Press Release

DONALDSON ADOPTION INSTITUTE ANNOUNCES BOLD NEW DIRECTION FOCUSED ON STRONG FAMILIES

Key Components Include: A New Vision, New Board Members, Staffing Updates and Council of Advisors

Contact:

April Dinwoodie (212) 925-4089 adinwoodie@adoptioninstitute.org

New York, NY, July 29, 2015 – The Donaldson Adoption Institute (DAI) today announced several key components fueling a bold new direction to meet the ever-evolving needs of the adoption and foster care adoption communities. For the first time in its history, DAI is introducing a new vision which will guide its work going forward. Additions to an already strong Board and staff and an expansion of its existing Senior Fellows Program, reintroduced as Council of Advisors, will enable DAI to enhance its work as a critical contributor to the adoption reform movement and ultimately strengthen all families.

New Vision 

Since 1996, DAI has worked to improve the lives of children and families across the country and around the world through research, education and advocacy that has led to better laws, policies and practices. But even after decades of research and the collective work of DAI and others, our current system still too often treats adoption as if it’s nothing more than a one-time transaction.

In 2014, as part of its evolution, DAI launched four pillars of focus: The Adoption Experience, Foster Care Adoption, Adoption Support Services and The Modern Family. The pillars allowed DAI to sharpen its focus. Today, DAI announces the next step – a new vision to meet the changing needs of its stakeholders. Critical elements include:

  • the engagement of all members of the adoption and foster care adoption communities, including the professionals that serve them;
  • the commitment to reframing the conversations and changing perceptions surrounding adoption and foster care adoption;
  • encouragement of authentic relationships and coalitions that work in concert and,
  • the distribution of essential and practical resources.

“From the beginning DAI has been focused on investigating and understanding the practices and experiences related to adoption and foster care adoption,” said April Dinwoodie, Chief Executive of DAI. “With our ultimate goal of making families stronger, today we seek to realize a new vision by building on what we already know is best practice, actively listening to community voices, and creating practical tools and resources in order to accelerate positive change.”

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New Board and Staff Updates

In order to expand and grow, DAI recognizes the need to engage a wide range of individuals and partners. Kim Stevens (Project Director, Advocates for Families First/NACAC) and Betsie Norris (Executive Director, Adoption Network Cleveland) have both joined DAI’s Board of Directors.   Their years of professional experience and personal passion will greatly impact DAI at an exciting time.  Dr. William Boltz, formerly DAI’s Development Director, has been promoted to Deputy Director. Dr. Boltz’s expanded role offers DAI the ability to grow strategically and to focus on operational excellence. The newest member of the team is Program Director Kim Paglino. In this role, Ms. Paglino will be focused on guiding DAI’s programmatic work, including legislative advocacy and stakeholder/community engagement. 

Council of Advisors

DAI is building on its distinguished Senior Fellows Program by expanding and growing it into a new structure: the DAI Council of Advisors (CoA). The overarching purpose of this group will be to harness expertise and experience from across the adoption and foster care adoption spectrum. It will provide strategic and programmatic guidance to DAI, enabling it to better serve its communities and ultimately broaden its reach.

Members of the CoA will have the unique opportunity to impact DAI’s work as well as to build community within a diverse group, drawing from multiple disciplines and including various stakeholders. CoA members will be exposed to differing perspectives and experiences, creating potential for cross disciplinary projects, studies and collaborations. Members of this prestigious group will be announced in the coming months.

About The Donaldson Adoption Institute

Since 1996, The Donaldson Adoption Institute (DAI) has worked to improve the lives of children and families across our country and around the world through research, education and advocacy that have led to better laws, policies and practices. We engage all members of the adoption and foster care adoption communities, including the professionals that serve them.  As we enter into our twentieth year, DAI is committed to reframing the conversations and changing perceptions, encouraging authentic relationships, building coalitions, and being a practical resource in order to ensure the strength of all families.