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Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare

Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare

Recently in conferences Category

The North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC) is looking for submissions for their 39th annual conference, to be held in Toronto, Ontario next August 7-10, 2013. The deadline for submissions is Tuesday, November 2, 2012.

From the NACAC website:

NACAC encourages adoptive and foster parents, child welfare professionals, adoptees, birth parents, former foster youth, researchers, therapists, and other child advocates to submit workshop and institute proposals for the 2012 conference. Three-hour institutes will take place Thursday, August 8. Workshops of 90 or 120 minutes will run from Thursday morning through Saturday.

More information along with a downloadable PDF of the call for proposals is available here.

North American Council on Adoptable Children conference

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The North American Council on Adoptable Children will hold its 38th annual conference in Crystal City, VA on July 25-28, 2012.

This year's theme, Celebrating Families: Valuable Lessons from Children, Parents and Professionals, begins with a pre-session workshop with Dr. Bruce Perry, noted expert on child trauma. Dr. Perry is a Senior Fellow at the Child Trauma Academy and his research on integrating developmental neuroscience and child development with children who have experienced maltreatment is highly regarded.

In addition to the wonderful sessions and presentations available at the conference, our own work at the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare with our Permanency and Adoption Competency Certificate will be highlighted in a presentation with all the other sites that are implementing the Training on Adoption Competency curriculum developed by the Center for Adoption Support and Education.

Our presentation description:

Building an Adoption Competent Mental Health Workforce: Moving from Development to National Replication

Join the Center for Adoption Support and Education and leaders from replication sites in California, Minnesota and North Carolina to learn about the development, implementation and evaluation of a multi-year national initiative -- Training for Adoption Competency. Site representatives will describe their experiences in implementing the training and building community-based, adoption competent clinical services. Lessons learned will be shared to help others implement evidence informed adoption competency training for mental health and child welfare professionals.

Debbie Riley, The Center for Adoption Support and Education, Maryland • Edythe Swidler, Lilliput Children's Services, California • JaeRan Kim, Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare, University of Minnesota • Janine Szymanski, Family NET of Catawba County, North Carolina

For more information about the NACAC Conference and to download the session program, click here or visit the NACAC website.

Finding permanency & stability through supportive housing

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iStock_000005318605Large.jpgOn Friday, CASCW co-sponsored a reflective seminar that discussed the role of supportive housing in child welfare practice. I thought this seminar was particularly relevant to this blog, as recent research from CASCW has shown that supportive housing can greatly reduce incidences of involvement in child protection and out-of-home care, thereby increasing a child's chances of permanency and stability. These are some highlights from the seminar.

Definitions of supportive housing

Adult: Permanent, affordable, independent, with flexible (and voluntary) service integration (though services are not a condition of the lease agreement, clients following a case plan must participate).

Youth: Can be host homes, transitional living programs, or permanent housing; services are not voluntary, include youth development, activities, case management, and independent living skills. Also have rules and requirements.

Supportive housing services are also "sticky" in that case managers stay with clients regardless of the system in which they are involved, e.g. child protective services. They also help clients coordinate services among various systems, such as between child protection case manager and psychiatrist.

Issues to consider: Homelessness and older youth

According to Stephanie Harms, Chief of Staff of the Corporation for Supportive Housing, it's important to include (multiple) housing plans in a youth's SELF plan. Older youth may be more eager to leave the 'system' than to think about the very real possibility of homelessness. Unless that child's family had been homeless at one point, the reality of 'homelessness' may not be fully understood.

beth homeless youth.PNGAlso, an issue arises when one considers how funds received dictate service provision. For example, the federal definition of 'homelessness' does not include instances of substandard or inadequate housing. As Beth Holger-Ambrose put it, when you have to weigh the difference between a kid with no roof over her head versus someone living in a Port-a-Potty in Loring Park, the former will be more likely to be considered for programming because the latter at least has a roof over her head.

Permanency & stability through supportive housing

The concept of supportive housing can work to ensure that families stay together by providing low-income, vulnerable families with often-permanent subsidized housing while extending needed services at the same time. This in turn leads to both permanency and stability for the children in said families. Additionally, for those youth aging out of care, youth supportive housing can work to provide stability in an otherwise potentially tumultuous time in the lives of these youth, as they adjust to living on their own.

We are presenting our 13th Annual FREE Child Welfare conference,
Beyond Burnout: Secondary Trauma in the Child Welfare Workforce
on May 1, 2012, from 1:00pm to 4:30pm.

We are pleased to feature keynote presenter Dr. Brian Bride, PhD, LCSW, who is Associate Professor and PhD Program Director at the School of Social Work, University of Georgia. Following the keynote presentation Erika Tullberg, MPA, MPH of the ACS-NYU Children's Trauma Institute will present on the Institute's Resilience Alliance Project intervention, which addresses STS experienced by child welfare staff. The conference will conclude with a panel presentation, which will include a local child welfare worker and a local administrator.

The conference will be held in the DQ Room at the TCF Bank Stadium, University of Minnesota, East Bank campus, and will also be available via live web stream. As always, there is no charge for this conference.

Participants may earn 3.5 CEUs for their attendance.

Information and registration for this event may be found at

Please note: Registration will only be available through Monday, April 23, 2012.

In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact Nora Lee at, or 612-624-4231.

We look forward to your attendance!

Dr. Hal Grotevant, formerly from the Department of Family Social Science at the University of Minnesota, and now Chair of the Rudd Adoption Research program at U-Mass/Amherst, was interviewed on WGBY about what adoption looks like during the adolescen tyears. He also discusses the upcoming conference on March 30, 2012.

You can view the interview below or here.

Upcoming adoption conference: New Worlds of Adoption

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Save the date! The Rudd Adoption Research Program at the University of Massachusetts - Amherst Department of Psychology holds an annual conference. This year's conference, New Worlds of Adoption: Navigating the Teen Years, will be co-hosted by the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute.

Minnesota has several connections with this year's conference. The Rudd Chair is Dr. Hal Grotevant, former faculty member of the Family Social Science program at the University of Minnesota, and this year's keynote speaker is Dr. Megan Gunnar, esteemed Regents Professor at the U of MN and Director of the Institute of Child Development. Dr. Dana Johnson of the International Adoption Clinic will also be presenting.


For a list of conference presenters, click here. The conference will be held March 30, 2012 at the University of Massachusetts - Amherst. There is still time to submit a poster, the deadline for submission is January 17, 2012. Click here for information on how to submit a poster.