Our unique programs offer customized solutions through innovation, creativity and strong partnerships and our programming has lifelong impacts that benefit generations to come.
“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 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 by 50%. Our Founder and Executive Director was on the team that first established the Heart Gallery of Illinois in 2005.
“Adoption and Foster Care Information Fairs”
We directly recruit foster parents and adoptive parents for Illinois waiting children. Held throughout Illinois, we host these town hall style events allowing individual Adoption Recruiters and Case Workers time to introduce their programs which offer adoption and foster care opportunities. Adoption Recruiters speak about the individual children available for adoption. Our guest speakers include the Director of DCFS, the Psychiatric Director for DCFS, and the Medical Director for DCFS. Each event allows time for questions and answers as well as individual meetings with Adoption Recruiters and Case Workers. Let us remind you that adoption through foster care is free of charge and does not discriminate against age, income, marital status, gender or sexual orientation. Sign up for an Adoption and Foster Care Information Fair.
“Targeted Recruitment Program”
Let It Be Us answers the calls from Case Workers and Recruiters to find foster/adoptive parents for children in emergent need or who are difficult to place. We offer a customized solution for each child, creating a new database of parent resources for each child. We are able to reach thousands of licensed parents, and parents who want to be licensed, in our aggregated and growing network.
We recruit, train and certify educational mentors and assign them to older children living in foster care and living in group homes. Our training program is led by an experienced mentorship educator. 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.
Our Mentors work with the goals of high school graduation, college or certificate programs, employment, and life skills.
Our Educational Mentors work solely with the goal of education.
The children we serve benefit from, new glasses, creative educational materials, computers, calculators, and most importantly, a one-on-one relationship with their mentor. The good news is that we are able meet all of these needs and we’re getting children out of high school and into community colleges and trade schools. We work to fill in the gaps so that these children have everything they need in order to achieve their targeted level of education and go on to live productive lives. We have coordinators assigned to each partner group home so that the overall success of the program is closely and constantly monitored. Let It Be Us recently won an award from one of our partner group homes for increasing the high school graduation rate from 25% to 75%. (educational mentorship expense request form)
“Let it Be Our Voice Program”
We work with Illinois State Senators and Representatives to inform them of current needs within the Illinois foster care system. We stay connected with them through email and social media and Let it Be Us acts as a resource for them. If you are involved in the Illinois legislature please feel free to reach out to us.
“Project Dignity – Supporting Children in Foster Care”
Through the Let It Be Us Project Dignity, children entering foster care receive 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.
College Care Packages have also been designed to be delivered to older teens in foster care who have entered college. The packages include new school supplies and personal care items.
Project Dignity is funded and managed through the Let It Be Us teen board which is comprised of Barrington High School students.
The duffle bags are assembled each month and delivered accordingly. To order a supply for your agency, residential home or group home, please fill out request form.
“Summer Camp Programs”
The mission of the Let It Be Us Summer Camp Program is to allow 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.
We also provide funds for children who want to attend a day camp or summer classes that fuel their passions. Art classes, dance classes, and even coding camp. Please complete the form below and request these educational experiences for children who live in Illinois foster care.
Adult caregivers should complete this form to request a grant to send a child to camp: