Educational Opportunities

Adoption Rhode Island offers a number of educational opportunities throughout the year for adults interested in learning more about adoption, families touched by adoption, professionals and community members in general. Included are:

The Adoption and Foster Care Certificate Program
Adoption Rhode Island, DCYF and Rhode Island College which make up the Adoption and Foster Care Educational Collaborative launched the Adoption and Foster Care Certificate Program to offer additional training to area professionals and community members. The mission of the program is to build the skills and knowledge of community-based clinicians, social service providers, educators, and people whose lives are touched by adoption. The program promotes a resilience and strengths perspective that enhances and sustains functional family connections. The courses are offered through the Rhode Island School of Social Work Continuing Education Program and are held at the college.

For more information about the program, visit the Rhode Island College School of Social work website  here or click here for their Continuing Education Flyer. For questions about registration, call Rhode Island College at (401) 456-8761.

AACT Certificate Program in Adoption Competency
Facilitated by Dr. Joyce Pavao, Ed.D, LCSW, LMFT, this program is for clinicians and other professionals working with adoption and complex blended families. Using lecture, videos, group discussion, and consultations, this six-month program is designed to help therapists and other professionals develop the clinical sensitivity and, more importantly, the competency needed to treat the mental health problems of children who come from a background of abuse and neglect and who are being raised in a family other than the birth family. The course emphasizes the development of a framework of understanding about the complexity of being a child or adult in a family by adoption and the therapeutic skills that will enable practitioners to work at the individual, couples, group, and family levels of clinical practice. Woven into each class is the impact of trauma, separation, loss, and multiple moves can have on a child’s development and wellbeing.

Advance Education and Training Graduates
The following professionals have completed courses of study in advanced education and skills in working with adopted children and their families. Please note, this listing is a resource and does not constitute an endorsement of an adoption professional. Families should contact each professional directly to inquire as to specialty, fees, experience, and services provided to determine the best practitioner for their child/family. Certifications are independent of Adoption RI. Adoption RI is not responsible for determining adoption competency nor liable for the practice of any listed graduates. Please click here for helpful questions to ask when looking for an adoption clinician.

Congratulations to graduates of the Adoption and Foster Care Certificate Program (AFCC):
Beth Capron, LCSW
Shannon Doherty, BA
Barbara Keefe, BSW
Charlotte Ringwood, ATR
Paula J. Persechino, BA
Amanda Reuter, LCSW

Congratulations to graduates of the Adoption Competency Program:
Rita Capotosto, MS, CAGS, LMHC
Emily Lyon, LICSW
Wendy Sousa, LICSW
Katheryn Tavares, MSW

Collaborative Practice Peer Supervision Group
Adoption Rhode Island invites adoption professionals to a monthly peer supervision group for skilled clinicians who are interested in collaborating and sharing competency around complex adoption/foster care issues. Groups will meet monthly at Adoption Rhode Island. For more information and a schedule of workshops, please click 12644782_10154000697489170_8302190066455277626_n-2here or contact Wendy Sousa, LICSW at Adoption Rhode Island – tel: 401-865-6000 or email

Community Education & Professional Development
We offer educational and professional development opportunities on various topics related to permanency. If you know a school, child care organization, child welfare organization, or other agency or community community group that would like to request training from Adoption Rhode Island related to permanency, adoption, trauma, or other child welfare related topics, please contact Beth Capron or Rita Capotoso.

Past Trainings & Educational Events:

11831793_10153598842939170_5409344014617864659_nInternational Conference on Child & Family Maltreatment, San Diego
Adoption Rhode Island and Family Service of Rhode Island will be co-presenting on adoption competent and trauma-informed practice at the International Conference on Child & Family Maltreatment, presented by Chadwick Center for Children and Families, Rady Children’s Hospital. If you are a parent, professional, researcher or other individual interested in learning the latest research regarding child maltreatment, visit to learn more.





T1941383_10153229456429170_126556998537118704_orafficking & Exploitation of Kids in State Care: Ethical Considerations for Front Line Provider
March 2015 – Adoption Rhode Island, Family Service of RI and St. Mary’s co-sponsored this ethics workshop where providers learned the myths of trafficking, how it effects children in state care, and how to be more proactive in addressing this problem in Rhode Island.

Letting Kids be Kids: Supporting Children and Teens who are Involved in the Child Welfare System”
Adoption Rhode Island and Family Service of RI co-presented at the American Camp Association Annual Conference March, 2015. Over 800 camp counselors & other camp staff attended the conference and this workshop provided participants the information and strategies they need to effectively work with children in state care who attend their camps.

A Path Appears: Film Screening and Panel Discussion
Adoption Rhode Island joined community partners at End RI Trafficking’s event in April 2015. The film, A Path Appears, is a documentary that follows Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn (the creators of “Half the Sky”) as they uncover sex trafficking and human rights violations in the US. The panel discussion focused on human trafficking in Rhode Island.


Kevin Campbell Family Finding Bootcamp
Coinciding with National Foster Care Awareness Month during May 2015, Adoption Rhode Island and Family Service of Rhode Island, as part of the Together Forever Project, hosted three days of training for child welfare professionals in a program that helps find permanent families for children in foster care awaiting adoption.

Webinar: Adoption and Trauma Communities Coming Together to Improve the Well-Being of Children in Foster Care or Adoption
Adoption Rhode Island’s Executive Director presented on a November 2014 webinar for the Child Welfare League of America & National Child Traumatic Stress Network. You can click here to watch the recorded webinar.

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