For Professionals

Collaborating to promote best practice in child welfare, family services, and adoption.

We believe in the importance of working together with other professionals who serve children and families; by doing so we strengthen the services that families receive and promote shared knowledge in current best practices. We have offices in Manhattan, Long Island, and New Jersey but are also happy to come on-site to your organization to offer trainings, workshops, and more.

For Child Welfare Workers

We work with child welfare agencies in the following ways to promote best practices and permanency for children:

Trainings for child welfare professionals

We offer on-site trainings to foster-care professionals in New York. Our staff members each have experience working with the foster care population through direct practice in their professional careers or through teaching foster care agencies how to best implement permanency using the core trainings that have been developed internally. We can provide a one-off training to your staff on a topic of your choice, or we can craft multi-day curriculums based on your agency’s needs. Our current library of trainings include:

  1. Trauma and its impact on child development
  2. Grief, and Loss in Adoption
  3. Attachment and Bonding
  4. Typical childhood and adolescent development
  5. Permanency Planning in the context of the child welfare system
  6. Common diagnoses and medications for children in care
  7. Safety and Risk Assessments
  8. Home Visits
  9. History of the Child Welfare System
  10. A Day In the Life of a Case Planner
  11. And more…

If you are planning your own training or workshop but need a space where you can facilitate the event, let us host your event!

Talk to us about applying for CEUs for our trainings.

Workshops for children/youth

We are also available to provide direct services to children in foster care through workshops such as:

  • Mask Making Workshop: Children and youth in foster care wear many identities which can be confusing to them. Mask making focuses on the “mask” that they show the world and the inner “mask” that shows how they feel inside.
  • Lifebook Workshop: Knowing one’s story is a powerful thing and something many of us take for granted. This workshop uses words and pictures to empower children/youth to tell their own story. This exercise helps children understand the journey of their lives and how they ended up being in the family they are in.

We can also develop a new workshop for the children, birth parents, foster parents and adoptive parents that your agency serves.

Reunification coaching for children and teens returning home or in a pre-adoptive home

Finding permanency involves adjustments and understanding of the child’s emotional needs. This type of coaching promotes attachment and helps a child recover from their trauma background. We will give parents tools to aid in this process. The themes we cover are:

  • Openness with birth families
  • Adoption is a lifelong decision
  • The identity of your child and your family
  • Grief and loss and how it affects behavior
  • Trauma and how it affects development

FOR SCHOOLS

Teachers and school personnel play an important role in a child’s life and are integral in ensuring that children feel understood, respected and safe at school. We offer workshops and trainings on-site at schools to prepare educators to create an inclusive community for adopted students, how to craft assignments sensitive to all family structures, and how to respond in instances of bullying. We can also come on-site to your school to offer workshops for parents or students. Our training and workshop topics include:

  1. Adoption in Schools: Creating a Supportive Environment
  2. Finding the Right Words for Tough Conversations
  3. How to Talk About Diverse Families
  4. And More..

For attorneys

We respect the tremendous and valuable role that attorneys play in adoption – from representing birth parents’ rights, to supporting pre-adoptive families in match and placement, to representing adoptive families at finalization. We provide the following services to complement your work with your clients:

  1. Home Study – We offer home study for families who are working with an attorney for placement. Our home studies include pre-adoption training and we remain available to families through post-placement and beyond adoption through our lifelong post-adoption services. We can transmit needed documentation to court, including clearances, for pre-certification or finalization proceedings.
  2. Options counseling – if you are representing an expectant parent who needs options counseling, our social work team provides unbiased options counseling to explore options including parenting, adoption, kinship care, foster care and abortion.
  3. Other Services – Your families are invited to our pre-adoption trainings and post-adoption events such as lifebooks, mentorship, counseling and more!

For adoption agencies

We value the opportunity to collaborate with other adoption agencies to support families and to further best practices in adoption. There are numerous ways we can work together, including:

  1. Home Study: We offer home study for families in New York and New Jersey who are adopting through another agency’s placement program. We will coordinate with your agency to ensure that our home study not only meets state and Hague standards, but also any standards of your agency or the country the family is adopting from. We integrate trainings through our home study process and offer in-person trainings on topics including trauma, grief, loss, openness, transracial parenting, behavior management, and medical issues in international adoption as presented by a medical expert.
  2. Placement Programs: We offer adoption programs for families of all compositions. We have domestic and international programs available for applicants of all ages, for single applicants, for cohabitating unmarried couples, and for LGBTQ+ applicants. We rely on reputable out-of-state agencies like yours to conduct the home studies for our out-of-state families who are participating in our placement programs.
  3. Pre-Adoption Training for Families: Throughout the year we offer trainings to pre-adoptive families pursuing international adoption; we are happy to extend these trainings to your families even if they are not working with Spence-Chapin for home study or placement.
  4. Post-Adoption Services: Your families are invited to our post-adoption events such as our monthly play days, lifebook workshops, mentorship, counseling and more!
  5. Staff trainings: As licensed agencies, our staff all need ongoing adoption practice training. We can come on-site and offer training to your staff on topics such as trauma, grief, loss, openness, transracial parenting, behavior management and older child adoption.
  6. Have us host your training: If you are planning your own training or workshop but need a space where you can facilitate the event, let us host your event!

FOR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS

We’ve trained over 400 healthcare professionals on options counseling and support for pregnant women and their partners.

Topics Include
  • Unbiased Options Counseling & Permanency Planning
  • Tough Conversations: How to Talk about Options with Clients
  • Birth Parent Rights
  • Modern Adoption Practice & Open Adoption
  • Special Needs & Options
  • And more!
Request free print brochures or download below:
  • Options Counseling – available in: EnglishChineseSpanish, French, Bengali, Arabic, Polish, Korean
  • Healthy Women, Strong Families Brochure (English and Spanish)
  • Adoption FAQs