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Krista Handfield
Program Coordinator & Graduate Assistant,
Adoption & Foster Care Certificate Program
afcc@ric.edu
(401) 456-4622


Adoption & Foster Care Certificate Program

New Adobe PDFContinuing Education in Social Work opportunities are available for Fall 2016!
Classes start Jan. 19.

THE CERTIFICATE IN ADOPTION AND FOSTER CARE PRACTICE provides clinical and practical training for those working with families and children whose lives are touched by the issues of foster care and adoption.

Please note: Workshops in the Adoption and Foster Care Practice Certificate Program are open to all. You do not need to be seeking an AFCC certificate.

Our Vision: Adoption and foster care competent professionals throughout the greater Rhode Island area.

Our Mission:  Through the Adoption and Foster Care Certificate program, we will promote adoption and foster care competent professionals as resources to support permanency for children in Rhode Island’s child welfare system.


  • Adobe PDFSpring 2017 Brochure
  • Adobe PDFProgram Requirements

    Course Descriptions

    Adobe PDFCurrent Schedule of Workshops

    Outside LinkWorkshop Registration

    Adobe PDFPre-2014 Certificate Completion Form - This form applies to participants who started the program prior to the Fall semester of 2014.

    Adobe PDFCurrent Certificate Completion Form - This form applies to participants who started the program during or after the Fall semester of 2014.


    Program Requirements

    Please review this document for the Adobe PDFprogram requirements.

    Core Workshops

    Fall 2016

    • AFCC-36 Policy and Advocacy: Impacts on Care and Adoption (Core)
    • AFCC-37 Understanding Core Clinical Issues in Foster Care and Adoption (Core)
    • AFCC-38 Trauma & Brain Development: Foundations for Foster Care & Adoption Practice (Core)
    • AFCC-47 Ethics: Reflective Practice (Core)

    Spring 2017

    • AFCC-40 Grief and Loss in Foster Care and Adoption (Core)
    • AFCC-41 Considering the Value and Role of Culture and Diversity in Foster Care and Adoption (Core)
    • AFCC-42 Workincg With and Understanding the Role of the Birth Families (Core)
    • AFCC-49 Adjunct Therapies and Multi-Systemic Resources: Evidence Based Practices featuring TF-CBT and EMDR (Core)

    Elective Workshops (Examples)

    • There are no elective workshops for the AFCC program this semester.

    Course Descriptions

    AFCC-40 Grief and Loss in Foster Care and Adoption (Core)

    This workshop explores the unique experiences of grief and loss among children and adults in the world of adoption and foster care. Particular attention will be paid to evidence-based treatment approaches geared toward developing practice skills for clinicians. (6 contact hours, 0.6 CEU)

    AFCC-41 Considering the Value and Role of Culture and Diversity in Foster Care and Adoption (Core)

    This workshop examines the role of culture and diversity in adoption and foster care practice. Participants will learn the potential strengths of culture and diversity that can be used to help in the process. The workshop will also discuss potential issues that may arise as a result of cultural differences. (6 contact hours, 0.6 CEU; Diversity)

    AFCC-42 Working with and Understanding the Role of the Birth Families (Core)

    This workshop explores the rationale and dynamics of contact between birth parent and foster-adoptive parents. Participants develop skills around practice guidelines for building these relationships and effective treatment approaches for working with families. (6 contact hours, 0.6 CEU)

    AFCC-49 Adjunct Therapies and Multi-Systemic Resources: Evidence Based Practices featuring TF-CBT and EMDR (Core)

    This workshop utilizes the World Café model to explore and discuss two adoption/permanency-competent and trauma-informed therapeutic approaches in clinical work with children, youth and caretakers in need of permanency support. A panel of two practitioners will present and provide an overview of two evidenced-based approaches, TF-CBT and EMDR, followed by small group discussion and guided questions. These activities allow participants to explore the therapeutic approaches and their relevance to participants’ work and the needs of their client systems. (6 contact hours, 0.6 CEU)

    AFCC Faculty

    AFCC faculty includes professionals from various fields of expertise, such as social work, counseling, and psychology.

