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Digital Seminar

Kids in Foster Care: Transformative tools to treat the trauma of abandonment, abuse, grief, and loss

Jeanette Yoffe, MA, MFT
Approx. 6 Hours
Sep 19, 2024
Product Code:
Media Type:
Digital Seminar - Also available: Live Webinar

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Children in foster care are up against some of the most difficult situations a child can ever face. They’ve lost their homes and been plucked from their families — sometimes permanently.

Learning how to meet the needs of these vulnerable and traumatized children can quite literally change their lives. Surrounded by chaos, you can be the therapist who changes everything for these kids.

But it starts with learning exactly what they need and how to help.

That’s why Jeanette Yoffe, a child psychotherapist, author, and expert in the areas of adoption & foster care, used her own experience of moving through the system as a child in creating this groundbreaking course! You will walk away with:

  • A start-to-finish roadmap for therapy with kids and teens in foster care
  • Proven strategies for building trust, creating emotional safety, and establishing rapport beginning in the first session
  • Tools to treat abandonment wounds, mitigate shame, increase self-esteem, and construct a coherent life narrative
  • A complete foster care toolkit with TONS of handouts and ready-touse interventions

Purchase now for this life-changing journey into the world of these hurting kids to become foster care competent and meet the needs of this vulnerable population.


Planning Committee Disclosure - No relevant relationships

All members of the PESI, Inc. planning committee have provided disclosures of financial relationships with ineligible organizations and any relevant non-financial relationships prior to planning content for this activity. None of the committee members had relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies or other potentially biasing relationships to disclose to learners.  For speaker disclosures, please see the faculty biography.

* Credit Note - CE Information Coming Soon

Continuing education credit information is coming soon for this non-interactive self-study package.

CEs may be available for select professions, as listed in the target audience. Hours will be dependent on the actual recording time. Please check with your state licensing board or organization for specific requirements. 

There may be an additional fee for CE certificates. Please contact our Customer Service at 1-800-844-8260 for more details. 

**Materials that are included in this course may include interventions and modalities that are beyond the authorized practice of your profession. As a licensed professional, you are responsible for reviewing the scope of practice, including activities that are defined in law as beyond the boundaries of practice in accordance with and in compliance with your professions standards.


Jeanette Yoffe, MA, MFT's Profile

Jeanette Yoffe, MA, MFT Related seminars and products

Yoffe Therapy

Jeanette Yoffe, MA, LMFT, earned her master’s in clinical psychology from Antioch University in 2002, specializing in adoption and foster care. With over 20 years of experience, she focuses on treating individuals with serious psychological issues stemming from abuse, neglect, adoption, or multiple foster placements.

As the founder of Celia Center, a Los Angeles-based non-profit, Jeanette supports all members of the foster care and adoption community, including birth parents, adoptees, and professionals. She is also the clinical director of Yoffe Therapy Inc., offering mental health services to families connected by foster care and adoption.

Jeanette’s personal journey as an adoptee and former foster child fuels her passion for this work. She has published resources like her one-woman show and children’s books on Amazon and has a YouTube channel named Jeanette-ically Speaking speaking about foster care, adoption and mental health. Learn more at


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Jeanette Yoffe is the founder and executive director of Yoffe Therapy, Inc and Celia Center, Inc. She receives royalties as a published author. Jeanette Yoffe receives a speaking honorarium and recording royalties from PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Jeanette Yoffe is a member of the Foster Care Alumni of America, the American Adoption Congress, the Concerned United Birthparents, and the North American Council on Adoptable Children.

Additional Info

Access for Self-Study (Non-Interactive)

Access never expires for this product.


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  1. Identify the internal working model of children in foster care and how these models influence their behavior and relationships.
  2. Differentiate terms, roles, placement types, and systems involved in the foster care system.
  3. Analyze barriers to mental health services for foster youth, including stigma, access issues, and systemic challenges.
  4. Evaluate the impact on brain development, emotional regulation, and attachment styles of children experiencing trauma and abuse.
  5. Develop appropriate intervention plans based on assessment findings for anxiety, depression, PTSD, and attachment disorders in foster youth.
  6. Plan trauma-focused interventions using a complex trauma lens.


The World of Foster Care
Interactive experience: Through the eyes of a foster child

  • The internal working model of kids in care
  • Terms, roles, placement types, and systems
  • Current barriers to mental health services

Trauma, Attachment, and the Brain

  • Abuse, neglect, and adverse experiences
  • Childhood trauma: neurological responses
  • Trauma, dissociation, and “foster care syndrome”
  • Impact of attachment style
  • Four areas of attachment loss in foster care
  • The iceberg effect of unmet needs
  • The stages of complicated grief

Assessment and Diagnostics

  • Determine “what happened to them”
  • Trauma-informed assessment strategies
  • Tools to differentiate anxiety, depression, PTSD, and attachment disorders

A Framework for Intervention Using a Complex Trauma Lens
It Starts with Connection

  • 3 must-use trust-building activities
  • Non-verbal strategies to build rapport
  • From fight-flight-freeze to regulation
  • Therapy sessions: start to finish
  • Collaborative case conceptualization

Coping with Feelings, Thoughts, and Sensations

  • Trauma responses via feelings, thoughts, body, and behavior
  • Activities: Hold Onto My Feelings, The Anger Bag, and more
  • Age-appropriate strategies to address:
    • Parental mental illness
    • Substance use disorders
    • Death
    • Sexual abuse
    • Abuse and neglect
  • ACT and CBT strategies to support selfworth and foster resilience

Construct a Coherent Life Narrative

  • Intuitive tips for answering kids’ questions about their past
  • Activities
    • My Question Box
    • My Journey Through Placement
    • My Family Tree
    • Parts of Me
  • Life Narrative template
  • Case study

Treat Anxiety and Depression

  • Establish locus of control
  • Navigate the distress hill
  • EFT and trauma focused strategies for in-the-moment calming
  • Alternatives to medication
  • Risk assessment and suicidality

Address Attachment Disorders

  • Animal-assisted therapy
  • Interventions to treat abandonment wounds
  • Attachment focused interventions

It Takes a Village: The Foster Care System

  • Partner with parents and foster parents
  • Establish structure and consistency
  • Nurture and heal attachment trauma
  • Boundaries and support options
  • Collaboration: caseworkers, educators, rehab and medical professionals

Being a Foster Care Competent Counselor

  • Ethical and cultural considerations
  • The risks and joys involved
  • Mitigate counter transference
  • Strategies to prevent compassion fatigue
  • Limitations of the research and potential risks

Target Audience

  • Psychologists
  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • School Social Workers
  • School Counselors
  • Occupational Therapists

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