Training Institute Training Adoption Competency (TAC)

Training Adoption Competency (TAC)

Thanks to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, C.A.S.E. welcomes three new TAC (Training for Adoption Competency) sites.

In September 2012, the following sites participated in the Trainers Orientation Program at C.A.S.E.

Pictured from left to right, Debbie Riley, C.E.O., C.A.S.E.,  Nancy Solow, Child and Family Services of New Bedford, MA, Michael McManus, Massachusetts Adoption Resources Exchange, Cortney Schluete and Linda Dubs, Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska, Alfreda Singleton-Smith and Jill Burdnick, The Villages of Indiana.

C.A.S.E is very excited that we are able to broaden our geographic reach to meet the needs of adoptive families providing access to adoption competent mental health professionals. These three sites will now join, Catawba County Department of Social Services, North Carolina; Lilliput Children’s Services, Northern California and the University of Minnesota reaching the Duluth/Twin Cities areas. By the end of this month, C.A.S.E will be announcing a seventh site with an additional three sites for 2013. If you are interested in becoming a TAC site please feel free to contact Valerie Kunsman, Director of Training at


Training for Adoption Competency (TAC):a comprehensive training for professionals in the mental health and child welfare fields to provide them with the clinical knowledge and skills that they need to effectively serve the adoption kinship network.

About TAC

  • A competency based training curriculum developed in collaboration with national experts in the field of child welfare, adoption and mental health and rigorously evaluated at the University of Maryland, School of Social Work.
  • A 13-session instruction program (a total of 78 hours of instruction) that engages students in clinical knowledge and skill building, followed by monthly group clinical case consultation sessions over a 6-month period.
  • A standardized training program that is being replicated across the United States to provide clinicians with the knowledge and skills they need to be adoption competent.

Topical areas include:

  • Clinical and Ethical Issues in Planning, Preparing for and Supporting Adoption
  • Clinical Issues in Providing Therapeutic Services: Grief, Loss, Separation and Identity
  • Trauma and Brain Neurobiology
  • Clinical Issues in Providing Therapeutic Services: Attachment
  • Adoptive Family Formation, Integration and Developmental Stages
  • Openness in Adoption and Birth Family Culture
  • Race and Ethnicity

What Students are Saying about the TAC

I have more or less reframed my line of thinking and approaches to certain issues.”

I have gained, above all, a heightened sense of awareness of other complex issues in my work, to which I may have not been as cognizant. The tools and strategies learned.have been invaluable.

I have addressed clinical issues with parents more; I have more knowledge of services that may be needed. I’m more comfortable answering questions based on the knowledge I’ve gained.

We now include questions about adoption in all our assessments as part of the psycho-social history.

All my clients have benefited from the different questions I’ve asked and introduced to them. May have acknowledged the “aha” of never having given the adoption process much thought in terms of how it has impacted their mental health. They seem grateful at the opportunities for resolution that this opens up.

For information on registering for TAC or bringing the TAC to your community, contact Valerie Kunsman, MSW at 301-476-8525 or