Foster Care Educator

Foster Care and adoption contractor, trainer and educator, Alisa Matheson, works systematically with nonprofits and counties in Minneapolis, St Paul and Twin Cities, MN.

Working together with visionaries from Twin Cities nonprofits, organizations and Minnesota governmental entities, Alisa Matheson helps them to think systematically on how processes and procedures can be improved. This enables teams to focus on their mission and not get stuck in the menucha or processes that are no longer serving them. Making the team more effective in their work with foster and adopted children, now and in the future.

Alisa also has a passion for equipping foster and adoptive parents to embrace the complexities of the child welfare system. For the past 10 years, she has educated prospective adoptive and foster parents, in order to help them understand the foster youth and adoptee experience and come to be truly supportive of birth families.

Adoption and Foster Parent Training Topics Include:

She is an excellent presenter and a phenomenal individual. I highly recommend her.


Qualifications & Certificates

  • Bachelors of Arts in Psychology, with a focus in Child and Family from University of Northwestern – St. Paul, with a Bachelor’s Thesis on Disrupted attachment in childhood.
  • NTI Trained Professional – Successfully completed The National Adoption Competency Mental Health Training Initiative and have received training on assessment, support and therapeutic interventions which promote permanency and improve well-being. Training topics included the following: loss and grief, attachment and brain development, race, ethnicity, culture and transrational adoption, parenting strategies, identify formation, and more.
  • 10 years in the nonprofit world of adoption and foster care, as a adoption process coordinator, transracial adoption camp program assistant manager, social and medical history writer and adoption recruiter for youth who are at risk of aging out of the foster care system and contractor.
  • As well as personal experience in adoption and foster care as a foster parent for 20+ children and teens and adoptive parent.

Current Partnerships

  • Concurrent Adoption Education with Dakota County, where we discuss the joys and the extra layers of grief and complexity when foster family can become adoptive family, but sometimes do not.
  • Mentorship program development and implication for youth aging out of the MN Foster Care System, with Mark Gordon and C2i. Since Sept 2019, I have been teaming with Connections to Independence in Minneapolis, MN to design and coordinate a mentorship program that meets the unique needs of young people who are aging out of foster care.  They are often in need of healthy adult connections, who can encourage them towards greatness.  Learn more about C2i’s mentorship program, click here. (Please watch the moving and transformative video below to learn more about the experience of aging out of foster care from those who are living it.)
Watch the first of a three-part series following two foster youths as they age out of Washington State’s extended foster care system. Corey has been in foster care for 18 of the nearly 21 years of his life. Mykell has been in 10 foster homes since she was baby. Both are about to age out of the foster care system. Corey is collecting furniture in anticipation of securing an apartment. Mykell is attending school and working while navigating the challenges of finding an affordable apartment.

Past Partnerships

  • UMOJA MN with EVOLVE Adoption
  • Child Specific Recruitment & Social Medical History Writing with Dakota County
  • Adoptive and foster care training and education in Minneapolis and St Paul, Minnesota, by an experienced trainer, educator, and workshop facilitator.

Alisa is the perfect definition of “lead by example.” Her bright personality, attention to detail and continual recommendations to improve program process’ makes her the ideal person for the job. Alisa is highly collaborative, positive and can confidently work efficiently independently.

Emma Granquist


Do you have a project you would like to partner on? Large or small, reach out and tell me more. Lets see if we are a good fit.

Alisa Matheson would be happy to speak with someone looking for a 5-10 hour a week contract to improve their process and flow of their company or non-profit organization, or an adoption and foster care educator, please get in touch.

Alisa Matheson is wise, kind, empathic, and fiercely committed to her work with kids and families. I am so grateful that I was able to work with and learn from her!

Anna Lifson

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