Our Services

UCLA TIES provides services to resource families prior to children joining their home, during the transition as children join a family, and following adoption finalization. The array of services includes the following:

Families must reside in LA County

In addition to the standard education already provided by the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), resource families voluntarily attend nine hours of additional training, called TIES PREP, specifically geared to the challenges and rewards of parenting and providing permanency to children with traumatic histories and risk factors such as prenatal substance exposure and other biological vulnerabilities, multiple placements, and abuse and neglect. Some of the topics covered are building empathy for substance abusing biological parents; learning what is known and not known about the impact of prenatal substance exposure and coming to terms with the uncertainties; learning strategies to identify and build upon a child’s strengths, focusing on culturally-responsive, trauma and resiliency informed approaches to support children with challenging behaviors; reflecting on the pros and cons of resource parents disclosing the child’s history; learning to build in family substance abuse prevention strategies; and evaluating factors related to maintaining contact with the child’s birth family when there is a history of substance abuse. These sessions are guided by the principles, confirmed consistently by research, that thorough education helps resource parents make informed decisions, and that the better the preparation, the more satisfied parents are with the caregiving process. Resource parents going through the foster/adopt process with DCFS can sign up for TIES PREP after they have completed their RFA training.

Services prior to child joining a resource family

  • Psychiatric Medication ManagementTIES Interdisciplinary Team Consultation (Pre-placement Consultation) 
When prospective resource parents are matched with a child (and not an emergency placement), parents may request a TIES Pre-placement Consultation. TIES will review some combination of health, mental health, and educational assessments and/or treatment records, visit with and observe the child, and  conduct psychological testing (or review previous testing) to present gathered information on the child’s strengths and needs to child social workers and prospective resource parents. The information highlights what may be recommended or required in order to attend to the child’s needs and assist with the transition to the new family or from foster care to adoption. DCFS social workers may use this assessment to assist with finding a permanent placement that best meets the child’s needs when a child cannot reunify and is waiting for an adoptive family. Prospective resource parents may use this knowledge to make an informed decision whether to move forward with placement, based on their ability to enhance the child’s strengths and address their individual needs.

Services as the child transitions to the family

  • Individual Consultation
Multi-disciplinary review of records by pediatricians, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and educational consultants and meetings with future resource parents to help them understand the child’s strengths, the context of their traumatic experience and resilience, and identify recommendations for, and referrals to, needed services.
  • Transition Services 
Counseling sessions inform the resource parent(s) about the child’s development and temperament; promote attachment by addressing parent-child interactions and behavioral issues through an understanding of attachment, trauma, and loss and provide training in culturally-responsive, trauma and resiliency informed family formation strategies.

Services after a child joins a family

  • Consultation
    • Pediatric consultation
    • Educational consultation and advocacy
    • Psychiatric consultation on genetics of mental illness and psychiatric histories of children with special needs
    • Speech and language consultation
    • Occupational Therapy consultation
  • Assessment
    • Developmental assessment of infants and young children
    • Psychological testing for cognitive, academic, social and emotional functioning
    • Psychiatric evaluations for diagnosis and medication
    • Speech and language assessment
    • Temperament assessments
    • Occupational therapy assessment
  • Interventions
    • Infant Mental Health program offering home-based sessions, developmental evaluation, interactive guidance, and monthly Parent-Infant support groups
    • TIES Transition Model
    • Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP)
    • Adoption-specific Therapy (ADAPT) manualized treatment (ages 5-16)
    • Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)
    • Reflective Parenting Practice (RPP)
    • Trauma-focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)
    • Family counseling
    • LIFT (Loss Intervention for Families in Transition)
    • Ongoing monthly support groups for parents and for children
    • Mentoring for parents and youth
    • Community-based intensive Therapeutic Behavioral Services (TBS)
    • Psychiatric Medication Management