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Alison Bell
Alison Bell is a communications and development associate at Hillsides, a Pasadena-headquartered non-profit organization serving vulnerable children, youth, and families, many of them in the foster care system. Hillsides, which began as an orphanage 101 years ago, serves more than 7,500 individuals a year throughout Los Angeles County. It offers mental health services, residential treatment services, a therapeutic residential and day school, and a program for youth transitioning from foster care to adulthood.

Alison is also a freelance journalist, the author of five fiction books for children (the “Zibby Payne” series), and a college essay coach. She has written for many publications including the Los Angeles Times, Parenting, and Modern Bride. She is the mother of three children, two in college and one a freshman in high school. She and her husband are also the “parent” of a rescue golden retriever, Charlie, who she’s sure will make a wonderful surrogate child when their last one heads off to college in four years.

For more information on Hillsides, please visit

Entries by Alison Bell

7 Ways to Cope When Headline News Makes You Fear for Your Children's Well-Being

(0) Comments | Posted November 4, 2014 | 12:24 PM

The 5 Highway from Los Angeles to the Bay Area is a lonely stretch of asphalt. Something about the mile after mile of desolated landscape seems to unlock every anxiety floating in the back of your brain.



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How to Reassure Your Children in the Wake of a High School Mass Shooting Plot

(0) Comments | Posted August 25, 2014 | 5:08 PM

The day has finally arrived. My "baby boy," the youngest of three, has started high school. I envisioned this as a poignant time full of back-to-school shopping, lively discussions of his fall schedule and teachers, and bittersweet musings of how do the years pass so quickly.

And it was....

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