Let It Be Us Programs and Opportunities
Our innovative programs offer customized solutions and our programs have lifelong impacts that benefit generations to come. We bring entrepreneurial innovation to the space of child welfare, focusing on foster care and adoption through foster care.
Targeted Recruitment Program
Connecting Licensed Foster Homes to Caseworkers to Provide Better Placements, Faster Placements
The Let It Be Us Targeted Recruitment Program’s experienced recruitment team offers a customized solution for each caseworker in a speedy and timely manner. Let It Be Us utilizes their aggregated registry of licensed and waiting parents and our free subscription-based platforms reaching thousands of licensed and unlicensed parents while targeting specific locations and demographics. We utilize our data portal which is cloud based for protection and yet is shareable. Through this Program, Let It Be Us assists caseworkers in serving children who primarily are in emergent need or who are challenging to place, giving caseworkers access to parents who are licensed, waiting, and interested in the make-up of that specific child. Licensed parents may join our registry here. Caseworkers may request assistance by completing our Let It Be Us form here. (Note: Let It Be Us is not an Illinois Child Welfare Agency and is not an Illinois licensing agency and we do not engage in activities of licensing agencies.)
Foster and Adoptive Parent Recruitment Events
Let It Be Us hosts large and small events to directly recruit foster and adoptive parents for waiting Illinois children and we hold them every single month! These town hall style events provide programming that reaches targeted audiences in different areas with different demographics, reaching parents who are married, single, and same gender. Large events feature a panel of experts as well as agencies from the area who are allowed a marketing table. Smaller events are more intimate in nature and are designed for specific audiences. Our larger events are called Adoption and Foster Care Information Fairs and our smaller events are called Fireside Chats on Foster Care and Adoption and our Chicago Series on Foster Care and Adoption. We also hold “Digital Recruitment Events” utilizing our subscription-based platforms and they have proven to be very successful. You can learn more about these events here.
The Heart Gallery of Illinois
We produce, publish and manage the State of Illinois’ photo listing site, The Heart Gallery of Illinois, which is hosted on our website. We work in a partnership with the the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, their Adoption Inquiry Unit, and the Center for Law and Social Work. The Heart Gallery has grown by 400% since Let It Be Us took over management in October of 2016. The Heart Gallery of Illinois is an important digital parent recruitment tool – and when a child’s photograph and profile is placed in the Heart Gallery of Illinois his and her chance of adoption is increased to 50% or ten times! Our Founder and Executive Director was on the team that first established the Heart Gallery of Illinois in 2005. Visit the Heart Gallery of Illinois.
“Wednesday’s Children of Illinois” – A Let It Be Us Publication
“Wednesday’s Children of Illinois” is a Let It Be Us publication that features children in need of foster and/or pre-adoptive homes. This digital publication is a digital recruitment tool and a child specific recruitment tool. It does not include any identifying information, yet provides caseworkers in need with licensed and waiting families who are interested in learning more about the specific children they are trying to place. Read “Wednesday’s Children of Illinois” and subscribe to this publication here.
Our Mentors are assigned to older children living in foster care and living in group homes. Together with a child’s Case Worker, an educational plan/goal is constructed for each child, and while the mentor sees this through, Let It Be Us provides for educational materials and other needs that arise. We have a nearly perfect batting average for ensuring high school graduation, which is important as it is the gateway to college or trade school. It’s important to note that inevitably, through our work, we discover impediments to education such as hunger, comfort and medical needs.
Let It Be Us Initiatives
Our Closet – Supporting Children Coming Into Foster Care
Let It Be Us provides and manages inventory for “Our Closet” in the Waukegan DCFS Office, stocking it with every item a child coming into foster care would need, including new winter coats, hats, mittens, diapers, formula, diapers, wipes, pajamas, underwear, socks, nonperishable snacks, and more. All agencies in the Northern Region of Illinois have access to “Our Closet.”
Project Dignity – Supporting Children Coming Into Foster Care
Project Dignity provides children entering foster care with a large duffle bag containing new school supplies as well as personal care items. These supplies solve an immediate need for the children and the duffle bags allow them to move within the foster care system in a bag that allows them the dignity that they deserve. These duffle bags are delivered to agencies, residential home or group homes and they are provided at no cost.
Project Dignity also provides College Care Packages which include new school supplies and dorm necessities for older teens in foster care who have entered college.
Summer Camp Program
The Let It Be Us Summer Camp Program provides funding for children in Illinois foster care to attend summer camp – either sleep away camp or day camp – and benefit from the educational experience that going to camp provides.
Let It Be Us recognizes, respects, promotes and celebrates the value of cultural diversity and will ensure that your ethnic or cultural customs, practices, and beliefs, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, disability, and/or community differences will be respected by agency staff.
Let It Be Us is not a child welfare agency and is not an Illinois foster care licensing agency.