Consistent Inconsistency: Parenting a child with prenatal substance exposure

Raising a child with prenatal alcohol or drug exposure comes with unique joys and challenges. For some children, the impact may be minimal or short-term. For many, however, the impact is profound and lifelong. With the right information and tools, you can help your child reach their fullest potential. Come learn Read More

Dr. Karyn Purvis’ Legacy Shines in The Connected Parent – A must read for ALL parents!

The Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development has answered the call once again! Last month, our clinical services team was honored to receive an advance copy of their latest offering, The Connected Parent, which is on sale now and receiving rave reviews. This book is fantastic. It adds a much-needed dose of Read More

Pros and Cons of Telehealth

Therapists are trained to assist clients during a crisis.  We are trained on how to de-escalate and stabilize the situation?. We are trained to remain calm so that our clients trust that we can meet their needs. But what happens when the client and the therapist are experiencing the same crisis at the same time? In my career, I can’t recall another world event that has impacted me personally and professionally the way this pandemic has. Read More

Holt Camp at Home 2020: This was epic!

In March, just days after the COVID-19 outbreak was declared a global pandemic, Holt Camp made the difficult and heartbreaking decision to suspend the 2020 camp season for the safety and well-being of campers and camp staff. However, as we grappled with the conclusion, we realized the unique opportunity this summer presented. So for the next twelve weeks leading up to the summer, Holt’s post adoption team began developing a new alternative camp program, Holt Camp at Home! Read More

Helping Adopted Children Adapt to COVID-19 Challenges

While all children and their families are impacted by COVID-19, adoptive families have some additional challenges. Here are some tips and suggestions from Gary Sampson, MSW, LICSW, a Holt adoption social worker and adoptive parent, and a former elementary school counselor and primary school teacher.

As school districts are debating and deciding how to re-open, they know one thing for sure: the situation will change throughout this next school year. Now is the time to prepare your child for these unknown changes and circumstances. Read More

Note From Our Director

Our country is reeling as we try to contain a global pandemic and reckon with police brutality and racial justice. It can feel like a never-ending deluge of chaos, fear and uncertainty. And then there’s the pressure of it all. You might be feeling it, too. The pressure to contribute to social justice and support the Black community, the pressure to stay healthy and prevent COVID-19 transmission, the pressure to re-prioritize and care for your child through this new “normal.” These circumstances have brought a couple of parental realities into sharp focus for me:

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Call For Research Participants

ATTENTION Adoptive Families… The Karen Purvis Institute of Child Development (KPICD), developers of TBRI, needs your participation in an exciting research study!

KPICD has created a TBRI-based intervention (offered fully on-line) that is aimed at improving connection and communication in families post-adoption. The goal of the intervention is to help families understand the experiences of each family member, including siblings, and gain tools to improve connection.

If you are parenting at least two children in the home (and one is 12+ yrs), you may be a candidate to receive this unique resource from the comfort of your own home. They are researching the effectiveness of the intervention and recruiting eligible families to participate until July 27.

Click here for more information and to apply:

TBRI Web Training: Registration Now Open!

Increase the Connection and Nurture in Your Family! – Join our two LIVE web trainings in August

If you are like many adoptive parents who love the book The Connected Child (by Dr. Karyn Purvis and Dr. David Cross) and TBRI ®, or Trust-Based Relational Intervention, you won’t want to miss this unique opportunity to learn and practice two of the most fun and effective family activities aimed at strengthening relationships at home. If you aren’t already a TBRI follower, it is a connection-based approach that guides parents in how to understand and respond to difficult behaviors, while building trust and emotional connection, and empowering children to make good choices. Whether you’ve been on the TBRI bandwagon for years or hadn’t heard of it until today, these engaging demonstrations will provide you with useful additions to your parenting toolbox that you can begin using right away.

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Resources for Families During the Pandemic from NCAC

The North American Council on Adoptable Children has compiled a helpful lists of resources for families. Click on the link for more information.

“In this challenging time of anxiety about COVID-19 and how it’s changin our lives, we wanted to share some resources for families.”

Resources for Families During the Pandemic

How to Reset Your Summer After COVID-19

By Samantha Sutherland, California Branch Social Worker.

