For 19-year-old Gabriel, a Hephzibah foster child, life was a roller coaster growing up in the child welfare system. Gabriel would encounter frequent twists and turns along his path, and this included many foster homes along the way. Life is not easy for foster kids, and instability can wreak havoc in their life. One thing was always consistent in Gabriel’s life, and that was Hephzibah Children’s Association.

Gabriel faced many challenges in foster care — mostly at school. Frequent changes to his home life resulted in frequent school disruptions, and traditional school became nearly impossible for him. He suffered emotionally, and therefore his grades suffered. Eventually failing out of school in his senior year, Gabriel knew he needed help. He also knew who would help him — Hephzibah. 

Hephzibah staff helped Gabriel find an alternative graduation program to help him get his diploma. Knowing the program suited him better, he was able to graduate and now looks forward to his future. Gabriel also made the choice to remain in Hephzibah’s care until he’s ready to become fully independent, much like a parent does for their child. 

Hephzibah works hard to teach children that they have the potential to do great things, and be great people, no matter what twists and turns their path takes them on. We know that with the right amount of nurturing care, every child has the opportunity to flourish and thrive. 

Hephzibah Children’s Association

Founded in 1897, Hephzibah Children’s Association is Oak Park’s oldest social service agency. Serving children and families for over 125 years, Hephzibah’s mission of helping children thrive and families flourish is muti-faceted. We offer a residential treatment program for severely abused, neglected, and traumatized children and those in need of behavioral intervention ages 3-11. In addition, Hepzibah offers foster care services, comprehensive services for children and families in crisis, positive parenting services and an abuse & neglect prevention program. Hephzibah also provides affordable after-school care and summer camp for Oak Park families of all income levels.To make a donation, visit 

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