Community Outreach & Education

The Cradle is committed to advancing the field of adoption through education. We offer a wide range of materials and in-service opportunities to Illinois-based health care and social work providers as well as courses and workshops for adoption professionals nationwide.

The Cradle's Community Outreach Team is pleased to offer adoption-related educational offerings customized to your organization's specific needs and timeframes.

See a list of topics for in-services presentations.

Offerings can be simple in-services, round table discussions, seminars or Grand Rounds-like presentations. Participants may include any department

  • Social Work or Case Management staff
  • Risk Management
  • Nursing
  • Attending or resident physicians
  • Emergency Room personnel

Our offerings are free of charge, arranged at your staff's convenience and both interactive and participative.

We can also work with you and through your organization to provide CMEs or CEUs. We can even assist you to ‘Train the Trainer'. Needs assessments can be developed on your behalf.

Our downloadable Professionals' Guide to Adoption and Illinois Adoption Law is great supplement to our in-services presentations.

Request brochures here.

Video Transcript

My name’s Karin Peterson, I’m a social worker and I’ve been at The Cradle for 21 yeas. I’ve done a lot of different things over the years but currently I work in Community Outreach and Education.

As part of our mission to bring adoption education out into the community, we’re really focused on the hospitals, making sure that hospital social workers, and nurses, physicians, nurse case managers, making sure they have accurate and complete information about how adoption works today.

Well one thing that I think really is important for hospital social workers, and nurses, case managers is for them to be aware of local resources available to their patients. So as opposed to giving a patient a list with 30 licensed agencies, be prepared with a shorter list of adoption resources really known to the hospital to do excellent work, where the professionals have had excellent experiences with that agency, and most importantly, where the patients have been well served in the past.

The first thing that would happen is the hospital nurse, if it’s the nurse she told first, would let the social work department know that the patient is thinking about adoption. And what the social worker would do in addition to offering support is give her a list or possible ideas for an adoption resource for her to reach out to so a counselor could come out and meet with her in the hospital. What that social worker will do in addition to gathering information about the patient’s situation and learn why she is considering the option of adoption, she’ll also be giving her information, so educating her about how adoption works, what are her choices, how involved would she like to be.

Well one thing that often surprises people is to learn that fully 30 percent of women who contact The Cradle or look in to the option of adoption have not found a resource or talked to anyone about their possible interest in that option, so once the baby is born, the very first time they may say the word adoption out loud or ask anyone for information is right there in the hospital. So it’s so important that people are prepared with information to share with that patient and also to begin to imagine what might be going on for her.

Slide: To learn more about our in-service topics… Contact Karin at (847) 322-7365 Or visit