arfo 2020 Summit

Everyone can do something!

29 october 17:00 – 21:00 

The ARFO Summit is an annual event, open to everyone, that brings together all kinds of people involved in the adoption process in Romania!

familii adoptatoare emoji

Adoptive families

specialisti din cadrul DGASPC

Specialists from DGASPC (child protective services)

psihologi emoji


Social workers

Maternal assistants

familii de plasament emoji

Foster families


voluntari emoji


persoane interesate de ceea ce presupune adopția mobile

Other people interested in adoption or the care of children without families

The Summit aims to inspire, encourage, and train people in Romania who work with children at risk.

The Summit provides information, testimonies, moral support, and challenges for those who care for children that have gone through, or are going through abandonment, loss, and the healing of soul wounds.

Date and time

This year the ARFO 2020 Summit will be ONLINE,
Thursday, October 29th, from 17:00-21:00.

The Summit will begin at 17:00 with a plenary session and will continue with 2 workshop options that you will choose when you sign up for the event.

*Details about participation (link, platform, etc) will be sent to you on October 28th (one day before the event).


17:00 - 19:00
Plenary Session
17:00 - 19:00
19:10 - 20:00
Workshop 1
19:10 - 20:00
20:10 - 21:00
Workshop 2
20:10 - 21:00


ARFO 2020 Summit

  • All materials
  • Link to the summit

Workshop 1 description

1.  Attachment: practical applications (part 1) –  Dr. Mandy Howard & Alina Muntean (English)

2.  Parenting in an Age of Anxiety: Dr. Curt Thompson (English)

Anxiety isn’t new. It’s as old as humanity. But each generation gets to live through its own particular version of it, and we have ours. What do you worry about? What do your children worry about? How do we navigate anxiety—our own and our children’s—while living in the real world at the same time? This workshop will explore the nature of anxiety, how we can respond to it in helpful ways, and so mimic Jesus, who isn’t worried about anything.

3.  Protection System or Injury? (part 1) – Mădălina Turza & Liviu Mihăileanu

The special protective system was started with the intention to be a support for children without the care of a parent. However, the philosophy of intervention and effective practice can lead to the trauma of a child. What are the things that we should follow during the intervention to make sure that we respect the best interests of the child? What are the things that are wrongly applied or were started from a system centered philosophy and not a child centered one? These questions will be answered by Liviu Mihăileanu, ARFO President, together with his guests: Dr. Amanda Howards, Samford University and Dr. Krish Kandiah, Founder of Home for Good, Oxford University professor and Dr. Judith Rycus, Director of the The Institute for Human Resources USA.

4.  Adoption through the eyes of the biological child – Jurje Alex

We will explore the layers of adoption through the eyes of the biological children of families that have adopted. What are the benefits, joys, and challenges of having a sibling come into your family through the blessing of adoption?


Workshop 2 description

1.  Attachment: practical applications (part 2) –  Dr. Mandy Howard & Alina Muntean

2.  Caring for our Teams in Times of Anxiety: – Dr. Curt Thompson & Jedd Medefind, CAFO (English)

Let’s put it straight: the world seems to have turned upside-down. Many of us have felt anxiety creep in as never before. How can we best care for the teams we lead amidst it all? Join Dr. Curt Thompson along with Jedd Medefind for an exploration at the intersection of neuroscience, Scripture, and practical advice for how.

3.  Protection System or injury? (part 2) – Mădălina Turza & Liviu Mihăileanu

The special protective system was started with the intention to be a support for children without the care of a parent. However, the philosophy of intervention and effective practice can lead to the trauma of a child. What are the things that we should follow during the intervention to make sure that we respect the best interests of the child? What are the things that are wrongly applied or were started from a system centered philosophy and not a child centered one? These questions will be answered by Liviu Mihăileanu, ARFO President, together with his guests: Dr. Amanda Howards, Samford University and Dr. Krish Kandiah, Founder of Home for Good, Oxford University professor and Dr. Judith Rycus, Director of the The Institute for Human Resources USA.

4.  Stories, Experiences, Procedures, Motivations INTERACTIVE – Ștefan Coman

If you are interested in adoption, there are many resources already available. However, we often learn and remember the best lessons through stories.
This workshop will be interactive, live, and authentic. Three adoptive parents will share their experiences, stories, lessons learned, and will respond to questions from the participants.
You will be able to hear stories about the first days after adoption, the relationship with biological children and relatives, the adaptation of adopted children to school, difficult nights, and when your heart grows with joy.



