New Worlds of Adoption Conference 2014: Helping Families Overcome Early Adversity

April 11, 2014 (All day)
Student Union Ballroom

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Philip Fisher, Professor of Psychology, University of Oregon, presents "A New Model for Innovation and Best Practices to Maximize Prosperity among Adopted Children, Maltreated Children, and Their Families."

Children who have experienced foster care and adoption often have early adverse experiences that
impact their development and complicate effective parenting. Dr. Fisher will discuss the effects of
early stressful experiences on children’s neurobiological and psychological development, highlighting
the brain’s plasticity over the course of development in order to maximize the effectiveness of interventions. Perhaps nowhere is this more important than in the area of adoption, where there are still very few evidence-based interventions, where many adoptive parents struggle to find appropriate services that can meet the needs of their children and families, and where there is very little state or national legislation to guide the allocation of resources, or the type of support to be provided. This presentation will describe activities of our research group to address these issues, within the context of basic science, intervention, and public policy.

Facilitated discussion groups will focus on Child Welfare/DCF Workers, Researchers, Clinicians, Adoptive and Foster Parents and Educators.These discussions will be co-facilitated by persons familiar with Dr. Fisher’s work and with the needs of adoptive parents and adopted children. The goal of the sessions will be to continue the discussion of the implications of Dr. Fisher’s work in very practical terms, and relating the discussion to the audience for that breakout. The goal of the afternoon groups will be to identify action items. How can people in the group take that knowledge back to their settings and use it? What concrete things could they do with the information?

Breakout speakers include Dana Johnson, Ruth McRoy, Mary Jo Spencer, David Scherer, Leo Farley, Michael McManus, Adele Raase, Jennifer Martin McDermott, Martha Henry and Rachel Farr.

Conference will include panel discussions, topical concurrent sessions, and posters displaying research and programs. Click here to submit a poster presentation.

REGISTER NOW! This event is open to the public and special UMass rates are available.

Scholarships are available. Click here for more information.

This conference is sponsored by The University of Massachusetts Amherst Departments of Psychology, Center for Neuroendocrine Studies, and The College of Education, The Rudd Adoption Research Program, Center for Research on Families (CRF), The College of Natural Sciences, Boston College Graduate School of Social Work, and The Massachusetts Department of Children & Families.