The Adoption Excellence Awards given by the Children’s Bureau recognize outstanding accomplishments in achieving permanency for America’s children waiting in foster care. An annual program that grew out of the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997, these awards honor States, local agencies, private organizations, courts, businesses, individuals, and families making key contributions to increasing the number of children from foster care who are adopted or placed in other permanent homes.


Honoring Dr. Bonni Goodwin for Leadership and Partnerships in Adoption Competency!

Congratulations to Dr. Bonni Goodwin, Statewide Coordinator of Adoption Preservation Services of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services, Child Welfare Division, and Research Associate for the Center for Child Welfare Training and Simulation at the University of Oklahoma. As a passionate advocate for adoption competency in both child welfare and mental health practice, she has been a leading force in bringing both the National Adoption Competency Mental Health Training Initiative (NTI) Training and Training for Adoption Competency (TAC) to Oklahoma. She has proactively created awareness of the need for adoption competency within the state and across the country. She skillfully provides consultation support and facilitates trainings for specialized adoption case workers using materials and resources from NTI, a research initiative funded by the Children’s Bureau, which aims to enhance the capacity of professionals to understand and address the mental health challenges of children and youth in foster care, adoption, and guardianship care.

In addition, Dr. Goodwin provides extensive case consultation and training facilitation within the Post Adoption Services Unit. Further still, Dr. Goodwin has conducted trainings with leaders of community mental health services within the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health about adoption competent mental health and has presented twice at the annual National Association of Social Workers (NASW)-Oklahoma Conference about what adoption competency is and why it is needed. She includes information on NTI as well as the Center for Adoption Support and Education’s (C.A.S.E.) which is clinically focused.

In two key articles written for the “Children and Youth Services Review,” Dr. Goodwin has discussed NTI and TAC and the need for adoption competent mental health trainings. These include Adoption Workers’ Perspectives on Adoption Adjustment and the Honeymoon (2020) and Factors Associated with Adoption Breakdown Following Implementation of the Fostering Connection Act: A Systematic Review (2020). Dr. Goodwin studied Family and Human Services at John Brown University and received her MSW at Washburn University. She recently completed her PhD through the Garland School of Social Work (GSSW) where she “stumbled upon a passion.” Dr. Goodwin is a 2018 recipient of the Oklahoma NASW’s Emerging Leader in Social Work award.

Dr. Bonni Goodwin





Go further:

NTI was funded through a cooperative agreement (#90CO1121) between the Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, US Department of Health and Human Services and the Center for Adoption Support and Education (C.A.S.E.). Explore the NTI website:

Author / Contributors: NTI Implementation Specialist, Edna Davis Brown / NTI Director, Dawn Wilson / The NTI Team