Minority Professional Leadership Development Program

An eight-month fellowship designed for emerging leaders working in child welfare

The Minority Professional Leadership Development (MPLD) program is designed for emerging leaders working in child welfare. The structured program includes hands-on experience, exposure to national experts, and mentorship opportunities.

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

There is no fee to participate in the MPLD program.

Program components

  • A kick-off celebration and meeting 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, and research. (CEUs will be provided.)
  • Mentoring from leaders within the fellow’s agency and from program alumni.
  • A graduation ceremony 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 selected candidates will devote a minimum of 24 hours of work and personal time to the fellowship each month. There will be a greater time commitment during the first and final months, when fellows travel to attend kick-off and closing events in the Washington, DC, area.

Why develop minority leaders?

Children of color—especially 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 2019 cohort were due September 17.

Applicants who are selected for the second phase of the application process will have a phone interview with members of the panel.

Candidates selected for the MPLD fellowship will be notified in writing by November 1.

Learn more

Sign up to be notified when applications for the 2020 fellowship are available. Or email us with questions: mpld@adoptuskids.org.

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