As the first state child welfare agency to be a TAC site, the Georgia Division of Family and Children’s Services has moved quickly to begin training Georgia clinicians to be adoption competent. Led by Deborah Burrus, Permanency Director for the State of Georgia and implemented by two highly experienced trainers and clinicians, Liz Gallaspy, MSW and Brandon Printup, EED, LPC, the TAC classes will begin in March 2016 with a full cohort of 13 students.
Deborah Burrus, as the Permanency Director, is responsible for leading her team of social workers and other professionals to achieve timely permanency outcomes for the children in foster care in Georgia. She has worked passionately in the field of child welfare since 1992 in a variety of roles, including as a regional adoption coordinator and the statewide adoption recruitment manager prior to assuming her responsibilities as Permanency Director. She sees the TAC as an essential component in achieving and sustaining permanency for children who leave foster care to adoptive families. “We are beyond excited to have TAC implemented in Georgia. We recognize the value of having adoption competent clinicians working with the adoption triad. We are optimistic that our families will have clinicians working with them who truly understand the dynamics of adoptions, and therefore, are able to provide the appropriate services to keep adoptive families intact.”
Liz Gallapsy, LMSW and Brandon Printup, EED, LPC form a dynamic and highly expert team in training clinicians to be adoption competent. Liz has over 28 years of experience in child welfare and in inpatient psychiatric treatment programs. She brings a wealth of training experience that includes her current position with the Georgia State University Professional Excellence Program. Liz says, “Adoption has been a passion of mine for years. I am SUPER excited that I am apart of this defining time in Georgia’s RICH adoption history!!”
Brandon has a doctorate in Counselor Education Supervision and a MS in Counselor Education. As Director of Clinical Services at Bethany Christian Services of Georgia, he has extensive expertise in working with adolescents’ emotional problems, acting out, substance abuse and sexual abuse as well as broad expertise is working with adults and families with a variety of emotional challenges. Brandon shares, “I would like to see all counselors adoption competent in order to better serve our children.”
Deborah, Liz and Brandon — along with evaluator Deidre Carmichael, MSW — are excited to begin educating Georgia clinicians through the TAC and creating a statewide community of highly skilled mental health professionals to serve adopted children, youth and adults and birth and adoptive families.