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Presenters

 

Keynote Speaker
 

Gary Mallon, DSW
Julia Lathrop Professor of Child Welfare and Associate Dean of Scholarship and Research
Silberman School of Social Work, Hunter College

For more than 40 years, Dr. Mallon has been a child welfare practitioner, advocate, educator and researcher. He is the Senior Editor of the professional journal Child Welfare and the author and  editor of more than twenty-three books. In his role as the Executive Director of the NCCWE, Dr. Mallon has traveled to all 50 states, territories and tribes to improve outcomes for children, youth, and families and to build organizational capacity with child welfare systems.

Dr. Mallon has lectured and worked extensively throughout the United States and internationally in Australia, Canada, Cuba, Indonesia, Ireland and the United Kingdom. He earned his doctorate in Social Welfare from the City University of New York at Hunter College, was awarded an MSW from Fordham University and graduated with his BSW from Dominican College. Dr. Mallon has also been a foster parent and is an adoptive parent.


Panel Chair


April Dinwoodie
Creator, Adoptment and the Born in June, Raised in April Podcast

April Dinwoodie is a nationally recognized thought leader on adoption and foster care. As former Chief Executive of the Donaldson Adoption Institute (DAI), April was committed to improving laws, policies and practices through sound research, education and advocacy. She is also a co-founder and Vice President of the Board of Fostering Change for Children, a progressive nonprofit that helps drive innovation in the child welfare system.

Before her tenure at DAI, April created a specialized mentoring program called “Adoptment,” in which adults who were adopted and/or spent time in foster care serve as mentors to youth in care. As a trans-racially adopted person, April shares her experiences at workshops and conferences to help potential adoptive parents and professionals understand both the beauty and complexity of adopting children of another race.

Panel Members


Elliotte Harrington, Montclair State University

Elliotte Harrington is currently a doctoral candidate studying Counselor Education at Montclair State University in Montclair, NJ.  She holds a Master’s degree in Community Counseling also from Montclair State University, and has counseled children, adolescents, and adults in individual, group, and family settings.  Elliotte’s areas of interest include pedagogy, family studies, and adoption – particularly the experiences of birth parents.  Elliotte has been a speaker and presenter on the topic of adoption at various local, state, and national conferences.  She is an adoptive mother through domestic, open adoption.


 Dana Johnson, University of Minnesota

 Dr. Johnson is a Professor of Pediatrics and member of the Divisions of Neonatology and Global Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota where Dr. Johnson co-founded the International Adoption Program in 1986. His research interests include the effects of early institutionalization on   growth and development and the outcomes of internationally adopted children. He has authored numerous scholarly works including co-editing Adoption Medicine published by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

He has received the Distinguished Service Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award from Joint Council for International Children’s Services, the Friend of Children Award from the North American Council on Adoptable Children and the Harry Holt Award from Holt International. He serves on the Board of Directors of OneSky and SPOON Foundations,  Both Ends Burning and National Council for Adoption. He is also a Senior Fellow at the National Center on Adoption and Permanency and serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of Adoptive Families and the Advisory Board of the Rudd Adoption Research Program. Dr. Johnson has an adopted son from India, two birth daughters and three stepdaughters.


​Amnoni Myers, Baruch College, CUNY

Amnoni Myers, is a dynamic public speaker and child welfare advocate. A native of Boston, MA, Amnoni is recently received her Masters of Public Administration degree with the National Urban Fellows Program Class of 2017. In this prestigious program, Amnoni was placed at the California Endowment located in Oakland, CA where she worked on The My Brother’s Keeper Initiative for young boys and men of color. Amnoni previously worked with the U.S. Children’s Bureau as a child welfare policy consultant as well as interning on both Capitol Hill, and The White House Domestic Policy Council helping influence policy. She graduated from Gordon College with a double major in Social Work and Sociology, and completed a Social Work and Peace and Conflict Studies Practicum in San Francisco.

She has also traveled to South Africa to study Race, Class and Gender. Amnoni became a ward of the state at birth, and through her experiences in foster care she became committed to helping others break the cycle of poverty. Amnoni received the 2016 Re-envisioning Foster Care Champion Award from the Treehouse Foundation, in recognition of the contributions she has made to child welfare nationwide. She also was the recent recipient of the 2017 Ron Gonzalez Memorial Fund award where she was recognized by The National Urban Fellows Program for her dedication and demonstration of Leadership that promoted Gonzalez’s core values as a change agent in the world. Amnoni is a compassionate and driven individual dedicated to reshaping policies affecting vulnerable populations.


