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Letter from a Former Foster Child


On July 24, 2014, an 11-year-old ended her journey with the Department of Children Services and walked into her new life.

She came into custody as so many other children do, as dependent and neglected. Her parents made a hard decision to surrender their parental rights and allow her the chance at permanency with another family. When a kinship placement didn’t work out, she was welcomed into a forever family, who helps her maintain relationships with birth family members who continue to support her journey.

When she wrote this letter voluntarily to her DCS staff, she signed her chosen new name: “Taylor.”

As the caseworker from the Smoky Mountain DCS Region wrote: “Taylor is as unique and wonderful as they come.”

In 2013, 1,082 children in DCS custody reached permanency through adoption.