Tuesday, December 29, 2015

W.I.S.E. Up! Workshops

W.I.S.E. Up! Workshops
Holt-Sunny Ridge is pleased to offer two W.I.S.E. Up! Workshops tailored to your child's age group. W.I.S.E. Up is a unique and interactive workshop developed by the Center for Adoption Support and Education (C.A.S.E.).
Who should attend?
This Workshop is open to children grades 1-3, ages 6, 7, & 8, and children grades 4-6, ages 9, 10, & 11. The Workshop offers practical tools for adoptive parents and adopted children (adopted both internationally and domestically) to guide them in making choices on how to respond to uncomfortable or personal questions about their adoption. Each workshop also includes a parent workshop and one W.I.S.E. Up! Powerbook.
What Does The Workshop Look Like?
The W.I.S.E. Up! Workshop is a two-hour workshop designed to empower children and adults to deal with personal questions and comments related to adoption.
Children and adults break up into separate groups for the Workshop. Through a series of activities, discussions, and role playing, children learn the "W.I.S.E. Up" way to answer personal questions about adoption.

During this time, adults attend their own interactive presentation-designed to equip parents with strategies and techniques which best support our adoptive children as they encounter personal questions related to adoption.
The W.I.S.E. Up! Workshop concludes with time for questions and answers, followed by time where children gather with their parent(s) for parent/child discussion on Workshop skills learned.
January 16, 2016
Grades 1-3 at 9:00am to 11:00am
Grades 4-6 at 12:30pm to 2:30pm

For questions or more information about the workshop, please call Pam Shepard at (630) 754-4522.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Webinar: The Dance of Attachment

Participants will learn how children form attachment relationships and explore how stress and trauma can affect parent-child relationships. Participants will also gain insight about adult attachment styles and consider how these styles can affect the relationship building process with children. This webinar will help parents and caregivers build and strengthen connections with children.

Karen Doyle Buckwalter, MSW, LCSW
Lori Thomas, BS

Date: Thursday, January 14, 2016 • 7:00–8:30 p.m. EST

Registration: $15 per household (Limited to the first 200 registrants)

Certificate of Completion: Completion of training will provide 1.5 hours of education. After completing the training, you will receive a link to download your certificate of completion.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Shine a Light for Children in Foster Care


The following post is from David White of Fostering Great Ideas.  I love the sentiment in this piece, and wanted to share it with you. Please check out their web site for ideas of how to bring help and hope to those in the foster care community.  (www.fgionline.org)

My favorite symbol is a lit candle. In our global tragedies, this symbol draws us together. At mass memorials, the flickering light represents common loss, unity, a desire for peace, and an undying hope that light always overcomes the darkness. 

As we have entered this holiday season, many reflect on the religious symbol of the candle. For Christians, on the night of Christmas Eve, congregants in packed sanctuaries each light a candle as “Silent Night, Holy Night” is sung in unison. The sanctuary illuminates and the people stand in awe. For Jews, the candle was lit earlier this month, night after night, surrounded by family, eyes fixed at the beautiful menorah, as each person reflected on the meanings of longing, liberty, and faith.

For our children in foster care, let us each light a candle, symbolizing our unity to do better for them. Each child wants and deserves no less than an ending to their unrelenting loss, belonging to relieve their pain of uncertainty, and knowledge that we are working on their behalf, all of us with arms extended, candles bright, together lighting the way for the 415,000 children in our nation’s foster care system. Never letting our candles extinguish.

What can you do? Find another whose candle is bright, and ask to share in the work. This is a simple request and one we can all accomplish, as we begin the new year.

Blessings and peace during this beautiful season of hope.    

David White
Chief Idea Officer, 
Fostering Great Ideas

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Help Holt International at Winter Jam 2016 in Chicago!


Winter Jam 2016

You are a POWERFUL advocate for Holt and the children we serve just by taking a moment to share this opportunity with others! One night of your time can help transform the world for orphaned and vulnerable children. When you volunteer with Holt at Winter Jam to help sign up new child sponsors, the work is easy and fun, but the impact is so great. Sponsorship is truly transformative for children and families in crisis - and Winter Jam is one of our greatest opportunities to find new sponsors.
What can you do to help?:
Forward this e-mail to anyone you think might be interested!   
Print out a flyer to share locally!  
As a Volunteer for Holt International at Winter Jam Concerts 2016 you will:
  • Help sign up new sponsors for vulnerable children and promote adoption
  • Commit one evening of your time - Holt provides free entry to the show
  • Bring your family and friends - spread the word at  your church or organization 

To learn more about Holt child sponsorship, watch this video, click here.
To learn more about volunteering, click here.

