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.
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.