It has certainly been a long and challenging spring for many families. And as we move into summertime, the warmer weather and the end to crisis schooling at home can be a great time to do a family reset and refresh for desired behaviors and family dynamics. Whether you’ve faced new and challenging behaviors from your child or just overall general family stress, summer just might be the perfect time to make some changes — , by introducing fun new activities? and routines.

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From the Director of Post Adoption Services

Dear readers,

In my 15 years at Holt, I’ve seen a lot of things change within the world of adoption. One thing that’s remained consistent, though, is the variety of populations the post adoption department is responsible for serving — Adoptees, adoptive parents, birth parents, partners of Adoptees, children of Adoptees, and adoption professionals Read More

TBRI Family Camps Returning to Oregon and Illinois — Summer 2020!

By Marissa Robello, LMSW, CSWA and Pam Shepard, LCSW

We are happy to announce that Holt will be offering the Journey of Hope family camp experience for adopted children and their parents once again this summer — in both Chicago, Illinois (June 26-28) and Eugene, Oregon (July 24 and 25)! Read More

Parenting with Fear

My daughter turned 30 last year. Lately I have been reflecting a lot about parenting and what makes a good parent. Especially as she begins to think about becoming a parent herself. I feel truly blessed that my daughter has found her way in this world and someone to share it with. I am a very proud mom — but I guess most parents say that. Read More

Creating Connections with Older Children

By Celeste Snodgrass, LCSW-PIP | Director of Clinical Services

Parents of younger children (under the age of 6 or 7) have many opportunities throughout the day to help their child meet their needs. Children often need help with the bathroom, brushing their teeth, buttoning their pants, cutting their food, getting their hair washed, etc… Read More

The Amazing Reunion Story of 3 Indian Adoptees

Thirty-one years ago, in December of 1988, Christina, Rekha and Deborah, along with two other Indian Adoptees, arrived in the United States. They were escorted from India by the Poindexter family, who took an adventure of a lifetime. Read More

Change is coming… Are you ready?

Holt Adoptee Camp strives to offer a variety of different programs to meet the ever-changing needs of Adoptees and adoptive families. Consolidating and expanding upon current programs for adoptive families at camp is the next step in providing greater support to our community. In July of 2020, Holt Camp will be offering a new multi-day family retreat specifically designed for adoptive families with young Adoptees. This family retreat will take place in Salem, Oregon! Read More

Helping Teens to Circle Back

“I mean, this is even kind of fun!”

In its second year of operation, Circle Back has evolved into something that I was not expecting. Two years ago, as we were putting together the curriculum, I pictured this service primarily benefiting young Adoptees, ages 9-12, who were interested in talking about adoption or who needed support in understanding their identity.

What I didn’t expect was for it to be a program that served teens so well. Read More

CHALLENGING BEHAVIORS: Strategies for Moving Forward

By Samantha Sutherland | Northern California Social Worker & PACE Coach

Less than a year ago, we launched Holt’s Post-Adoption Coaching & Education (PACE) program. In that time, it has become clear to us that parents really are looking for support and help managing their children’s behaviors! Dealing with negative behaviors is tough and can make everyday life a challenge for the whole family. And often times, when a child is having behavioral issues, it can seem insurmountable, frustrating, confusing and disheartening. But when you face behavior challenges with your child, remember these two key things: Read More

FAQs about TBRI ®

By Pam Shepard, MSW, LCSW/Supervisor of Clinical Services and Marissa Robello, LMSW, CSWA Clinical Social Worker


What is TBRI and what does it stand for?

             TBRI ®, or Trust-Based Relational Intervention, is a parenting intervention created and developed by Dr. David Cross and Dr. Karyn Purvis at Texas Christian University’s Institute of Child Development. TBRI® is an attachment-based, trauma-informed intervention that is designed to meet the complex needs of vulnerable children.

My adoption social worker told me I need to find a TBRI therapist.  Where can I find one?

             If you are looking for attachment- and trauma-informed therapy, we would advise against holding out for a therapist who is also trained in TBRI. Therapy and TBRI can complement each other well, but they are two distinct approaches that meet different needs for families. Read More

Need Help? New PACE Program Offers Personalized Support

By Carolyn Cain | PACE Supervisor

As an adoption social worker in central California, I’ve had the privilege to witness firsthand the joy that comes with adopting internationally. As an adoptive parent myself, I’ve also experienced the adoption process from all angles. The paperwork, the waiting, the uncertainty, the meetings, parenting… Read More