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  • Writer's pictureNCAP





NCAP Features Unique Team of Top Experts, Led by Adam Pertman and Carol Biddle

FOR MORE INFORMATION: or 617-903-0554

BOSTON, Oct. 15, 2014 – The National Center on Adoption and Permanency (NCAP) today announced that it is formally beginning operations, providing a broad range of information, resources and multidisciplinary services relating to adoption, foster care and child welfare.

NCAP is headed by two pre-eminent leaders in the field, former Donaldson Adoption Institute President Adam Pertman and former Kinship Center CEO Carol Biddle, and it features a consulting team of highly regarded and successful trainers, educators, speakers and clinicians.

“We have created this unique organization so that anyone – from practitioners, journalists and governments to conference planners, families and advocates – can go to just one place to find the information, resources and services they need,” Pertman, who is the Founder and President of NCAP, and Biddle, who serves as its Managing Director, said in a joint statement.

“The primary resource we offer is the extraordinarily talented team we’ve assembled,” they added. “We are both excited and honored to have so many accomplished colleagues with us, and we’re very hopeful that with their help, we can make a significant contribution.”

Our newest team members include Madelyn Freundlich, whose professional experience includes leadership roles at the Donaldson Adoption Institute, Children’s Rights, Inc. and the CWLA; Joseph Crumbley, one of the leading authorities and trainers in the field of child welfare; and Pat O’Brien, founder of the widely praised organization You Gotta Believe!

NCAP’s website,, will be completed within a few weeks. Like the organization itself, it is designed to be a “one-stop” destination – a portal through which anyone can easily access reliable information, resources and services relating to adoption, foster care and more. NCAP is the child welfare division of Myriad Strategic Partners, a national consultancy that provides a broad range of organizational, strategic and communications services.

Journalists who want to learn more or want to contact Adam for an interview (about the organization or on a specific story), write or call 617-903-0554.

A Q&A with Adam about NCAP, from the current issue of Adoptive Families magazine, is attached to the email with this announcement. NCAP is also the subject of this recent internet radio interview. There’s also a related story in the Chronicle of Social Change. To read a sampling of Adam’s commentaries on adoption, child welfare and family issues, go to this page on Huffington Post.

NCAP’s trainers, educators, speakers and presenters are among the most respected, experienced and accomplished professionals in the country. They can be retained individually or as partners in specialized teams with one or more NCAP colleagues. Brief descriptions of their backgrounds and fields of expertise are listed below; their full bios will be on the upcoming NCAP website and are available on request now.

Adam Pertman – Adam is one of the most highly regarded experts, authors and keynoters in the field of adoption and foster care; he speaks, writes and presents internationally, appears regularly in the media, and has received numerous honors for his work. He served as the chief executive of the Donaldson Adoption Institute for over a decade and, previously, was a longtime senior journalist at the Boston Globe. His expertise includes media and communications; program, project and policy development/execution; organizational development; strategic planning; fundraising; and advocacy.

Carol Biddle, MSW – Carol’s broad expertise is rooted in decades of organizational leadership and program development in child welfare. She was founder and CEO of Kinship Center, a highly respected nonprofit that achieved a national reputation in adoption, fostering-to-permanency, permanency-competent mental health, wraparound, relative caregiver services, and permanency-focused parent and professional training. Carol is skilled in program and board development, executive coaching, executive search strategies, fundraising and staff/client training.

Kathryn England Aytes, MS, Ed.D. – Kathryn, a Board member and trainer for the Native American Children's Alliance, presents internationally on child forensic interviewing and cultural awareness within multidisciplinary team settings. She was a founding director of a Children’s Advocacy Center in Oregon and served many years as a child advocate for a program in that state’s Judicial Department, which provided case planning and placement recommendations to the juvenile court. She currently teaches psychology at California State University, Monterey Bay.

Carol Bishop, LMFT – Carol is a nationally recognized expert in program leadership, adoption policy and practice, permanency-competent training, post-adoption and mental health services. As Vice President of Kinship Center, she led the development and administration of numerous programs, as well as children’s mental health clinics and Kinship’s Education Institute. Carol has served as President of the California Association of Adoption Agencies and is on the board of Voice for Adoption. She is a skilled trainer, facilitator, program development expert, and

permanency policy specialist.

