Course Descriptions and Registration


Please note that there are two dates of availability scheduled for each course, and that registration is currently open only for the series from September 2016 to January 2017. Please note that you must register for each individual course separately to ensure your seat is reserved. Each course offers 9 CEU hours (with the exception of Treating the Continuum of Attachment Difficulties, which is a 2-day training and offers 16 CEUs) for those professionals that complete the pre-course reading and other assignments that have been required by the instructor.



 To register for any session listed below, please click here.




Building Resiliency & Stability for Adoptive and Foster Families (9 CEUs)


Instructor: Gary Mallon, DSE. Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College in New York &

Executive Director National Center for Child Welfare Excellence


Date(s): Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Tuesday, February 12, 2019


Time: 8:30AM – 4:30PM



Adopted and foster children enter the family with a unique history. This class explores the core clinical issues and examines effective responses to families in crisis, including de-escalating child behavior problems. Learn about the common dynamics in troubled place- ments, including the stages of disruption, and how to intervene on multiple levels to assist children in developing an integrated, positive sense of self. Learn about the factors that are most likely to cause challenges for children and their families and interventions that promote family functioning and enhancing attachments in adoptive and foster families.







Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) & other Drug Effects:

Understanding & Application of a Brain-Based Approach for Adoptive & Foster Families (9 CEUs)


Instructor: Eileen Devine, LCSW

FASD Northwest


Date(s): Wednesday, September 12, 2018

 Wednesday, February 13, 2019


Time: 8:30AM – 4:30PM



Professionals and parents must first understand the link between brain development and behavior before they can develop skills to support children who have neurological challenges. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders and other alcohol-and-drug-related neurological disorders can shape a child’s behavior  and relationships.  This class identifies the common phenomenon of children accumulating numerous DSM diagnoses, which suggests the greater likelihood of underlying brain involvement.  Explore the importance  of identifying FASD to assist families in reframing behaviors and understanding primary and secondary behavioral symptoms. Learn skills for coaching families to develop accommodations for their neurologically impaired child.







Impact of Complex Trauma on Neurological and Physiological Systems: Family Based Therapeutic Strategies to Support Healing (16 CEUs)


Instructor: Kelly Pratt, LICSW

The Trauma Center at JRI, Brookline MA


Date(s): Tuesday and Wednesday, October 9 - 10, 2018

Tuesday and Wednesday, March 12 - 13, 2019


Time: 8:30AM-4:30PM



Often, adopted and foster children exhibit behavioral challenges, learning challenges, and other special needs that defy traditional parenting techniques, tax educational and social services, and exact a toll on the child and family. This session provides a detailed framework for understanding the neurological and physiological impact of complex trauma, drawing on current research findings and integrating current literature into practical clinical interventions. Children and adolescents typically present with significant behavioral problems and relationship difficulties in special-needs adoptions.  Emphasis is placed on practical ways for mental health providers to consult with adoptive and foster parents on dealing with classic problems such as food issues, eating disorders, lying, stealing, sexually reactive behaviors, bedwetting, encopresis, sleep problems, anger outbursts, fire setting, and parentified behavior. Sessions will focus on understanding behavior problems in the context of the child’s history of past exposure to maltreatment, integrating current literature on the impact of complex trauma on the body, and attention is paid to supporting healing in dysfunctional family roles. Numerous case examples illustrate practical interventions to use with a range of clinical presentations.







Treating the Continuum of Attachment Difficulties for Adoptive & Foster Families (16 CEUs)


Instructor: Deborah Gray, MPA, LICSW

Nurturing Attachments, Kirkland WA


Date(s): Tuesday and Wednesday, November 6 - 7, 2018

Tuesday and Wednesday, April 23 - 24, 2019


Time: 8:30AM-4:30PM (2 days)



Attachment challenges are endemic to children who have experienced  losses in attachment, dysregulation due to complex trauma, and early neglect. This course reviews attachment theory and research in child welfare, and then moves on to provide practical protocols for helping families to move into secure attachments. The class includes case examples and research from both domestic and international adoption. Participants will learn to assess attachment, will explore styles/patterns of attachment, will review practical interventions with families forming  secure attachments, will learn methods of preserving attachment when children are moved between families, and will learn the essentials of treatment for attachment difficulties. The course will use techniques suited for children with executive dysfunction and/or FASD, including having parents and carers as part of the therapeutic intervention when working on attachment. This course will emphasize the interplay between parent and child attachment patterns, and ways to move families into secure attachments. We will describe the impact of emotional dysregulation on parents, and ways to encourage families to maintain sensitive, attuned interactions.









Essential Clinical Interventions for Adoptive & Foster Families (9 CEUs)


Instructor: Deborah Gray, MPA, LICSW.

Nurturing Attachments, Kirkland WA


Date(s): Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Tuesday, June 5, 2019


Time: 8:30AM - 4:30PM



Learn clinical interventions for working with families raising children with complicated histories. Specific focus on engaging families, applying assessment information into treatment plans supporting kin, guardianship and adoptive parents, and therapeutic protocols for trauma, loss, and attachment. Learn approaches for family-centered therapy. Apply concepts of stress regulation, theory of mind, attachment, and pacing into treatment plans. Learn necessary accommodations for children with FASD and/or other learning issues common to experiencing severe neglect. Incorporate ethnic identity and cultural identity issues into the understanding of best treatment. Review evidence-based projects that work with attachment, trauma and loss. Learn behavioral management techniques that help families maintain sensitivity with structure. Apply information on trauma, loss, attachment, and identity through classic cases.







Life Story Work: A Model for Recovery for Youth (9 CEUs)


Instructor: Richard Rose, AAP, MBA, BPhil, PGSWE, PQCCA, CQSW.

Director of Child Trauma Intervention Services Ltd. London England & Australia


Date(s): Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Wednesday, June 5, 2019


Time: 8:30AM-4:30PM



Therapeutic Life Story Work enables children and young people who have experienced the trauma of child abuse and neglect, and who are struggling with the pain of their past, to reflect and develop compassion for themselves and move on. It is a defined approach, designed to introduce the past as markers for the present. Once these are understood, the child is supported in considering how to move on and make significant changes, as a result of a far deeper understanding and awareness of how their history has been negatively impacting their present. In essence, Therapeutic Life Story Work is not just about the who, what, where, when, and why, but how a painful past, if not reflected on and worked through, can go on to blight the present and future. Instead, if we can help children to think about their history of trauma and loss, to understand its origins and effects, we can

identify and understand the ‘ghosts of the past’ so children are no longer haunted by them.







*If your registration is accepted for these courses, you will be receiving notification of pre-coursework assignment(s) approximately two weeks prior to the course start date.  Assignments are due one week prior to the class date.


Seating is limited to 40 participants in the classroom, and 30 participants via live video streaming. Priority will be given to Oregon registrants who have been accepted into the full certificate program, and who are serving targeted geographic locations and populations.


Portland State University

Child Welfare Partnership

626 High Street NE

Suite 400

Salem, OR 97301


(503) 584-7315

Have questions? Check out the FAQ Section!
Have questions? Check out the FAQ Section!
Have questions? Check out the FAQ Section!
Have questions? Check out the FAQ Section!
Have questions? Check out the FAQ Section!