Maria Mădălina Turza

Maria Mădălina Turza

President ANDPDCA (National Authority for the Rights of People with Disabilities, Children and Adoption)

Mădălina Turza is a renowned activist for the rights of children with disabilities in Romania, with more than 10 years of experience in human rights, inclusive education, development and analysis of public policies from the perspective of human rights, strategic communication, discrimination, advocacy, and strategic litigation from the perspective of human rights and project management. Proven experience in designing and managing public policy promotion projects on inclusion, relevant skills to develop and support human rights arguments before different types of international and european organizations, as well as skills in providing technical expertise to various types of interested parties about inclusion programming and management, inclusive public policy, human rights in general, and the rights of people with disabilities in particular. Manager with interpersonal skills, communication, problem solving, and decision making skills. Ability to establish and maintain alliances, to coordinate and motivate teams and people; high capacity for analysis and synthesis, for transforming complex information into accessible messages for the public agenda.

Curt Thompson, M.D

Psychiatrist, author and speaker

Curt Thompson, M.D., is a psychiatrist in private practice in Falls Church, Virginia and the founder of Being Known, LLC, an organization that develops resources to educate and train leaders about the intersection between interpersonal neurobiology, Christian spiritual formation, and vocational creativity. He is the author of Anatomy of the Soul and The Soul of Shame: Retelling the Stories We Believe About Ourselves. He graduated from Wright State University School of Medicine, completed his psychiatric residency at Temple University Hospital, and is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He is actively engaged in learning and education as he supervises clinical employees and facilitates ongoing education groups for patients and colleagues. Throughout his career, along with treating adults, adolescents, and families, his main focus of clinical and research interest has been the integration of psychiatry, its associated disciplines, and Christian spirituality. He is a frequent speaker on the topic at workshops, conferences, and retreats.

He has specific expertise in the field of interpersonal neurobiology and how it reflects important tenants of Christian faith, providing opportunities to comprehend and experience that same faith in fresh trustworthy ways. Much of his work is now committed to training other professionals across cultures and in multiple vocational domains in the same material. He and his wife Phyllis are the parents of two children and reside in Arlington, Virginia. He serves as an elder at Washington Community Fellowship, a congregation of the Mennonite church, in Washington, D.C. His duties there have included preaching, teaching, and involvement in the fellowship’s healing prayer ministry.
Dr Krish Kandiah

Dr Krish Kandiah

Director Home For Good

Dr Kandiah is a social entrepreneur with a vision to help solve some of society’s seemingly untreatable problems through building partnerships across civil society, faith communities, government and philanthropy.

Dr Kandiah is the founding director of Home For Good, a charity seeking to find loving homes for children in the foster care system. He is a passionate advocate for family reunification, fostering and adoption, in order to make a real difference in the lives of vulnerable children worldwide.
Ana Radulescu

Ana Rădulescu

CEO & Founder la CFCECAS Conf.univ.dr. la UNIBUC

Ana is the initiator of the professional supervision program for social workers and social services staff, the program launched in 2014 in Romania through the Center for Continuing Education and Development in Skills of Social Work/CFCECAS ( She has been involved in the development of social services in Romania for the past 20 years and the Associate Professor at the Faculty of Sociology and Social Work, University of Bucharest and General Director of the Association of Social Workers in Romania / ASproAS (
Alex Ilie ARFO

Alex Ilie

Executive Director of the Romania Without Orphans Alliance (ARFO)

Born into a family of Christians in Argeş county, Alex sensed a calling about “something special” since childhood. He became a Christian his first year of high school, the time when, together with his salvation, he also received a passion for God and for people. In 2002 he finished the College of Theology and in 2003, the College of Sociology/Psychology, both in Bucharest. He is currently a Master’s Student in “Global Leadership” at Fuller Theological Seminary in the United States.

During high school, he was involved in different things: with orphaned children, with the elderly in a nursing home in Piteşti, and people in the hospital. The passion for people continues to energize him; unfortunately, the lack of focus made that period mediocre.

During college, meetings with the Organization of Evangelical Chrisitan Students in Romania (OSCER) represented a defining moment: understanding the principles of focus and the value of the process are at least as important as the result. He was part of the team that started the Christian work for students in Piteşti, a movement that he coordinated until 2006.

