Clinical Training of MFTs for Adoption, Foster Care, and Child Development Settings: A Comparative Survey of CACREP, COAMFTE, and CSWE Accredited Programs


Adoption, foster care, child development, clinical training, MFT


Marriage and family therapists (MFTs) are well prepared to work with clinical issues related to adoption, foster care, and child welfare. Yet, it is unclear how many MFTs see these as viable career opportunities, and it is also unclear if typical clinical training includes content in these areas. Surveys were sent to Commission for Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE), Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), and Council of Social Work Education (CSWE) clinical training programs to assess levels of training in three content areas: adoption, foster care, and child development. Results indicated that many graduates from COAMFTE accredited programs enter adoption and foster care work settings. Although COAMFTE graduates are well trained in child development, most MFTs, social workers, and counselors lack specific training in adoption and foster care. This study has curricular, funding, and mental health parity implications.

Original Publication Citation

Weir, K., Fife, S. T., Whiting, J. B., & Blazewick, A. (2008). Clinical training of MFTs for adoption, foster care, and child development settings: A comparative survey of CACREP, COAMFTE, and CSWE accredited programs. Journal of Family Psychotherapy, 19, 277-290. doi: 10.1080/08975350802269517

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Journal of Family Psychotherapy




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor