W.I.S.E. Up! the World about Adoption Conference

The W.I.S.E. Up! program empowers families to choose how they talk about their adoption story.

Parents will participate in a workshop that will focus on an in-depth conversation of what children understand, think, and feel about adoption as they grow. The common questions, fears, and concerns adopted children face will be addressed. We will also explore the dynamic between non-adopted peers, extended family, and even strangers.

The W.I.S.E. Up! program has spread across the country as children have embraced its simplicity and power to address the consistent challenge of explaining adoption and their adoption stories to peers, neighbors, and even strangers. W.I.S.E. Up!® is a tool to empower children to handle questions and comments about adoption from others. This program helps children realize that they are not alone with this task. Children will learn the program, create Powerstix, and role play various scenarios to help them practice what they have learned.

Brought to you by the Coalition for Children, Youth & Families and the Wisconsin Post Adoption Resources Centers with the support of Jockey Being Family® and the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families

The W.I.S.E. Up! curriculum was created and provided by the Center for Adoption Support and Education.

Saturday, March 19, 2016
8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

$20/participant or $30/twosome
(1st—5th grade, adopted children ONLY)

Our Lord’s United Methodist Church
5000 S. Sunnyslope Road
New Berlin WI 53151

A continental breakfast and lunch will be provided

Please note, child care for younger children will not be provided. Please make other arrangements.

Register online, email us, or call 414-475-1246


World Wide Wednesday – January 27, 2016

iStock_000003621765_LargeIt’s World Wide Wednesday! Here’s what’s news in the world of foster care and adoption around the web:

Have news you’d like to share? Please post in our comments!

Inclusion in this post does not imply an endorsement by the Coalition for Children, Youth & Families. The Coalition is not responsible for the content of these resources.

Training: Creating Secure Attachment

Pinned heart

Attachment is critical to healthy relationships. When a child comes to your care with a history of trauma, you can tell him that he is safe, wanted, and loved, but that isn’t always enough. Sometimes, there is a disconnect between thoughts and feelings and that can become the foundation for an insecure attachment, leading to problem behaviors, power struggles, difficulty in school, and other behaviors that you may not understand.

In this training, participants will learn strategies to help children in their care bring their thoughts and feelings into alignment and how to help them begin to create connections that will last a lifetime.

About the Trainer
Kathy Duffek, BSWC, has over 20 years of experience in leadership positions in the nonprofit, parent education, and family service sectors. She is an innovative parent educator, experienced in program development and implementation, grant writing, and public speaking on a variety of parenting issues.

Since 1995, Kathy has worked as the Community Education Coordinator at Parents Place Family Resource Center in Waukesha County. She has a passion for working with children and families, especially in the areas of social and emotional development. She is a strong advocate for strengthening families, and feels that every family would benefit from parent education and support.

Thursday, February 18, 2016
6-8 p.m.

$20/participant | $80/agency group

The Coalition for Children, Youth & Families
6682 W. Greenfield Avenue, Suite 310
Milwaukee, WI 53214

Or attend via webinar

Register online, email us, or call 414-475-1246

Adoption-Focused Books

The number of adoptions finalized each year is rising, meaning that more and more parents and families will be looking for the best way to talk to their children about adoption. Sharing through books can be a great tool to help explain to your children the concept of adoption.

HiRes.jpgAny number of books are available to help adoptive parents explain adoption to their child, at any age. Adoption books cover many different themes regarding different topics related to adoption.

Some books available in the Coalition library include:

  • Zachary’s New Home by Paul and Geraldine Blomquist uses animals to explain the process of adoption, as well as the emotions that go along with it from a child’s point of view.
  • Double-Dip Feelings helps kids understand emotions and that you can have two or more very different emotions at the same time.
  • When Joe Comes Home teaches the international view about birth country and heritage, along with the excitement and anticipation felt by the adoptive family.
  • Susan and Gordon Adopt a Baby uses familiar faces from Sesame Street to explain the concept of adoption.
  • The Boy Who Wanted a Family provides the view of an older child who wants a permanent home, along with the emotional ups and downs while going through the process.
  • There Goes My Baby is a comic book geared towards adolescents that explains adoption.
  • Pugnose Has Two Special Families explains what an open adoption is and gives reassurance that it’s okay to love both sets of parents.

