In 1998, Kathy and Mike Dugan, parents of eight children adopted from the Prince George’s County foster care system, struggled to find a family therapist who understood the impact of trauma and adoption on children’s lives. So the Dugans became unintentional philanthropists: they created CASE, and their vision has since helped thousands of adoptive, foster, and kinship families in the region. Some three-quarters of school-age children in foster care experience abuse, and one-quarter experience PTSD – exacerbated by the trauma of multiple placements. Depression, anxiety, aggression, and fear are common and can challenge a family's survival. CASE offers adoption-competent therapy for children, parents, and families; therapy and case management for children whose age or circumstances create added challenges in finding permanent homes; and training and education for hundreds of professionals about the unique challenges of adoption, foster, and kinship care. If this is your cause, you have found your home.
COVID-19 Update: When the pandemic hit, direct service staff immediately trained to achieve Level 1 Telebehavioral Health Practitioner certification and consulted with experts on responding to severe clinical symptoms and adapting play therapy to a virtual medium. To meet growing demands for help as the pandemic re-triggered trauma and exacerbated symptoms, CASE offered free access to 13 in-demand webinars (over 4,000 people have participated) and continues to provide parent/caregiver and teen adoptee support groups – at reduced fees to those in need.
Headquarters: MD-Montgomery County
Where They Operate: DC-Citywide; MD-Statewide; MD-Montgomery County; MD-Prince George's County; MD-Frederick County; MD-Howard County; VA-Statewide; VA-Arlington County; VA-Fairfax County; VA-Loudoun County; VA-Prince William County; VA-City of Alexandria; VA-City of Fairfax; VA-City of Falls Church
Age Groups Served: Pre-K (3-4); Youth (5-11); Pre-teen/teen (12-17); Young adult (18-24); Adult (25-49); Seniors (50+); All
Population(s) Served: All
- Number of counseling and case management clients and participating family members served in 2021:
- Number of mental health and child welfare professionals trained to better serve adoptive, foster, and kinship families in 2021:
- Percent of professionals trained to be adoption competent who report improvements in how they serve clients:
- Number of participants registered for live-stream educational webinars in 2021:
Awards & Recognition
2021 Career Achievement Award presented by American Public Human Services Association (APHSA)
2021 - GuideStar Platinum Seal of Transparency
2020 - Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE) accreditation for C.A.S.E.'s Training for Adoption Competency (TAC)
2019 - Adoption Excellence Award for Business Contributions and Initiatives for its National Training Initiative (NTI) program, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, awarded to C.A.S.E., nominated by Uma Ahluwalia, Health Management Associates
2019 - National Angel in Adoption, Congressional Coalition on Adoption, awarded to C.A.S.E. National Training Director Dawn Wilson, MSW
2017 - Appreciation Award presented by the Fairfax, Virginia Department of Social Services to the staff at C.A.S.E.’s Annandale, Virginia office during the National Adoption Month Ceremonies.
2017 - “Caring, Daring, Sharing” Leadership Award, presented to C.A.S.E. CEO Debbie Riley by Branching Out Gala Co-Chairs Phil Gibbs and Maria Garcia Anderson for all of the lives Debbie has touched through her dedication and work for the foster care and adoption community.
2015 - Adoption Excellence Award, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to C.A.S.E. CEO, Debbie Riley
- National Adoption Competency Mental Health Training Initiative - with Lisa & Edna
Sun May 2 2021, WGBB Radio Adoption and Foster Family Coalition of New York's "After the Kids Move In"
Interview about the National Adoption Competency Mental Health Training Initiative with Specialists Lisa Maynard & Edna Davis Brown.
- Off Script: The Excitement and Challenges of Adopting a Child
Tue May 22 2018, WUSA 9
When Washington D.C.'s Mayor Bowser announced adoption of a baby girl, WUSA 9 turned to C.A.S.E. for expertise.
- Great Day Washington: C.A.S.E. Makes an Impact
Mon May 14 2018, WUSA 9
Live interview with CEO Debbie Riley and the Battle family on the impact of C.A.S.E.'s mental health counseling for adoptive families.
- Adoption competent mental health services can make all the difference
Wed Sep 21 2016, The Hill
C.A.S.E. CEO Debbie Riley submitted a letter to the editor in support of the bipartisan Family First Prevention Services Act.
- Writers and performers help release inmates' locked-up creativity
Wed Sep 7 2016, Washington Post
Inmates from Montgomery County Correctional Facility spent two months creating a mural for C.A.S.E. as part of "Project Youth ArtReach."
- The current budget for Center for Adoption Support and Education is: $3 million or higher
- $1 million to $3 million
- $500k to $1 million
- Less than $500k
Catalogue charities range in size from $100,000 to
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