The Center for Adoption Support and Education (C.A.S.E.) is pleased to announce that the Social Work Program in the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare (HBSSW) at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) has joined the TAC family of sites across the United States that train mental health professionals to provide adoption competent clinical services. With the support of the Jockey International Foundation, the Department initiated the TAC with its first cohort of 19 Milwaukee area clinicians in June 2016.
The HBSSW, based in an urban research university, promotes positive change through social work research, scholarship, education, and community partnerships. The Social Work Program offers five concentrations for its students: Children and Families, Physical Health, Mental and Behavioral Health, Gerontology and Community and Organizational Leadership. Ongoing training and research include, among other topics: National Quality Improvement Center for Adoption and Guardianship; Youth Oriented Substance Abuse and Trauma (YOSAT) Counseling Program; Smart Scale Up: Expanding Home Visiting With Fidelity; Smart Scale Up II: Promoting Family Engagement, Health and Mental Health; Improving Child Welfare Outcomes through Trauma-Informed Care; Understanding the Impacts of Adverse Childhood Experiences to Improve Prevention Services. Additionally, HBSSW provides foster and adoptive parent training throughout Wisconsin as well as the training for child welfare staff and supervisors. An exceptional team of professionals has brought the TAC to Milwaukee and the broader Wisconsin community. Jeanne Wagner and Dr. Susan Rose serve as co-directors of the TAC.
Dr. Susan Rose, Professor of Social Work, teaches in the areas of mental health and advanced practice and co-directs the Child Welfare Training Program. She also has extensive clinical experience in family treatment. “The TAC training is a unique opportunity for many of our graduates who are directly involved in adoption in child welfare and other family-based agencies,” says Dr. Rose. “It is gratifying to see some of our Child Welfare Training Program grads in this advanced training.”
Jeanne Wagner, Clinical Associate Professor and Head of the Social Work Field Program, brings extensive child welfare, adoption, and mental health expertise. Jeanne, says, “The TAC Training is a perfect complement to the extensive child welfare and adoption training provided through HBSSW. The clinical focus of TAC is new to most Wisconsin therapists and has been well-received by mental health and child welfare professionals.”
Dr. Grant-Savela is the TAC Site Quality Assurance Coordinator and is also certified to teach the TAC. She says “It is exciting to be involved in a formal adoption training that is so comprehensive and well-received by our first cohort of training participants.”
Dr. Kavanaugh is conducting a community needs assessment among agency directors who provide adoption services. She will be interviewing those most directly involved in adoption services to learn more about the best ways to access clinicians who provide these services, and what the perceived training needs are. Dr. Kavanaugh has a background in medical social work.
Trainers Jaclyn Skalnik and Laura Cherone are teaching the first cohort of students.
Jaclyn Skalnik, the founder of Adoption Wellness, is a transracial, internationally adopted person who holds a MSW and is a Certified Advanced Practice Social Worker. She is a trained Hague Accreditation reviewer for the Council on Accreditation, a World of Diversity trainer, a community educator, adoptive family homeland journey social worker, and she has facilitated international birth family searches and reunions.
Laura Cherone, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Licensed Clinical Substance Abuse Counselor, is the Director of Program and Clinical Services at Family Service of Waukesha where she oversees outpatient mental health services and services to children and families affected by trauma, abuse and other forms of family disruption. She also is a psychotherapist in private practice in Hartland, WI. Laura states, “This important, long-overdue training prepares professionals to understand and effectively address the multiple, complex, unique values and beliefs associated with adoption and equips them with information and skills to provide effective, meaningful services to adopted persons, adoptive families and others within the adoption kinship network.”
Mary Nervig of Family Counseling Center and Kate Petzold of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, along with Jeanne, are also certified to teach the TAC.
Rounding out the team is Mary Heller who coordinates the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare Continuing Education program and manages the many administrative details involved in implementing the TAC.
In 2017 HBSSW expanded the geographical area served through the TAC to cover counties west of Milwaukee. Future TAC training sites are targeted for northeastern Wisconsin (Green Bay, Appleton, Sheboygan areas) and the southeast county of Kenosha.
The Wisconsin TAC In Progress