Some books might make your children uncomfortable or be something that they just don’t like. There are so many options for each topic, you’re bound to find one that fits.

Continue reading this tip sheet.

Highlights from the Coalition Lending Library

IMG_0652One of the first sights you’ll take in if you’re able to drop into our office here at the Coalition for Children, Youth & Families, is walls of books, CDs and DVDs, framing a comfortable seating area. We take pride in offering a large, ever-growing selection of informative and supportive books and teaching tools to families and child welfare workers throughout the state of Wisconsin, for free!

If you aren’t familiar with our library offerings, take a look at our website to peruse by title, author, or subject. You can select materials, add them to your cart, and check out online instantly. We mail them out to you with return postage paid. We always welcome you to come into our office and hand-pick your items, as well. We want what’s most convenient for you and your family.

Here are a handful of titles to give you a sampling of what we have to offer.*

Popularly Checked Out

  • Telling the Truth to your Adopted or Foster Child, by Betsy Keefer & Jayne Schooler
  • Beyond Consequences, Logic and Control, by Heather T. Forbes
  • Adoption Healing: A Path to Recovery for Mothers who Lost Children to Adoption, by Joe Soll & Karen Wilson Buterbaugh
  • Siblings in Adoption and Foster Care: Traumatic Separations and Honored Connections, by Deborah N. Silverstein
  • The Interracial Adoption Option, by Marlene G. Fine
  • In Their Own Voices: Transracial Adoptees Tell their Stories, by Rita J. Simon & Rhonda M. Roorda
  • Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish their Adoptive Parents Knew, by Sherrie Eldridge
  • Relatives Raising Children: An Overview of Kinship Care, by Joseph Crumbley & Robert L. Little
  • Lifebooks: Creating a Treasure for the Adopted Child, by Beth O’Malley
  • Working with Traumatized Children: A Handbook for Healing, by Kathryn Brohl
  • Are We There Yet? – The Ultimate Road Trip: Adopting & Raising 22 Kids!, by Hector & Sue Badeau


  • “Beyond Consequences Live,” by Heather T. Forbes
  • “Struggle for Identity – Issues in Transracial Adoption”
  • “Characteristics of Successful Adoptive Families,” by the National Resource Center for Special Needs Adoption
  • “Creating Secure Attachment for Adopted Children,” by Heather Forbes
  • “Sensory World,” by Dr. Karyn Purvis, Dr. David Cross & Carol Kranowitz
  • “Bonding Through Touch,” by Three Hearts LLC
  • “Understanding Traumatized and Maltreated Children: The Core Concepts,” by Dr. Bruce Perry
  • “Foster Parents Working with Birth Parents,” by Vera Fahlberg

Recent Additions

  • Loving Harder: Our Family’s Odyssey through Adoption and Reactive Attachment Disorder, by Lori Hetzel & Aleksandra Corwin
  • Mindful Co-parenting; A Child-Friendly Path through Divorce, by Jeremy S. Gaies, Psy.D. & James B. Morris, Jr., Ph.D.
  • Building Self-Esteem in Children and Teens Who are Adopted or Fostered, by Dr. Sue Cornbluth
  • The Transgender Child: A Handbook for Families and Professionals, by Stephanie Brill
  • The Invisible String, by Patrice Karst
  • Guiding Your Teenager with Special Needs through the Transition from School to Adult Life, by Mary Korpi
  • ADHD Living Without Brakes, by Martin L. Kutscher MD
  • Parenting Without Panic: A Pocket Support Group for Parents of Children and Teens on the Autism Spectrum, by Brenda Dater
  • The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind & Body in the Healing of Trauma, by Bessel van der Kolk MD

