Susan Badeau

There are only two lasting gifts we can give our children - one is roots, the other is wings

About Sue

Susan Badeau (Sue) writes and speaks extensively on topics related to children, particularly those with special needs and is a frequent and passionate keynote speaker and workshop leader at state, regional and national conferences.  

Active in community efforts on behalf of children and families with special needs at many levels, Sue has particular passion and expertise around a number of topic areas, including the impact of trauma on children's development, reunifying separated families, re-imagining both foster care and juvenile justice systems, the importance of respite and self-care for caregivers and professionals alike, achieving permanence for older adolescents, the importance of the sibling bond, the lifelong value of birth family connections for foster and adopted children, and equipping families to engage in systems.  In addition, she has a strong belief that the multiple systems and the community supports in which children and families become involved child welfare, courts, education, mental health, physical health, developmental disabilities, schools, churches, neighborhood organizations, etc. must learn to better communicate and collaborate to best serve children and families. 

Sue and her husband, Hector, are the lifetime parents of twenty-two children, two by birth and twenty adopted (three, with terminal illnesses, are now deceased).  They have also served as foster parents for more than 50 children in three states, and as a host family for refugee youth from Sudan, Kosovo and Guatemala.  Recently, their 45th grandchild and fourteenth great-grandchild were born.  They have won numerous awards for their work, including being recognized by President Clinton with an Adoption Excellence award, and receiving an Angels in Adoption award from Congress both of these awards were for their work on behalf of adoption and children in foster care.

The Badeau family children come from many ethnicities and personal backgrounds. Some children were adopted at birth; others were teenagers when they joined the family. Some are from the United States; others are from countries around the world. Some have mental, physical, intellectual, or emotional challenges.

For more information about the Badeau family, visit

Susan Badeau has a degree in Early Child Development and Elementary Education from Smith College.  She has worked in child-serving fields as a professional for thirty three years working in adoption, foster care, juvenile justice, children?s mental health and education in both public and private agencies.  She has developed curricula on many topics used to prepare professional child welfare staff, adoptive and foster parents, judges, attorneys and youth.  Past positions have included serving as Director of the Cross Systems Integration team within the Knowledge Management department of Casey Family Programs, as a Senior Fellow within the Department of Justice, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Children?s Commission (focused on all aspects of children's health and well-being in the city of Philadelphia) and as the Deputy Director of the Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care. In addition, she had been a policy consultant for public and private agencies, universities and court systems.  Sue serves on national boards of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN), the North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC), National Center for Youth in Custody, All Children, All Families, and Justice for Families. As a speaker and writer she is a member of the Advanced Speakers and Writers Association (AWSA) and the Christian Communicators Conference (CCC).

Contact Sue

I would LOVE to hear from you and work WITH you to plan your next conference, retreat, training or other event for maximum impact!  To inquire about rates, availability and scheduling me to speak at your event, please contact me at .

All of my presentations can be offered virtually or in-person and are always adapted to fit any of your program needs. Every theme can be shared in a single presentation, or expanded into several presentations to accommodate all-day conferences or weekend retreats.

In addition, I love to provide one-on-one or small group coaching and mentoring for new workers, supervisors or resource parents. Please contact me to discuss your needs. 


You can purchase a personally autographed copy of “Are We There Yet? The Ultimate Road Trip Adopting & Raising 22 Kids” or "Building Bridges of Hope: A Coloring Book for Adults Caring for Children Who Have Experienced Trauma" by visiting our Store.  The books are also available on AmazonBarnes & Noble, and other online bookstores.  We also encourage you to suggest that your local bookstore stock the book – they can buy it wholesale from  Ingram distributors.


You can also follow Sue on Twitter @Suebadeau

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Calendar of Events ** NEW EVENTS ADDED **

Self-Care, Learning and Fun All at the Same Time!

There is an adult coloring book craze sweeping the nation, and now, there is a very special resource available that allows you to jump in on this craze while learning about caring for children who have experienced trauma. This new book, released May 1, 2016 from Helping Hands Press, offers over 50 images to color while also providing all of the information and parenting tips Sue typically includes in a full day workshop.

Check it out and get your copy today!

Also, email if you are interested in a bulk-rate discount so you can provide copies to your entire support group, agency, organization or church group.

Learn more about my new coloring book here.

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