Joseph Crumbley, Ph.D., MSW – Joe is among the most highly regarded professionals in the field of child welfare. His clinical experience includes adoption, foster care, and physical and sexual abuse, and he is a specialist in kinship care and transracial adoptions. He is also an author and speaker who has won numerous awards and has provided training and consultation throughout this country and in many others. Joe is available as an expert trainer and consultant for professionals, parents and caregivers on many topics relating to kinship care and adoption.

Kim Felder – Kim is an expert trainer on adoption issues for both professionals and youth on the need to create permanency through youth engagement and family finding, with a focus on child-specific recruitment. She also is a senior recruiter with Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program in Los Angeles. Kim and her husband have eight children, two biological and six adopted from foster care. Her honors include an Angel in Adoption Award and a commendation from the L.A. County Board of Supervisors for her dedication to children in the child welfare system.

Madelyn Freundlich MSW, MPH, JD, LL.M – Madelyn has used her social work and legal skills to provide consulting on adoption practice and policy development/implementation to agencies nationwide for 30 years. She is a master trainer and curriculum developer, including CASE’s training for Adoption Competency and Dave Thomas Foundation’s training for Wendy’s Wonderful Kids recruiters. Her broad range of services includes strong writing and editing (including for reports and grants) and consulting/training on legal issues and strategic planning.

Lynn Gabbard, MS – Lynn provides leadership and practice skills in all aspects of pre-and post-adoption work. For over three decades, she has developed curricula and conducted training for domestic and international adoptive families. Lynn, who founded Lutheran Social Services of New England’s Post-Adoption Center, is particularly knowledgeable about the impact of race and culture across the adoptive family lifecycle, having developed the landmark curriculum "The Multiracial/Multicultural Family Grows Up." She also works extensively with youth and schools.

Valerie Golden, LCSW, CCHP – Valerie brings her clients 25 years of professional experience in child welfare services, juvenile and adult corrections, probation and women’s recovery services. She has been an adoption and foster care social work specialist, a clinical trainer, and a therapist in the adoption and permanency specialty children’s mental health clinic at Kinship Center. She has worked in child welfare internationally and is passionate about achieving cultural competency in mental health services. She is a minister who currently works as a prison therapist in California.

Catie Hargrove, MS – Catie brings experience in leadership, coaching, innovation and culture change, working with executives and teams to improve personal and organizational effectiveness. As a consultant and executive coach – currently, with the Partnership for Public Service – she focuses on helping leaders develop and execute leadership and management strategies. Individually or with NCAP’s executives, she is available to train or consult on issues relating to organizational effectiveness, leadership and employee engagement, and to provide individual or group coaching.

Liz Heidler, Ph.D. – Liz is a licensed clinical psychologist whose experience includes work in residential treatment facilities, in a center serving traumatized youth in foster care, and managing a team of mental health professionals in a joint behavioral health and social services clinic. In her current work in a corrections/rehabilitation setting, she sees the negative lifelong impact of untreated attachment, trauma and loss. Liz is available to train and consult on permanency-competent psychology services and interdisciplinary models for post-adoption/permanency care.

Jeanne Howard, Ph.D. – Jeanne has conducted research and training on adoption and foster care issues for 30 years, with an emphasis on children adopted from care. She is a Professor Emeritus at Illinois State University, where she headed the Center for Adoption Studies. She also served as the Research and Policy Director for the Donaldson Adoption Institute, researching and authoring numerous reports that have had a positive impact on adoption-related law, policy and practice. Her passion is Lifebook work, on which she will focus her consulting and training.

Gregory Manning, PsyD – Greg is a licensed clinical psychologist who has extensive experience with government, non-profits and mental health agencies, providing intensive case management services on behalf of youth in care and serving as a mental health liaison. He has helped develop and implement innovative programs, and provides training, speaking and consulting on a broad range of topics. He is available to train or consult on child welfare and child mental health issues, community mental health program development and analysis, and case management issues.

