Therapy with Adoptive and Foster Families - Faculty
National and regional experts teach each session. Instructors provide a strong foundation in theoretical perspective, current research, and the development of therapeutic skill that enable students to practice at both individual and family levels.
Sherri L. Alderman, MD, MPH, IMH-E, is a board-certified developmental behavioral pediatrician with special interest in serving families with young children. Her professional experiences reflect her clinical, research, teaching, and parent and professional training interests. Prior to coming to Portland, she was on faculty at the University of New Mexico’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. Dr. Alderman is also the medical director for the Oregon Pediatric Society Screening, Training and Referral Training program (START) and serves on the Oregon Pediatric Improvement Partnership (OPIP) advisory board.
Dr. Alderman’s special interests include: early childhood brain and mind development; high-risk infant and toddler developmental assessment, monitoring, and care; autism diagnosis and management; internationally adopted young children’s developmental care; teaching and training professionals and parents; child advocacy/child rights; and community empowerment to best serve and nurture healthy children, families, and communities. Dr. Alderman has certification in the Play and Language for Autistic Youngsters (PLAY Project) and has endorsement in Infant Mental Health at the IV Level—Policy. She is certified in DIR/Floortime® through the C1 Level.
Renee Daniel, MSW, LCSW, has worked with children and families in both the public and private sector since 1984. She began as a child protection worker in a small rural county in Eastern Colorado, worked in the Portland metro area as an adoption worker with Boys and Girls Aid Society and as a therapist with Kinship House, where she was a founding board member. Kinship House is a Portland agency that serves children in foster care awaiting adoption and children and families touched by adoption. She now lives in rural Central Oregon where she is the clinical supervisor and program manager for Crook County Mental Health in Prineville (adult outpatient, children and families programs, and crisis services). Ms. Daniel has been an adoption worker, birthparent counselor, protective services caseworker, and serves as an expert witness in court cases regarding attachment and transition planning for children. As a therapist, she has provided therapy to all members of the triad and works closely with policymakers and experts on child welfare issues for children in Oregon. She provides pre- and post-adoption training for families and ongoing consultation and training for permanent planning caseworkers, lawyers, judges and fellow therapists.
Richard J. Delaney, PhD, is an internationally known trainer and consultant who has worked extensively with foster and adoptive parents, caseworkers, mental health professionals, and agencies for over 25 years. He is a licensed psychologist in Colorado. Dr. Delaney is the author of Raising Cain: Caring for Troubled Youngsters/Repairing Our Troubled System, Fostering Changes: Treating Attachment-Disordered Foster Children, Troubled Transplants: Unconventional Strategies for Helping Disturbed Foster and Adopted Children, and the Healing Power of the Family. He received his PhD in clinical psychology from Loyola University of Chicago.
Kelly DeLany, MA, LMFT, is the program manager for Nortwest Resource Associates and has over 15 years of experience as a child and family therapist in communities in Oregon. For the past nine years she has exclusively worked with families and children in foster care and adoption. Ms. DeLany has also taught courses at the college level in psychology and group counseling. Other past feats include successfully running a family business for a number of years with her husband and founding a nonprofit counseling agency with other talented foster/adoption therapists. Her own family is directly touched by adoption which brings added insight to her work at ORPARC.
Doris Dodson, MSW, LCSW, is currently the Director of Field Experience and a full-time faculty member of the social work program at Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Virginia. She is licensed as a clinical social worker in the Commonwealth of Virginia and was formerly licensed in the states of Oregon and Washington when she lived in the Pacific Northwest. She has more than 28 years of social work experience with the majority in child welfare in both the public and private sectors.
Toni Ferguson, MSW, is a family support specialist at the Oregon Post Adoption Resource Center (ORPARC). Ms. Ferguson comes to ORPARC from Portland State University's School of Social Work and Child Welfare Partnership where she was an instructor for six years. While there she was instrumental in the development of the Postgraduate Certificate Program in Therapy with Adoptive Families. Prior to that position, she was a member of the innovative Post Adoption Family Therapist Team (PAFT) at DHS, where she provided highly specialized, intensive treatment services to adoptive families of special needs children. Before PAFT, she had acquired over 20 years of experience in education and child welfare systems, including the positions of permanency worker, foster home certifier, school social worker, and adoptive/foster parent trainer. Ms. Ferguson’s bachelor of science degrees are in psychology and sociology from Portland State University, and she holds a master's of social work from the School of Social Work and Child Welfare at Walla Walla College. She and her husband have raised six children through birth and adoption who are now thriving adults.
