As of May 2018, Olivia Bus is Holt-Sunny Ridge’s birth parent and adoption social worker!
My name is Olivia Bus and I am a graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in social work. In order to graduate, all students must participate in an internship at a social services agency, so I am excited to be completing my internship at Holt-Sunny Ridge. I have been talking about wanting an internship at Holt Sunny Ridge since August 2016, so this has been a long time in the making. I am very happy to be at Holt-Sunny Ridge and have been learning so much about all of the programs offered by our branch.
The Saturday before Halloween, twelve adoptive families came to Holt Sunny Ridge for the Halloween Placement Party. There were twelve of the cutest babies in the most adorable costumes — the youngest was only 3 months old. We had a little Minnie Mouse, Boo from Monster’s Inc., and even an R2D2 just to name a few!
To expand our services to women, children and families in Illinois, we are excited to introduce the Empowering Women, Strengthening Families program!
Beginning in October 2017, with funding from a generous gift from Wayne and Nan Kocourek, the Empowering Women, Strengthening Families Program will provide counseling services, funding and trained advocates to help expectant mothers or new families in crisis stay together.
For qualifying applicants, the Empowering Women, Strengthening Families Program will help provide bridge funding for housing, educational scholarships, medical care and more so women who wish to parent their child will have the support and resources they need to make a parenting plan instead of an adoption plan.
Holt-Sunny Ridge works with dozens of women each year who are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. For women who want to parent, but lack sufficient support, parenting skills, job skills or permanent housing, there are few resources outside of decentralized public assistance.
The Kocoureks want to help raise awareness about the need to empower women who wish to raise their children and they encourage others to join in supporting them as well. The Kocoureks feel there are some women who just need a boost up to get started in their new lives as mothers.
Women in the Empowering Women, Strengthening Families Program will have a dedicated counselor who determines the best way to use the program’s funds to help them overcome hardship. The counselor will work to identify, contact and solidify a team of ongoing support, which may include addressing issues such as food insecurity, the need for stable housing, vocational training, daycare or more.
“Empowering mothers to parent their children will meet such a huge need in Chicagoland and Illinois,” says Nancy Crouch, Holt-Sunny Ridge’s director of domestic adoption and birth parent services. “We are so grateful to the Kocoureks for this opportunity to expand our services.”
In the first year, the Empowering Women, Strengthening Families Program hopes to serve 20-25 women and over 30 children, with a plan to increase services in subsequent years.
Holt-Sunny Ridge began over 90 years ago as the “Sunny Ridge Home for Children” in Chicago. Over the decades, as adoption and child care policies changed, the organization transitioned from an orphanage to an adoption agency. In 2014, what was then “Sunny Ridge Family Center” merged with Holt International to further expand their services to children, becoming Holt-Sunny Ridge. Today, Holt-Sunny Ridge is a respected international and domestic adoption agency and post-adoption resource for families, dedicated to the mission of finding loving, secure homes for children and strengthening families both here in Illinois and around the world.
Carly Schrimpl, LCSW, is beyond thrilled to continue to serve and help adoptees and their families find their best selves. Carly obtained her bachelor’s of social work degree from Western Illinois University and her master’s degree in social work from Illinois State University. She developed her passion for working with adopted children and their families at The Baby Fold, a child and family services organization in Central Illinois where she also implemented Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI®) strategies in their Residential Treatment Center. Carly has experience working in high-risk situations with children who have severe behavioral issues and trauma backgrounds, and never loses hope to find healing solutions for both children and their families. Carly has also served as an adoption preservation therapist at Metropolitan Family Services in the Chicagoland area, and she is a huge advocate for TBRI®, Theraplay® and the Attachment Regulation Competency (ARC) model. She uses her eclectic therapeutic approach to build healthy attachments between parents and their adopted children, and she believes that everyone can find hope and healing through attachment work. Carly approaches each family with empathy and provides tools for more peaceful, healthy relationships.
We are dedicated to supporting you and your family for life. See our list of upcoming events and classes for adoptive families and adoptees of all ages. All events held at our Bolingbrook office unless otherwise noted. Workshops and groups have a registration fee. Visit our calendar of events to register.
For the TBRI® workshop series, attendance at all four workshops is mandatory. If you have previously attended a series and only missed one workshop, you may sign up for that specific workshop once prior attendance has been verified. Please email Pam Shepard at email@example.com to request approval.
Below is the list of our upcoming events. If you have any questions, or have trouble signing up, please don’t hesitate to contact us!
As 2016 winds to a close, we at Holt-Sunny Ridge reflect on the past year and the many blessings for which we are thankful. We consider ourselves so fortunate to guide and support women who are experiencing unplanned pregnancy, and to help unite children with families through adoption.
Thanks to our supporters, we have over the past year been able to provide options counseling to 132 women, place 8 children with domestic adoptive families in Illinois, contribute to the 351 children who have joined families through Holt’s international adoption programs, and offer therapy services to countless adoptees and adoptive families.
No matter through which facet of our work, our ultimate goal is to ensure a stable, loving family for every child — whether that be in a loving adoptive family, or in the loving care of a child’s birth family.
So much of our work is with women in Illinois who are experiencing unplanned pregnancy. When a woman comes to us, we are there for her as a safe, listening ear and as compassionate professionals who can provide support as she decides the best option for herself and her baby. While we can help her make an adoption plan if she so chooses, we never pressure her to choose adoption — respecting each woman and the difficult situation and decision that she is facing. We meet with her as many times as she needs us, help her get connected with other pregnancy resources in our community, and remain a source of support throughout her life. Many of the women we counsel do decide to move forward with an adoption plan for their babies — and many women also decide that parenting their children is the best decision.
Throughout this process, we offer these services to each woman free of charge — whether or not she chooses to make an adoption plan. We are only able to do this because of the generous support of people like you — people who understand our mission and decide to partner with us in our work.
As you make your year-end charitable donations, will you consider giving to Holt-Sunny Ridge? In 2017, we anticipate growing our unplanned pregnancy and adoption services throughout Chicagoland and all of Illinois, and we can’t do it without your support.
You can make your contribution online here, or if you have more questions, you can always contact our director of donor engagement, Susan Stellmacher, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 630-754-4510.
Thank you for your continued support of Holt-Sunny Ridge and the women, children and families in our community.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from all of us at Holt-Sunny Ridge.