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#20190910 – WEBINAR: Adoption Agency Recruitment and Placement Requirements under the Multiethnic Placement Act and the Interethnic Adoption Provisions (MEPA-IEAP)




(September 2019)  The Multiethnic Placement Act, or MEPA, was signed into law on October 20, 1994. In 1996, it was amended via the Interethnic Adoption Provisions, or IEAP, of the Small Business Job Protection Act. Together, these comprise MEPA-IEAP, which prohibits delay or denial of placement, or of the opportunity to foster or adopt, due to children’s or adoptive parents’ race, color, or national origin. MEPA-IEAP also requires child-placing agencies to make diligent efforts to recruit prospective foster and adoptive families who reflect the race and ethnicity of children in Minnesota’s foster care system.

In this webinar, attendees will learn about the history and context of MEPA-IEAP to gain a better understanding of why this federal law exists. Presenters will also detail the recruitment and placement requirements under MEPA-IEAP as outlined in Minnesota law. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions about recruitment and placement practices that comply with federal and state laws around race, color, and national origin. Please note: While all are welcome to attend this webinar, the focus will be geared towards adoption agency staff.

Jessica Brogger started in child welfare in 2004 as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ecuador; her work there with child laborers and child survivors of sex trafficking inspired her to pursue a career in public child welfare upon her return to the United States. She has worked in Minnesota and Colorado, specializing in case management with teen parents and immigrant parents, and Family Group Decision Making. She is passionate about engaging fathers, working with sex-trafficked youth, culturally-responsive practice with immigrant parents, the Indian Child Welfare Act, and the connection between policy and direct practice. She holds a Master of Social Work degree with a concentration in child welfare and a Master of Public Affairs degree with a concentration in Human Rights. She is currently a program representative for the MN Dept. of Human Services in the Family Support and Placement Services unit.

Heidi Ombisa Skallet, MSW, LISW, has been the adoption and kinship policy specialist at the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) since 2015. She also is a community faculty member at the University of Minnesota School of Social Work, where she has taught Permanency in Child Welfare. Prior to joining DHS, she was the outreach coordinator at the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare. She received her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Minnesota in 2011, where she was a Title IV-E Child Welfare Scholar and focused on child welfare and community practice.

Watch time: 90 minutes

Eligible Certificate of Completion time: 90 minutes

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