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Our Work

NCAP’s professionals are available, individually or in teams, to assist your organization, agency or governmental entity. Our services include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Expert witness and legal consultation

  • Trainings and speaking engagements

  • Strategic and programmatic planning

  • Therapy and additional interventions

  • Internal and external communications

To learn more about what we do and how we can help, please contact Adam Pertman at or 617-332-8944.

NCAP’s consulting team of researchers, trainers, therapists, educators, and subject-matter experts consists of some of the best-known and most-accomplished professionals in the fields of adoption, child welfare and permanency. Collectively, our team members’ work spans a very broad range of skills and disciplines – and they are involved in programs, projects, educational efforts, presentations, consultations and other activities with governments, agencies, tribes, families, and organizations from coast to coast, all to collectively accomplish NCAP’s vital mission:

To move policy and practice from their longtime (and current) “child placement” focus to a new paradigm with a singular, explicit goal: enabling families to succeed.

What that means will obviously vary for specific individuals, programs, policies, practices and jurisdictions. But the bottom line should always be not only to achieve permanency, but also to provide the resources, training, supports and services necessary to give every child and family a genuine shot in life.

The shorthand for our vision is this mantra: “Every child deserves to be in a safe, permanent, loving and successful family.”

Toward that end, here are just a few examples of our team members’ recent and current efforts:


​Advancing best practices and improving policies by developing and providing curricula, trainings, webinars, conference keynotes/presentations and additional activities for professionals, families and others impacted by adoption, foster care and child welfare. A small sampling includes:


NCAP’s `Actionable Insights’ Webinar Series. This ongoing series for 2023 features NCAP experts making presentations and leading discussions on some of the most-important topics in our field. Our first webinars, the recordings of which are available on NCAP’s website and our new YouTube channel, are: 

  • “Parenting in the Trauma Trenches” with Sharon Kaplan Roszia and Allison Davis Maxon

  • “Intergenerational Trauma: Healing the Unhealed Wounds in Diverse Family Systems,” led by Dee Dee Mascarenas.

  • “Mapping the Life Course of Adoption Research Project (MAP): Health, Well-Being and Adoptee Connections in Adulthood,” led by Hollee McGinnis and coming in April 2023.


NCAP’s Unique Legacy Interviews. In her introduction to the NCAP Legacy Interviews, the trail-blazing author, educator, trainer and practitioner Sharon Kaplan Roszia makes this indisputable point: “Each generation stands on the shoulders of the one before.” The idea behind this unique series of is to capture the key knowledge of a wide range of disrupters and thought leaders in our field, so we all can learn from and expand upon their experiences, insights, challenges and successes.

The first 10 of Sharon’s interviews are now posted. We’re proud that these accomplished practitioners, researchers, therapists, organizational leaders and other “good troublemakers” are NCAP team members. But we absolutely know there are many other professionals who have made a huge difference with their work, so we’ll soon be adding their voices to the Legacy Interviews as well. If you have a suggestion of someone to include in this ambitious project, or if you have questions, please email NCAP’s indispensable Project Manager Graham Wright (, Executive Director Allison Maxon ( or President Adam Pertman (

Curriculum/Training with Connect our Kids. We’re joining an NCAP strategic partner, Connect our Kids, to create and deliver a new family-success curriculum/training titled, “Why Connections Matter.” This effort focuses on attachment, trauma, brain development, identity and other key factors, with the goal of enabling social workers to better understand, support and assist the people they’re committed to helping.

“Why Connections Matter” was primarily developed by NCAP Executive Director Allison Maxon, and the trainings will be delivered – first statewide in Mississippi in coming months, and then in subsequent states – principally by an expert team from NCAP and another of our partners, Unbelievably Resilient.

Keynotes, Presentations, Education. There are too many of these to provide a complete list, so here are just a few examples to illustrate the breadth of the subjects our team members cover:

  • Sharon Kaplan Roszia. “Lessons Learned in Adoption and Permanency,” presented to the Israeli Adoptive Parents Organization, Mishpacha; “The Seven Core Issues and First/Birth Parents,” to the Nebraska Adoption Agency Association; and “The Seven Core Issues and Kinship Families,” to Wayfinders Family Services in California.

  • Allison Maxon. “ ‘The Art and Science of Attachment: Understanding How Trauma and Neglect Disrupt Attachment,” Florida Coalition for Children Conference; “Innovative Partnerships to Achieve Permanency Clinical Competence,” Child Welfare League of America; and “The Seven Core Issues in Adoption and Permanency,” ATTACh and the North American Council on Adoptable Children.