​Ridghaus, Independent Filmmaker

Ridghaus, is a birth father, father, and a Late-Discovery Adoptee. After completing a JD, he completed an MA in English Rhetoric as well as an MA in Film. For several years, he split time between teaching college courses with working on cable TV shows for National Geographic, Food Network, and Bravo. Ridghaus now produces documentaries, including Six Word Adoption Memoirs (6WAM + 6WAM 2017) and teaches the next generation of filmmakers.


 

Kim Stevens, North American Council on Adoptable Children

Project Manager at the North American Council on Adoptable Children, Kim oversees advocacy efforts and capacity building for caregiver support/advocacy organizations throughout the United States and Canada, provides training and technical assistance, and manages communications and messaging efforts. She is a contributor on two curriculum development projects for kin, foster, and adoptive caregivers funded through federal Children's Bureau grants. Previous professional experience includes eight years with Massachusetts Families for Kids, where Kim moved from part-time Family Advocacy Coordinator to Co-Director.  While at MFFK, she established the Speak Out Team, a nationally recognized model for youth advocacy, launched Lifelong Families for Adolescents, and assisted in successful advocacy for post-adoption services. In her nearly 30 years of child welfare work, Kim has provided training and consultation on foster care, adoption, transracial adoption, trauma and recovery, and youth permanency issues both nationally and internationally. She and her husband, Buddy have six children, four of whom were adopted from the public foster care system.


Afternoon Presenters Include:


 Susan Badeau, Child Welfare Consultant and Author

 Sue Badeau is a nationally known speaker, writer and consultant with a heart for children and families.  After receiving a degree in Early Childhood Education from Smith College, Sue worked for many years in child welfare and juvenile justice systems. She serves on several national boards and is currently president of the North American Council on Adoptable Children. Sue writes and speaks extensively to public & private agencies, courts, parent groups and churches.

 She has worked closely with the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, A Second Chance, Inc., Justice for Families, All Children, All Families (a program of the Human Rights Campaign), the National Council for Juvenile and Family Court Judges, Casey Family Programs and was the Deputy Director of the Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care. Sue has developed curricula and provided training in all fifty states, several Tribal nations and internationally in North America and Africa. 
 

Amanda Baden, Montclair State University

Amanda L. Baden, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor at Montclair State University (NJ) and a licensed psychologist with a practice in New York City. She was the recipient of the John D. Black Award in 2014 for the Outstanding Practice of Counseling Psychology and was named the Outstanding Graduate Advisor for Montclair State University in 2017. She is a member of State the Board of Psychology for New York State, on the Advisory Board for the Rudd Adoption Research Program at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. She has published numerous articles and book chapters focusing on transracial and international adoption identity, counseling for adoptees and birth parents, and racial and cultural issues in adoption.  She is an adult adoptee from Hong Kong.


 Kathleen Belanger, Stephen F. Austin State University

Kathleen Belanger, MSW, PhD, began her career in child welfare as director of purchased services in public child welfare, coordinated a collaborative design of a management information system for use by direct service staff and regional administration, and evaluated numerous programs for public child welfare and other human service organizations. She is Professor Emeritus of Social Work at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches TX, teaching for more than 25 years.

She assisted in the development of the MSW program at the university, and initiated and directed the Title IV-E program, a collaborative partnership among public child welfare, the university and the regional foster/adoptive parent association. Her publications, presentations, research and evaluation include books, articles, book chapters, reports and editorials related to racial disproportionally in child welfare, rural child welfare and human services, working with communities of faith, building sustainable programs in and with communities, demystifying data, analyzing and addressing foster and adoptive parent recruitment and retention challenges, and building evidence in practice. She has consulted with the Child Welfare Gateway and numerous other organizations, and is a member of the Rural Human Services Panel of the Rural Policy Research Institute. She serves on the National Advisory Committee for Rural Health and Human Services and continues to work with communities and agencies to create sustainable solutions with limited resources.


