W.I.S.E. Up!® Program

W.I.S.E. Up! ® Program

W.I.S.E. Up!® is an empowerment program designed to create a safe space for children to express their feelings about being adopted and prepare them for intrusive questions and insensitive remarks from peers and others:

“Why don’t you look like your parents?”
“How much did you cost?”
“Where are your real parents?”

To empower BOTH foster and adopted children, C.A.S.E. developed W.I.S.E. UP!®. This program teaches children that they can decide if, when, and how to share their story. When the questions begin, W.I.S.E. Up!® give kids the tools to answer.

C.A.S.E. staff has traveled extensively to teach the W.I.S.E. UP!® program. Adoptive families and professionals across the country, and in England, Scotland, and Australia have embraced its simplicity and power.

W.I.S.E. Up!® Products

W.I.S.E. Up! Logo

Parents often report feeling “caught off guard” when confronted with questions and comments about adoption. They often regret how they responded. If adults feel so vulnerable, imagine how challenging it is for children to be asked: “Where are your REAL parents?” “Why don’t you look like your mother?” “I’m glad I’m not adopted.” These questions/comments can be troubling, confusing, and extremely wounding. Former C.A.S.E. Adoption-Competent Therapist, Ellen Singer, LCSW-C will share what parents need to know to effectively teach W.I.S.E. UP!® to their children.

Watch W.I.S.E. Up!® In-Demand Webinar
W.I.S.E. Up! Powerbook

You’d be amazed at the questions children who have been adopted are asked. For some children, it begins as early as age 3: “Why don’t you look like your mom?” For others, it begins at school: “What happened to your real mother?” or “Why did your parents give you away?” Friends, classmates – even well-meaning grown-ups – make comments or ask questions that can be uncomfortable for children. Empower your child with the W.I.S.E. Up!SM Powerbook – the program that has helped more than 50,000 children who have joined their family through adoption or foster care.  Praised by parents around the world, this simple, effective book helps children who have been adopted learn that their story is unique, personal and theirs to share or not.

Purchase W.I.S.E. Up!® Powerbook
W.I.S.E. Up Foster Care Powerbook

All children in foster care need simple, effective easy-to-remember methods for identifying and managing their own feelings while responding to the questions, comments, and curiosities of others. Based on the nationally acclaimed empowerment program, W.I.S.E. Up!® Powerbook for Children in Foster Care does all this and more! It is tailored to meet the specific needs of children in foster care and is perfect for children, foster parents, relative caregivers, social workers, school counselors, teachers, and other mentoring adults.

Purchase W.I.S.E. Up!® Powerbook for Foster Care
W.I.S.E. Up! Pocket Guide

Empower your child with the W.I.S.E. Up! Pocket Guide. This handy little booklet can be carried on the go. Praised by parents around the world, this simple, effective booklet helps children who are adopted learn that their story is unique, personal and theirs to share or not. The W.I.S.E. Up! Owl delivers easy-to-follow, polite and effective messages that adopted children can decide when and how to share information and respond to others’ questions/comments.

Purchase W.I.S.E. Up!® Pocket Guide

Upcoming W.I.S.E. Up! Trainings & Workshops


Children from adoptive families and their parents have been helped by the W.I.S.E. Up! Program

What People Are Saying About W.I.S.E. Up! 

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Rita Soronen President and CEO, Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption
“We were thrilled to provide the W.I.S.E. Up! Powerbook created by C.A.S.E. to each of our 120 Wendy's Wonderful Kids professionals.”
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Susan Lavigna LCSW-C, Adoption-competent therapist and adult adopted person
“I, as an adult who was adopted, would love to have had something like this when I was a kid.”
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Joyce Maguire Pavao Author of The Family of Adoption
“Families and children can have a good time & learn a lot about how each other feels when using the wisely constructed W.I.S.E. UP! Powerbook”
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Mary Pat Kochenash Adoptive Parents Organization of Central NJ
“It was a megahit. Our support group introduced it & we’ve heard reports back already about kids using it & instructing other adopted friends”
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Jelani Freeman Former Foster Care Youth
“When I was growing up, I didn't have anything like W.I.S.E. Up! to help me get through difficult moments at school”
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Jana Wolff Author of Secret Thoughts of An Adoptive Mother
“The W.I.S.E. Up! program is a simple but powerful way for adopted children (and their families) to answer personal questions. ”
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Lela McKnight Families with Children from China, MD
“Thank you for presenting W.I.S.E. Up! I did take a poll of our 2nd graders who recited their questions to me. ”
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Surabhi W.I.S.E. Up! Workshop Participant
“The W.I.S.E. Up! workshop was both informative & enjoyable! My 11 year-old daughter, husband & I took away information & tools we can use.”
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Teen Adoptee W.I.S.E. Up! Video and Workshop Participant
“Being adopted is really not that easy. You get a lot of questions that you don't want to answer but you don't want to say it in a rude way.”
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Adoptive Mom W.I.S.E. Up! In-Demand Webinar Participant
“This was one of the most helpful trainings I have ever listened to. We recently adopted our son in March and I have had many questions. ”
W.I.S.E. Up! Kids

