NTI: The Case for Adoption Competency!

Posted: 5/1/2020 7:35:00 AM by Lisa Maynard, LMSW

Supporting Professionals to Support Families!
 
In today’s world, the experience of family is evolving all the time. Family relationships can be complicated and families that come together through foster care, guardianship and adoption often experience added layers of complexity. Research has demonstrated that adoptive parents cite competent mental health services as one of their greatest unmet needs. In fact, some families have reported that services are ineffective while others share that unskilled services have at times been harmful to their families. Training is needed to ensure mental health and child welfare professionals are well prepared to support all families, including those who experience foster care, adoption and guardianship. The National Adoption Competency Mental Health Training Initiative (NTI) is a trauma informed training rich in evidence-based interventions and an effective solution to meet this need. If you’re looking for innovative ways to support today’s diverse families, NTI provides the knowledge and strategies you need.
 
What is Adoption Competency?
 
Research has demonstrated that professionals often do not receive the training necessary to provide services that are tailored to meet the differing needs of adoptive and foster families. NTI is a free, state of the art training developed by the Center for Adoption Support and Education (C.A.S.E.) and funded through a Cooperative Agreement with the federal Children’s Bureau. NTI promises to fill the gap in knowledge that impacts mental health and child welfare professionals’ ability to effectively respond to these complex challenges. NTI is web based, allowing professionals to complete the training anywhere that is convenient for them, on their own timetable. NTI consists of an 8-module, 20-hour curriculum for child welfare professionals with an additional 5 hours for supervisors; and a 10-module, 30-hour curriculum for mental health professionals. The learning modules have been informed by experts in the field of adoption, mental health and child welfare and contain knowledge that can easily be transferred into effective strategies. Resource materials included with each learning module provide tips and tools that enable professionals to seamlessly transfer their learning into the real practice setting.
 
Helping Families Flourish
 
Statistics indicate that adoption from the child welfare system continues to be the most common type of adoption that occurs in the United States. In fact, in 2017 close to 60,000 children were adopted from the child welfare system. Prior to being adopted, children may have experienced several different foster care placements. Many may also have experienced additional trauma in their family of origin that led to involvement with child protective services. This lack of stability combined with adverse early experiences often leads children to experience mental health and behavioral challenges. The American Academy of Pediatricians has identified mental health as the greatest unmet need of children in foster care. This unmet need has serious consequences as it frequently impacts the stability of the family and may even lead to further disruption for the child. An endless cycle of impermanence and instability may result in additional trauma, furthering mental health and behavioral difficulties. The good news is youth can do well when they have a committed, loving and stable family and professionals with the right training to respond effectively to the myriad issues that may arise.
 
Get Trained!
 
NTI is designed with the busy professional in mind. This free, web-based training is interactive, practical and informed by research and evidence. A team of implementation specialist who are experts in NTI are available to help support you in implementing NTI with your organization. With the right knowledge in place and an array of strategies ready to be applied, mental health and child welfare professionals have an opportunity to better support and preserve families through this state-of-the-art training initiative. Learn more today about how NTI is advancing practice for permanency and well-being!
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