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Laura Ornelas, LCSW

Director, Academy for Advancing Clinical Practice in Permanency, Center for Adoption Support and Education (C.A.S.E.)

Laura Ornelas is a licensed clinical social worker who has been working in foster care and adoption for nearly 30 years. Originally immersed in child placement in both public and private adoptions in Los Angeles, Laura has been instrumental in the startup of multiple programs throughout California. For nearly a decade, Laura served as the Regional Director of Mental Health Services for Kinship Center, during which time she designed and oversaw specialty mental health clinics for children who had been adopted and/or were being raised by kinship caregivers. Having studied with the leaders in attachment and trauma, she created a powerful clinical model rooted in relationship-based healing and remains passionate about broadening collective understanding of children’s development to include loss, trauma, attachment and intersecting identities. Laura educates parents and professionals across the country, has authored numerous curricula and published works on the effects of ruptures in relationships and best practices, and most recently was the lead writer for the NTDC, the National Training and Development Curriculum for foster and adoptive parents. In 2018, Laura was asked to join the team at C.A.S.E (Center for Adoption Support and Education) where she is currently launching the Academy of Advancing Clinical Practice in Permanency for mental health professionals.