It all began with a mom, Googling. Amy VanTine desperately needed help for her adopted daughter with reactive attachment disorder (RAD). Her daughter wasn’t getting the help she needed to address the effects of early abuse and neglect—the root cause of her disorder.
Yet, Amy’s Google search only showed more of the same unhelpful information she’d come across before. From various therapies to multiple parenting techniques, she had tried it all. Meanwhile, Amy's daughter was getting more sick and the family was falling apart. The impact of her daughter’s early trauma severely impacted everyone in the home.
Just as Amy began to give up all hope, however, she found another mom online dealing with the same struggles with her adopted child. And then another. It just so happened that both of the women lived in her same small Colorado town.
Amy wasn't alone anymore.
In fact, Amy continued to find more parents online. She happened upon hundreds of people, whether stepparents, grandparents or otherwise from all over the world struggling to raise kids with RAD. Just like Amy, they were dismissed by therapists, friends, family, and educators—everyone they turned to for help. Instead of finding support for their families, they were unjustly blamed and shamed for “poor parenting”.
Amy and the other moms she met felt compelled to do something. Parents of children with RAD needed a voice. And the people around them needed education about the disorder to better support their families.
So three moms began RAD Advocates in 2017. Since then, RAD Advocates staff have spent hundreds of hours, whether from the road on hotel room phones or at community events, empathizing with and advising other parents in crisis day and night. They've educated graduate students at Metropolitan State University about RAD, shared their personal parenting stories with clinicians at the Mayo Clinic, and lobbied for legislation to protect families.
And they've only just begun.
We believe that every parent has the right to raise a healthy and safe family. Some, like those raising kids with RAD, need far more support than others to do so. That's why we're here.
RAD Advocates educates and advocates to equip families, communities, and professionals to effectively support children with reactive attachment disorder.
Amy founded RAD Advocates after facing the challenges of parenting a child with RAD. She understands the needs of RAD Advocates clients first-hand, as well as how to effectively and efficiently bring a family plan to fruition. Amy’s experiences, combined with her empathy, resourcefulness, and professionalism have made RAD Advocates a front-runner in bringing awareness and change regarding the disorder. Amy’s long-term goal is to create a nationwide shift in helping families of children with RAD.
Advocate|Chief Operating Officer
After reaching out to RAD Advocates for help in seeking proper treatment for her own adopted children, Heather initially joined the RAD Advocates volunteer team. Heather’s compassion, empathy, and organizational skills proved invaluable, however, and quickly evolved into a leadership role with the organization. Before joining RAD Advocates, Heather spent 25 years of her career in administrative management and 15 of those years as a small business owner.
After adopting a child with RAD along with his wife and RAD Advocates founder Amy VanTine, Mike has a passion for the organization. He has been in the building industry for over 30 years with a background in operations, negotiation, purchasing, and inventory control. Mike has four children and lives with his wife in Colorado.
James was drawn to the mission of RAD Advocates after learning about RAD from his close friend, and now fellow board member, Mike Bouchard. After learning about the parenting struggles Mike experienced with his adoptive child with RAD, James felt compelled to help other families. James has been in the banking/finance IT industry for 30 years. He resides in Texas with his wife and two children.
Out of her personal parenting experience with a child with RAD, Beth helped to start RAD Advocates in 2017. She has 22 years of experience as a social worker, case manager, and advocate for families of children with disabilities and special needs, adoptive families, and families with children who struggle with RAD and attachment issues. Beth currently works as a licensed realtor in Colorado.
John has many years of experience in raising, loving, and advocating for children with RAD. He has been in the aviation industry for 23 years. John resides in rural North Carolina with his wife Patty and their three sons.
Sarah found RAD Advocates as an adoptive mother of a child with RAD herself. She has worked in the non-profit sector for the majority of her career and has extensive experience working with low-income families overseeing programs ranging from nutrition assistance to legal services.
Sarah and her husband own Berry Brae Farm in Central New York raising sheep, pigs, chickens, and goats and hosting events.
After RAD Advocates helped Jessica with her adoptive child with reactive attachment disorder, Jessica wanted to give back. She lends her experience and education in accounting and finance to do so. Jessica enjoys spending time with her husband Aaron and their children, camping, cooking, boating, hiking, hunting, and traveling. Jessica is currently a finance officer for a municipality and is pursuing a master’s degree in accounting.