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Connection Over Compliance: Supporting Children and Families with a Focus on Attachment

Tuesday, July 9, 2019
8:00 am4:30 pm

Canterbury United Methodist Church
350 Overbrook Road
Birmingham, AL 35213

It is well known that the overwhelming majority of children placed in the foster care system have a history of childhood adversity and many have experienced physical, emotional or sexual abuse. Over half of all children placed in foster care have mental health issues over their childhood and adolescence, including reactive attachment disorder. Poor attachment is believed to be the mechanism responsible for many of these emotional and behavioral issues. Research shows that children who have poor attachments have more significant behavioral challenges, struggle with emotional and behavioral regulation, and have poorer attachments with their foster parents. We also know that when caregivers and providers implement attachment-based interventions with foster children, those children improve significantly over children who receive treatment as usual or behavioral-based interventions.

Working with foster children can be a challenging and frustrating experience. Typical strategies to manage difficult behaviors can be hard to use successfully. Often times, providers and parents get caught in the behavior-punishment cycle which frustrates both adults and children.

This training will provide participants with another way of engaging foster children and helping them grow and heal. The training will begin by providing an understanding of attachment theory and how it impacts brain development. It will then review interventions that can be useful in supporting foster children. A particular area of focus will be on how to build attachment relationships so that children can experience healing.

1. Participants will be able to identify brain-based behavioral reactions due to trauma.
2. Participants will be able to explain children’s behavior in terms of attachment needs.
3. Participants will learn three practices for enhancing their connection to foster and adopted children.

8-9am: Check-In
9am-4:30pm: Training
Lunch on your own

Rachel Copeland, Ph.D., LICSW
began working with foster children over 15 years ago and has developed expertise in treating attachment and trauma-related issues in both children and adults. Dr. Copeland is currently an Assistant Professor in Samford University’s Department of Social Work and she also maintains a small private practice. Dr. Copeland integrates attachment theory and neuroscience research into her practice to support children and adults who have been traumatized. Dr. Copeland researches in the area of attachment, focusing on attachment-based interventions for children as well as attachment category in child welfare providers. In her free time, Dr. Copeland likes to run, cook, and spend time with her husband, son, and dog.

Online Pre-Registration is closed but WALK-INS ARE WELCOME!
5.5 NBCC & Social Work CEs are available for only $55!

Note: There's no cost for foster parent CEs or DHR employees. County and State slots will be allotted for DHR staff.

CAS is an approved Continuing Education Provider for ABSWE (#0039).
Children's Aid Society is an NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEP) and may offer NBCC-approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements. Children's Aid Society is responsible solely for all aspects of the program.
(NBCC Provider #6459)

If you have questions, please contact our training staff at, or call 866-803-2722.

2018 Highlights of Individuals & Families Served

© 2019 Children's Aid Society

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