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At a Glance: Therapy with Adoptive and Foster Families

Certificate of completion for human services professionals

Nearly 10,000 children are currently in the Oregon child welfare system. These children have their own distinct set of challenges. Our courses cover best practices for treating children who are dealing with histories of abuse, trauma, and neglect, and best practices for strengthening the family systems of these children.

In this program, you will learn to help families and children who have special needs that place extra stress on the family. You will be able to teach adoptive and foster parents about the differences between parenting biological children versus adoptive or foster children. You will become an adoption-competent therapist that can help adopted and foster children and families and will be able to better prevent family dissolution.

Go to full program website

Program benefits

As a member of this program, you will:

  • Become an expert in the special needs of adoptive and foster families
  • Learn hands-on by participating in case discussions
  • Enjoy a flexible format that allows you to access classes either face-to-face and online or online only

Upon completion, you will:

  • Receive a formal certificate of completion for each class
  • Receive CEUs or graduate credit that may be able to be used as elective credit in a counseling or social work program (check with your adviser)
  • Become a valued member of a core group of specialized adoption and foster care clinicians
  • Be placed in the Directory of Oregon Therapists and Professionals with the Therapy with Adoptive and Foster Families Certificate

Who is this for?

These courses are intended for professionals with a master's degree in a mental health field such as psychology, social work, or counseling. If you are working toward such a degree or working in the field, that is appropriate as well.

Program format

  • Seven on-campus workshops; four online courses
  • Video-streaming option for on-campus workshops
  • 100 contact hours
  • CEUs or graduate credit
  • Begin any time

Get started

Getting started in the Adoptions Therapy classes at PSU is easy! There are no course prerequisites for the program. You may take up to eight credits per term at PSU as a non-admitted student.

  1. You do not need to be accepted to the certificate of completion program to take a single class. An application is required only for the full certificate. Download the application here. An administrative fee of $150 is due upon acceptance in the program.
  2. Register for the first class at 1-800-547-8887 ext 59968 or 503-725-9968
  3. For online classes you will need a PSU online course account
  4. Register for the Adoptions Therapy mailing list to get the latest information on upcoming events and courses


Marion Sharp
Program Manager
1-800-547-8887 ext. 54876
Request more information