Minority Professional Leadership Development Program

A fellowship to develop transformational child welfare leaders

The Minority Professional Leadership Development (MPLD) program is a 12-month fellowship designed for emerging minority leaders working in direct service in the child welfare field.

The structured program includes hands-on experience, exposure to national experts, and mentorship opportunities. There is no fee to participate.

The fellowship begins and ends with events in Washington, DC. Most of the fellows’ work happens online and at their workplace.

Program components

  • A kick-off celebration and meeting in Washington, DC, that includes three days of intensive skill-building and networking.
  • Action research projects that fellows design and implement in their place of work to address issues related to adoption or guardianship. Fellows will receive expert, individualized guidance to help them complete their projects.
  • Online structured courses in policy, practice, research, and transformational leadership. (CEUs will be provided.)
  • Mentoring from leaders within the fellow’s agency and from program alumni.
  • Group and individual coaching that supplements the material being taught in the online courses.
  • A graduation ceremony in Washington, DC, where fellows present their action research projects.
  • An alumni network that provides long-term career support, resource-sharing, and leadership opportunities with future cohorts.

Time commitment

The number of hours that fellows devote to the program will vary by person and by the action research project they select. But in general, we anticipate that fellows will devote an average of 24 hours to the program each month.

There will likely be a greater time commitment during the first and final months of the fellowship due to the kick-off and closing events in Washington, DC.

Why develop minority leaders?

Children of color—especially African American/Black and American Indian children—continue to be overrepresented in foster care.

While the presence of ethnically, culturally, and racially diverse individuals in leadership roles does not ensure that children who share these characteristics will be adopted, it may help communities of color trust a child welfare system.

Leaders who are culturally competent, prepared to be transformational, and mirror the diverse representation of the child welfare population may help agencies respond to the needs of diverse communities while identifying barriers faced by minority families and strategies to overcome them.

Application process

Applications for the 2020 cohort were due September 23, 2019. All fellows have been selected and notified.

We anticipate posting applications for the 2021 MPLD cohort in March of 2020.

Learn more

Have questions? Email us: mpld@adoptuskids.org.

Sign up to be notified when applications for the 2021 fellowship are available:

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