Between the years of 2002-2004, he taught at the Elim Theological High School in Pitești, the last part of that period he was the director.

Since January 2005, he has been joining the OSCER team on the national level: in the first years he did pioneering work in the central area of the country, then in the south and center, and in 2007 until 2011, he served as a national coordinator.

From 2003-2008, together with others, he saw a great need for a new, relevant church in Pitești. Since January 2008, he’s been coordinating the management of Petra Church.

Alex has been married to Nati since 2004, working together to be a blessing for the whole town of Pitești and beyond.

Together with Nati in 2009, they adopted two twins, a boy and a girl, who were 7 years old. After two years they adopted again, two siblings, a boy and a girl, 4 years old and 3 years old. In 2019, their family added another 14 year old girl and this year, they extended their hospitality again to a 15 month old boy.

The verse that speaks to Alex in a special way and inspires him is from John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me, you can do nothing.”

Beginning in March 2015, Alex joined the ARFO team, coordinating the alliance’s actions as the Executive Director.
Alina Muntean

Alina Muntean

Psychologist, TBRI

In 2004, Alina Muntean began collaborating as a volunteer with different NGOs that carried out instructive-educational activities with abandoned children and teens from Mureș county in Romania. This beginning only motivated her to get more involved in the lives of these children and to take her work to another level. She then graduated from the College of Psychology and Educational Sciences and has a Masters in Counseling and Clinical Psychology. She finished training in Systemic Family Therapy and participated in trainings in America (TBRI training) and in Romania. Besides the 2 boys that she already had, she also took in 2 girls in foster care. This experience helps her understand even more the parents that raise children with trauma.
Cătălin Cîrstoveanu

Dr. Cătălin Cîrstoveanu

Șeful secţiei de Terapie Intensivă Nou Născuţi de la Spitalul „Marie Curie”

Doctor Cătălin Cîrstoveanu is the head of the Newborn Intensive Care Unit at the “Marie Curie” emergency hospital for children. He is the initiator of a successful project, the Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Clinic, and he rebuilt the intensive care unit for newborns from the ground up. He dedicated his life to saving the smallest and most vulnerable.

“To be a good doctor”, he thinks, “you need to imagine yourself in the place of the person you’re treating, mom, dad, sister, wife, or the child.” He has practical and emotional support from his family and his biggest motivation are his children and wife.

His conviction is: “To know what a child is for you, I can’t tell you that it’s mandatory to have children at home, but I think that you lose something if you don’t have a child at home. I have a personal, intimate conviction that as long as you do things in line with the God you trust, things can’t go wrong.”
Jason Johnson

Jason Johnson

National Director of Church Ministry Initiatives

Jason Johnson is a husband to Emily, foster and adoptive dad, pastor, writer and speaker.

After growing up in a ministry home Jason began working at a church in college and spent nearly 14 years in pastoral ministry. In 2008 Jason planted a church in North Houston through which he helped co-found The Orphan Care Network, a non-profit committed to serving, supporting and equipping foster and adoptive families.

In 2013, with the combined church ministry and foster and adoptive experience, Jason began working for an organization helping church leaders implement structure, strategy and sustainable mechanisms of OVC ministry within their churches. This ultimately led him to his current role as the Director of the National Church Ministry Initiative with Christian Alliance for Orphans, where he spends most of his time consulting with church and organizational leaders on best practices and strategies for sustainable ministries. Jason also spends a lot of time traveling and speaking at conferences to current and potential foster and adoptive families.

While serving on staff at CAFO, Jason is also the author of the newly released books, ReFraming Foster Care and Everyone Can Do Something as well as ALL IN Orphan Care and you can find him blogging regularly at Jason has a passion to equip churches and encourage families no matter where they are in their foster care and adoption journey.

Jason and his wife, Emily, live in Texas with their four daughters and enjoy whatever it is they’re doing, as long as it’s together.
Liviu Mihăileanu

Liviu Mihaileanu

President, ARFO

Liviu Mihăileanu joined the ARFO team in June 2015 as a representative of the Alliance for lobby and advocacy, having 20 years of experience in management and consulting.

He is the co-author of the first book in Romania about lobbying (2009) as well as the first study that mirrors perceptions of lobbyists, politicians, and public opinion (2012).