 Martha Ertman, University of Maryland

 Martha Ertman is Carole & Hanan Sibel Research Professor at University of Maryland Carey Law School, and teaches courses on contracts and family agreements.  She has written widely about the reach of contracts into families and other surprising contexts.  Her most recent book, Love’s Promises: How Formal & Informal Promises Shape All Kinds of Families (Beacon Press 2015) braids a memoir about three parents – all gay – raising their son with law chapters that distill her academic writing about adoption and other family agreements to reach treadmill and undergraduate readers. It was nominated for an Indie book award, the Family Week Book Club Pick from Family Equality Council, and reviewed in media including Salon, Time magazine, Curve magazine, Washingtonian magazine, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and the Tulsa Law Review. She also teaches memoir workshops and continuing education classes for social workers, and lives in Washington, D.C. with her family and a dog named Lucky. 


Ana Gremli, UMass Adoption Mentoring Partnership

Ana graduated UMass Amherst in 2016 with a BA in early childhood education while also majoring in psychology. She is currently teaching K/1 special education at Indian Orchard elementary school in Springfield. While at UMass she was part of the adoption mentoring partnership (AMP) for three years and became a big sister through Big Brothers Big Sisters where she mentored a fellow adoptee within the community. She enjoyed learning about adoption in general as well as diving deeper into discussions about her own personal adoption story through AMP. Last summer she visited her birth country and was able to see the orphanage and meet some of the caretakers from when she was a baby. Ana always enjoys sharing her adoption story with people and is even more excited to share about her experience visiting her birth country. She has been part of many events to help spread awareness about adoption including a "We Celebrate Adoption" event at UMass last spring and she presented at a national mentoring conference in Washington DC representing the adoption mentoring partnership. Ana is looking forward to presenting at the annual Rudd conference this year and is honored to have a chance to continue to raise awareness about adoption.


Gordon Harold, University of Sussex, UK

Professor Gordon Harold holds the Andrew and Virginia Rudd Chair and is Professor of Child and Adolescent Mental Health in the School of Psychology at the University of Sussex. He is also the inaugural Director of the Andrew and Virginia Rudd Centre for Adoption Research and Practice. He received his PhD from Cardiff University in 1998, was appointed Lecturer in Psychology the same year and Professor of Psychology in 2008. He has held appointments as the Alexander McMillan Chair and Professor of Psychology at the University of Otago, New Zealand, and Professor of Quantitative Behaviour Genetics at the University of Leicester. He is an Honorary Professor and member of the MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics at Cardiff University, and an Associate Member of the MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, Kings College London. His primary research interests focus on examining family relationship processeson child and adolescent mental health and development, the interplay between genetic factors, pre-natal, post-natal rearing experiences and children’s mental health, utilizing advanced statistical methods to examine longitudinal data/cohort resources, and informing research-led practice and policy recommendations specific to the area of family process influences on child development. In the UK, he is a member of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), is a Special Advisor and member of the Evidence Panel of the Early Intervention Foundation (EIF), is Treasurer of the Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health (ACAMH), and is a member of the Resilience and Early Intervention Workstream of Together for Young People in Wales (T4CYP). He is also a consultant and advisor to several government departments in the UK and internationally.


Joe Haynes, Adoption Advocacy

Joe has frequently spoken at national adoption conferences for the last 10 years on behalf of Adoption Advocacy. Adoption Advocacy is a licensed non-profit adoption agency with a primary focus on helping South Carolina families adopt children from foster care. Although originally organized to complete international adoptions, the agency concluded that there was a need for a private agency to help South Carolina families adopt children from foster care. To date, 867 foster children from 25 states have been placed for adoption with South Carolina families. Approximately 77% of the children have been African American and almost all have been older children. Adoption Advocacy has been recognized nationally as an example of a successful rural and African American adoption agency and has been profiled by Dr. Ruth McRoy (Boston College) and Dr. Kathleen Belanger (Stephen F Austin.) Adoption Advocacy recently received the 2016 Adoptions Across Boundaries Award from Voice for Adoption.


