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Understanding the Dynamics of Adoption and Effectively Engaging Adoptive Families
Best Western Oshkosh Waterfront Hotel and Conference Center
1 North Main Street
Oshkosh, WI 54901

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Thursday, October 25, 2018, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM CDT
Category: WAFCA CE Training

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Understanding the Dynamics of Adoption and Effectively Engaging Adoptive Families

Children with traumatic experiences of abuse, neglect and abandonment and the subsequent challenging behavioral and emotional responses are at greater risk of presenting with adjustment problems within their adoptive families increasing the risk of failed adoptions. This training will provide the participants with information related to adoption dynamics, effects of separation and loss and strategies for working effectively with children and their adoptive families. The objective is to increase adoption competency among professionals working with adopted children and their families while subsequently enhancing the quality of services to these families with the goal of improving the experience and outcome of adoption.

Participants will:

  • Learn what constitutes evidence-based practice in the field of adoption/child welfare.  

  • Learn how to identify the critical elements in preparing a child and their adoptive parents for adoption, including ways that sibling relationships may be affected by adoption.

  • Learn the continuum of children’s reactions to loss and how to define complicated grief and prolonged grief disorder (PGD) and how the DSM-V treats these conditions

  • Be able to identify three key aspects of adolescent brain development as identified by neuroscientific research and discuss ways that child welfare professionals can promote adopted adolescents’ resilience and positive youth development.

  • Be able to Identify strategies for helping parents promote a child’s healthy racial/ethnic identity, including approaches for helping adoptive families connect with their children’s racial heritage

About the Presenters:

Jeanne Wagner joined the staff at the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare in May 2005 as the Director of Social Work Field Education Programs. She received her MSW from Jane Addams College of Social Work, Chicago, IL and her BSW from Morehead State University, Morehead, KY.

She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with extensive clinical, management and administrative experience.  She has worked in a variety of social service settings prior to her appointment with UWM, which include child welfare, adoption (domestic and international), mental health, intellectual disabilities, geriatrics, and private practice.  She currently teaches courses in social work, develops and presents continuing education programs covering social work ethics and boundaries, leadership and supervision, case management, documentation, confidentiality, adoption competency, and safety in the field. She is a Train the Trainer for the Training for Adoption Competency (TAC) curriculum through the Center for Adoption Support and Education (CASE).  She has served in the role of Ombuds for UWM since 2007 and has 10 years of experience in Quality Assurance.  

She was involved with the Youth Oriented Substance Abuse and Trauma Counseling Program (YOSAT) funded through HERSA from 2014-2017.  She was also involved with “Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral to Treatment” (SBIRT) program funded bySAMHSA from 2013-2016.


Kate Petzold is a Licensed Professional Counselor and has been a Child and Family Psychotherapist for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin since July 2005 . Kate received her MS and BS from UW-Milwaukee

Kate has worked with a diverse population of clients to include victims of domestic violence, victims of trauma and grief and loss, adults with chronic mental health issues, pregnant and parenting teens and children with mental health issues.  Kate’s passion has been her work with clients on adoption related issues. Kate is a certified adoption competent therapist (trained through Training on Adoption Competency through CASE). Kate is an adjunct professor through the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee through which through which she teaches the Training on Adoption Competency curriculum.  She is trained to perform Bonding Assessments and has completed first level of Theraplay training. She is passionate about helping children and families heal who have been through a traumatic or stressful event. She helps clients through an array of treatment modalities find peace and emotional safety.

She enjoys meeting children and families where they are at and view building a connection with them as an essential part of the therapy.  

Contact: Rachel Kruse: [email protected], 608.257.5939