About Us


UCLA TIES (Training, Intervention, Education, and Services) for Families is an interdisciplinary program dedicated to optimizing the growth and development of foster/adoptive children from birth to age 21, and their families through:

  • TIES Preplacement Education and Preparation for prospective resource parents (TIES PREP)
  • Interdisciplinary trauma and resilience-informed, child welfare-competent services to children and their resource families before, during and after placement
  • Advocacy for children and families at the individual, community, and government level
  • Education of professionals regarding culturally-responsive, trauma and resiliency informed, child welfare competent approaches to serving children in the foster care system
  • Collaboration and consultation with other professionals and agencies
  • Applied research to evaluate and improve service



TIES for Families (formerly TIES for Adoption) was founded in 1995 by Susan Edelstein, LCSW, as a model demonstration project to support the successful growth, and development

 of foster/adoptive children and their families. The program employs an innovative model of intervention to support successful transition into safe, stable, and nurturing families.

A key feature of the UCLA TIES for Families program is that services can be offered as children transition into new families, a vulnerable period that presents opportunities to promote attachment and prevent problems from escalating. The program works in close collaboration with the public child welfare and mental health systems.


Services are available free of charge in English and Spanish to resource families (foster, kinship, adoptive) of children who are placed and referred by the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services or local Foster Family Agencies (FFAs). TIES offers 

  • PREP, an innovative nine hour program of preparation for resource/ parents prior to placement of a child
  • Pre-placement consultation with prospective adoptive parents by a multi-disciplinary team regarding the children’s mental health, medical, and educational needs as well as their strengths.
  • A comprehensive array of intervention services available to children and families, including:
    • Counseling for families as new children transition into the home
    • Individual, parent, family, and group therapy
    • ADAPT, an Adoption-specific therapy program developed at TIES and now published by American Psychological Association Books
    • Some home and school-based services
    • Psychological testing and comprehensive evaluations
    • Monthly parent and child support groups for infants, preschoolers, school age children and teens
    • Infant mental health program, including home-based sessions, developmental assessments and parent-infant support groups
    • Mentoring for youth by UCLA students who were in foster care, and for parents by experienced TIES foster/adoptive parent
    • Community based (e.g., home, school) therapeutic behavioral services
    • Educational and pediatric consultation and advocacy
    • Psychiatric, speech and language, and occupational therapy consultation and treatment


In addition, UCLA TIES for Families provides training at the local, state, and national level on various aspects of prevention and intervention to bring positive permanency for children in the foster care system in Los Angeles and their forever families. Training is offered to prospective and current resource and adoptive parents, child social workers in child welfare and foster family agencies, and professionals in the legal and mental health systems. Longitudinal research is being conducted on the effectiveness of TIES programs, and the developmental and social-emotional outcomes for the children and their families, as well risk and resilience factors that contribute to these outcomes. TIES has published a number of studies in professional journals. Click here to see a current list of publications.As part of our mission in the university, UCLA TIES for Families provides clinical training programs for psychology externs, interns and postdoctoral fellows, social work interns, psychiatry residents and child psychiatry fellows, and occupational therapy interns. Many of our former trainees now work in universities, community mental health clinics, and child welfare settings to continue to work with underresourced child populations about whom they are passionate.


UCLA TIES for Families is a university-based program located on the UCLA campus and is a unique collaboration of the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior’s Division of Population Behavioral Health, the UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families, and ; the UCLA Psychology Department; the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services; the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health; and private foundations.

TIES South Bay was founded in 2006 and is located in Torrance, CA, serving children and families living in the South Bay. They are a Department of Mental Health directly operated clinic.