Education Advocacy


Adoptive, foster, and guardianship families may encounter educational challenges as they raise their children, even if those children do not have special educational needs.

Families who wish to access educational advocacy support services can do so through the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. To obtain information or assistance regarding this program, please contact the Regional Educational Advisor’s Office serving the region where your child attends school.

Cook County North (Chicago)

Advisor: Deseree Edwards
(312) 328-2477

Assistant Advisor: Donnis Briscoe
(312) 328-2673

Cook County Central (Chicago)

Advisor: Dawn Overend
(773) 292-7732

Assistant Advisor: Carlos Alverio
(773) 292-7731

Cook County South (Chicago)

Advisor: Diane Fitzhugh
(773) 371-6029

Assistant Advisor: Arlecia Brown
(773) 371-6143

Cook County North (Suburbs)

Advisor: Yasmina Sefiane
(847) 745-3008

Cook County Central (Suburbs)

Advisor: Yasmina Sefiane
(708) 338-6637

Cook County South (Suburbs)

Advisor: Rebecca Lawrence
(708) 210-3051

Assistant Advisor: Jessica Ellenwood
(708) 210-2817

Northern Region (Collar Counties)

Advisor: Mitch Kremer
(815) 338-1068

Assistant Advisor: Lauretta Thrist
(815) 967-3832

Northern Region (Rockford Sub-Region)

Advisor: Rhonda Best
(815) 967-3750

Assistant Advisor: Lauretta Thrist
(815) 967-3832

Central Region (Champaign Sub-Region)

Advisor: Vernessa Gipson
(217) 355-5990

Assistant Advisor: Regina Parnell
(217) 355-5990

Southern Region (East St. Louis Sub-Region)

Advisor: Bessie Peabody
(618) 583-2125

Assistant Advisor: Lynette Daniels
(618) 583-2121

Southern Region (Marion Sub-Region)

Advisor: Kendra Homoya
(618) 993-7134

If you are unsure of which regional office you should contact, or if you have additional questions regarding educational advocacy in Illinois, please contact us today.