& Training



  Other Training



Training and Assistance Available for Parent Groups

Technical assistance is available to groups. All travel costs need to be negotiated with NACAC by your group. See below for a list of available sessions, and contact Kim Stevens at or 651-644-3036 to request training.

NACAC's annual conference also has a series of workshops designed for parent groups and two pre-conference sessions related to parent groups.

Available Group Development Assistance

Starting a Group

  • Program Development — Just starting out or starting over? Help with your program development may save you costly mistakes and give you the direction you’re looking for.

  • Board Development — The how-tos of building a strong, effective board. This training will target areas of need as related to board composition and how to identify and recruit potential board members.

  • Obtaining 501(c)(3) Status — All the nuts and bolts of what needs to be done to obtain not-for-profit status.

  • Leadership Training — Instruction will focus on the leader’s role in pulling groups together, maintaining groups, developing group activities, defining a group’s focus, periodically revitalizing existing groups, and maximizing the value of parent-based organizations.

  • Funding — Identify and access funding opportunities that fit your group. Also, learn the components of writing a successful grant proposal and how to identify good funding sources.

  • Publicity — How to get the word out about your group to your community. There are many ways to obtain valuable publicity for little or no money.

  • Organization Policies & Positions — Whether your group is new or has a history, this interactive assistance can be extremely helpful in assessing and/or implementing new policies or taking positions on the many aspects of the adoption experience.

Revitalizing Your Group

  • Board and Staff Burnout — Is your board or staff suffering burnout? Could your group be operating in a mode that worked previously, but doesn’t seem to be effective now? An experienced "outside" eye can be useful to help see what is and what is not working for your group, or you personally.

  • New Leader Identification and Support — What are leadership characteristics? Their style may be different, but equally good for the group. How to recognize and support potential leaders and assist in the transition of your group through a change in leadership.

  • Program and Policy Adjustment — So things have changed since your group’s inception. Legislation, children’s ages and life stages, and societal changes all impact the thrust of your group. Interact with NACAC for help in revamping your group.

Enhancing Your Group

  • Building Coalitions — Learn how to implement a parent-based statewide adoption advocacy organization that provides continuity to individual groups and is focused on system change.
  • The Resource Book to Clearinghouse Continuum — Discover where and how to start organizing all your many resources and information so that it is useful to staff, board, and members.

  • Developing & Maintaining Web Sites — Get the answers to how and where to start. Is a professional webmaster needed? How do you maintain and update the site?

  • Developing & Staffing Warm Lines — Learn how to set it up, what choices are available, and what and whom you need to staff it.

  • Establishing Respite Care — A few models will be shared, and assistance will be given, looking at the specific needs and supports of your community.

  • Developing Youth Speak Out Teams — Young adopted adults are the best advocates for system reform, advocacy, and recruitment. Learn how to start and maintain a local team.

Available Workshops for Parent Groups

The workshops listed below are 1.5 hours in length unless otherwise noted.

  • Adoption Issues — Learn the basic issues inherent in the adoption experience that affect all parts of the triad and how to identify them.

  • Advocacy Instruction — Discover how to effectively make changes for your child in the system and how to band together to make system changes for all children.

  • Birth Family Relationships — Whether the relationships are a result of open placements or search and reunion, it is important to look at the special interaction and connections that exist. Learn what expectations are reasonable and what boundaries need to be in place.

  • Buddy Programs — Learn how to establish a mentoring/support program that reaches out to your prospective and/or newly adoptive parents.

  • How Abuse and Neglect Affect a Child's Development — Most of our children come to us as victims of abuse and neglect. This workshop will look at normal development and the effects of abuse and neglect on development. We will then look at strategies to help children, at each developmental stage, by going back and looking at the normal developmental tasks. (A-V: Overhead, TV/Monitor)

  • Kin Relationships — Many aspects of kinship care are unique and loaded with emotional difficulties as well as physical demands. We will look at where and how boundaries can be put in place to enhance all the relationships involved, as well as what supports and assistance are available for the caretakers. (2 to 2.5 hours)

  • Leadership Training for Support Group Leaders — This workshop will focus on the leader’s role in groups, facilitation styles, and maintaining groups.

  • Love & Logic Parenting — This parenting style can take much of the stress out of life by giving some control to the children and therefore letting the parents have some as well. Learn how to prepare children for the real world. (half day to full day)

  • Moving from Foster Care to Adoption — This workshop will address the advantages and disadvantages of foster parent adoption so that care givers can accurately assess the appropriateness of this transition for their family. As well as helping both the parents and children understand the increased level of commitment and expectations inherent in adoption.

  • Post-Adoption Models — NACAC can facilitate the development of post-adoption services and identify government and foundation funding sources.

  • Preventing and Surviving Allegations — The saying is "not IF you have an allegation, but WHEN" as foster parents, you need to assume that you will have an allegation! This workshop will discuss why allegations are happening, how to help yourself through an allegation and discuss ways to be proactive in parenting so that there are as many safeguards as possible in your home to avoid allegations. As care givers, we need to think differently about parenting special needs children. This workshop will discuss the legal ramifications and give insight to parents as to their rights. Parent support groups strategies for support and education will be addresssed. (A-V: Overhead projector with screen, Flip chart with marker)

  • Recruitment — This workshop will feature model programs along with tips for effective outreach and retention.

  • School Issues — Adoption experiences can complicate many school assignments. Optional assignments will be explored as well as helpful ways to approach your school’s staff. Assistance can also be presented for families whose children require IEPs.

  • Search & Reunion — This workshop will provide assistance for doing a search as well as assessing what needs and expectations are present. Support and understanding are necessary for all the triad at this time, and we are happy to provide it. Facilitation with the reunion event is also available. (1.5 to 3 hours)

  • Self Awareness Tool for Transracial Parenting — NACAC presents its Transracial Self Awareness Tool for families considering transracial adoption or foster care. Participants will receive a copy of the tool and participate in group discussions on values, family, community, and racism. (1.5 to 3 hours)

  • Special Needs Issues — Parenting supports and resources are available on any and all special needs. This offering is a prime example of one that can be tailor-made for your group, whether your concerns are abuse, attachment, FAS, HIV, how abuse and development effect development,or any number of other issues.

  • Subsidized Adoptions: What Parents and Workers Should Know — As more and more "at-risk" children are placed, adoption subsidies are often the only means families have to provide needed services for their children. How can adoption workers protect the adoptive families and provide a minimum of post-adoption services for the families? How can families negotiate in their adopted child’s best interest? (1.5 to 3 hours)

  • Techniques for Working with Angry / Aggressive Kids: Ways to Help Parents De-escalate and Live more Sanely — This workshop will look at characteristics of angry/aggressive children. It will also address how we increase their aggression and give "hands-on" tips for de-escalating and working positively with our kids. (A-V: Overhead)

  • Transracial Parenting — NACAC will present a train-the-trainer session on the use of its Transracial Training Curriculum. The curriculum is designed for agencies and parent support groups to use with prospective foster and adoptive parents who are considering raising a child of another race, culture, or ethnicity. (half day to full day)

  • Understanding Attachment and Ways to Work with Attachment — We can work with attachment! This workshop will look at patterns of attachment and address ways to encourage children attach at each developmental stage. We will also talk about taking care of the caregiver when helping children attach. (A-V: Overhead, TV/Monitor)



North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC)
970 Raymond Avenue, Suite 106
St. Paul, MN 55114
phone: 651-644-3036
fax: 651-644-9848