Lessons for a Caring Community: CFS Goes to Summer School
According to the American Public Welfare Association, a 60% increase in the number of children entering the foster care system has occurred since 1980. That increase translates into more children available for adoption, and often these children are labeled "special needs" because of varying reasons such as age, emotional trauma, or physical/developmental disabilities.
In order to promote and provide a more stable environment for special needs adoptive children, the Office of Family Safety within the Department of Children and Families has provided $158,563 for CFS's Banyan Family Center to conduct training at eight Florida sites for adoptive families, professionals, and Departmental staff.
The training sessions, Adoption Summer School Lessons for a Caring Community, will consist of three days geared to different audiences and objectives. Promoting successful adoption in communities that have historically had fewer resources to support adoptive families is the overall goal. Training will be focussed on increasing the understanding and awareness of attachment issues and the relationships of attachment issues to the developmental states that children go through after adoption. Because attachment problems are among the major causes of adoption disruptions, the training will promote professional knowledge of attachment issues that face adoptive families and children.
Day One will focus on community planning, addressing ways in which the community is serving the needs of adoptive families and their children as well as supporting adoption promotion activities.
Day Two will highlight professional training for therapists and community providers on adoption issues including attachment, developmental stages of adoption, and "normal" crisis in adoptive families.
Day Three will focus on strategies for adoptive families.
"We are excited about the opportunities that the Adoption Summer School will offer to communities, adoption professionals, and families of adoptive children," said CFS's project coordinator Steve Roggenbaum. "One of the highlights for the Adoption Summer School will be two keynote speakers on days two and three who are nationally known for their expertise in the field of child counseling and adoption."
Gregory Keck, PhD, who previously spoke at a workshop for the Banyan Center, is a licensed psychologist and Director of the Attachment and Bonding Center of Ohio. As a foster/adoptive parent, he provides first-hand knowledge with compassion, humor and honesty. Richard Delaney, PhD has many years of experience working with emotionally disturbed children, and is the author of five books focused on improving relationships between the family and the child.
The CFS team is in the process of coordinating training sessions in Pensacola, Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Gainesville, Orlando, Miami/Dade, Lakeland and West Palm Beach/Fort Lauderdale scheduled between June 21st and August 25th. Activities include securing appropriate training sites, identifying adoptive families and interested professionals, marketing the event, registering participants, as well as providing training/resource materials and on-site support during the three days. Contact Steve Roggenbaum at 974-6149 to learn more.
The Department of Child and Family Studies (CFS) is a department of the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute, University of South Florida. The faculty and staff of CFS are committed to enhancing the development, mental health and well-being of children and families through leadership in integrating research, theory & practice.