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Annual Reports 




Unconditional Care: Relationship-Based, Behavioral Intervention with Vulnerable Children and Families

By John S. Sprinson and Ken Berrick

John Sprinson and Ken Berrick present the Seneca treatment model for working with clients with intensive needs.  Central to the model are the following three “streams” of assessment and intervention: relational, behavioral, and ecological... Read More about Unconditional Care


Looking at Change Through the Lens of Wraparound 

by Katherine Schwartz, LCSW, Division Director for North Bay Area Programs


Wraparound is a goal-oriented, problem solving and skill building practice that uses "team" meetings as its central strategy. Katherine Schwartz explains the importance of core Wraparound Principles and how integrating "Traditional Wraparound" with mental health services creates a model of success.

Seeking Meaningful Therapy: Thoughts from an Adoptive Mom 

by Debbie Schugg, Lead Parent Partner in Kinship Center’s Adoption and Permanency Wraparound Program

Therapy can be an incredibly useful tool for children living in foster, adoptive and kinship caregiving families. However, many therapists do not have training in the particular attachment issues faced by adoptive and other permanent families. In this engaging paper, adoptive mother Debbie Schugg talks about the importance of finding an attachment-savvy therapist who makes the parent-child relationship the priority in the therapeutic process.

The Dance of Permanence  

by Allison Davis Maxon, LMFT, Regional Director for Seneca Orange County and Director of Community Relations


The challenge for parents of children who have experienced loss, trauma and multiple placements is that a traditional approach to parenting is highly ineffective. These parents need a complete paradigm shift to be able to lead the dance in the parent-child attachment relationship. Allison Davis Maxon describes the attachment dilemma that exists for children who have experienced trauma and loss, and introduces a new course for parents and caregivers that will empower them to develop deep, meaningful relationships with their children while responding to their behaviors and needs.

Childhood Trauma: A Multi-Dimensional Approach   

by Laura Ornelas, LCSW, Former Regional Director of Children’s Mental Health Services for Kinship Center


For children who have experienced trauma, the storage of traumatic memories occurs in an emotionally primitive state, making it difficult to access those memories through traditional “talk” therapies. In this paper, Laura Ornelas explains how sensory-oriented therapies can access traumatic memories more successfully, and emphasizes the importance of a family therapy approach for treating childhood trauma and creating new memories as part of the healing process.

ACT Graduate Clinical Training Survey Results and Implications   

by Catie Hargrove MS, Former Program Director, and Margaret Ross, MSW Program Assistant for the Kinship Center Education Institute


Over the years, ACT graduates have expressed a significant desire and need to continue to build on the clinical foundations established in ACT. The Kinship Center Education Institute™ designed an online survey for ACT graduates to determine the types of advanced courses, tools and techniques that were of strongest interest to this population. This paper reports on the key findings of the survey, including the high percentage of respondents who are utilizing ACT materials and techniques as part of their regular practice, and the overwhelming desire for advanced clinical courses in five specific topic areas.

Intensive Support for Adoptive Families in Rural Areas 

by Graham Wright, M. Phil. MSW, Former Program Director of Post Adoption Services for Kinship Center


Post-adoption support services are essential for families coping with the challenges of caring for children with extensive histories of trauma, prenatal exposure to drugs and alcohol, and difficulties in forming relationships. However, adoption and permanency-competent services for these families can be hard to find even in urban areas and are almost non-existent in rural areas. Over the past ten years, Kinship Center’s Adoption-Informed Wraparound Program has seen remarkable success. In this paper, Graham Wright describes how a creative approach to service delivery is helping to bring Adoption-Informed Wraparound services to several rural California counties.

Unlocking "Reasonable Efforts": Kinship is Key 

by Rose Marie Wentz and Kelly Lynn Beck


As featured in a recent issue of The Shriver Brief, Rose Marie Wentz and Kelly Lynn Beck shared important insight into the world of Kinship Care.