Institute for Human Services Center for Child Welfare Policy TRAINet Training Resource Family Trust Clinic











Betsy Keefer Smalley, B.S.S.W., L.S.W.

Adoption and Foster Care Manager

Ms. Keefer Smalley consults with the North American Resource Center for Child Welfare (NARCCW), Center for Child Welfare Policy and Family Trust Clinic on adoption and placement issues.  She has assisted several states and provinces implement Assessor and Preservice training to meet their unique needs, and has prepared over 600 foster care and adoption specialists throughout North America to use these curricula. 

As the Adoption and Foster Care Training Manager for the Ohio Child Welfare Training Program (OCWTP), Ms. Keefer Smalley coordinates the implementation of competency-based training for statewide adoption and foster care staff including developing competencies and curricula, managing trainers, and consulting with state and county personnel on adoption and foster care issues. 

Ms. Keefer Smalley has forty years’ experience in child welfare. Prior to joining IHS in 1995, she was the first Executive Director of the Ohio CASA/GAL (Court Appointed Special Advocates/ Guardians ad Litem) Association, consulting with county CASA programs, statewide planning groups and legislative committees. She also coordinated one of the first post-finalization adoption programs in the United States.

With colleague, Jayne Schooler, Ms. Keefer Smalley co-authored the award-winning book, Telling the Truth to Your Adopted or Foster Child: Making Sense of the Past and more recently, Wounded Children Healing Homes: How Traumatized Children Impact Adoptive and Foster Families.  She is lead author of the 10-module OCWTP Assessor Training Series and Preservice Training curriculum for Foster, Adoptive, and Kinship Caregivers. In addition, the North American Council for Adoptable Children (NACAC) disseminated her curriculum nationally to train parallel support groups of adopted youth and their parents.   Ms. Keefer Smalley has been an active member or Chair of the Ohio Adoption Planning Group for over twenty years.  She has presented at numerous state and national conferences in North America, and most recently trained child welfare staff in Eastern Europe.

In August, 2011, Ms. Keefer Smalley was presented with the NACAC Activist Award at the 37th Annual Conference in Denver, Colorado, for her dedication and support of adoptive families. In 2010, she received the Career Achievement Award at NSDTA’s Annual Professional Development Institute for her lifetime experience in promoting permanence for abused and neglected children and pioneering training for adoption and foster care systems to address and eliminate placement instability.

Ms. Keefer Smalley holds a Bachelor's of Science in Social Work Degree from The Ohio State University.



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