Category Archives for "Children’s Aid & Family Services"

Meet Isaac and Hillory

A woman and a young boy hugging and posing for the camera

Isaac and Hillory have a very special bond.

When Isaac was 3, he started living in group foster homes. He had gone through abuse and neglect, and was acting out because of it.

At 10, he moved in with Hillory who became his therapeutic foster parent— she was trained to help kids with exceptional trauma.

Hillory bonded with Isaac and taught him how to be a part of the family so that at the end of it all, Isaac could feel that he truly belonged.

“We cooked and ate dinner together, watched movies, went grocery shopping and to Great Adventure,” she says. “I also taught him to make crafts, and I would bring him with me when I volunteered at the local senior citizen center. The older adults loved talking to Isaac.”

Hillory also bought him his first suit and tie for a formal event. “It was important to teach him how to have pride in himself and present himself well,” she says.

Isaac has since gained confidence and learned to trust others, especially Hillory.

Their relationship has changed both of their lives for the better.

Story credits: Children’s Aid and Family Services

Helping Young Mothers Thrive

Jaclyn had been working full-time, but still struggling to make ends meet. And despite her best efforts, she was evicted from her apartment.

Jaclyn CAFS 2019
Jaclyn received help from Children’s Aid and Family Services.

With a 3-year-old daughter to care for and nowhere to turn, she found a lifeline at Zoe’s Place, a program run by Children’s Aid and Family Services. A supportive home for pregnant teenagers and teen mothers and their children, Zoe’s Place provides assistance and guidance so individuals can access educational opportunities, job training, life and parenting skills, health care and employment as well as child care and individual mentoring.

Zoe’s Place provides free child care, and the young women who live in the home must either attend school or work full-time. In pursuit of a career path, 21-year-old Jaclyn went back to school to study skincare and makeup application. She enrolled her daughter, a bright, sociable child, in preschool, where she is thriving.

Jaclyn graduated from cosmetology school and is now a licensed esthetician. She recently began working full-time at a spa. She also is a certified makeup artist and promotes her services on social media with the goal of eventually owning her own salon.Jaclyn is grateful to have found Zoe’s Place and for the opportunities it has provided.

“I want my child to know she is safe and to have a good life. I want her to appreciate the gift we have been given and understand that not everyone has help like this,” she said.

It is because of the generous donations to the Greater Newark Holiday Fund that Children’s Aid and Family Services is able to provide housing and intensive support services for teenage mothers and their babies.

Visit the Greater Newark Holiday Fund on Twitter or Facebook at www.facebook.com/GreaterNewarkHolidayFund.

This story originally appeared on nj.com