The Little City Foster Care & Adoption program was on the move in 2022, opening two new offices that helped them double the number of families they serve.

In addition to the Chicago-based office, the program now operates out of offices in Joliet and Matteson, where they recently celebrated their arrival with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The offices play a pivotal role in reaching more families, giving them the opportunity to serve communities within a roughly 45-mile radius of each office location.

“We added about 120 families to what we already had so we are around 250 families now between the three sites,” said Emily Rawsky, Chief Program Officer of Family and Community Services. “Both places have been excited about having us and being a service provider in their region.”

The expansion into new regions came thanks in part to Little City’s longtime partnership with Aunt Martha’s Health and Wellness, which provides healthcare services to children and adults throughout Illinois. When they decided to divest from their foster care and adoption program, Little City was the first agency they sought out to take on the caseload.

While it is one of the largest acquisitions of cases Little City’s foster care program has taken on, it is not the first.

Little City has become one of the premier foster care providers in Illinois over the years, exceeding nearly every benchmark and criteria set by the Department of Children and Family Services year after year.

DCFS has let us know how happy they are now that we are in Will County and the Joliet area,” Emily said. “With our offices now, we are able to reach parts of seven different counties.”

Unlike most Little City programs, the foster care & adoption program has expanded to help both children with developmental disabilities and children with no special needs. Emily said the early focus in the new regions is to highlight the specialized foster care as it is an area that is often underserved.

And while the program has grown through case acquisitions, Emily said like many foster care and adoption providers, the agency is still struggling to recruit new families post-COVID. She said Little City licenses about 10 new families per year – far fewer than the number of families who come through other agencies.

But she said both Joliet and Matteson have had an overwhelmingly positive response to Little City’s arrival and events such as job fairs and Chamber of Commerce events have already led to some prospective foster families and employees.

“All of our regions are really just looking to continue to expand the number of families we are able to serve through recruitment events,” Emily said. “Our biggest need is still foster parents.”

While they hope to continue to grow through recruitment, Emily said Little City would likely continue to grow through acquisitions from other agencies as important metrics like placement stability, permanency and family retention are all exceeding state goals.


Interested in becoming a foster parent or want to learn more about Little City’s Foster Care & Adoption program? Click here or contact Mariah Brandon at