    Catherine Lewis, MSW & LICSW is a clinical social worker having worked more than 25 years with foster and adoptive children and families. She is an adjunct professor in the Rhode Island College of Social Work and is in private practice. Catherine Lewis is the trainer for AFCC-42 Working With and Understanding the Role of Birth families.

    Daniel Harvey, LICSW is an Assistant Professor at the Rhode Island College of School of Social Work. He is a licensed clinician, with approximately three decades of experience in addressing the needs of children experiencing trauma. Daniel Harvey is the trainer for AFCC-38 Foundations for Foster Care and Adoptions Practice: Trauma and Brain Development and AFCC-46 Clinical Work with Foster Care and Adoptive Families: Promoting Positive Identify and Managing Challenging Behaviors.

    Deoshore Haig, MSW is the Director of Haig & Associates, has over twenty-five years of experience working with culturally diverse communities in social services, and managing health and human service programs. As an independent consultant, Deoshore’s services include designing and facilitating diversity and cultural competency training, advising in program development, conducting program evaluations, and providing technical assistance for organizational development. Deoshore Haig is the trainer for AFCC-41 Considering the Value and Role of Culture and Diversity.

    Frederic Reamer, Ph.D. is professor in the School of Social Work, Rhode Island College.  He has published extensively on professional ethics and chaired the national task force that wrote the current NASW Code of Ethics. Reamer frequently serves as an expert witness in litigation and licensing board cases. Frederic Reamer is the trainer for AFCC-47 Ethics: A Reflective Practice.

    Lori Geiselman, MSW is a clinical training specialist for the Department of Children, Youth and Families. She has worked primarily within the field of Public Child Welfare. She has held positions as a Social Case Worker II, Clinical Social Worker, and Clinical Training Specialist within the Department of Children, Youth and Families and the Child Welfare Institute. In the last year, Lori is also a clinician for Rhode Island Hospital’s Emergency Services. Lori Geiselman is the trainer for AFCC-37 Understanding Core Clinical Issues in Foster Care and Adoption.

    Melinda Gushwa, MSW, PhD, is an assistant professor at Simmons College School of Social Work. She has over 17 years of practice experience in the areas of public child welfare, psychotherapy, mental health case management and medical social work. Melinda Gushwa is the trainer for AFCC-40 Grief and Loss in Foster Care and Adoption.

    Pamela Lowell, LICSW is an author and licensed clinical social worker in private practice with twenty-five plus years of experience counseling children and their families. She is a clinical consultant at Adoption Rhode Island where she provides case consultation to staff and community collaborators. Pamela Lowell is the trainer for AFCC-Clinical Work with Foster Care and Adoptive Families: Family Formation and Development Stages.

    Contact AFCC

    Subscribe to our mailing list

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    Joining the email list is the most effective way to keep informed on upcoming workshop and course offerings. If you need further assistance, please contact Krista Handfield by phone or email. Email and phone messages are returned with-in 3-5 business days. If you need immediate assistance, please contact the program administrator Sue Pearlmutter. Contact information is below:

    Sue Pearlmutter, PhD
    AFCC Program Administration
    Dean and Professor
    Rhode Island College
    School of Social Work
    600 Mount Pleasant Avenue
    Providence, RI 02908
    Email: rpearlmutter@ric.edu
    Telephone: (401) 456-8043

    or

    Krista Handfield
    Program Coordinator & Graduate Assistant
    Rhode Island College School of Social Work
    600 Mount Pleasant Avenue
    Providence, RI 02908
    Email: afcc@ric.edu
    Telephone: (401) 456-2753

    The Adoption & Foster Care Certificate is a program in partnership with:

    • Rhode Island College School of Social Work
    • Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF)
    • Adoption Rhode Island
    • Beacon Health Strategies
    • Child & Family
    • Family Service of Rhode Island
    Advisory Committee
    Darlene Allen Emily Lyon Barbara Keefe
    Lori Geiselman Marcia Huftalen Kathleen Letourneau
    Roberta Pearlmutter* Diane Savage Deborah Siegel
    Dante Del Guidice* * ex officio members  
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    Page last updated: Wednesday, November 9, 2016