What We Do
We offer comprehensive support and education services through all stages of the adoption process. Whether you’re a birth parent exploring options, a prospective parent looking into adoption, an adoptee seeking reunion or support, or anywhere in between, ASCS is here to assist.
What Drives Us
We believe that adoption education is important to the success of adoptive families. Knowledge about current practices in adoption dispels myths and helps families and our larger community understand the process and impact of adoption today.
When adoption becomes the plan for a child we believe the child’s best interests are met when families are well-equipped with a broad understanding of adoption and the issues that may arise along the journey. Knowing what resources are available to support the child throughout his or her life within an adoptive family is essential from the start.
What is Permanency and Why is it Important?
Permanency is an expansive term, with many important factors. The definition of permanency includes adoption, legal guardianship and kinship care. ASCS supports all forms of permanency. A Permanent connection with at least one committed adult who provides a safe, stable, and secure parenting relationship, unconditional commitment and lifelong love and support is crucial for every child. We emphasize the importance of cultural competency in any permanency relationship.
Our extensive range of resources provides those with a connection to adoption with appropriate information for their specific needs, support in their process through the Domestic Adoption Orientation Program, ASCS support groups, the ASCS Library, our mentoring program and much more.
Carol Bothwell Library
Conferences, Workshops & Webinars
We host and facilitate a number of adoption-related events. These events provide training and information on relevant, current topics of interest to the adoption community at large. Past conferences have brought renowned experts such as Cindy Blackstock, Deborah Gray, Patricia Irwin Johnston and Dr. Denise Goodman to Saskatchewan. See what’s coming up in our calendar!
Domestic Adoption Orientation Program
ASCS offers a domestic adoption, pre-adoption preparation program called the Domestic Adoption Orientation Program (DAO). This program is mandated by the Ministry of Social Services as a pre-application requirement for individuals or couples who are interested in adopting a child/children who is/are in the care of the Ministry of Social Services. All individuals who want to adopt domestically are required to participate in the DAO prior to being formally referred to the Ministry of Social Services to proceed with their Domestic Adoption Application. Learn more about the DAO Program.
Leah Deans, Resource Director
Leah has been with ASCS for 20 years. Her experience as an adoptive parent gives her a unique perspective in providing services to adoptive families. Leah is a strong advocate for families and children and believes in the value of parenting education, permanency and supports. In addition, her many years with ASCS makes her a vital part of the team. Leah is the key person to turn to for adoption information and resources.
Kelsey Elliott, Program & Marketing Coordinator
Kelsey has been with ASCS since January 2021. She is very passionate about helping others. She brings a lot of knowledge and experience regarding program planning, digital marketing, and communications. Kelsey has a strong personal connecion to adoption, and is a strong supporter of children and families. Kelsey provides professional and caring support to our clients through the DAO program, ASCS workshops, and manages the ASCS social media, digital marketing, and communications.
Mackenzie McNinch, Family Development Coordinator
Mackenzie joined ASCS in September 2020. She completed her Bachelor of Social Work in the spring of 2020. She is also a SASW Registered Social Worker. Mackenzie has experience and a passion for working with children and families. Mackenzie takes an active role in helping ASCS families by providing support and education through the DAO program, workshops, and other program opportunities. She also co-facilitates the PRIDE Review Sessions with families currently in the adoption process.
Sylvia Cholodnuik, Executive Director
Sylvia joined ASCS in March of 2016. She was previously employed with the Ministry of Social Services and has extensive experience in management and organizational development. Sylvia is an active volunteer within our community and abroad and has a keen interest in grassroots development, leadership, and community building. Sylvia’s time overseas was focused on supporting health and education systems which directly impact women and children in a remote rural area in Zimbabwe.
Bobbe Poncelet, Administrative Assistant
Why the triangles?
In the world of adoption the triangle (sometimes a triangle intertwined with a heart) and sometimes a circle, has traditionally been used as a symbol that represents the adoption journey and the key relationships within it. It does not encompass every aspect of the journey but it does highlight three of the key persons) involved – the adoptee, the birth parent(s), and the adoptive parent(s). Each side of the triangle represents the relationship between those key person(s). The triangle displays the interconnectedness and interdependence within adoption.