CAP-Foster Care/Adoption

Karen Rathburn, Ph.D., Program Manager

Larisa Litvinov, Ph.D., Director of Training, TIES

The TIES for Families South Bay program is a county mental health clinic located within a mile of the Harbor-UCLA campus in a private office suite setting.  The program is affiliated with and based on the UCLA TIES for Adoption model that created community-defined intervention, the TIES Transition Model (TTM) that promotes the successful adoption of foster children ages birth to eighteen when return to their biological parents is not possible.  The population served at TIES-South Bay includes high-risk infants, children and adolescents with histories of prenatal substance exposure, neglect and abuse. A key feature of this program is that services are offered as children are transitioned from foster care into adoptive homes, a vulnerable period for families that presents opportunities to promote attachment and prevent problems from escalating.  The model includes services prior to adoptive placement, during the transition from foster care to adoption and post adoptive services.  Multidisciplinary TIES staff includes psychologists, post-doctoral psychology fellow, clinical social workers, developmental pediatrician, and a child psychiatrist. Services available include: (1) medical consultation, (2) educational consultation and advocacy, (3) developmental, psychological, psychiatric, and temperament assessments, (4) individual/family/narrative therapy, (5) home visits, (6) support and treatment groups for parents and children, (7) infant mental health program that includes dyadic infant/toddler and parent groups, assessment (Bayley Scales of Infant Development), home visitation/consultation and therapy.

Fellows in this program develop a sub-specialty in the area of foster-care, adoption, family therapy and infant mental health. Fellows interface with a variety of Systems of Care including social services (DCFS), pediatricians, schools, Regional Centers, and courts in the case management aspects of client care. The fellow’s time for this program is divided 60% at TIES for Families South Bay and 40% at Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.  The following objectives, requirements, supervision described below are for the TIES program only.  For the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (CAP) portion please refer to the information provided in the CAP section above. Dr. Avina will oversee and supervise the fellow on that portion of this dual fellowship.

Objectives

The following proficiencies are expected by the completion of the training year.

  • Psychological testing at an advanced level using a wide variety of children’s tests of developmental status, emotional, social and intellectual functioning, academic achievement, learning and memory, adaptive skills, stress and coping skills, and neuropsychological functioning.
  • Proficiency in infant, toddler and early child assessment including the Bayley Scales of Infant Development, Third Edition (Bayley-III).
  • Training in infant mental health to include development, family assessment, Department of Mental Health paperwork and treatment goals specific to this population.
  • Expertise in attachment-informed and psychodynamic play therapy, family therapy interventions, and infant/toddler parent dyadic interventions.
  • Supervision of externs in the performance of psychological testing and specific therapies.
  • Cultural responsiveness and sensitivity in community mental health and adoptions work.
  • Adoption-specific clinical interventions including the TIES Transition Model.
  • A comprehensive understanding of procedural and legal issues associated with children and families involved with the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), especially as they relate to public adoption.
  • Facilitation of groups for children and parents on topics to include: adoption, foster-care, social skills, grief and loss, trauma and adolescent issues.
  • Proficiency in doing treatment within the Systems of Care model for 0-5 years of age through SAMHSA grant funded by Project ABC.

Prerequisites

  • Experience working with children and adolescents.
  • Experience with evidence-based treatments.
  • Experience administering and interpreting the common psychological tests of children’s cognitive, emotional and behavioral functioning.

Required Clinical Experiences/Courses

  • Psychological testing with both infants/toddlers and school-aged children.
  • Leading and participating in multidisciplinary case consultations with prospective adoptive parents and children in placement
  • Individual and/or family therapy with 3-5 child clients at a time
  • Group therapy with adopting parents and/or adoptee children
  • Attendance and participation in ongoing Clinical Issues and Topics seminar
  • or Multicultural Issues)Attendance and participation in the Infant-Toddler Child Development, Assessment and Treatment seminar and at least 1 other time.

Required Clinical Experiences/Seminars

  • Psychological testing with both infants/toddlers and school-aged children.
  • Leading and participating in multidisciplinary case consultations with prospective adoptive parents and children in placement
  • Individual and/or family therapy with 4-6 child clients at a time
  • Group therapy with adopting parents and/or adoptee children
  • Attendance and participation in ongoing Clinical Issues and Topics seminar
  • Attendance and participation in the Infant-Toddler Child Development, Assessment and Treatment seminar and at least 1 other time-limited didactic seminar

Required Supervision

Postdoctoral fellows will receive individual supervision according to California Board of Psychology requirements for licensure. They will also be trained as supervisors themselves, via supervising psychology externs in testing.

  • Dr. Litvinov: 1 hour individual supervision per week
  • Dr. Rathburn: 1 hour individual supervision per week
  • Group supervision 1 ½ hour provided in weekly clinical Issues seminar

Evaluation of Satisfactory Progress and Outcome

  • Individual supervisory sessions
  • Observation through one-way mirror of play therapy cases
  • Observation of contributions to seminars by instructors/supervisors
  • Observation by co-therapists/supervisors in group and family therapy
  • Evaluation of written reports of assessment and consultation
  • Review of evaluations by externs whom the fellow supervises

Supervisors

  • Karen Rathburn, Ph.D., Program Manager
  • Larisa Litvinov, Ph.D., Clinical Director