Books for Children & Youth

  • Maybe Days – A Book for Children in Foster Care, by Jennifer Wilgocki & Marcia Kahn Wright
  • Families Change – A Book for Children Experiencing Termination of Parental Rights, by Julie Nelson
  • Ladybird’s Remarkable Relaxation: How Children (and Frogs, Dogs, Flamingoes and Dragons) Can Use Yoga Relaxation to Help Deal with Stress, Grief, Bullying and Lack of Confidence, by Michael Chissick
  • I Wished for You: An Adoption Story, by Marianne Richmond
  • Adolescent Volcanoes – Helping Adolescents and their Parents to Deal with Anger, by Warwick Pudney
  • Some Bunny to Talk to: A Story about Going to Therapy, by Cheryl Sterling
  • Little Volcanoes: Helping Young Children and their Parents to Deal with Anger, by Warwick Pudney
  • It Happened to Me – Adopted: The Ultimate Teen Guide, by Suzanne Buckingham Slade
  • You Grew in Our Hearts, by Vachelle Johnston
  • Creative Expression Activities for Teens – Exploring Identity through Art, Craft and Journaling, by Bonnie Thomas
  • The Disappointment Dragon, Learning to Cope with Disappointment (for All Children and Dragon Tamers, Including Those with Asperger’s Syndrome), by K.I. Al-Ghani
  • Keisha’s Doors – An Autism Story, by Marvie Ellis
  • Dear Wonderful You, Letters to Adopted & Fostered Youth, by Diane Rene Christian & Dr. Mei-Mei Akwai Ellerman
  • Why do I Have to? A Book for Children Who Find Themselves Frustrated by Everyday Rules, by Laurie Leventhal-Belfer

Our Resource Specialists are available in the office, or by phone, to help you locate just what you’re looking for, or to brainstorm ideas around a challenging issue you may be encountering. We look forward to helping you find the tools and information you’re seeking.

*Most items are in limited supply, so you may be added to a wait list to receive library materials.

See something that you want to read or view but you prefer not to wait? You can shop online and support the Coalition for Children, Youth & Families! Simply start out at smile.amazon.com (instead of simply amazon.com) and select the Coalition as your charity of choice.

World Wide Wednesday – January 20, 2016

iStock_000003621765_LargeIt’s World Wide Wednesday! Here’s what’s news in the world of foster care and adoption around the web:

  • The January edition of Adoption Advocate is always dedicated to presenting NCFA’s policy priorities for the coming year and related legislation. NCFA rarely endorses specific legislation, but instead prioritizes educating key legislators and policymakers on the policies and practices that will provide essential services and the best possible support for children outside permanent family care, adopted individuals, birth parents, and adoptive families. As we outline our priorities in this article, we will also take the opportunity to mention current pending legislation related to those priorities.
  • How to Adopt from Foster Care
    Every one of the 107,918 children currently waiting in U.S. foster care deserves a stable, loving, permanent home. What about yours?
  • Facts about adopting an older child (above the age of three)

Have news you’d like to share? Please post in our comments!

Inclusion in this post does not imply an endorsement by the Coalition for Children, Youth & Families. The Coalition is not responsible for the content of these resources.

Welcome Home Books: Building Connections

Imagine for a moment what it must feel like to move into a new environment, with new surroundings; an unfamiliar mattress, new rules, new routines. Moving into a new home can be a scary and overwhelming experience for youth in foster care.

welcomehomebooks.pngFoster and adoptive parents can help ease some of those fears and anxieties by creating a welcome home book. The less anxiety a child feels, the safer he or she will feel.

Welcome books can be valuable resources for youth of all ages. Welcome home books can help bridge the gap between what is unknown to what will soon become more familiar, comfortable, safe, and secure.

Getting Started
Encourage all family members to participate and contribute in creating a welcome home book. Welcome home books do not have to be an extensive project. Pictures with captions and descriptions are what make up the contents of a welcome home book. A small photo album or a scrapbook with captions would work well, too.

Your creativity will ultimately dictate how detailed and comprehensive your welcome home book ultimately becomes. Be creative and imaginative and most importantly of all, have fun and be expressive!

If you have computer skills, you could create a welcome home book through a free online website, such as snapfish.com If computers are not your strong suit, then perhaps you could put together a hand crafted welcome home book, including pictures of:

  • Family members greeting the child with warm and welcoming messages, such as “Welcome Annisha!” or “We are looking forward to meeting you, Antonio!”
  • The child’s bedroom
  • The family’s dining room
  • Holiday celebrations or family traditions
  • Continue reading