ACT – An Adoption and Permanency Curriculum for Child Welfare and Mental Health Professionals

ACT is a post-graduate permanency curriculum that provides intensive practice and clinically informed training to adoption and permanency professionals and community based therapists. The curriculum expands the application of techniques and knowledge from related fields, such as education, mental health, and neurobiology to the practice of adoption and relative guardianship. ACT is designed to advance and inform adoption practice, expand the pool of qualified child welfare and mental health providers available to families, integrate permanency practice across an array of programs, and engage and retain qualified professional staff in adoption and post-permanency services. ACT transmits core competencies to individual professionals and to agency staff groups seeking to improve and standardize their programs with shared, quality knowledge and a commitment to integrated practice principles.

The core curriculum for Kinship Center’s ACT was developed in 1992 and has been refined and field-tested to more than 7,000 professionals over 15 years. The 48-hour curriculum addresses the experiences of all members of the adoption and permanency constellation and includes lecture, large and small group discussion, integrated learning activities, interactive experiences, video, and supportive reading materials. Tools for use in practice with children and their families are incorporated into each session, so that skills acquired during the training may be applied immediately.

ACT is recognized as a model for the industry. In a recent ACT survey, 91% of former participants responding said they are better able to prepare families to expect and handle crisis points in the adoptive life cycle. In another survey regarding ACT outcomes, 92% of ACT graduates reported that they were using the tools, concepts or information from ACT on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, with 75% reporting that they were using the materials and techniques on a least a weekly basis.

The target audience for ACT is social workers, mental health professionals, wraparound, attorneys, judges, educators, CASA, and other child advocates.


ACT Training Schedule for 2018-2019 - in these California locations:


Orange County (Santa Ana):  Sept. 25, 26; Oct. 18, 19; Nov. 13, 14; Dec. 6 & 7, 2018   This series has concluded.

Monterey County (Salinas):  Feb. 7, 8; March 7, 8; April 4, 5; May 2 & 3, 2019    Registration closed.


To inquire about an upcoming ACT training, please contact Margaret Ross Henderson at or the Seneca Institute for Advanced Practice at

If you would like to arrange an ACT or other specialized training event at your own location with our expert faculty, click custom training for more information.

Note:  Kinship Center also offers comprehensive training for parents and other caregivers. Click here for a description of all our educational offerings for parents/caregivers and professionals.




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