TAC is a 72-hour training program that involves 12 day-long modules (one completed online). TAC was developed by the Center for Adoption Support and Education (C.A.S.E.) in collaboration with mental health adoption and child welfare professionals throughout the United States.

Adoption Symposium
Friday, Sept. 20, 2019

At this symposium, we will discuss important issues and innovations in adoption practice, including the Training for Adoption Competency (TAC) curriculum. Learn about adoption issues and more effective methods of measuring and improving outcomes. Learn more about event.

Improving Outcomes for Success:
Building a Community of Adoption Competent Practitioners

Debbie Riley, MS, LCMFT
CEO, Center for Adoption Support and Education


TAC Project Staff: Jeanne Wagner, Susan Rose, Stacey Grant Savela, and Mary Heller

TAC is based on defined competencies and designed to enhance the skills of professionals working with adoptees and their families. The curriculum is under a continual quality improvement process. Curriculum developers use feedback from participants and trainers to inform content – this ensures relevancy as it relates to practice.

Program Description
  • In November 2015, the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare was awarded a contract from the Center for Adoption Support and Education (C.A.S.E.) to provide a post-graduate training program leading to the acquisition of greater skills in providing services to adopted persons, birth families, prospective adoptive parents, adoptive families, and kinship families.
  • The licensed training program is called Training for Adoption Competency (TAC). This initiative is funded through a grant from the Jockey International Foundation in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
  • All participants will earn 72 CEHs for their participation in addition to receiving one of two certificates:

    Basic TAC Certificate

    This certificate is earned by professionals who have completed the entire 12 trainings, as well as all assignments.

    Advanced TAC Certificate

    This certificate is earned by professionals who have completed the entire 12 trainings, completed all assignments, and participated in six monthly case consultation sessions designed to facilitate the transfer of learning to practice.
  • Background
  • From 2010 to 2014, more than 700 children per year were adopted in Wisconsin. The number of children receiving an adoption subsidy in Wisconsin has averaged approximately 7,200 per year for the past five years. Adoption failures/dissolutions, or adoptions in which children are returned to state care after finalization of adoption, has been estimated to be between 2-10% nationally, but there is not yet good information on the rate in Wisconsin.
  • According to C.A.S.E., children with traumatic experiences of abuse, neglect and abandonment, and challenging behavioral and emotional responses are at greater risk of presenting with adjustment problems within their adoptive families, which creates vulnerability and risk of family disruption.
  • Access to adoption-competent mental health services is a critical factor in the outcomes for these children and their adoptive families, and impacts the success of adoption.
  • To fill this need, C.A.S.E. has developed the TAC program to increase the numbers of professionals who are able to provide treatment services to these individuals and families. The end goal of increased access to adoption competent mental health, adoption, and child welfare practitioners is improved well-being of adopted children and their families and a decrease in adoption dissolution.
  • Timeline
  • The Helen Bader School of Social Welfare (HBSSW) began offering the TAC training in Milwaukee in June 2016.
  • In the future, we plan to develop training locations in other parts of Wisconsin to include practitioners from adjoining states.
  • Download printable program description
  • TAC consists of 12 modules on various aspects of adoption practice. The trainings are in-person, approximately two Fridays per month
    from 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at Milwaukee Child Welfare Partnership, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The location for the Madison training will be held at Madison Area Technical College, Truax Campus.
  • Milwaukee, WI
    Module 1

    Fully online
  • Modules 2-12
  • Apr. 26, 2019
    May 10, 2019
    May 31, 2019
    June 14, 2019
    June 28, 2019
    July 12, 2019
    July 26, 2019
    Aug. 9, 2019
    Aug. 23, 2019
    Sept. 13, 2019
    Sept. 27, 2019

  • Madison
    Module 1

    Fully online
  • Modules 2-12
  • Oct. 11, 2019
    Oct. 25, 2019
    Nov. 8, 2019
    Nov. 22, 2019
    Dec. 6, 2019
    Jan. 10, 2020
    Jan. 24, 2020
    Feb. 7, 2020
    Feb. 21, 2020
    March 6, 2020
    March 20, 2020

  • Optional monthly ongoing case consultation sessions
    Held for six months after the end of the formal training. This case consultation will be conducted by C.A.S.E. staff, curriculum trainers, and project officers.
Participant Requirements
  • Educational/Licensing
  • Master’s degree (minimum) in social work, counseling, or other related discipline.
  • It’s preferred that participants either have a current professional license or are under clinical supervision preparing for professional licensing.
  • Employment
  • Participants must be working in a clinical capacity with adoptive families.
  • If applicants do not meet educational or employment criteria but interface with members of the adoption kinship network in some way so that they are able to incorporate learning into practice, they may be considered as space allows.


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