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Broken Promise: Spotting Violence in adoptive & foster families

We like to think that when a child is in crisis, we know what's in their best interest. And that in some cases, that means removing them from one family and placing them with another - for foster care, and/or to be adopted. If they were adopted, we like to think the adoptive parents are good people, good parents with good intentions, who want to help and love a child, with whom the child will be "better off".

Unfortunately, adoptive families are equally capable of abusing and neglecting children in their care. And for a multitude of reasons, we miss it. We miss it in screening, we miss it in home visits. We miss it til it's too late.

In this session we will:

  • Review child maltreatment and death cases in the media to examine missed opportunities for screening and intervention

  • Review red flags of narcissism in prospective families, as well as screening questions to assess

  • Encourage audience members to reflect on how their own ideas and beliefs about adoption/child welfare could potentially cloud the ability to spot red flags

  • Examine system failures, and consider opportunities for change…and more.

How to Take this Course

We are excited for you to learn from one of the best educators on intersectional mental health issues and an expert who delivers real talk about clinical applications.

Once you have created a log in and purchased this course, you can watch it at your own pace while logged in to the site. Start, stop and replay as often as you would like. We would also love to hear from you. Email questions or comments to Certificates of Completion are available upon request by emailing

What Course Attendees say

It is possible - it's NECESSARY - to find a way to straddle the “both and” in adoption. To be honest with what's not good, awful, and even deadly without collapsing into shame or blame.

Katy doesn't shy away from inviting attendees to look at the uncomfortably hard- both in themselves and adoption as an institution.

Robyn Gobbel, MSW

Author of Raising Kids with Big Baffling Behaviors

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