Kerry HomsteadTreehouse Foundation

Kerry joined Treehouse in 2005, during the construction of the first Intergenerational Treehouse Community in Easthampton. She has been key to building the Treehouse Foundation from a grassroots movement to a nationally recognized and award-winning organization. Kerry welcomed the opportunity to promote collaborative change “outside the foster care box.” She continues to facilitate the Re-envisioning Foster Care in America Movement and Intergenerational Treehouse Community with creative programming, partnerships and leadership. Homstead received her EdD from the University of Massachusetts and her BA from Smith College, previously served as a Research Project Coordinator for Casey Family Resource Centers in the Northeast. She brings over 30 years experience in community-based work with at risk populations to the Treehouse Foundation.



Steve Kalb, Holt International

Steve Kalb, LMSW, is the Director of Adoptee Services at Holt International Children’s Services and a Ph.D. candidate in the school of social work at Portland State University. Entering his 14th year at Holt, Steve is a trainer for adoption professionals and adoptive parents on the value and importance of the Adoptee voice and presents globally on the international Adoptee experience. Informed by academia, direct work with hundreds of Adoptees, adoption professionals, and adoptive families around the world, he continues to develop innovative programming for Adoptees and their families that empower all parties to advocate for a more balanced adoption discourse.
 

Adam Kim, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

An adopted Korean and adoption researcher, Adam Yoon Jae Kim is a doctoral candidate majoring in personality psychology at University of Minnesota. Adam studies intergroup relations, identity, and transnational adoption through a cultural lens. Current projects include advancing our understanding of the experience of displacement and migration for transnationally adopted individuals, investigating how transnationally adopted individuals think about their birth family and culture, and understanding the role of politicization in inter-minority solidarity.


JaeRan Kim, University of Washington Tacoma

JaeRan Kim, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor at University of Washington Tacoma. JaeRan has over 15 years of experience working with foster and adopted children and families and has developed numerous training curricula for child welfare professionals. JaeRan's research is focused on adoption, particularly addressing the impact of disabilities, race, and transnational factors on post-adoption stability and well-being. 


Thomas May, Hudson Alpha Institute for Biotechnology

I have spent most of my career working on issues at the intersection of medicine, public health, and moral/ /social/political philosophy, with a special interest in issues related to Autonomy and Healthcare. These issues most commonly pertain to rights of informed consent, other regarding harms, and the scope and limits of professional obligations / rights of conscience.

My current interests surround issues of identity and autonomy in genomic medicine: because genomics is so closely tied to identity by many, the influence of genomic information on autonomy is significant.  In this regard, I have been most interested in issues of how autonomy relates to self-identity and well-being; the role of autonomy in deciding how rights to genomic information, as well as rights to genomic ignorance, should be framed; and the assessment of risk within the context of other-regarding implications that emerge from genomic information.

​Hollee McGinnis, Virginia Commonwealth University

Hollee McGinnis, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University. She has over 20 years of practice and policy experience as a community organizer, policy expert, and scholar on adoption, child welfare, and children’s mental health. Her research examines individual, family, and cultural determinants of children’s mental health and well-being, with a focus on children with histories of early childhood trauma and involvement in systems of child welfare locally and globally. She has been involved in a number of research projects, including most recently a study on mental health and school outcomes of youth growing up in South Korean orphanages funded by U.S. Fulbright and Korean Foundation grants. Other research projects include CDC-funded randomized-control trial adapting, implementing and evaluating a trauma-based intervention for adolescent girls involved in the child welfare system and adapting parent training for child welfare systems, and racial/ethnic and adoptive identity among adopted adults. She was formerly the Policy and Operations Director at the Donaldson Adoption Institute and is the founder of the non-profit Also-Known-As, Inc., an adult adoptee organization providing post-adoption services to international and transracial adoptees and adoptive families.


 Ruth McRoy, Boston College

Ruth G. McRoy, Ph.D., is the first holder of the Donahue and DiFelice Endowed Professorship at Boston College Graduate School of Social Work.  Prior to joining the Boston College faculty, McRoy held the Ruby Lee Piester Centennial Professorship at the  University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work. A practitioner, academician, researcher, and lecturer in the field for over 30 years, her research has focused on such topics as culturally competent service delivery,  family preservation, open adoptions, post adoption services, transracial adoptions, and older child adoptions. McRoy has published numerous articles and books, including: Transracial and Inracial Adoptees: The Adolescent Years (with L. Zurcher); and Transracial and Intercountry Adoptions: Culturally Sensitive Guidance for Professionals (with R. Fong). She received the St. John’s 2010 Outstanding Scholar in Adoption Award; the 2013 Children’s Bureau Adoption Excellence Award, and the 2014 Child Advocate of the Year Award from the North American Council on Adoptable Children. 