If you have questions, please contact:
Alycia Fahr-Zarlons
Volunteer Coordinator
Direct: 541-505-5513
Mobile: 501-414-1617

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Parenting in SPACE Conference


Logo Parenting in SPACEParenting traumatized children and those with attachment disorders is challenging - it often feels like a lonely journey into the "final frontier." The Parenting in SPACE conference helps individuals and couples seeking to become therapeutic parents to learn additional ways to help their children with trauma-sensitive, attachment-focused strategies and interventions. And it connects them with other parents.

Parenting in SPACE 2016 is the 6th year of this conference. It provides guidance on therapeutic parenting in a relaxed, rejuvenating environment. Parents will be coming from all across the country to Northbrook, Illinois April 8-10 to learn and be supported by experienced caregivers and professionals who truly understand how to help traumatized children and families.

For more information visit www.parentinginspace.com.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Safe Families for Children Volunteer Training

Safe Families for Children and Grace Presbyterian Church Present:
The Greater Chicago Volunteer Training Day
Saturday, January 23, 2016

Prospective Safe Families, you're invited to a live, accelerated Comprehensive Training Session. 

Offered as an alternative to online training, this event is designed to equip you to welcome a child into your home (Host Family) or support a host or placing parent (Family Friend) and move you through the training process efficiently. The live Comprehensive Training Session includes everything you need to become a certified Safe Family Volunteer—all in one place. 
  • Start or submit your application
  • Get fingerprints taken for the background check
  • Complete your training hours
  • Meet like-minded families who will support you

The training will be in two parts.  The first two hours will be for all volunteers. The second two hours will be for Host Families.  So, anyone interested in being a Family Friend only needs to stay for the first two hours.  Host Families need to stay for the whole training.
Doors open at 8:30 AM for those who need to start an application, schedule a home study, start a background check, or ask one-on-one questions.  The training session begins at 9:00 AM sharp.  The training will be held in the West Hall.  Please enter on the side of the church by the parking lot.  

Childcare will be provided. 
A light breakfast and lunch is included. 
Free Parking is available.  

Reserve your spot today! We look forward to seeing you on January 23rd to equip and encourage you in your journey.

If you have further questions please contact Sarah Mohr, 773-653-2222, or smohr@safefamilies.net    www.safe-families.org

Have questions about Safe Families Volunteer Training - Grace Presbyterian Church? Contact the organizer

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

New Parenting Videos from Hope for Orphans

• Is your family considering adoption? Chances are that child will have a high risk of arriving in your home with a background of neglect, abuse or trauma. 
    • Are you an adoptive family who is struggling, perhaps even in crisis because of the effects of neglect, abuse or trauma?
    • Have you tried programs meant to help provide behavior modification in your home but you still feel the wheels are coming off in your home? 
ROOTED, the new digital Parenting Resource has been released this morning. Rooted has been designed for families with needs like these. It is a content on demand resource with 16 videos, study guide and more that you can download now. 

*Between now and December 31st we have a special promo code to get this full collection for your computer at $59.95 which is much less than the normal price of $83.99 after January 1st. The promo code is: Hope


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

7 Major Trends in the Christian Orphan Care Movement

7 Major Trends 

in the Christian Orphan Care Movement 2015

What Christianity Today described as "the burgeoning orphan care movement" is never static.  Even as it grows, the movement continues to develop and mature.  Major trends and changes, both external and internal, demand discernment and creativity.  Join CAFO President Jedd Medefind to explore seven of the most significant trends of 2015, both across the U.S. and globally.  This 30-minute webinar will include:
  • Growth and changes in church adoption and foster engagement
  • The expansion of locally-led movements around the world
  • Major challenges along the road ahead
  • The impact of your investment in CAFO and key 2016 CAFO priorities

Jedd Medefind, CAFO President

Wednesday, December 16
1pm (Central)

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Young People in Foster Care Tell How States Can Remove Barriers to Normalcy

Leveraging the Strengthening Families Act to Promote Normalcy
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

A new Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative report shares reform recommendations aimed at helping young people in foster care enjoy their fair share of normal, growing-up activities as they move toward adulthood.

In the report, young people who were or currently are in foster care identify four things that they need to thrive in adulthood: 1) connections to family and caring relationships; 2) a reduced use of group placements; 3) a more rigorous selection and training process for foster parents; and 4) greater opportunities to make their own decisions and learn from experience.

Read the report: What Young People Need to Thrive

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Support the Adoption of An Orphan with Down Syndrome!

When you support our annual Christmas Angel Tree, you get more
than a tree ornament.  

~Your donation~ is the gift of a FAMILY... a lifetime of love and potential....a personal, meaningful, life-altering gift...to a child who has been hidden away and neglected simply because they were born with special needs. 

Donations to Reece's Rainbow serve as adoption grants, minimizing the financial challenge of bringing these children out of mental institutions and into loving families of their own.  The transformation once home is *profound* and obvious! (see above, Corbin and Paxton, adopted from China in 2015)   
Reece's Rainbow | message line: (240) 780-2120 | reecesrainbow.org