We Must Do Better for Children: Race and Equity in Foster Care and Adoption

On February 23, 2021, NACAC is pleased to present a virtual one-day conference on key race and equity issues in the US and Canada. Professionals, parents, young people who experienced foster care or adoption, and other advocates are encouraged to attend to learn how they can make changes that result in better outcomes for children and families of color. Please see the schedule below.

Attendees can participate live or listen to a recorded version of workshops, or a combination of the two. Recordings will be available through April 30, 2021.

After you register for the conference, you will receive an email confirmation of your registration. Later you will receive four confirmation notices from Zoom, plus a reminder one hour before each workshop begins.

If you have registered and did not receive four confirmation notices, please email us at info@nacac.org.

Please note that registration is now closed.


Please note that the times listed are in the central time zone. CHECK YOUR TIME ZONES CAREFULLY.

10:00 – 11:15    

The Damage Color-Blind Attitudes Can Cause — JaeRan Kim, PhD, MSW, LISW, University of Washington at Tacoma

This presentation will focus on the importance of moving beyond color-blind and “celebration” approaches to diversity to think more deeply about how these approaches to permanency practices might reinforce and perpetuate inequity and developmental harm to Black, Indigenous, and people of color. Strategies for personal and systemic reflection that can be used to begin to incorporate a more equitable permanency practice will be discussed. 

11:15 – 11:30     Break

11:30 – 12:45    

Parent-Child Relationships in Transracial Families through Developmental Stages — Kim Stevens, M.Ed., transracial adoptive parent, North American Council on Adoptable Children, and Justice Stevens, transracial adopted person

Mother and son share strategies for growing together through loss, facing both privilege and racism, and having difficult conversations about who we are at our core. They will weave throughout their individual and family journeys over the course of their lives together, exploring the intersection of race, gender, and family membership.

12:45 – 1:15       Lunch

1:15 – 2:30       

Supporting Cultural Pride with Latino Children — Maria Quintanilla, MSW, LCSW, Latino Family Institute

Connection to a child’s culture and heritage of origin should be a priority in helping them develop a strong and positive identity. For Latino children, this starts with an understanding that there are 21 unique Latin American countries, each with its own history and diversity. In this session, parents and professionals will gain new understandings about and strategies for supporting Latino children’s positive self-identity, responding to racism, and ensuring children’s safety.

2:30 – 2:45     Break

2:45 – 4:00    

Decolonizing Child Welfare for American Indian Communities — Terry Cross, Seneca Nation, National Indian Child Welfare Association

American Indian and Alaska Native families have experienced repeated, historic, collective, intergenerational, complex trauma resulting in an array of structural threats including poverty, untreated mental health problems, substance misuse, and family disruptions. These conditions contribute to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) including child abuse and neglect. Until recently, child welfare has too often compounded trauma with approaches designed to rescue children and police parents’ behavior adding new ACEs. A decolonized approach seeks to end the trauma of unnecessary removals by recognizing and restoring the integrity of the culture, community, and family. An Indigenous framework doesn’t wait for bruises or abandonment it, creates “safety.” This presentation will examine the intergenerational transmission of historic trauma through ACE’s and how tribes play a critical role helping build family strength and resilience. The presenter will discuss the “Touchstones of Hope” as a path forward to decolonize tribal child welfare.


Registration is $50 for NACAC members and $60 for non-members. Registration is for one person or a parenting couple who will be participating together. Please note that registration fees are not refundable.

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The North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC) supports, educates, inspires, and advocates so adoptive families thrive and every child in foster care has a permanent, safe, loving family.


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