California Adoption Conference 2018
Listening to the Stories of Adoption and Foster Care

Professionals’ Day Keynote
All Day Friday 3/23/18

Story as a Tool for Healing in Adoption and Foster Care
Darla Henry, PhD, MSW, MRS

Adoption and foster care professionals will hear Darla Henry present a state-of-the-art, evidence-based practice that supports children, youth and families in grieving their losses and rebuilding their relationships toward the goals of well-being, safety and permanency. Darla’s 3-5-7 Model™ speaks to the core of child welfare and child/family mental health practices, incorporating theoretical underpinnings from child development, attachment, separation and loss, trauma, family systems and relationship development. This innovative model pairs theory with practical guidance and tools such as lifebooks and loss/life lines which support deeper therapeutic work around adoption, abuse, abandonment, and neglect experiences. Practice applications will be addressed for ongoing case management services, from intake to child protective to placement and clinical services including supports kinship, foster and adoptive family relationships and effective engagement strategy with birth families.

Darla Henry, PhD, MSW, MRS is a Social Worker, Trainer, Teacher and Consultant with more than 45 years of experience in child welfare, private practice, education, and training programs in the social work field. Darla established and authored the 3-5-7 ModelTM. She is president of Darla L Henry & Associates, provides training and consultation nationally and internationally, and teaches MSW courses for local universities. She received her PhD in social work from the University of Maryland at Baltimore, conducting her doctoral work on risk and protective factors of resiliency in maltreated children. This research is the foundation for the development of the 3-5-7 Model™ practice model, a directional and guided approach towards the readiness for decisions of permanency in relationships and towards the healing of hurts and pain from separation and loss traumas within family networks.

General Conference Morning Keynote
Saturday 3/24/18

Challenging Society’s “Story” of Adoption and Foster Care – Navigating Microaggressions
Amanda L. Baden, Ph.D.

Sixty-four percent of Americans report being affected by adoption (were adopted, adopted a child, relinquished a child for adoption, or had family or friends who were adopted). Large portions of our communities are affected by the judgments and attitudes embedded in society toward the stories of each of us touched by adoption and/or foster care. Microaggressions are the daily insults, slights, and invalidations that target those socially marginalized due to adoption or foster care status. Triad members, and the professionals serving them, need to be aware of these often-unconscious beliefs, in order to develop effective advocacy strategies for themselves, their children, and their clients. This presentation will introduce attendees to a new framework for conceptualizing the oppression experienced by birth/first parents, adoptive/foster parents, and adoptees/foster youth, as well as learning tools to support a positive self-concept in the face of societal myths about their stories.

Amanda Baden, Ph.D. received her doctorate in counseling psychology from Michigan State University and she is currently a Professor in the Counseling Program at Montclair State University in Montclair, New Jersey. Dr. Baden has both personal and professional experience with adoption. She was adopted from Hong Kong and raised in a transracially adoptive family. Her experiences both personally and professionally have led her to focus her research and clinical practice on adoption triad members, transracial/international adoption issues, racial and cultural identity, and multicultural counseling competence. Dr. Baden has written extensively on adoption issues including having created a model of identity for transracial and international adoptees called the Cultural-Racial Identity Model. She is one of the editors of the book entitled, The Handbook of Adoption: Implications for Researchers, Practitioners, and Families (Sage Publications). Dr. Baden is the co-chair of the Biennial Adoption Conferences held by the Adoption Initiative at St. John’s University in New York City. She serves on several advisory boards for adoption organizations including the Adoption Initiative (at St. John’s University), Families with Children from China, Chinese Adoptee Links, and the Chinese Adult Adoptee Worldwide Reunion. She was a regular columnist for Families with Children from China Journals across the US and Canada and for Mei Magazine (project now ended), a publication for Chinese adopted children. In 2005, Dr. Baden was chosen by her Congressman, Jerrold Nadler, and the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute as an Angel in Adoption.

She was the recipient of the John D. Black Award in 2014 for the Outstanding Practice of Counseling Psychology and was named the Outstanding Graduate Advisor for Montclair State University in 2017. Dr. Baden served as a Senior Fellow for the Donaldson Adoption Institute, an independent adoption research and policy organization. She is currently on the Advisory Board for the Rudd Adoption Research Program at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. She also serves as a Board Member for the New York State Board of Psychology. She is on the editorial boards of the journals, Adoption Quarterly and Journal of Social Distress and the Homeless.

Dr. Baden’s clinical specializations include counseling adoption triad members, transracial adoptees, and individuals having multiracial backgrounds. She lives in New York City and is a licensed psychologist with a clinical practice in Manhattan.

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