When children are adopted, they often come to their new families with early life trauma that can lead to instability and numerous challenges. Services for these families and youth is a corner of the child welfare field that has long lacked for information sharing.
Enter the inaugural Adoption, Support and Preservation National Conference, which convened 400 people from 32 states in Nashville last week to discuss pre- and post-adoption services. It was co-sponsored by the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services and Tennessee-based private not-for-profit Harmony Family Services. Attendees included public child welfare workers, leaders of private adoption agencies, psychologists, therapists and U.S. government officials, according to conference organizers.
“The ASAP National Conference was about bringing together professionals from the adoption and child welfare fields to collaborate and work toward the common goal of providing support, stability, and advocacy for every adoptive family in the U.S. as well as abroad,” said ASAP Conference Director Nicole Coning.
Rather than confining the learning to one weekend, the ASAP conference organizers created pre-conference and post-conference webinars to generate ongoing conversations. There were four pre-conference webinars leading up to the conference, and 10 additional post-conference webinars are scheduled to begin in July, said Pam Wolf, founder and CEO of Harmony Family Center.
“We’re creating a network across the country of people interested in these topics, and we will continue the conversation,” said Wolf. “That will result in more services in more areas across the country.”
The presenters included social workers, professors, mental health advocates, and many leaders of family services and adoption agencies from across the U.S. The conference included breakout sessions on early brain development, fostering healthy relationships, post-adoption services models, accessing federal funding for post adoptive-services, attachment trauma, and much more.
The Chronicle of Social Change has compiled the PowerPoint presentations and handouts disseminated at some of the conference’s key panel sessions:
What’s Working: An Introduction to Thriving Post-Adopt Programs in Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Tennessee
Back to the Future: Knowledge of Early Brain Development in Adopted Youth Promotes Effective Treatment Toward Positive Futures
Integrative Team Treatment for Attachment Trauma in Children
Fostering Healthy Relationships Before & After Adoption
Navigating a Difficult Journey
It Takes a Village: The Treehouse Community Approach
The Modern Family: Many Faces, Many Complexities
Models for Design and Delivery of a Range of Post-Adoption Services
Helping Adoptive Parents and Children to Better Relationships through Attachment-Based Play: A Workshop for Adoption Professionals
Developing a Service Continuum that Increases Pre and Post Permanency
Connecting the Dots for Permanency: An Integrated Approach to Promoting Healing and Resilience
Ethics in Post-Adoption
Effective Support Services for Adoptive Families
Accessing Federal Funding for Post-Adoption Services
Current Trends in Domestic and Inter-country Adoption
Keeping Families Together: Let’s Act!
Residential Treatment: A Last Resort for Struggling Adoptive Families
Preserving and Strengthening Adoption Through Case Management
You Don’t Have to Do it Alone: Supporting Post-Adoptive Families