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Dec/Jan 2009Vol. 9, No. 10Emerging Leaders Contributing to the Adoption Field

The National Child Welfare Resource Center for Adoption (NCWRCA) continues preparing emerging minority leaders through its groundbreaking Minority Adoption Leadership Development Institute (MALDI). The Institute's primary goal is to increase the leadership capacities of potential emerging minority leaders from States across our nation that have the largest number of children of color awaiting adoption and high rates of disproportionality. The Institute also informs practice and promotes new perspectives for increasing permanency options for children and families in the child welfare system.

The Institute will convene its final onsite learning session December 1-3, 2008, in Washington, DC. With this final learning session, the second phase of MALDI will be completed. Phase I of MALDI convened in 2005-2006 and included nine individuals. With both phases completed, a total of 18 emerging leaders from across the country will have participated in two 2-day onsite learning sessions of leadership and technical skills training. Furthermore, all emerging leaders will have been mentored by a State Adoption Program Manager; engaged in a leadership assessment process; and participated in a problem solving, on-the-job project guided by their training in the plan-do-study-act model. These projects are designed to inform practice while offering new perspectives for increasing permanency options for children and families in the child welfare system.

In follow-up interviews conducted 1 year after their participation in MALDI Phase I, respondents were asked to tell if their MALDI experience effectively addressed their goals in developing leadership skills. One hundred percent rated their experience as either "very effective or effective." Slightly more than 55 percent reported that the MALDI experience resulted in changes in their job role or title. Approximately 78 percent of the participants reported the MALDI experience was "very useful" in preparing emerging leaders in adoption.

In the 2-day learning session for Phase II, faculty will present information on Grant Writing 101, Leadership in Adoption - Change From the Middle, Leading With the Youth Perspective, and Overcoming Barriers in Minority Adoption-Disproportionality. These topics, along with the areas covered in the first Institute (October 2006), will round out the emerging leaders foundational training for increasing awareness and knowledge in adoption leadership within the public child welfare system.

The finale for MALDI Phase II will consist of presentations from the nine participants sharing outcomes from their year-long, on-the-job projects. They also will be given the opportunity to reflect on their MALDI experience of preparing emerging leaders who have the challenge to continue informing and contributing to the field of adoption leadership within the child welfare system.

We encourage you to visit the MALDI pages to review the findings from the participants' on-the-job projects as well as archived tapings of the onsite learning sessions at the NCWRCA website:

Many thanks to Natalie Lyons and Janice King of the NCWRCA for submitting this article.

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CBX last wrote about MALDI in "Increasing Minority Leadership in Child Welfare" (September 2007).