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May 2014Vol. 15, No. 5Adoption Competency in Social Work

While most social workers who work in child welfare will encounter adoption-related issues in their work, not all clinical social workers have been trained on adoption competency. According to the article "Adoption Competency in Clinical Social Work," published in the November/December 2013 issue of Social Work Today, adoption competency is not a required component of curriculum in accredited schools of social work. Therefore, most social workers will need postgraduate training on adoption competency.

The article acknowledges that there is no universally accepted definition of adoption competency in social work, but indicates that a review of adoption competency training programs for mental health providers and related professionals suggests consensus about some components of adoption competency. The article provides an overview of adoption competency, including a list of core values for competent social work practice in adoption. In addition, the article identifies three categories of adoption competency knowledge and skills including societal context, relational dynamics, and intrapsychic, which includes trauma and behavioral health issues.

"Adoption Competency in Clinical Social Work," by Deborah Siegel, is available on the Social Work Today website: