NTI Partners


The work of the NTI would not be possible without our cooperative agreement with the Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, US Department of Health and Human Services. The Federal Project Officer is June Dorn, Adoption Specialist.

A number of partners comprise the NTI Core Team, responsible for strategic planning, development of the curriculum and web-based training, selection of pilot sites, quality assurance and evaluation.

Core Partners:

  • Susan Livingston Smith, LCSW, a Professor Emerita of the School of Social Work at Illinois State University and nationally known expert on child welfare and adoption is collaborating on curricula development. Smith has co-authored four books on adoption, Promoting Successful Adoptions: Practice with Troubled Families (1999), After Adoption: The Needs of Adopted Youth (2003), Siblings in Adoption and Foster Care: Traumatic Separations and Honored Connections (2009), and Facilitating Adoptions from Care (2014). She taught a course in the Post-Adoption Certificate program at Portland State University for many years and authored a module in C.A.S.E.’s TAC curriculum. Email Susan
  • Carol J. Bishop, MA, LMFT, co-founder of Kinship Center, California (https://Kinshipcenter.org) is collaborating on curricula development. She has worked in adoption and foster care for more than 40 years. Bishop currently has oversight for Kinship Center’s programs in child placement, kinship care, wraparound, children’s mental health and the Education Institute. She has participated in development of curricula for parents and professionals, notably ACT – An Adoption and Permanency Curriculum for Child Welfare and Mental Health Professionals, the companion parent training, Pathways to Permanency II, and co-authored a module in C.A.S.E.’s TAC curriculum. Bishop is a recipient of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute’s Angels in Adoption Award, 2006. Email Carol
  • PolicyWorks, Ltd.
    Anne Atkinson, President and founder (ajatkinson@policyworksltd.org) of the Virginia-based program evaluation and policy research firm will conduct scans of adoption competency training programs to inform curriculum development and jurisdictional scans for pilot site selection. She also contributes to the development of informational products. Visit PolicyWorks, Ltd. website
  • University of Maryland, School of Social Work, Institute for Innovation and Implementation
    The University’s Institute, a major training and implementation center with nationally recognized expertise in child mental health and child welfare, will deliver the web-based curriculum and provide related technical assistance, as well as evaluate the training initiative.
My colleagues and I at the University Of Maryland School Of Social Work are delighted that the Children’s Bureau has recognized the need for a more competent mental health workforce to assist adoptive families. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Debbie Riley and C.A.S.E., the nation’s leader in the development and delivery of competency-based adoption training.


University of Maryland’s Key Staff Include:

  • Marlene Matarese, Director, Training & Technical Assistance Center, Principal Investigator Email Marlene

Web-based Conversion


  • Tony Bonadio, Research Assistant Professor and Team Lead for Evaluation Email Tony
  • Rochon Steward, Research Associate and Cost Study Lead Email Rochon
  • Charlotte Bright, Associate Dean for Doctoral and Post-Doctoral Evaluation and System Study Lead Email Charlotte

NTI has also teamed up with a number of organizations and consultants to enhance curricula development, assure cultural relevance of material, and assist with dissemination of training:

Additional Partners:

National Indian Child Welfare Association consults on cultural responsiveness and provides linkages within tribal child welfare and mental health providers and training programs

National Association of State Adoption Programs provides linkage with state adoption program managers and consults on training development and implementation

The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption provides linkages with Wendy’s Wonderful Kids state programs and assistance with disseminating the training

Rudd Adoption Research Program provides linkages with adoption research scholars and opportunities for dissemination.

Funded through the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children’s Bureau, Grant #90CO1121.
The contents of this website do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the funder, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.