Since its creation in 2003, our popular W.I.S.E. Up!sm program has grown from a gem of an idea – “How can C.A.S.E. help adopted children respond to the questions and comments of others?” – to a nationally and internationally acclaimed program that has helped over 20,000 adopted children and their parents.
In the beginning, C.A.S.E.’s cadre of adoption-competent therapists “teamed” with the W.I.S.E. Up! Owl to facilitate easy-to-remember empowerment with concurrent workshops for adopted children and their parents. The mission was simple: create a safe place for children to express their feelings about being adopted and prepare them for the inevitable classmate’s questions, neighbor’s remark and insensitive school assignment.
When it comes to handling questions and comments about adoption and foster care, kids need to be empowered to decide how they want to respond. W.I.S.E. Up! helps children and teens choose what they want to share about their story, if anything.
The program teaches an important tool that children can use as soon as others begin to notice differences about their family. For children in transracial or transcultural families, these intrusive questions can begin as early as age three: “Why don’t you look like your mom?” For others, the questions come later: “Why were you adopted?” and “Where are your real parents?” When the questions begin, W.I.S.E. Up! helps with the answers.
While W.I.S.E. Up! is simple for adopted and foster children and teens to learn, regardless of their backgrounds, the challenges and feelings related to the reasons for its creation are not. To enable other professionals to provide this widely-acclaimed program in their communities and to preserve its integrity, C.A.S.E. offers a “Train the Trainer” course. Since 2009, C.A.S.E. has trained teams of professionals from 16 agencies, both nationally and internationally, as W.I.S.E. Up! Facilitators.
If your agency/organization is interested in learning more about our W.I.S.E. Up! Train the Trainer Program, please email Ellen Singer or call her at 301-476-8525.
Click here for a complete list of agencies certified to provide the W.I.S.E. Up! Program to families in their communities.