Lisa Maynard, LMSW, ACSW, RYT – Lisa brings 25 years of experience working with first/birth and adoptive parents, those experiencing infertility, and adopted individuals connecting with their origins. She works from a holistic frame, trauma-sensitive and steeped in yogic philosophy. Lisa is an adoptive parent who co-founded Adoption Resource Network, Inc. and, in addition to her work with NCAP, is Director of Adoption Services at Hillside Children’s Center in NY State. She is available to train and consult on adoption, foster care, trauma, recruitment and placement.

Pat O’Brien MS, LMSW, LTMN – Pat was the Founder and Executive Director of You Gotta Believe! The Older Child Adoption & Permanency Movement, Inc., a nationally acclaimed advocacy and placement organization. In addition to working with NCAP, he is now a recruiter for Wendy’s Wonderful Kids with Connecticut-based Klingberg Family Centers. Pat is available as a consultant or trainer in areas including advocating for permanent parents for all teens and young adults, utilizing laughter to alleviate stresses and the power of unconditional commitment.

Laura Ornelas, LCSW – Laura specializes in services for young children and diverse families, with a focus on relative caregivers and Latino family systems. She has educated professionals nationwide on best practices and is a contributing curriculum developer and author on the work of her mental health clinics. Laura specializes in permanency-competent mental health services, directs a family service agency at Vista del Mar and, at Kinship Center, developed clinics on attachment-based, experiential techniques that encourage healing through relationships.

Cynthia Roe, LCSW – Cindy, a graduate of the Colorado child welfare system, has worked for 25 years as a social worker and clinician, focusing on children and families impacted by abuse, neglect, foster care and adoption. She and her partner adopted two sons from care, and she was found by her biological brother, who had been placed for adoption. Cindy, a psychiatric social worker for Kaiser Permanente, trains and speaks nationally. Previously, she was a therapist and assistant clinical director for Kinship Center and served as a Director of Camp to Belong.

Debbie Schugg – Debbie has worked for 30 years with families of at-risk youth and with special needs. She serves as a consultant for families, schools, agencies and treatment facilities to identify trauma-based behaviors, shift culture and language, and provide strategies for helping children heal and families thrive. Seven of her eight children, from culturally diverse backgrounds, were adopted in sibling groups from foster care. She is available to provide training or consulting on a wide variety of topics relating to adoption, permanency, parenting and family challenges.

Paul Steele, Ph.D. – Paul is a pre-eminent researcher and speaker on numerous child welfare issues. His extensive experience includes work as a Fellow of the Oxford University Roundtable, Director of Morehead University’s Center for Justice Studies, developer of Children’s Advocacy Centers across the U.S., and member of the Native American/Alaska Native Advisory Committee. He is available to train or consult on research and program evaluation, social policy analysis, local and community influences on child welfare, social networks and interagency collaboration.

Graham Wright, MSW – Graham offers extensive clinical and program experience. He founded California’s first therapeutic foster and adoption agency and designed and implemented the state’s wraparound program for families with at-risk children. A past legislative chair and president of the California Assn. of Adoption Agencies, he also designed and maintains the state’s internet matching database system. Graham is available for training and consulting in areas including specialized family recruitment, preparing families for placement, and adoption wraparound.


The information and resources provided by the National Center on Adoption and Permanency are intended to address the needs of agencies, foundations, journalists, nonprofits, governments at all levels and advocates/activists whose passion – like ours – is to help children and families, whether those needs are a conference presentation, a keynote address, a professional training, information for a news story, or expert consulting to strengthen organizational or clinical performance. Our diverse services include, but are not limited to:

• Program and project development, consultation and/or evaluation

• Board development, consultation and/or executive transition planning

• Staff development and training to improve clinical and practice competence

• Parent/caregiver training to strengthen families with children with histories of trauma

• Writing, editing, media consulting, print and online/social media and related activities

• Consultation related to development and fundraising, as well as community relations

• Conference/event consulting, including the provision of keynote speakers and other presenters

• Executive training/coaching, as well as policy development/analysis and practice protocols

If you want to engage one or more members of our team, want to learn more about our work – or are a journalist seeking an interview with Adam Pertman (or others on our team) – please contact him at or 617-903-0554.

Myriad Strategic Partners | | 617-903-0554 |

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