Cynthia Monahon, Private practice, Northampton, MA

Cynthia Monahon served as the Founding Director of the Cutchins Children's Clinic in Northampton, Massachusetts for 28 years and is now in private practice working with children and families. Dr. Monahon is the author of Children and Trauma; a Parent's Guide to Helping Children Heal (Jossey Bass, 1993).  She has lectured frequently on childhood trauma, models of intervention with parents of traumatized children, and child psychotherapy and has taught at the Smith College School for Social Work and the Antioch New England doctoral psychology program.  Dr. Monahon has a long-held interest in building multi-disciplinary teams of law enforcement, community family bar advocates, court personnel, and mental health clinicians to address the needs of abuse victims and children of divorce. She is currently the child mental health consultant for the Northwest District Attorney's office. Dr. Monahon is a member of the Advisory Board for the Rudd Adoption Research Program.
 

​Elsbeth (Beth) Neil, University of East Anglia, UK

Elsbeth Neil is a registered social worker and Professor of Social Work and Director of Research at the School of Social Work, University of East Anglia, Norwich, England. She has several years practice experience in social care and social work settings with a range of service user groups. She has been undertaking research in the field of adoption since 1996 and has conducted a longitudinal study focusing on postadoption contact, following through to late adolescence a group of adopted children and their birth relatives and adopted parents. She has also completed two studies funded by the UK government: the ‘Helping Birth Families’ study which examined support services for birth relatives of children adopted from care, and the ‘Supporting Contact’ study which looked at how adoption agencies support face-to-face contact arrangements between adoptive children and their birth relatives. Building on her research into contact, and in collaboration with Research in Practice,  in 2017 Beth launched a new website of practice resources for professionals planning and supporting post adoption contact: http://contact.rip.org.uk/

Beth’s current research includes a study of the care pathways of children in care using administrative data, a practice development project focusing on children’s transitions from foster care to adoption, and a large survey of adoptive parents. 


 Joyce Maguire Pavao, AACT, Pavao Consulting and Coaching

Joyce Maguire Pavao is a Clinical Member and Approved Supervisor of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, Clinical Member of the American Orthopsychiatric Association (Ortho), and Clinical Member of the American Family Therapy Association. She is a member and past Director of the American Adoption Congress, former Board member of the Open Door Society of Massachusetts, Kinship Alliance in Monterey, California, and Education and Policy Board of Adoptive Families of America in Minneapolis. She is currently on the Practice Board of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute in New York, the Editorial Boards of Adoptive Families magazine and Foster Families Today magazine, the Adoption Advisory Board of the Child Welfare League of America, and the Library Board of the Oregon Post Adoption Resource Center. Dr. Pavao has received many awards and honors, including the Children’s Bureau/U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Adoption Excellence Award for Family Contribution (2003), The Massachusetts Association for Marriage and Family Therapy award for Outstanding Contribution to the Field of Marriage and Family Therapy (2003), the North American Council for Adoptable Children award for Adoption Advocate of the Year (2001) and Child Advocate of the Year (2001), and the Congressional Coalition on Adoption award for Angels in Adoption (2000), as nominated by Senator Edward Kennedy and Congressman Mike Capuano.
 

Adam Pertman, National Center on Adoption and Permanency

Adam Pertman, President of the National Center on Adoption and Permanency, is one of the leading U.S. experts on adoption and child welfare. Previously, he led the Donaldson Adoption Institute and was Associate Editor of the scholarly journal Adoption Quarterly. He is a widely published author, including of “Adoption Nation,” which was reviewed as “the most important book ever written on the subject.” Pertman was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for his writing about adoption as a journalist at the Boston Globe. He gives keynotes, trainings and other presentations nationally and internationally, and the research he has instigated and participated in – along with his writing, testimony and advocacy – have been utilized to improve practice, shape law and policy, and educate professionals, students, the media and the public. His commentaries and interviews appear in media worldwide, and he has received numerous awards for his work.


