Hillside’s Therapeutic Foster Care services are designed to provide safe and nurturing care to children in a structured home environment. Marley’s story, told in her own words, details her experience working with the Hillside Foster Care team to find stability and a family structure that made an essential difference in her life.

Life was chaotic. I was born in 2007 and lived with my mom and my older sister. We were always moving, always shuffling from place to place. My mother got a new boyfriend and had four more children so my status of ‘being the youngest’ quickly changed. My sister and I were children watching children. By the time I was eight years old, all six of us went into foster care. As we all moved through the foster care system, apart from each other, life seemed hopeless. And incredibly sad.

I was placed with a family that had other adopted children. It was one big group in one home. They were my family now. The two youngest children were eventually placed into a forever home. I was happy for them but also sad to see them go. I keep in touch with them – they are still family to me.

My foster family had 7 other children. It was nice to have other brothers and sisters. Some were around my age; others were older. When I was 11, my family asked me if I wanted to stay to be their forever daughter. It was the happiest day of my life. In March of 2019 I became the youngest of 8 children.

During all the turbulence and transition, the team at Hillside that surrounded us and supported me, and my family, were undeniably critical to getting me to where I am today. I’m 15 and in high school. I am cheerleading and travelling and camping! I have a relationship with my birth mom and sometimes see my other siblings. I still look forward to seeing the staff at Hillside that worked to get me into a forever home. They are very special to me.

Sometimes it just takes one person to change your life. To believe in you. To want you to be safe and loved. And home.

Success stories like Marley’s are made possible through community support of Hillside’s Therapeutic Foster Parent program. Learn more about becoming a foster parent, and support Hillside’s mission today.

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