About Us

C.A.S.E. is a safe place.

Teen Girls Smiling Together

C.A.S.E. is a national leader transforming the mental health of the Adoption, Foster, and Kinship Community

Our Core Values

Emboldened by the core belief that all children deserve a safe, loving, permanent home and
dedicated to providing inclusive, family-focused services. C.A.S.E. draws on expertise, research,
and lived experience to innovate and pay it forward by educating and empowering others.

We are committed to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. We demonstrate and uphold
these values by providing an environment that draws on the contributions and strengths of our
diverse staff, partners, clients, and communities.

Together we commit to work both internally and externally with:


We create a compassionate culture fostered by relationships where our families, staff, and partners are connected, accepted, and respected.
We build and maintain trust through open and honest communication with an uncompromising commitment to ethics, professional standards, and internal and external systems of accountability.
We commit to lifelong learning and continuous improvement, knowing that we bring our best when we value the strengths of our diverse staff and communities and embrace the spirit of collaboration.
We commit to develop, research, elevate, and share best practices as C.A.S.E. nimbly responds to emerging needs in creative and bold ways.
1_First C.A.S.E. Group 1998 Photo

C.A.S.E. opened it’s doors 25 years ago. 

In 1998, more than 17 years into the Dugan family’s adoption journey, Mike and Kathleen Dugan cofounded the Center for Adoption Support and Education (C.A.S.E.) with Debbie Riley, LCMFT, C.A.S.E. CEO so that other children and families would get the mental health services they needed to thrive. And no child would be at risk of being “returned.”

View a Timeline of Our 25-year History
14_VA Community Family Fun Day

25 years later…

Center for Adoption Support and Education began in C.A.S.E. CEO Debbie Riley’s home 25 years ago and today is a nationally recognized nonprofit that improves the well-being and permanence of children and families by delivering adoption competent mental health services, training a national network of professionals, and informing the field through research and advocacy.

C.A.S.E. has trained more than 30,000 mental health and child welfare professionals in 33 states. With offices in the greater Baltimore-Washington metro area, C.A.S.E. has provided clinical services for more than 7,000 clients and their families since its founding in 1998.

Our Impact

of therapy clients were children under the age of 18 in 2021.


Served in 2021 through therapy, case management, post-adoption services, and Wendy's Wonderful Kids recruitment programs.


Registrants for our monthly Strengthening Your Family webinars and parent support groups featuring a wide array of topics for the adoptive, foster and kinship community.

Be Part of this Impact
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About C.A.S.E. Partners

We value the strong partnerships we have with leading national and local businesses, educational institutions and organizations. Together, we collaborate to promote awareness and provide the highest quality products and services that align with our mission of strengthening the well-being of adoptive, foster and kinship families.


Become a C.A.S.E. Partner
"At Jockey Being Family, we believe that every child deserves to grow up with a loving family in a forever home. We are truly proud to partner with an organization like C.A.S.E. Not only do we know that they share our vision for families, but they have the tools, resources and knowledgeable staff to help make that become a reality. "
Jake McGhee
Vice President and Chief Philanthropy Officer Jockey
"We were thrilled to provide the W.I.S.E. Up!®Powerbook (for Children in Foster Care) created by the Center for Adoption Support and Education (C.A.S.E.) to each of our 120 Wendy's Wonderful Kids professionals to use with the children they serve. "
Rita Soronen
President and CEO, Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption