Upcoming Presentations and Events

January 10-14, 2018 – RCDC Roots & Wings Roundtable 2: Open Channels: If, when, and how to communicate social work research beyond academic outlets

Peer-reviewed publications may be the “coin of the realm” in the social sciences, but alternative modes of sharing scholarship are gaining traction among social work researchers. Multiple motives may drive this: investment in demonstrating community engagement and impact; frustration with academic publishing norms and constraints; concerns about the inaccessibility and unaffordability of journals and consequent disconnect between research and stakeholders; a desire to use our scholarship to shape
policy and practice more directly; and excitement over the ways in which the proliferation of digital media has opened up new channels of communication with diverse audiences. Nevertheless, a host of concerns accompany these opportunities: catchy sound bites or hot topics may supplant complex analyses, whose significance is less readily distilled; engaging public audiences may expose researchers to new liabilities (e.g., trolling and harassment); learning to communicate in non-academic modes detracts from researchers’ time for research itself; doctoral students are rarely trained in non-academic communication; and it is unclear how to account for non-academic engagement in faculty hiring and tenure decisions. This roundtable will bring together featured participants and audience members to consider the catalysts and consequences, for better and for worse, of social work researchers’ engagement with diverse media and audiences. Society for Social Work Research conference, Washington, DC.

Moderator: Laina Y. Bay-Cheng, Associate Professor & PhD Program Director, University at Buffalo
Featured Participants (alphabetical order):

  • Tina Barr, PhD student, University of Minnesota
  • Sara Goodkind, Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh
  • JaeRan Kim, Assistant Professor, University of Washington, Tacoma
  • Desmond Patton, Assistant Professor, Columbia University


October 21, 2017 – Adoption-Specific Curricula in Social Work Education: An Exploratory Study

The present study examined adoption-specific curricula in primarily CSWE accredited baccalaureate programs. A total of 24 syllabi were analyzed as well as survey data from 22 faculty. Results suggest that few social work programs offer adoption curricula; more inclusion of this content is needed to prepare “adoption competent” social workers.

Recent literature has defined an “adoption competent” professional as an educated and licensed mental health professional with the knowledge, skills, and experience to work in adoption (Atkinson, Gonet, Freundlich, & Riley, 2013). Specifically, an adoption competent social worker should be knowledgeable about developmental and clinical issues in working with adoptees, adoptive, and birth families (Atkinson et al., 2013). Indeed, an adoption competent approach to preparing social workers is consistent with a competency-based social work education approach as outlined in the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS, 2015) per the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE).