Francine Florendo, MSW, LCSW, received her MSW from Portland State University in 1985. She worked in community mental health and was a psychiatric social worker prior to joining the state’s child welfare agency in 1993. She has been involved in adoptions work for over 13 years. Ms. Florendo is currently the state’s adoption placement specialist in the DHS Central Office Adoptions Unit. She is also an adoptive parent.
Deborah Gray, MSW, MPA, is a child and family therapist and the founder of Nurturing Attachments in Kirkland, Washington, specializing in the areas of attachment, grief, and trauma. She helps children and their parents in situations where deprivation or attachment losses make attachment formation challenging. In her private practice, she empowers parents with information and techniques to meet the needs of their children. She has worked over 20 years in children's therapy, child placement, and foster and adoption counseling. Ms. Gray is a popular presenter due to her practical approaches of promoting attachment, shaping behavior, and working through trauma and grief. She has keynoted national conferences including ATTACh, Joint Council of International Children's Services, American Association of Adoption Attorneys, Midwest Adoption Conference, and Families for Russian and Ukrainian Adoption. Ms. Gray is the author of numerous articles and two books,Attaching in Adoption: Practical Tools for Today's Parents and Nurturing Adoptions: Creating Resilience After Neglect and Trauma.
Jeanne Howard, PhD, is research and policy director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute and professor of social work at Illinois State University. She has been a leading researcher in the field of post-adoption services for over a decade. Her collaborative ground breaking study with Susan Livingston Smith on adoption disruption in 1988 resulted in many joint publications, over 50 presentations at professional conferences, and other activities on a national scale. She co-directed the Center for Adoption Studies at Illinois State University, which has produced several major pieces of research as well as curricula for adoption workers.
Dr. Howard completed her PhD in social work at the University of Chicago and was involved in several research studies conducted by the Chapin Hall Center for Children at U of C. In partnership with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, she helped develop post-adoption services in Illinois. Dr. Howard collaborated on a four-year evaluation of the Illinois Adoption and Guardianship Preservation Program, begun in 1991, and has continued her study of therapeutic services to adoptive families who are struggling. Her book, co-written with Susan Livingston Smith, Promoting Successful Adoption: Practice with Troubled Families, integrates research, theory, and practice knowledge for working with families after adoption. In addition, she contributed to a national study of post-legal grant projects funded by the U.S. Children's Bureau and in partnership with the American Public Human Services Association, and conducted a qualitative study of post-adoption services funded by states across the nation. Dr. Howard serves on the post-adoption task force of the North American Council for Adoptable Children and was the co-recipient of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Adoption 2002 Excellence Award for her work in applied scholarship and research. In 2006 Dr. Howard also received the Congressional Angels in Adoption Award.
Diane V. Malbin, MSW, is executive director of FASCETS, a private nonprofit organization in Portland, Oregon, whose services include a diagnostic clinic, direct services, consultation, training, and program development on FASD and related issues for parents and professionals locally, nationally, and throughout Canada. Presentations include a plenary session for Health Canada's national summit on FASD and the NASW world conference. She is an Oregon state representative for the SAMHSA Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Center for Excellence Building FASD State Systems, has lectured nationally and internationally for over 15 years, and has developed and taught courses on FASD through the University of British Columbia, University of Wisconsin, and other institutions. She is a consultant for development of training and video projects, is a published author, and was principal investigator for the successful Fetal Alcohol Pilot Project funded by the State of Oregon Services for Children and Families that was based on the FASCETS model. She is also the parent of two young adults with FASD.
