Workshop Series

W.I.S.E. Up! Workshop

Session One:
Date: Saturday, March 9, 2013

Time: from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Place: St. Gregory Church, 4620 Nottingham Way, Hamilton Square, NJ 08690

Launch Fee: $45 per family; W.I.S.E. Up! Powerbook additional $14.00.

Session Two:
Date: Saturday, March 23, 2013

Time: 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Place: St. Gregory Church, 4620 Nottingham Way, Hamilton Square, NJ 08690

Launch Fee: $90 per family; W.I.S.E. Up! Powerbook additional $14.00.


What is WISE UP? The W.I.S.E. Up! Workshop is for pre-adoptive and adoptive parents, as well as adopted children ages 5 - 12. Families are welcome to bring non-adopted siblings as well.

Did you know nearly every adopted child is asked questions about their adoption
at some point in their childhood and adolescence?

Within the community a family lives, children may face very pointed, difficult questions by “curious” others such as questions about about how they were adopted, if they remember their orphanage or pre-adoption life situation, etc. These challenges may start as early as age 3 with: "Why don't you look like your mom?” For others, it may not begin until ages 6, 7 or even 8 with: “Why were you adopted?” or “Where is your real mother?” Teens grapple with deeper questions about their identity and can be particularly troubled when asked personal questions related to their adoption.

You can empower your child with W.I.S.E. Up! The nationally recognized tool developed by C.A.S.E. to help parents just like you empower their children to handle comments and questions; and to decide the most comfortable ways to communicate about their adoption story with others.

Session One This is a primer for children who need to learn adoption language before they participate in Session Two.

In this workshop children will learn: Counselor will use children's storybooks to stimulate a discussion and educational session about positive adoption language; and age appropriate concepts. Related interactive games and a creative project will be offered to help children communicate in a variety of modalities: Verbal, play, art or writing. This differentiated approach should be meaningful to the children who each may take in information or express themselves in different ways. Parents join in for the last fifteen minutes for an opportunity to learn about what their children experienced.

Session Two- Children ages 5 to 12 and parents participate in this workshop, as it is vital for Parents and children to have the same language and concepts for discussion of these difficult and unique life challenges. The format includes separate and joint sessions for parent and for children groups. Babysitting is available for younger children.

In this workshop parents and children will learn:

  • A common language to use in communicating about these issues within the family

  • Strategies and tools to deal effectively with difficult adoption-related situations

  • To feel empowered when confronted with difficult or inappropriate comments and questions

  • Parents will learn about the typical adoption issues children experience at ages 5 to 12; and how parents can help.  

Babysitting is available for session two: $10 per child

Workshop facilitated by Jessica Cichalski, LCSW, IAC Center Counselor

Hosted by the Adoptive Parents Organization of Central NJ

For additional information about the workshop content and whether your child is ready, contact Joni Mantell, LCSW at the IAC Center at or 609-737-8750.