Training for Adoption Competency (TAC)
A Partnership to Bring you the Best!
Right Turn® is proud to partner with Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska to offer Training for Adoption Competency (TAC). The Center for Adoption Support and Education (C.A.S.E.) in conjunction with the generous support of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, has awarded Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska funding to provide TAC – a training for clinicians/mental health professionals that has been shown to be effective in developing adoption-competent mental health practice.
What is TAC?
TAC is a training program specifically developed to provide licensed mental health professionals with the clinical skills they need to provide quality clinical services to adopted persons, birth families, prospective adoptive parents, adoptive families and kinship families. It is grounded in a consensus-based definition of an “adoption-competent mental health professional” and 18 adoption competencies developed in collaboration with a National Advisory Board of adoption experts.
Who Developed TAC?
The Center for Adoption Support and Education (C.A.S.E.) developed TAC based on its extensive experience in providing pre- and post-adoption counseling and educational services to families, educators, child welfare staff and mental health providers in Maryland, Northern Virginia, and Washington D.C. C.A.S.E. also serves as a national resource for foster/adoptive families and professionals through its training, publications, and consultations. C.A.S.E. defines post-adoption services as ongoing, comprehensive support services that include education, counseling, family forums, and advocacy which address clearly identified developmental issues and social-emotional challenges frequently shared by adoptees and their families. Post-adoption involves preventive measures to ensure the preservation of adoptive families. More information about C.A.S.E. can be found at www.adoptionsupport.org
Why did C.A.S.E. Decide to Develop TAC?
Research shows that children with traumatic experiences of abuse, neglect and abandonment, and challenging behavioral and emotional responses are at greater risk of presenting with adjustment problems within their adoptive families. These children’s emotional issues are often complex, and adoptive parents often identify these issues as the primary contributors to family stressors post-adoption. Access to adoption-competent mental health services is a critical factor in the outcomes for these children and their adoptive families and the success of their adoptions. Studies show, however, that adoptive families face significant challenges in finding quality mental health services provided by therapists who are knowledgeable about the effects of pre-adoption experiences on children’s intellectual and social functioning, children’s ability to form attachments to their adoptive families, and children’s overall development in light of early abuse and neglect and foster care placements.
What are the Long-Term Goals of TAC?
• Increase families’ access to adoption competent mental health professionals
• Improve the well-being of adopted children and youth and their families
What are the Special Features of TAC?
• It is exclusively designed for mental health professionals.
• It has an in-depth clinical focus and is specifically designed to build and strengthen clinical skills.
• It is competency-based, using a definition of an “adoption-competent mental health professional” and clinical adoption competencies vetted nationally with a National Advisory Board of adoption experts, adoptive parents, and adopted persons.
• It is very intensive: 70 hours of classroom/at home instruction and 6 months of clinical case consultation to support the transfer of learning to practice.
• It is manualized to ensure high-quality replication.
• It is rigorously evaluated through pilot testing and replication evaluation.
One gap and barrier that has been identified repeatedly in the course of Right Turn’s work, and in adoption work across the country, is the lack of access to adoption competent mental health providers.
The Nebraska practitioners who have successfully graduated from Training for Adoption Competency can be found on the Center for Adoption Support and Education’s (C.A.S.E.) website. Please feel free to contact them to determine whether they may be a good match for your family.
Thanks to the dedicated and expert work of former Right Turn employees, Nebraska’s community of adoption-competent mental health professionals is growing to benefit the state’s adopted children and their adoptive and birth families. These former employees/TAC trainers were featured on the C.A.S.E. website! Read what they had to say.