Gerald P. Mallon, DSW, is professor and executive director of the National Resource Center for Family Centered Practice and Permanency Planning at the Hunter College of Social Work in New York City. For more than 30 years, Dr. Mallon has been a child welfare practitioner, advocate, educator, and researcher. He is the author or editor of 17 books and numerous peer-reviewed publications in professional journals. His most recent publication, co-edited with Peg Hess, is Child Welfare for the 21st century: A Handbook of Practices, Policies, and Programs, published by Columbia University Press. Dr. Mallon earned his doctorate in Social Welfare from the City University of New York at Hunter College and holds an MSW from Fordham University and a BSW from Dominican College. Dr. Mallon has lectured extensively in the United States, Ireland, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. He and his partner are the parents of three young people through adoption.
Joyce Maguire Pavao, EdD, LCSW, LMFT, is the founder and CEO of Center for Family Connections (CFFC) and the founder of PACT (Pre/Post-Adoption Consulting Team) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She is the 2003 recipient of the Adoption Excellence Award (for individual contributions) from the Children's Bureau. In addition, she has received numerous awards and recognitions for her 30 years of outstanding contributions in the fields of adoption therapy, child welfare, family therapy, and adoption education. She holds a doctoral degree from Harvard University and is both a licensed clinical social worker and a licensed marriage and family therapist. She is on the faculty of Harvard Medical School as a lecturer in psychiatry. Dr. Pavao has developed models for training and treatment using her systematic framework, the Normative Crises in the Development of the Adoptive Family, and her book, The Family of Adoption (Beacon Press, 1998/2005).
Susan L. Smith, LCSW, is a professor emeriti of Illinois State University and is program and project director of the Adoption Institute. She has been a leading researcher in the field of post-adoption services for over a decade. Her collaboration on a groundbreaking study with Dr. Jeanne Howard on adoption disruption in 1988 resulted in many joint publications, over 50 presentations at professional conferences, and other activities on a national scale. She co-directed the Center for Adoption Studies at Illinois State University, which has produced several major pieces of research as well as curricula for adoption workers.
In partnership with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, Ms. Smith helped develop post-adoption services in Illinois. She collaborated on a four-year evaluation of the Illinois Adoption and Guardianship Preservation program, begun in 1991, and has continued her study of therapeutic services to adoptive families who are struggling. Her book, co-written with Dr. Jeanne Howard, Promoting Successful Adoption: Practice with Troubled Families, integrates research, theory, and practice knowledge for working with families after adoption. In addition, she helped conduct a national study of post-legal grant projects funded by the U.S. Children's Bureau and in partnership with the American Public Human Services Association, and conducted a qualitative study of post-adoption services funded by states across the nation. Ms. Smith serves on the post adoption task force of the North American Council for Adoptable Children and was the co-recipient of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Adoption 2002 Excellence Award for her work in applied scholarship and research. Also in 2006 she received the Congressional Angels in Adoption Award.
Carol Wilson Spigner, DSW, is a clinician educator and the Kenneth L.M. Pray distinguished professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice. From 1994 to 1999, she was associate commissioner of the Children's Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where she was responsible for the administration of federal child welfare programs. She has been a senior associate at the Center for the Study of Social Policy and a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (where she directed the National Child Welfare Leadership Center) and the University of California, Los Angeles. She began her career working for the Los Angeles County Departments of Adoption and Probation. Her current research focuses on documenting the experience of parents in the child welfare system.
Dave Ziegler, PhD, LMFT, LPC, is a licensed psychologist and executive director of SCAR/Jasper Mountain, an agency in Oregon that works with our society's most damaged children and their families. He is a therapist, clinical supervisor, trainer, media consultant, frequent expert witness, and consultant to programs and states. He has worked with traumatized adults, children, and their families for over 32 years. Perhaps most important, he has also been a foster parent for dozens of the most challenging children. He has taken what he has learned from these children and developed a treatment program that is nationally recognized for its innovation and success with the most difficult cases. Dr. Ziegler has numerous publications including Handbook for Treatment of Attachment-Trauma Problems in Children (B. James Ed.), Raising Children Who Refuse To Be Raised, Traumatic Experience and the Brain, and the soon to be released Achieving Success with Impossible Children.