How We Work: The Strong Families Fund

For several years now, I’ve had the privilege of working with the wonderful donors who fund the work we do. Because these donors give so generously and invest in our work, we’ve recently streamlined the ways in which we put these funds to work. If you donate through our website, you may notice that you have the option of designating your gift to one of five different funds. Over the coming months, I’ll be sharing more about each of these funds, and how they’re used to move us forward. Today I’d like to talk about our work building strong families.

The Strong Families Fund fuels our work supporting families before, during, and after their adoption has taken place. We take a multi-faceted approach to helping families through the ups and downs, the joys and challenges that all adoptive families face. By donating to the Strong Families Fund, you contribute to our success in the following areas:

Preparing families for adoption

photo of Zia Freeman

WACAP social worker Zia Freeman, who helps families prepare for adoption.

In the beginning, the adoption process can seem pretty overwhelming. There are piles of forms to fill out, appointments to be made, and research to be done. In addition to these nitty gritty details, there’s so much to learn about bringing a child into your family, and what you need to do to be ready. WACAP offers both in person and online training opportunities, helping to set families up emotionally, mentally, and logistically for this life changing event. From important topics like attachment and grief and loss, to day-to-day activities like eating and sleeping, families are given support and education that leads to success as an adoptive family.

Individual support

Through face to face visits in the home environment, families and WACAP social workers work together to develop strategies for meeting their child’s individual needs, creating a strong family environment where the child can thrive. For families who don’t live near the WACAP office, social workers are available over the phone and online to listen and offer support when needed.

Social support

Families gather at WACAP's annual Family Camp.

Families gather at WACAP’s annual Family Camp.

Whether an adopted person or adoptive parent, support is often felt best when provided by another who has walked the same road. Through family camps, events, social media connections and other forms of engagement, WACAP works to connect adoptive families. In addition, support groups led by WACAP professionals give families the opportunity to share experiences, offer one another advice, and create a support system when challenges arise.


Lifelong support

For anyone experiencing the adoption journey, feelings can grow, diminish, and change over time, and questions may arise. When an adopted person is interested in looking further into their past and the circumstances that led to their adoption, finding out more about their birth parents, or learning to navigate life as an adopted adult, they can always come to WACAP. When an adoptive parent is facing challenges, they’re welcome as well. Our post-adoption support team is dedicated to helping each and every person and family adjust, heal, and thrive.

Building and supporting strong families is an important part of the work we do here at WACAP. I’m looking forward to telling you more about our other funds soon. In the meantime, if you’d like to donate to WACAP’s Strong Families Fund, you can do so here.

headshot of WACAP Vice President of Fund Development Mary DuncanAbout WACAP’s Vice President of Fund Development, Mary Duncan:
Mary Duncan first volunteered with WACAP in 1993, working at an orphanage in Romania and soon after, joined WACAP’s staff as a case manager. Also an adoptive aunt and adoptive sister, Mary continued to serve children and families at WACAP as a supervisor in adoption programs and in family recruitment. Now as Vice President of Fund Development, she enjoys the opportunity to interact with donors and supporters and sharing about WACAP’s transformational work for children.


WACAP (World Association for Children and Parents) is one of the largest and most experienced international nonprofit adoption and child assistance agencies in the United States. Since 1976, we’ve placed over 10,000 children with loving adoptive parents and provided food, medical care and education to more than 200,000 children around the world.
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