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Copyright John Sobraske, MA, Clinical Psychology, LMHC, LMFT

Introduction: Adoption is a beautiful and necessary practice for children whose parents cannot or decide not to parent their children. The experience of adoption has many positive aspects along with a number of potentially painful challenges. It’s better to face whatever painful aspects might be present rather than pretending they are not there. The goal is to be neither morbid nor Pollyanna, but to embrace the real complexity of this life circumstance. When challenges are responded to thoroughly, they can be worked through and help one to develop new competencies.

IDCFS did not create nor endorse the material.

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This handout is a quick but thorough snapshot of what teachers need to know about adoption and adoptive families.

Great article on fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.

A curriculum equipping resource parents with skills necessary to meet the needs of older youth who have moderate to serious emotional and behavioral health challenges. Feel free to navigate through the curriculum as we would bring your focus on the CORE Teen Right Time videos recommended by parents and professionals.  

This handout is a quick but thorough snapshot of what doctors need to know about adoption and adoptive families.

Special education and related services are services provided to children with special needs. As the title implies this resource explains procedures of special education and clarifies the educational rights of children who are academically challenged due to disabilities. The guide explains the legal requirements in a way that relates to all groups—parents, school professionals, and others.

Host: Deborah Gray

Podcast Description: Attachment is crucial for adopted and foster kids for their mental and physical health. What are some fun and simple ways to help you and your child attach? Host Dawn Davenport, Executive Director of Creating a Family, the national adoption & foster care education and support nonprofit, interviews Deborah Gray, adoption therapist, “attachment guru”, and author of Attaching through Love, Hugs, and Play: Simple Strategies to Help Build Connections with Your Child and Attaching in Adoption: Practical Tools for Today’s Parents.


All My Children Together

  Creating a family sometimes brings biological and adoptive children together and with that a whole different set of challenges to consider. The following links revolve around issues, thoughts and tips when having a blended family.

(C.A.S.E.) resources

  Center for Adoption Support and Education (C.A.S.E.) have presented a few valuable resources found here under Fact Sheets. The topics include:

Follow the link to read about 5 Ways to Support Siblings in Special Needs Families.

This resource is not created or endorsed by The Illinois Department of Children & Family Services.

The Illinois Adoption Advisory Council (IAAC) was established by the DCFS director for advising and consulting with the director (of DCFS) or his/her designee(s) on all matters involving or affecting the provision of adoption and guardianship services. The IAAC addresses the department's goals of safety, well-being and permanency through its members' expertise, experience, advice and advocacy. Its bylaws list specific objectives and other rules that govern the council's activities and operation; however, those bylaws also authorize the IAAC to work broadly on the topics of adoption and guardianship services.

Council members are all appointed by the DCFS director. Members consist of adoptive parents and adoptees representing each DCFS administrative region, as well as experts in child welfare and adoption, some of whom are employed by contract agencies. Two adoptive parent members also hold joint appointments to the Child Welfare Advisory Committee. The council is co-chaired by adoptive parent Elizabeth Richmond and James Jones, the executive director of ChildServ.

For more information on the council, contact the Office of Caregiver and Parent Support at 217-524-2422. To find meeting minutes on prior IAAC meetings, please go to:

This attachment-based, trauma-informed intervention uses Empowering Principles to address physical needs, Connecting Principles for attachment needs, and Correcting Principles to disarm fear-based behaviors. While TBRI is based on years of attachment, sensory processing, and neuroscience research, it’s foundation is connection. Follow this link to the video with Dr. Karyn Purvis who explains how TBRI can help meet the needs of vulnerable children.

This resource is not created or endorsed by The Illinois Department of Children & Family Services.

Please take a look at this wonderful resource that is not created nor endorsed by IDCFS. The Juvenile Justice System: A GUIDE FOR FAMILIES IN ILLINOIS

This booklet answers questions about the two permanency options to help caregivers understand which is the right fit for the child and the prospective family Spanish Version Polish Version

Parenting in The Context of Trauma Experience and/or Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs)  

 Seeing the whole child and understanding them within the contexed of their precious experiences, and/or prenatal exposure is critical for helping that child reach their highest potential. Please, check out the following Creating a Family Podcast Episodes that reflect on the topic and provide some valuable tips on parenting.
Parenting a Child with Prenatal Exposure - Dr. Mona Delahooke
Practical Tips for Disciplining Children Who Have Experienced Trauma - Karen Doyle Buckwalter
This resource is not created or endorsed by The Illinois Department of Children & Family Services.

The Traumatic Impact of Racism (

is a podcast by Creating a Family that once again rises up the importance of recognizing children’s race and culture.

10 Ways to Teach Children to Speak Up About Sexual Abuse

Post Adoption and Guardian Services Handbook   Spanish Version

 All of the benefits included in the DCFS subsidy agreement and information on how to get connected to resources after completing an adoption or guardianship is in this comprehensive booklet.

Practical Tips for Parenting a Child with ADHD
Dr. Ned Hallowell

Smart START for a Stronger Family After Adoption or Guardianship Brochure

 The START approach is a smarter way to provide post-adoption services, head-off potential problems and encourage positive outcomes.

Understanding our Children   

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time to honor and reinforce the collaboration in building stronger connections, and a supportive environment, time to implement effective strategies that support families and prevent child maltreatment and neglect. During this time communities are encouraged to increase awareness about child and family well-being. Identifying signs of abuse and neglect and understanding the tremendous effect it has on a child's development and growth is significant knowledge when working with or raising a child of such a background. We present you a publication on Parenting a Child who has Experienced a Trauma and a list of child-appropriate books that will support you in understanding and approaching your child.

Transracial Parenting booklet

 If you are a transracial parent and interested in finding resources, tips, and activities to assist you through the parenting process, you can check out this resource. This resource is not created or endorsed by The Illinois Department of Children & Family Services.