Ellen Pinderhughes, Tufts University

Ellen Pinderhughes is Professor in the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development, Tufts University, and a Senior Fellow with the National Center for Adoption and Permanency.  A developmental and clinical psychologist, she studies contextual influences on and cultural processes in parenting among families facing different challenges. These circumstances include adoption, living in high-risk, low resource communities, and raising children as a sexual minority parent. She has thirty-plus years of experience in the adoption field as a researcher and clinician, focusing first on readjustment processes among families adopting children from foster care. Her recent adoption-related studies have addressed adoption professionals’ practices and adoptive parents’ experiences concerning intercountry adoption (with the Donaldson Adoption Institute);  and adoption socialization, cultural socialization and preparation-for-bias among adoptive parents.
 

Debbie Riley, Center for Adoption Support and Education

C.A.S.E Chief Executive Officer and co-founder, Debbie Riley, LCMFT, brings expertise in organizational development, program design and evaluation, management and   curricula design. A nationally and internationally recognized adoption expert, trainer and author, Riley has more than 35 years of professional experience, including extensive health care management and administrative expertise, hands-on experience at designing, developing and implementing nationally acclaimed evidenced- informed adoption-competent training programs for professionals and mental health post adoption support models. Her direct and current delivery of specialized counseling services to adopted children, teens, adults and their families, which affords her the broad knowledge and nationally respected expertise needed to promote mental health training, child advocacy, systems reform and public policy development. She is co-author of the book, Beneath the Mask: Understanding Adopted Teens., contributing author , Adoption Competent Clinical Practice ; Defining Its Meaning and Development ,Adoption Quarterly November 2013 and co-author of recently published chapter, The Need for Adoption Competent Mental Health Professionals  in the newly released book, Transracial and Intercountry engaging discussion with the editors, Dr. Ruth McRoy and Dr. Rowena Fong.  Ms. Riley was awarded the 2015 Adoption Excellence Award by the Children’s Bureau, Department of Health and Human Services. Ms. Riley will serve as PI Curricula Development.


Beth Spong, Treehouse Foundation

Beth Spong is a nonprofit leader who's had a variety of roles: Founder, Development Director, Chief Operating Officer, Executive Director, leadership coach, and consultant. She’s served in the fields of political advocacy, education, women’s wellness and foster care innovation. As Executive Director of MotherWoman, she tripled annual revenue and led the organization’s growth from local impact to a national force for maternal mental health. Beth also served as the Director of Donor Relations for The Care Center, and as Interim Director of Development for National Priorities Project. In every case, Beth’s expertise and vision have been central to increasing the regional and national profile, and significantly expanding revenue.


Angela Tucker, The Adopted Life

Angela Tucker is a nationally-recognized thought leader on transracial adoption and is an advocate for adoptee rights. In 2013, at the age of 26, Angela’s own story of adoption and search for her birth parents was featured in the groundbreaking documentary, CLOSURE.  

Angela is the creator of The Adopted Life, (www.theadoptedlife.com) a personal blog and miniseries, that allows Angela to process publicly her emotions and experience as a transracial adoptee; a means by which she hopes to build a community of other adoptees growing up in closed adoptions. Elements of her story have also been featured on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, Huffington Post, and the Washington Post. Angela currently serves on the Leadership Team of the Adoption Museum Project and works as the Post-Adoption Program Manager at Amara, where she is building an adoptee mentorship program
 

Dawn Wilson, Director of the National Adoption Competency Mental Health Training Initiative

Dawn Wilson, MSW, Director of the National Adoption Competency Mental Health Training Initiative (NTI), has 30 years of experience in child welfare, mental health and prevention fields, with expertise in program development and implementation. As Director of the federally funded National Adoption Competency Mental Health Training Initiative, Ms. Wilson oversees the development, pilot implementation, evaluation and national launch of two state-of-the-art web-based trainings for child welfare professionals and mental health clinicians to effectively address the mental health and complex challenges of children, adolescents and their families moving to permanency through adoption or guardianship.

Previously Ms. Wilson served as a Child Welfare Program Manager with Catawba County, NC Social Services and she worked collaboratively with The Duke Endowment to develop, implement and evaluate an evidence-informed post-permanency service, Success Coach, to provide case management and in-home therapeutic services to improve outcomes for adoptive, guardianship and reunified families following foster care.