The Impact of Foster Care and Adoption in Treating Children, Youth, and Families: A Training to Enhance Skills and Improve Outcomes

For several years, NACAC has been offering states, provinces, agencies, and others the opportunity to provide Impact of Foster Care and Adoption in Treating Children, Youth, and Families: A Training to Enhance Skills and Improve Outcomes in their area. This in-depth training, developed in adherence to the national best practice advisory committee’s identified goals and objectives, helps mental health practitioners and child welfare workers understand the importance of building skills and knowledge related to working with adoptive families.

NACAC’s goal is to emphasize families’ strengths, ensure practices are family-based and value all members of the adoption triad, acknowledge that adoption is a process and not an event, and focus on the many systems affected by adoption. Providers (including parent mentors, school personnel, community support workers, pastoral counselors, and mental health workers) who work with adoptive families will benefit from the opportunity to build their skills, knowledge, empathy, and understanding of this journey, as they learn to seek resources in their home states and counties that can also meet families’ needs.

Adoption Competency Matters

Research has shown the importance of adoption-competent mental health services to stabilize and support adoptive families. At NACAC we know how expensive and challenging it is to get staff to the training they need to enhance their adoption competence.

Through this comprehensive training, you can greatly enhance the efficacy of your program. And, because you will own the curriculum and can use it to train other providers in the future, you can continue to improve the support your community provides to foster, adoptive, guardian, and kinship families.

NACAC staff and other nationally recognized child welfare experts co-train this 64-hour curriculum, providing learning on both foundational and clinical issues that arise when working with foster or adopted children and their families.

“The examples provided by all the trainers on the concepts were wonderful to anchor the concepts and theories to how it actually applies to practice.”
—attendee at a NACAC adoption competency training

Training Overview

Among the objectives covered are:

  • Identify and define developmental issues and survival behaviors of children and youth.
  • Build knowledge and skills for trauma-based parenting.
  • Identify behavior and mental health issues that are impacted by time in care and prenatal exposure to substances.
  • Identify relational difficulties and effective interventions.
  • Build knowledge and skills for intervention on behalf of children with attachment difficulties.
  • Discuss race and racism as they affect children and families in the child welfare system.

This eight-day training can be scheduled to meet your community’s needs. The following is a sample agenda:

Day One

• Core Issues in Adoption
• Normative Developmental Capacities
• Qualities of Successful Parents

Day Two

• Child Welfare Practice
• Permanency Planning and Impact of Trauma

Days Three and Four

• Impact of Trauma, Abuse, and Neglect
• Fetal Alcohol Effects
• Special Needs of Children
• Diagnosis and Effective Treatment Modalities

Day Five

• Attachment: Assessment, Diagnosis and Intervention
• Effective Strategies for Caregivers and Clinicians
• Building Child/Parent Systems

Day Six

• Culture and Diversity
• Supporting a Positive Sense of Self
• The Openness Continuum
• Kinship Issues

Day Seven

• Older Adoptees: Transitions and Adult Supports
• Effective Post–Adoption Services and Model Programs
• From Learning to Practice

Day Eight

• Community Inventory
• Curriculum Practice
• Implementation
• Evaluation Methods

The training can be adapted to meet the needs of your community. For pricing and more information, contact Kim Stevens at or Mary Boo at 651-644-3036 x19.

Our Mission

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.


What We Do
Core Beliefs and Values
Board of Directors
Our Partners
Sponsorship Opportunities


North American Council
on Adoptable Children
970 Raymond Avenue
Suite 205
St. Paul, MN 55114


Staff Contact Info

The North American Council on Adoptable Children