Established in 1923, The Cradle practices a model of adoption that puts the needs of children first. The Cradle finds families for children who need them. In contrast, other adoption resources find children for families.
It is this dedication to children that causes adoption professionals across the country to look to The Cradle as a standard-bearer in ethical practices. The Cradle believes that adoption is a lifelong journey for everyone involved, not a transaction completed when a child is placed with an adoptive family.
For the nine years prior to formally establishing The Cradle Society in Evanston, IL, local resident Florence Walrath and her husband supported the matching of infants in need of homes with families wishing to adopt. In its first ten years, The Cradle Society’s reputation grew nationally and children were placed with families throughout the country.
A new building, including a state-of-the-art nursery was opened in 1938, and a large addition followed in 1958 to house infant nurses in training. The advent of more alternatives for pregnant women, including the acceptance of single-parenting, led to a decline in adoptions nationally by the end of the 1980s and The Cradle was impacted greatly.
The 1990s brought changes to the way The Cradle operated and a resurgence of its activity, including direct outreach to pregnant women, preparing families to adopt internationally, and embracing open adoption in which birth parents and adoptive families maintain contact. The Cradle led the way in the 2000s by introducing high-quality, easily accessible online training for parents wishing to adopt and to strengthen their parenting skills.
The Cradle is a not-for-profit organization focused on families and the welfare of children:
- Focused and excited about the new strategic initiative which broadens the services and impact of The Cradle.
- Financially aware of what it takes to deliver services in a professional ethical manner.
- Providing services that span a lifetime focusing on Building Families and Strengthening Families.
- Focused on delivering and developing specialized programs and innovative technology to meet the needs of children and their families.
- Taking a leadership position to address the needs of diverse families.
- Renowned as one of the foremost adoption agencies in the country. Proud to help place more than 15,000 children into permanent, loving homes while providing lifelong support for all who are touched by adoption– birthparents, adopted persons, and adoptive parents.
- Offering crucial services, including adoption education, training, and classes.
- Committed to excellence and innovation in serving children as well as birth, foster and adoptive parents, and adult adoptees through every stage of life.
- Committed to ongoing study and research of the adoption and foster care communities.
The Cradle Services and Resources Include:
Family Building: Services provide non-judgmental assistance to women experiencing an unplanned pregnancy in making a decision about their parenting options as well as couples and singles searching for ways to build or expand their family. Assistance includes:
- Helping Birth Parents Make Tough Decisions
- The Nursery: A Unique Commitment to the First Days of Life
- Preparing Families to Parent through Adoption
Family Strengthening: Programs provide a spectrum of services to help families learn about the unique needs of the child who joins their family through adoption or foster care. The focus is on helping families learn and grow together as well as meet the needs of diverse families. The strategic plan supports expanding programs and services that strengthen all families.
Each program listed below can stand-alone and help to guide families; often they are utilized together. In all cases, clients come away from their experience better understanding themselves and their families.
- Therapeutic Counseling Services for children.
- Adoption Learning Partners (ALP) online education including new mobile micro learning approach.
- Our Children Initiative- supporting diverse families and children with education relevant to the realities in our society today.
The Cradle is investing in addressing the most pressing issues our society faces today when it comes to building and strengthening families. They are poised to deliver cutting edge technology that will revolutionize one of the most intractable problems in our society, the preparation and retention of foster parents for the hundreds of thousands of children waiting for a family to love them. The Cradle offers an array of services for birth parents, adoptive and foster parents, and adult adoptees unmatched by any other U.S. adoption or foster care organization.
The Cradle is a critical partner in the future of child welfare in the U.S. No other private or government agency has developed such a sophisticated tool to improve parent education for vulnerable families. The Cradle will be the gold standard in services for adoptive and foster parents for decades to come.
- Plans, organizes, manages and supervises all financial and accounting activities of the organization related to financial statement preparation, budgeting and forecasting, cash receipts and cash disbursements, payroll, cash management, investments, debt management, tax filings, audit, and 403(b) plan accounting
- Plans long-range financial goals, objectives and directions
- Establishes/Maintains financial and accounting system controls and standards.
- Formulates and implements financial policies and procedures
- Develops, implements and maintains processes for budgeting, financial forecasting and cash flow
- Ensures compliance with all federal, state and local laws in regards to financial issues.
- Analyzes, interprets and projects financial data and recommends changes to improve systems and financial performance.
- Maintains general ledger.
- Prepares monthly financial statements.
- Manages annual financial and tax audits, including preparation of the draft audit report and Form 990 for the consolidating organizations.
- Prepares all financial data for grant applications.
- Serves as a business partner to the President/CEO on the organization’s financial, budgeting and administrative processes with an eye to continuously development and improving systems.
- Manages payroll processing.
- Handles tax filings related to 403(b) plan, unclaimed property, special event tax filings, annual report filings, and property tax filings.
- Manages insurance claim processing and patient billing for the organization’s therapeutic counseling practice.
- Maintain high standards of excellence and customer service – for both internal and external customers.
- Serves as a liaison with financial institutions and the investment community.
- Serve as a member of the Senior Management Team.
- Serves as the staff liaison for the Finance/Audit Committee and the Investment Committee.
- Supervises staff members in the Finance Department.
- Performs other duties as assigned by the President/CEO.