  • Adam Pertman. “A Vision for the Future of Adoption: Progressing from 'Child Placement' to 'Family Success',” to the National Adoption Association; Board strategic planning facilitation for the Attachment and Trauma Network and for Thrive Behavioral Health of RI; discussion leader on adoption issues in off-Broadway’s Wolf Play in NYC.

Leadership and Working Groups. NCAP President Adam Pertman serves on a number of collaboratives with national organizations that focus on devising and implementing strategies to provide actionable information, advocacy and leadership, with the aim of furthering progress on policy and legal issues relating to child welfare, adoption and permanency. They include:​


Amicus Briefs. NCAP President Adam Pertman, as well as other team members and other organizations on specific issues, contributes to amicus briefs on important court cases at the state and federal levels (including the Supreme Court) by helping to develop strategy; providing information, writing, editing and subject matter expertise; and leading or signing onto briefs as a key advocate.

Along with our partners, we’ve addressed a broad range of relevant issues in this work, including (but not limited to) the rights of children in foster care and of their families of origin; LGBTQ adoption and parenting; birth/first parent rights; and many others. We’re not always successful, of course, but this work is critical for an array of reasons. Here’s a small sampling of the cases in which we’ve been involved:

  • Indian Child Welfare Act. In Haaland v. Brackeen, which is pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, NCAP and other petitioners seek to counter a lawsuit by Texas, Louisiana, Indiana and individual plaintiffs who want ICWA to be declared unconstitutional. The Supreme Court heard the case on November 9, 2022, and its decision is expected this spring.

  • Foster Care. In Ashley W., et al v. Eric Holcomb, Governor of Indiana, NCAP and other nonprofit child welfare organizations supported a suit in the US Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, filed on behalf of 10 minor children – representing 22,000 children – to improve their treatment in Indiana’s foster care system. The federal court decided the case was outside its purview.

  • Safe Haven laws.  In a brief for Peter Kruithoff v. Catholic Charities West Michigan et al., NCAP and other petitioners asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review key aspects of Safe Haven laws, which permit the legal abandonment of infants. The court denied the petition, but NCAP believes these laws are more problematic than most people realize, so we will keep working on relevant cases.

Serving the Extended Family of Adoption. NCAP team members have been providing thought leadership, advocacy and collaboration for decades to improve the lives of children at risk or in foster care; adopted people; birth/first parents and families; and adoptive parents and families, among others. We do this work by offering: expertise and research; written and in-person testimony; consultation and guidance; and other types of support for and with other advocacy organizations.

One issue that hasn’t received sufficient attention, in our view, is the need for Congress to pass the Adoptee Citizenship Act, which is championed by Adoptees for Justice (among others). Despite the cavernous partisan divide that shows no signs of narrowing in 2023, we hope our elected officials can come together on this critically important, decidedly nonpartisan legislation.


Separately, NCAP has contributed to genuine progress on another highly significant issue of adopted people; i.e., the restoration of their right to access their original birth certificates. Along with those who really make change happen – i.e., advocacy groups like the Adoptee Rights Law Center and legislators nationwide – we’ve seen successes in states including Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oregon and, most recently, Massachusetts and Louisiana. Today, we’re focusing on several additional states, including Texas and Minnesota.


​Educating the Media, Policy-Makers and the Public. NCAP conducts its educational and communications efforts in numerous ways, importantly including through interviews and commentaries – as well as by providing expertise, research and other information – for print, online and broadcast journalists, books and magazines, professional journals, podcasts, and other print and online publications in the United States and other countries. The media in which NCAP team members have appeared include the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio, Oprah, Nightline and The View, among many others.


Court-Related Consultation. This work includes serving as expert witnesses, providing attorneys with information and guidance, conducting child and family evaluations, and additional activities for relevant cases spanning a broad array of concerns. We’re not providing examples of this work because it’s almost all confidential, but it involves a broad range of questions such as post-adoption services, intercountry adoption, open adoptions and grandparent rights (among other issues).  


Strategic Partnerships. These organizational relationships are critical to NCAP, because achieving long-term structural change requires collaboration with other major organizations (among many other factors). Here’s information about our strategic partners, which currently are:


  • Unbelievably Resilient

  • Connect our Kids

  • American Institutes for Research

  • Treehouse Foundation

  • Family Equality

  • CoramBAAF

  • ATTACh

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