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Adoption Certificate Training Program/Child Welfare Professional Development

The Institute for Families at the Rutgers School of Social Work offers a Child Welfare Track of the Certificate Program in Adoption as a 12-course training series for New Jersey’s child welfare workforce. Intended to increase the knowledge and skills of adoption workers within the New Jersey Department of Children and Families, this program focuses on the core issues facing adoptive families and on attachment-based, family-focused work with children and families.

The Certificate Program in Adoption: Child Welfare Track is comprised of a series of twelve workshops that are divided into two levels—six 100-level courses and six 200-level advanced courses. Participants earn five continuing education units for attendance in each session. Workshops offered in this program are facilitated by instructors who are subject matter experts from a range of practice settings.

The Certificate Program in Adoption: Child Welfare Track begins each academic year with two new cohorts hand selected by the Division of Child Protection & Permanency’s Office of Adoption Operations. Participants in the 100-level program begin with three courses in the fall and continue with three courses in the spring. A cohort of more advanced child welfare staff with significant adoption experience is selected for the 200-level program. Advanced participants also attend three courses in the fall and three courses in the spring. Each workshop runs once per academic year and all trainings are held at the Professional Center at DCF in New Brunswick, NJ. Those who miss one or more classes are able to attend make-up classes the following academic year.

100-Level Workshops:

  • Psychology of Adoption
  • Adoption of Older Children
  • Kinship Adoption
  • Attachment-Focused Work with Families
  • Adoption Recruitment/Adoption Supports
  • Preparing Children for Adoption

200-Level Advanced Workshops:

  • Enhancing Adoptive Families’ Support of LGBTQI Youth
  • Factual Witness Training
  • Trauma-Informed Response When Working with Adoptive Families
  • Creating a Meaningful Life Story
  • Conceptualizing Crisis When Working with Adoptive Families
  • When the Other Shoe Drops: Helping Adoptive Families Navigate the Rewards and Challenges of Placement
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