W.I.S.E. Up!® Train the Trainer

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. To enable other professionals the ability to provide this widely acclaimed program in their communities and to preserve its integrity, C.A.S.E. offers a “Train the Trainer” course to become a certified organization to present W.I.S.E. Up!® program. 

W.I.S.E. Up!® Train the Trainer Interest Form

Organizations Certified to Present W.I.S.E. Up!®

Below is our national and international directory of W.I.S.E. Up!® Facilitators trained to present the W.I.S.E. Up!® Program. Contact an organization in your area to see when the next offering of W.I.S.E. Up!® will be held. 

Location Organization Contact Name Phone Number Email
Tuskegee, AL Tuskegee University College of Arts and Sciences Department of Social Work Dr. April Jones 334-727-8306 ajones@tuskegee.edu
Citrus Heights, CA Wayfinder Family Services Carol Ramirez 916-923-5444 cramirez@wayfinderfamily.org
Leith, Edinburgh, Scotland Scottish Adoption & Fostering Leasa Bleteau 0131-553-5060 leasa@scottishadoption.org
Alpheretta, GA FaithBridge Foster Care Katrina Campbell, Director of Training 678-690-7126 info@faithbridgefostercare.org
Evanston, IL The Cradle Pamela Tancredi 847-475-5800 PTancredi@cradle.org
Indianapolis, IN
Evansville, IN
Bloomington, IN
Kokomo, IN
Portage, IN
The Villages of Indiana Margaret Abrell, MSW, LCSW 812-332-1245 mbrell@villages.org
Spencer, IA Seasons Center for Behavioral Health Monica Rosenthal 712-262-2922 ext. 1454 mrosenthal@seasonscenter.org
Saint Paul, MN Children's Home Society of Minnesota Elizabeth Bohlken 651-255-2223 elizabeth.bohlken@chlss.org
Charlotte, NC Adoption Support Alliance Erin Nasmyth 980-202-2383 erin@adoptionsupportalliance.org
Omaha, NE Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska Stacy Varouh 402-661-3126 svarouh@lfsneb.org
Omaha, NE Nebraska Children’s Home Society Tereza Frazier 402-451-0787 tfrazier@nchs.org
Plattsburgh, NY Child Care Coordinating Council of the North Country Juliette Lynch 578-561-4999 jlynch@ccccnc.org
Waterville, ME Maine Children’s Home Tracy Lloyd 207-873-4253 tlloyd@mainechildrenshome.org
Holland, MI Hope College Emily Helder 616-395-7274 helder@hope.edu
Warren, OH Trumbull County Children’s Social Services Trudy Seymour 330-372-2010 trudy.seymour@jfs.ohio.gov
Erie, PA Family Services of Northwestern Pennsylvania Kelly Dahlkemper 814-866-4523 kdahlkemper@fsnwpa.org
Christiansburg, VA DePaul Community Resources Melissa Blau 540-269-0487 mblau@depaulcr.org
Alexandria, VA City of Alexandria Dept. of Community and Human Services-Child Welfare Services Krystal Fenwick 703-746-4311 Krystal.Fenwick@alexandriava.gov
Henrico, VA Heart and Mind Therapy Services Amy Reamer 804-307-2801 amy@heartmindrva.com
Milwaukee, WI Coalition for Children, Youth and Families Natalie Underwood 414-640-6363 nunderwood@coalitionforcyf.org
Statewide, WI Catholic Charities of the Diocese of La Crosse-Journeys Program Christy Reppe 608-519-8057 creppe@cclse.org
Winnipeg MB, Canada Adoption Options Dawn Waskretin 204-774-0511 ext. 202 dawn@adoptionoptions.mb.ca
W.I.S.E. Up! Kids


W.I.S.E. Up!®

Please consider donating to support our efforts in spreading the word about W.I.S.E. Up!® and empowering more children and teens who are adopted with the tools they need to improve their confidence with answering questions about their own unique adoption story.

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