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.

COVID-19 Update: 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.

Headquarters: MD-Montgomery County

Where They Operate: DC-Citywide; MD-Statewide; MD-Montgomery County; MD-Prince George's County; VA-Statewide; VA-Arlington County; VA-Fairfax County; VA-Loudoun County; VA-Prince William County; VA-City of Alexandria; VA-City of Fairfax; VA-City of Falls Church

Age Groups Served: Pre-K (3-4); Youth (5-11); Pre-teen/teen (12-17); Young adult (18-24); Adult (25-49); Seniors (50+); All

Population(s) Served: All


  • Number of counseling clients (children and their families) served in 2019:   639
  • Increase in number of clients seen year over year, for the past 5 years (2015 - 2019):   57% (from 408 in 2015 to 639 in 2019)
  • Number of mental health professionals trained to better serve adoptive and foster families through 45 C.A.S.E. customized trainings in 2019:   2864
  • Percent of professionals trained to be adoption competent who report improvements in how they serve clients:   100%
  • Number of participants registered for live-stream educational webinars in 2019:   4,799

Awards & Recognition

2019 - Adoption Excellence Award for Business Contributions and Initiatives for its National Training Initiative (NTI) program, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, awarded to C.A.S.E., nominated by Uma Ahluwalia, Health Management Associates

2019 - National Angel in Adoption, Congressional Coalition on Adoption, awarded to C.A.S.E. National Training Director Dawn Wilson, MSW

2019 - GuideStar Platinum Seal of Transparency

2018 - GuideStar Platinum Seal of Transparency

2017 - Appreciation Award presented by the Fairfax, Virginia Department of Social Services to the staff at C.A.S.E.’s Annandale, Virginia office during the National Adoption Month Ceremonies.

2017 - “Caring, Daring, Sharing” Leadership Award, presented to C.A.S.E. CEO Debbie Riley by Branching Out Gala Co-Chairs Phil Gibbs and Maria Garcia Anderson for all of the lives Debbie has touched through her dedication and work for the foster care and adoption community.

2015 - Adoption Excellence Award, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to C.A.S.E. CEO, Debbie Riley

2015 - Professional of the Year Award, Maryland Resource Parent Association, to C.A.S.E. Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Recruiter, Adrienne Jubilee

2014 - Dunkin Donut Community Hero Award, to C.A.S.E. CEO, Debbie Riley

Press

Budget (FY2015)

  • The current budget for Center for Adoption Support and Education is: $3 million or higher
  • $1 million to $3 million
  • $500k to $1 million
  • Less than $500k

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