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September 2007Vol. 8, No. 8Increasing Minority Leadership in Child Welfare

The presence of minority leaders in child welfare adoption services may help to bridge the gap between minority communities and the child welfare system. Preparing these emerging leaders is one of the goals of the Minority Adoption Leadership Development Institute (MALDI), a program of the National Child Welfare Resource Center for Adoption (NCWRCA).

The program aims to enhance the leadership and technical skills of 20 promising minority individuals from across the country during a 4-year period. MALDI participants are selected from States with high disproportionality rates and the highest numbers of minority children and youth in the child welfare system awaiting adoption.

After being selected for the program, participants are assigned mentors from the National Association of State Adoption Programs (NASAP) for a 12-month period and given the opportunity to participate in work projects dealing with child welfare issues. All mentors are provided training in effective mentoring and coaching techniques. Participants are also invited to attend two paid, 2-day training institutes in Washington, DC, that cover a broad range of topical areas. Topics may include:

  • Cultural Competence, Responsiveness, and Class
  • Preparing for Diversity: Challenges and Opportunities in Child Welfare
  • Executive Leadership
  • Data-Based Decision-Making and Evidence-Based Adoption Practice
  • Kinship Adoption
  • Leadership in Adoption: Change From the Middle
  • Working With Your State Legislature
  • Permanency and the Court System
  • Overcoming Barriers in Minority Adoption and Disproportionality
  • Youth in Adoption

Finishing their year of mentorship and on-the-job experience, the first nine MALDI participants presented their practice interventions at an Onsite Institute in Alexandria, VA. MALDI anticipates selecting another 11 talented individuals for its 2007-2008 cycle. These future child welfare leaders will report on their findings in 2008.

To see the practice interventions in PowerPoint format or to read more about MALDI, visit: