010, there were roughly 1,000 Russian adoptions, more than a 30 percent drop from the previous year.

USA Today    April 11, 2011

"An immense amount has changed in the last decade — intercountry adoption is plummeting, foster-care adoptions are soaring, a kid was 'returned' to Russia, the Haiti earthquake was an object lesson in how not to do adoptions, openness in infant adoptions really took hold, and on and on," say Pertman, whose work focuses on the overall adoptive family

The New American    April 11, 2011
In the state high court’s unanimous opinion, Justice Robert Brown wrote that Act 1 was unfair in that it prohibited couples living in a sexual relationship outside of marriage from serving as caregivers for children in state care. “We hold that a fundamental right to privacy is at issue in this case and that, under the Arkansas Constitution, sexual cohabitors have the right to engage in private, consensual, noncommercial intimacy in the privacy of their homes,” wrote Brown. “We further hold that this right is jeopardized by Act 1, which precludes all sexual cohabitors, without exception, from eligibility for parenthood, whether by means of adoption or foster care.”
Marietta Times    April 9, 2011
A large sign placed in a truck bed parked at the former Movie Gallery, on the corner of Pike and Greene streets, read "Hoping to Adopt" and their contact information.  "It definitely caught my eye," said Kim Griffin, of Marietta, who passed it coming and going to work each day. "I wasn't sure what to make of it... (it was) definitely something I've not seen before."
Battle Creek Enquirer    April 12, 2011
Michigan legislators now are considering a package of bills that would change the system so that uncontested adoption cases would be expedited and children could enjoy the permanency of an adoptive home sooner. Such changes are needed.
Howard News Service    April 8, 2011
The siblings are at the heart of a Nebraska court battle that could establish a legal precedent on whether siblings have a right to live together if they become wards of the state.
RI: Bill would expand access to records
Providence Journal   April 12, 2011
Adopted adults who want to see their original birth certificates will try again this year to press state lawmakers to change the Rhode Island law that keeps documents that identify their birth parents secret.  A bill to provide adoptees with access to their original birth certificates when they turn 18 is scheduled for a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee Tuesday afternoon.
Nashville Public Radio    April 7, 2011
It was a year ago this week that a small town nurse in Shelbyville put the international adoption world into an uproar. Fearful of her newly adopted son, she sent the 7-year-old back to Moscow on a one-way trip. Russian adoptions had already been on a steady decline. Russian officials threatened to suspend placements with U.S. families altogether. But the adoption pipeline was never completely shutoff.

IL: Catholic Charities might stop adoption and foster care services
KWQC May 4, 2011
Catholic Charities of Illinois might have to stop adoption and foster care services. It is because the organization will not process applications for civil union couples and the issue could cost them state funding.

NY: New bill would expand adoptees rights
The Queens Courier  May 4, 2011
A2003, “The Bill of Adoptee Rights,” would enable adults who were adopted to obtain a non-certified copy of their original birth certificate. In addition, should there be a medical history form, the adoptee would have access to it.

TN: Teens who are close to aging out of foster care find homes, hope
The Tennessean  April 30, 2011
Almost half of the kids in the state’s system are teenagers. But even as they move closer to aging out of the system, some still seek to be adopted.

The Associated Press State & Local Wire    May 23, 2011
A House committee has rejected a New Orleans lawmaker's bill that would allow two unmarried, same-sex adults to adopt a child together. Also:

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