Foster Care Month Celebration Showcases Inspiring Approach to Increase Adoption Awareness

Today, State Representative Nick Sauer (R-Lake Barrington), Let it Be Us, and the Department of Children and Family Services welcomed foster parents, family members, volunteers and other advocates to the Capitol for a special celebration of Foster Care Month. The event showcased the Let it Be Us Heart Gallery, a unique resource which is assisting case workers and adoption recruiters find forever families for Illinois’ foster children.

“Earlier this month, we adopted House Resolution 250 to recognize May as Foster Care Month in Illinois,” said Sauer. “When President Reagan issued the first Presidential Proclamation establishing National Foster Care Month in 1988, it read, ‘National Foster Care Month presents an appropriate opportunity for all of us… to reflect on the pressures facing families today and on the need for increased efforts to ensure that abandoned or abused children have the opportunity to live in healthy, loving homes.’ That message from President Reagan is as important today, as it was in 1988. The Heart Gallery is a unique resource dedicated to this mission of ensuring each and every youth in Illinois can live in a healthy, loving home and it inspires more people to consider adoption.”

The Heart Gallery is a unique approach to finding loving adoptive families for children in foster care created by Let it Be Us, a nonprofit dedicated to the adoption and education of children within the Illinois foster care system. This beautiful resource is an ongoing endeavor created by professional photographers who volunteer their work to assist case workers and adoption recruiters find forever families for Illinois’ foster children.

“One of the crises in Illinois right now is the number of youth in care awaiting permanent homes,” said Susan McConnell, Founder and Director of Let it Be Us. “Illinois is ahead of only Puerto Rico when it comes to finding permanent, loving homes for youth in care. This is not a Republican or Democrat issue, it’s a child issue. What if the more than one-thousand children awaiting permanent homes were adopted into the arms of one of the tens of thousands of potential parents in Illinois who are seeking children? The same parents who are today traveling to other states and other countries to adopt children? That’s our mission at Let it Be Us and I want to Thank Representative Sauer and DCFS for helping us raise awareness about this important cause.”

Illinois DCFS Director George Sheldon had this to say of the Heart Gallery, "Through the help of talented photographer’s throughout the state, the Heart Gallery captures the individual spirit of our children and youth in care. DCFS is proud to partner with the Heart Gallery to help raise awareness about the children in Illinois who are waiting for a loving and permanent home."

For more information about Let it Be Us and the Heart Gallery, visit

House Resolution 250, the resolution Sauer filed to recognize Foster Care Month in Illinois, was unanimously adopted by the Illinois House of Representatives on May 10, 2017 with every member of the House being added as a co-sponsor. See the full text of the resolution, Click Here.

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