Evaluation Overview

NTI piloted the trainings in 9 sites in 2017-2018:

California, Illinois, Maine, Minnesota, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Washington, and the Cherokee Nation.

  • The training pilot for Child Welfare Professionals ended January 30, 2018 with over 6,000 participants and a completion rate of 73%. See Child Welfare Infographic.
  • The training pilot for Mental Health Professionals ended September 30, 2018 with over 2,500 participants.

Researchers with the University of Maryland School of Social Work evaluated the user experience, including satisfaction, relevance, ease of use, and infusion of adoption mental health competency in practice. At the systems-level, researchers evaluated the implementation and integration experience, including cost benefit. Based on evaluation and feedback from the pilot, refinements will be made to each training in preparation for the National Launch of web-based trainings, free of charge, to all States, Tribes and Territories by October 2019.

In April 2019, the Rudd Adoption Research Program published a research paper, Building an Adoption Competent Workforce: A Review of the National Adoption Competency” written by the Director of NTI, Dawn Wilson, the CEO of C.A.S.E., Debbie Riley, and The University of MD School of Social Work researcher, Bethany Lee.

Highlights include:
Mental Health Training Initiative Research has long indicated that adopted children are disproportionately represented in the psychiatric population (Ingersoll, 1997). The mental health profile of children and youth who are adopted or in guardianship includes:
40% of youth adopted from foster care are diagnosed with ADD/ADHD with high incidence of pre-natal drug/alcohol exposure (Smith, 2006).
• The American Academy of Pediatrics (2015) estimates up to 80% of children come into foster care with a significant mental health need.
• Adoptive families utilize clinical services at triple the rate reported by families formed by birth. (Howard, Smith & Ryan, 2004; Vandivere, Malm & Radel, 2009)
• Foster/adoptive parents reported 1/3 of children had emotional problems and 40% had educational problems. (Festinger, 2006) 

C.A.S.E. is honored to lead this initiative and is indebted to the significant partners and experts collaborating together on this project. For a full list of partners organizations and individuals, please visit our Partners page and National Advisors page.