Foster Care: Support for youth in care

From an early age, Brooke sought the stability and support that her parents were unable to provide. Brooke, at 13, often ran away from home and found herself in dangerous situations involving gangs and drugs.

After living with a relative for a time, Brooke entered Kids Above All’s foster care program in 2016. She met her case manager, Alicia Wimbley, who quickly realized that Brooke needed a steady, reliable person in her life, and she tried to demonstrate to Brooke that she could fill that void.

In 2018, Brooke’s behavior became more erratic, and she was admitted to Hartgrove Hospital, a mental health center in Chicago. While at Hartgrove, Alicia remained in close contact with Brooke and became a trusted confidant. They talked about committing to therapy and her treatment plan, and Alicia helped Brooke to develop a routine. Over time, Brooke achieved the goals she needed to move to another facility in Arkansas.

As Brooke continued her journey, Alicia was a source of stability and comfort, helping her navigate new situations and looking out for her best interest.

Brooke started to blossom after transitioning to a group home in Murphysboro, Illinois. She excelled in high school and found jobs at McDonald’s and then at Walmart. Brooke remained in therapy and learned to identify her triggers and establish clear boundaries for herself and others. She also began to work through the trauma associated with her parents, and eventually, she gained confidence to become a more effective advocate for herself, including in her difficult relationship with her mother.

During a recent stay in a Kids Above All foster home, Brooke experienced the consistent care and support that were missing from her own family. This placement only furthered her resolve to continue working toward a healthy relationship with her parents.

Brooke currently lives in a transitional living program outside of Chicago and with Alicia’s help, is learning important life skills, like budgeting and cooking.

Increasingly, Brooke’s conversations with Alicia are focused on the future.

Brooke’s professional goals are to become a hair stylist and beauty salon owner. And while she researches educational options for both cosmetology and business, she is starting an eyelash business.

And thanks to Alicia’s many years of steadfast support and guidance, Brooke is also on-track to achieve her treatment goals, making progress toward living independently as an empowered, self-sufficient adult and having a stable relationship with her parents based on trust.

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