"The foster care system has taught me that no matter how hard the circumstances may be, no matter what you are faced with, there's always a light at the end of the tunnel. You just have to keep pushing."

Tiffany Hayes shares #HerStory for #SpeakUp:

"The hardest experience I've ever faced in foster care was being taken away from my adoptive mom. I felt like that was my home and she loved me but the moment she became ill, I was taken away from her and placed in a group home till my teenage years. One moment I had a home and then it was gone.

When I emancipated, all I wanted was a worker that would listen to me. I was going through domestic violence in my relationship but she closed my case and said I was being noncompliant. They kicked me out on the streets at 18 and I had nowhere to go. I was homeless for 129 days all because she did not ask what was wrong. She just assumed that I was being defiant.

My advice to those in foster care- it hurts now and you'll ask yourself "why" but in the end, it'll make you stronger. Take advantage of the resources that are given to you as you start to emancipate. I know the world seems so cold and so harsh right now but you won't feel alone if you do this."

Foster Nation