Ashlee Jones

MSSW, DSW Candidate

Post-Adoption Services: Disruptions, Support, and Mental Health Among Foster and Adoptive Children in the Child Welfare System


An overview of the capstone project will be focused on addressing post-adoption services within the child welfare system through bi-annual training for adoptive parents. The current scope of post-adoption services will be discussed, including its history, starting with The Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980. A synthesis of the literature that addresses training, support, and services for adoptive parents will be explored, and gaps in the effectiveness of post-adoption services will be identified. A theoretical framework encompassing attachment theory and ecological theory will be proposed. This framework will guide the implementation of bi-annual training for adoptive parents to learn about services, programs, and supports to assist their adoptive children and their families. Lastly, a proposed training protocol will be provided, which includes frequency of delivery, supports and resources for adoptive parents, and strategies to enhance their learning in mental health services and behaviors and trauma of adoptive children.


Ashlee Jones is a doctoral candidate in the Doctorate of Social Work program at the University of Kentucky. She is expected to graduate in May 2024 with a focus in clinical social work. Ashlee holds a Master’s of Science in Social Work (MSSW) from the University of Louisville, a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) from Morehead State University, and an Associate of Arts degree from Jefferson Community and Technical College. Ashlee is a Permanency Specialist for the Northeastern Region, Department of Community Based Services within Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services. She has been employed with the state child welfare system since 2013, holding positions across frontline, recruitment and certification, and regional office. Ashlee has also been an adjunct instructor for Morehead State University since January 2022. Ashlee’s research interests include trauma-informed care, supervision, and leadership within child welfare services, the “foster care drift” phenomenon, and racial disproportionality and disparities in child welfare systems. Ashlee’s interest in child welfare and clinical social work coverage in her doctoral capstone project. Her project focuses on post-adoption services within the child welfare system, as well as how placement disruptions and the mental health of foster and adoptive children have changed in the last 40 years since post-adoption services were enacted. Lastly, Ashlee won a High Distinction in Academic Achievement award in 2008 from Jefferson Community and Technical College, and in April 2021 was awarded the John Finch Award at the 9th Annual Child Abuse Prevention Conference.