Throughout 2018, we are celebrating 135 years of meeting every child, every family, where their need is greatest. Doing whatever it takes so children and families can thrive. We are proud of our legacy of meeting the changing needs of vulnerable families throughout Illinois and inspired by the children and families we serve and their stories of resilience. The stories of our staff, volunteers and supporters are building bright futures and crafting new stories for those we serve. Their passion and dedication act as a springboard to new opportunities, new connections and new successes for every child and family.

As a home visitor in our Healthy Start Home Visiting program, Rebecca works with new mothers, age 22 and younger. Rebecca knows what it’s like to be a young, first-time mom. After graduating from Illinois State University in 2015, Rebecca was working as a foster care caseworker for a local organization when she became pregnant.

Originally from the south suburbs of Chicago, Rebecca lacked a support system in central Illinois so she was relieved when the local health department connected her with the Doula program at Children’s Home & Aid. From the start, Rebecca’s doula was tremendously supportive, providing her with prenatal information and helping her to develop a birth plan. Rebecca’s doula was even present for the birth of her daughter. With her family living several hours away, it was comforting for Rebecca to know that she had caring support nearby.

When her daughter was a few months old, Rebecca decided to leave her foster care position to find a job that allowed her to spend more time with her daughter. Before a new position could start, Rebecca and her newborn daughter were eventually forced to move out of their apartment and into a homeless shelter.

Soon after, Rebecca ran into her doula, who mentioned an open home visitor position at Children’s Home & Aid’s Bloomington office. Rebecca applied for the job and landed the position, which she began in January 2018. Today Rebecca is back in a home of her own. Her daughter is a vibrant, talkative, determined, 1-year-old and is thriving beyond where Rebecca imagined she’d be at this age. Rebecca has used her own, firsthand experience to support young moms in our home visiting program.

Rebecca says, “My personal experience helps me be the best I can at my job. It allows me to put myself in my clients’ shoes and empower moms to be the parent their child needs.”

Children’s Home & Aid’s story began with the vision of one man who believed that every child deserved a loving home. Your part is unfolding today.  What is your story?

See all of the stories  as part of our 135th anniversary.