Past Presentations and Events

  • July 6, 2017 – Schools, Adoption, Race, and Our Children, Pack Family Camp, Tahoe City, CA
  • July 4, 2015 – Adoption activism, Pact Family Camp, Tahoe City, CA.
  • July 4, 2015 – The long and winding path to adulthood: Parenting adolescents. Pact Family Camp, Tahoe City, CA.
  • April, 2015 – Through the eyes of adoptees: adoption competence & identity for caregivers and professionals. Co-presented with Elana Schuster, Fintan Moore, and Shawyn Lee at the Minnesota Association of Children’s Mental Health Conference, Duluth MN.
  • February 2015 – Beyond the “capitualte and militate” dichotomy: Perspectives of adult adoptees on race, adoption and counseling. In-service training, Fraser, Minneapolis, MN.
  • November, 2014 – Kindred Family Focus. Promoting placement stability: Supporting children and families in foster and adoptive placements. Organization in-service training, Minneapolis MN.
  • October 11-12, 2014 – Families with Children from Asia – Midwest: Heritage Retreat (Culture Camp)
  • September 21, 2014 – Middle Brother Post-Show Discussion
  • July 11, 2014 – Catalyst Foundation Minnesota Vietnam Culture Camp, Northfield, MN
  • June 27-29, 2014 – Perspectives From the Inside: Adoptee Scholars and Adoption Research. 2014 KAAN Conference, Minneapolis, MN. Co-panelists include Dr. Kimberly McKee, Dr. Liz Raleigh, Dr. Oh Myo Kim, and Kelly Condit-Shrestha.
  •  Transracial Adoptees: Finding Commonalities Across Countries. 2014 KAAN Conference, Minneapolis, MN. Co-panelists include Susan Branco Alvarado, Dr. Kripa Cooper-Lewter, and Adam Chau.
  • June 12, 2014 – International Adoption: Current Trends, Policy, & Social Work Practice Implications. International Social Work Conference, Augsburg College, St. Paul, MN. Co-panelists include Dr. Bibiana Koh, Alexis Oberdorfer and Bea Evans.
  • June 12, 2014 – The intersection of disability and child welfare. Society for Disability Studies: Disability and Sustainability, Minneapolis, MN
  • May 29-31, 2014 – St. John’s University Adoption Initiative Conference, Queens, NY
  • Disability, framed as “special needs,” is an integral part of all aspects of the adoption process. This panel examines the ways in which children are constructed as “special needs” based on race, age, gender and physical, cognitive, developmental or mental health functioning and the impact on adoptees and adoption practices. Co-presenters Dr. Subini Annamma, Dr. Elizabeth Raleigh and Katie Hae Leo, MFA.
  • March 27-29, 2014 – Tracing adoption in the media. Fifth International Conference on Adoption and Culture, Tallahassee, FL. Co-panelists include Dr. Kimberly McKee and Dr. Kim Park Nelson.
  • November 15, 2013 – Reframing the Adoption Discourse. Sponsored by the Adoption Policy and Reform Collaborative, John B. Davis Lecture Hall, Macalester College
    • Activism panel (panelist) – with Michelle Johnson, Mary Martin Mason, Jenni Fang Lee, and Sandy Whitehawk
    • Mental Health panel (co-facilitator) with Susan Branco Alvarado, Fintan Moore, Hei Kyong Kim, Elana Schuster and Robert O’Connor.
  • November 7, 2013 – How we got here: Understanding Baby Veronica. Indian Child Welfare Education Day, William Mitchell College of Law, St. Paul, MN
  •  August 3, 2013 – Transracial Adoptees: Commonalities Across Countries. 2013 KAAN Conference. Co-Presenters include Mark HaglandKevin Haebeom VollmersSusan Branco Alvarado,  and Stephanie Kripa Cooper-Lewter
  •  August 4, 2013 –  Seeking Asian America: Finding Culture in Contemporary Literature. 2013 KAAN Conference, Grand Rapids, MI. Co-presenter Terri Sheridan.
  • April 7, 2013 – Coffee and Conversation with Families with Children from Asia – Midwest, St. Paul.
  • March 15, 2013 – Minnesota Social Service Association 120th Annual Training Conference and Expo: Collaboration to Improve Services for Children with Disabilities in Child Welfare. Co-presenters include: Katharine Hill, MPP, MSW, PhD, LISW, Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, St. Catherine University/University of St. Thomas; Traci LaLiberte, MSW, PhD, Executive Director, Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare, University of Minnesota; and Joe Wild Crea, Program Director, Ampersand Families
  • December 6, 2012 – Parenting as Adoptees book reading with Shannon Gibney, Hei Kyong Kim, Mary Mason, Sandy White Hawk, Adam Chau and Kevin Ost-Vollmers.
  • November, 2012 – Strengths and Challenges of Bringing Insider Experiences in Teaching, Research, and Practice. Presented at the Council on Social Work Education Annual Program Meeting, Washington, DC with Shawyn Lee.
  • November, 2012 –  Graduate Student Perspectives on Diversity/Social  Justice Integration in the MSW Curriculum. Presented at the Council on Social Work  Education Annual Program Meeting, Washington, DC. with Shawyn Lee.
  • October, 2012 –  Best Interests of the Child? Race, Religion & Rescue in adoption. Keynote. St. John’s University 7th biennial adoption conference,New York, NY.
  • July 2012 –  Beyond   panels: Adopted persons as professionals.  Presented at the North American Council on  Adoptable Children (NACAC) 38th Annual Conference, Crystal City, VA. Presented with Susan Branco Alvarado, Kripa Cooper-Lewter, and Paula O’Loughlin.
  • July, 2012 –  Building an adoption competent mental health Workforce: Moving from development to national replication.  Presented at the North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC) 38th Annual Conference,  Crystal City, VA. Presented with Debbie Riley, Edith Swidler, and Janine  Szymanski.
  • May, 2012 – Korean adoptees: The model minority of the model minority. AK  Connection, Minneapolis, MN.
  • June, 2011 –  Virtual Boundaries: Ethical Considerations for the Use of  Social Media  in Social Work. Presented at theNational Association of Social Workers, Minnesota Chapter (NASW-MN) 21st Annual State Conference, St. Paul, MN with Ericka Kimball.
  • April, 2011 –  Generations after adoption: A conversation with adoptee parents. Presented at the Also-Known-As Conference, New  York, NY with Elizabeth Raleigh, Hollee McGinnis, and Kacy Ames.
  • October, 2010 –  Moving beyond Moodle: Connecting the classroom to the community. Presented at the Council on Social Work Education Annual Program Meeting, Portland, OR with Ericka Kimball and Shweta Singh.
  • July, 2010 –  Keynote: A lifetime perspective on the developmental tasks of adopted persons.  Pact Camp, Tahoe City, CA.
  • October 2006 –  Considering culture in placement decisions: Conflicting best practices for the Indian Child Welfare Act and the Multiethnic Placement Act. Presented at the  St. John’s University 4th Biennial adoption conference, New York, NY.