March 21, 2021 9am-12:15pm
Price: $80 ($70 earlybird discount). APP Members: $55 (or $45 earlybird discount).
Adoption Through the Eyes of Children and Teens:
A Developmental Perspective
Date: March 21, 2021 9:00 am – 12:15 pm
Presenter: Debbie B. Riley, LCMF
CEO and Co-Founder, Center for Adoption Support and Education
Participants will gain an in-depth understanding of what children comprehend, think, and feel about adoption as they grow up, from the pre-school years through adolescence. Common questions, fears and concerns related to birth parents, relationships with adoptive and extended family members and relationships with peers are addressed. Special emphasis is on methods for addressing loss and grief, self-esteem and self-value and identity through an
adoption-competent developmental lens. How children and teens who are not adopted perceive adoption is included, as well as the impact of feedback from peers and adults in the child’s world which impact adoption adjustment.
• Identify the complex ways in which early life experiences and one’s understanding of their adoption experience impact children from a developmental and family life cycle perspective.
• Explain the key principles of “six stuck spots” and how to support the adolescent’s identify formation.
• Define Ambiguous loss and the impact upon the adoptee.
• Describe current trends in the provision of adoption-competent mental health to ensure preservation of adoptive families.
About the Presenter
Debbie B. Riley LCMFT, CEO, and co-founder of The Center for Adoption Support and Education, a nonprofit adoptive family support center in the Baltimore-Washington area. A nationally recognized adoption expert and dynamic public speaker, Ms. Riley has 40 years of professional experience, including extensive health care management, administrative expertise, designing and developing nationally acclaimed adoption-competent programs, direct delivery of
specialized counseling services which affords her the broad knowledge and nationally respected expertise needed to promote mental health training, child advocacy and public policy development. Ms. Riley created a continuum of innovative, culturally responsive evidenced- informed programs to improve the behavioral outcomes of foster and adopted youth and their families which has become a nationally recognized model. She consults with national child
welfare agencies on complex child welfare issues and systems of care enhancement. For over a decade she has built and implemented a framework for training an adoption competent mental health workforce nationally and is the Founder of TAC (Training for Adoption Competency
Curriculum) currently taught in 18 states within the United States. Through a federal grant awarded to C.A.S.E from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Ms. Riley serves as the PI for the National Adoption Competency Mental Health Training Initiative (NTI). The initiative has developed, piloted and evaluated two state of the art web-based adoption competency curriculum to build the capacity of child welfare professionals and mental health practitioners that serve youth moving toward adoptive or guardianship homes. She also has been contributor on two other federally funded curriculum initiatives, The National Training and Development Curriculum (NTDC) and CORETeen.
Ms. Riley received her Master of Science in Marital and Family Therapy and her Bachelor of Science in Family and Community Development from the University of Maryland, College Park, MD. She is the recipient of the 2015 HHS Adoption Excellence Award for Individuals and professionals, 2005 Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute Angels in Adoption Award, 2005 HHS Adoption Excellence Award – support for adoptive families, 2003 Maryland Governor’s Council on Child Abuse and Neglect Award for Outstanding Advocate, and 2003 Voice for Adoption Award for outstanding work in post-adoption services.
Riley, D., & Singer, E. (2020). Training for Adoption Competency Curriculum. In ROUTLEDGE HANDBOOK OF ADOPTION. Abingdon: CRC Press.
Waterman, J., Langley, A. K., Miranda, J., & Riley, D. B. (2018). Adoption-specific therapy: A guide to helping adopted children and their families thrive. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Riley, D., & Singer, E. (2016). The Need for Adoption-Competent Mental Health Professionals. In R. Fong & R. G. McRoy (Authors), Transracial and intercountry adoptions: Cultural guidance for professionals. New York: Columbia University Press.
Riley, D. B., & Meeks, J. E. (2006). Beneath the mask: Understanding adopted teens: Case studies & treatment considerations for therapists & parents. Silver Spring, MD: C.A.S.E.
Taymans, J., Marotta, S., Lynch, S., Riley, D., Ortiz, D., Schutt, J., Mallery, C., Embich, J. Adoption as a Diversity Issue in Professional Preparation: Perceptions of Preservice Education Professionals, Adoption Quarterly, 1544-452X, volume 11, Issue 1 2008, Pages 24-44.
Atkinson, A., Freundlich, M., Gonet, P., Riley, D., Adoption Competent Clinical Practice; Defining Its Meaning and Development, Adoption Quarterly November 2013 16:3-4, 156-174.
Atkinson, A Riley D., Training for Adoption Competency: Building a Community of Adoption -Competent Clinicians, Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services Vol.98 Issue 3(2017).
References for the Presentation:
Riley, D., & Meeks, J. E. (2005). Beneath the Mask: Understanding Adopted Teens: Case Studies & Treatment Considerations for Therapists & Parents. CASE.
Riley, D., & Singer, E. (2016). The Need for Adoption-Competent Mental Health Professionals. In Fong R. & McRoy R. (Eds.), Transracial and Intercountry Adoptions: Cultural Guidance for Professionals (pp. 315-358). NEW YORK: Columbia University Press. doi:10.7312/fong17254.15
Brodzinsky, D. M., Schechter, M. D., & Henig, R. M. (1993). Being adopted (p. 128). New York: Anchor Books