He currently coordinates knowledge management services in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa within the largest consulting company in the world and is the cofounder of “Tzuby’s Kids” Association, a body authorized to provide services in the field of internal adoption. Accredited counselor and trainer, Liviu is a member of the Trauma Consortium of the Romania Without Orphans Alliance (ARFO) and has opened a Training Academy for the competent care of children with a history of trauma within the “Tzuby’s Kids” Association.
Amanda Howard

Dr. Mandy Howard

Assistant Profesor, Samford University

Mandy Howard is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Samford University and affiliate of the TCU Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development. Her work focuses on understanding interpersonal processes underlying quality of life and applies research to practice for youth in non-traditional care.
Adela Șetet

Adela Șetet

Social Worker, manager CFCECAS

Adela is a social worker by profession, and in the last 10 years has offered support to different groups of people that are in difficulty. She also has worked with hundreds of social services specialists in training and supervision programs. The intervention based on functional professional relationships is based on both knowledge derived from practice, as well as the latest research regarding the development of human potential.

Jedd Medefind

President, Christian Alliance For Orphans

Jedd Medefind loves journeying life with his wife, Rachel. He relishes wrestling matches with his five children—Siena, Marin, Eden, Lincoln, and Phoebe. Most of all, he desires to reflect the heart of Jesus Christ in all of life.

Jedd believes that love for orphans transforms. Both personally and through the example of countless others, he’s seen that lives are turned upside-down when Christians reflect God’s heart for orphans through adoption, foster care and global orphan care. This kind of love transforms not only orphans, but also those who open hearts and homes to them. Churches can be transformed as well, moving the entire community beyond self-focused religion to self-giving faith. Finally, when a watching world sees the Gospel embodied in this way, onlookers are transformed as well. Desiring to spur this kind of transformation through the Church, Jedd serves as President of the Christian Alliance for Orphans.

Prior to his this role, Jedd served in the White House as a Special Assistant to President George W. Bush, leading the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. In this post, he oversaw reform efforts across the government to make community- and faith-based groups central partners in all Federal efforts to aid the needy, from prisoner reentry to global AIDS. As described by the Harvard Political Review, these reforms “fundamentally changed the government’s strategy for improving the lives of the downtrodden…”

Previously, Jedd held a range of posts in the California State Legislature. He also helped establish the California Community Renewal Project, which strengthens nonprofits in some of the state’s most challenged communities. He has worked, studied and served in more than thirty countries, with organizations ranging from Price-Waterhouse in Moscow to Christian Life Bangladesh.

Jedd has written many articles and four books, including Upended and Four Souls. His most recent book, Becoming Home, offers a short yet meaningful exploration of how families and communities can embrace vulnerable children with wisdom and love through adoption, foster care, mentoring and more. Jedd is frequently interviewed for insight on effective care for vulnerable children, as well as other national and global issues, in outlets ranging from Christianity Today and The Gospel Coalition to the Wall Street Journal, NPR and Al Jazeera.

Jedd Medefind and his wife, Rachel, live near Washington, DC. They’ve welcomed children through birth, foster care and adoption.
Alexandru Jurje

Alexandru Jurje


Alexandru Jurje, an engineer concerned with the holy and a pastor concerned with the earth. He is married to Debora, a father to Maia and Cris, and he navigates the turbulent waters of being a husband, parent, and guide for those who still search for God and for those that still want to do something significant in this world.

Bogdan Marin - Bodo (Proconsul)


Ștefan Coman

Ștefan Coman

Strategic Coordinator ARFO

Stefan is part of the executive team at ARFO. He is a psychologist by profession, but much of his professional life included project management of NGOs that work with and for vulnerable groups. He’s married and is a father to three children. One is adopted, but he isn’t sure which one.

Judith Rycus

Director The Institute for Human Resources USA

Dr. Judith Rycus is Program Director and Manager of International Programs, Institute for Human Services North American Resource Center for Child Welfare in Columbus, Ohio, an organization she co- founded in 1977. She has spent her professional career as a consultant, trainer, policy analyst, and widely-published author in the field of child protection and child welfare, and she has worked throughout the United States and Canada and in many nations in Eastern Europe. Dr. Rycus is the lead author of the four-volume resource textbook, the Field Guide to Child Welfare, and a whole library of inservice training technologies, curricula, and practice resources. She also provides program evaluation, strategic planning, and organizational development to promote large-scale and sustainable change in organizations and systems serving maltreated children and their families. Dr. Rycus received her Doctorate degree in developmental psychology in 1990, and her Masters degree in social work in 1972.

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