NTI focuses on the nature of challenges and concerning behaviors commonly seen in adoptive and guardianship families and the therapeutic parenting strategies that professionals can teach parents to address those challenges. Lessons address behaviors that are often the most problematic for parents and threaten adoption stability and focus on promoting attunement and felt safety with children; understanding and reframing behaviors; developing realistic expectations; providing a balance of nurture and structure; and teaching self-regulation and coping skills.
Sarah Gerstenzang, LCSW, works as a therapist with foster and adoptive families. Sarah is the board president of the Adoptive and Foster Family Coalition of NY (AFFCNY) and is on numerous advisory committees including Fostering Families Today magazine and the Effects of Early Life Adversity on Brain Development (NIMH grant with Nim Tottenham, Ph.D. at Columbia University). Additionally, she was a curriculum reviewer for TAC (a credentialed adoption curriculum for mental health professionals in the United States; also listed on the California Evidenced-Based Clearinghouse) as well as an advisory committee member on the National Adoption Competency Mental Health Training Initiative (NTI).
Lisa Maynard, LMSW, is an adoptive mother and a Licensed Social Worker with expertise in trauma, attachment, and adoption. She is an Implementation & Training Specialist with C.A.S.E. and maintains a private therapy practice in Upstate New York, integrating yoga philosophy, meditation and mindfulness in her work with clients.
Edna Davis-Brown, MPH currently serves as an Implementation Specialist with NTI. Edna has more than 20 years of experience in program development, management and implementation, program monitoring and evaluation, group facilitation, and training/technical assistance development and delivery. She has supported and managed numerous federal and non-federal projects for healthcare management firms and national organizations in areas such as health equity and disparities, substance abuse prevention and treatment, HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention, and emergency mental health disaster response and coordination.