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Moms Matter®

Encouraging moms to reach their treatment goals

 

262,000 children from roughly 100,000 parents enter the U.S. foster care system each year. About half of these parents will get their children back.

Having a child removed and placed in foster care is a devastating and traumatic loss for parents – one that often leaves a lifelong impact on each family member. While children often desire to go back home, each parent is given a court-ordered treatment plan to complete before reunification can take place.


49%

reunification national average


Nationally, only about half of children reunify with their parents
90%

reunification in Moms Matter®


In our Moms Matter® program, over 90% will reunify each year.

They can’t do it alone,

Some parents are able to do what it takes to welcome their children back – but not alone. That’s where we come in. We meet moms in their pain, through a peer to peer approach, providing training and support. Moms Matter® helps moms cope with their loss, build essential life skills, and break down their treatment plan goals into small and manageable tasks.

A safe environment for inner healing

Most moms feel devastated, overwhelmed, and broken when their children are taken from them and put into foster care. They often shame themselves for their mistakes and the pain that they have caused their children. Our trained facilitators welcome them into an open, honest, and safe environment to be themselves.

Many battle addiction, poverty, and lack of education. As weekly support group meetings take place, moms begin to rebuild their self-esteem and find hope in taking small steps toward their goals. Week by week, moms grow in courage and find inner healing.

As moms progress through their treatment plans, they also find support from other moms who understand what they’re going through. Group discussions begin with acceptance and humility. From there, they move to becoming a stronger parent for their children and preparing for reunification. Our certified Peer Support Specialists provide consistent expectations and accountability as willing moms make progress and find success.

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Our weekly support group is free.

  • Grace

    Losing my daughter to foster care was the hardest time of my life. I learned about Moms Matter® at a time that no one was helping me. I went to my first meeting, and have been going ever since. The women who attend are great, and help each other out. It helped me learn new things about myself. I am proud to say that my daughter is back with me now, thanks to Moms Matter®.

    Grace
    mom
  • Nicole

    I went in [to Moms Matter®] worried and scared they were going to look at me like I’m horrible, but we got in there and it was comforting to know that I was in a place that I wouldn’t be looked down on. That made it a lot easier to be ME and to know that I am not a horrible person because everyone makes mistakes.

    Nicole
    mom

A trained facilitator helps moms to:

1Where are support groups held?
Each support group location varies and remains confidential. They are all located in accessible locations that can be easily accessed via public transportation. Once a location is chosen, the support group location does not change to provide consistency for group members. Check out the current listing of what communities have active support groups at this time.
2What cities/states currently have support groups?
We currently have Moms Matter® support groups in:
  • South Carolina (Statewide, Virtual)
  • Greenville, South Carolina (In-person)
  • Colorado (Statewide, Virtual)
  • Denver, Colorado (In-person)
3Who leads the support groups?
Each support group is led by a certified Peer Support Specialist, through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). They are peers to the moms who attend the group and are in long-term active recovery. This element is critical as they can relate to the moms and know how to support them on their journey. Support group facilitators have significant training in recovery, ethical decision-making, person-centered and relationship-focused support, and trauma-informed care through the peer worker certification. In addition, support group facilitators are trained in how to facilitate support groups. Each support group facilitator is driven by a deep motivation and commitment to help the moms in her group.
4What type of content is discussed during the supportgroup?
When a mom begins attending a support group, the discussion focuses around organization and completion of her treatment plan. As she makes small steps to get started, focus is then given to how she interacts with her children and professionals and what she can do to improve those relationships. Once she begins to make progress, we begin grief and trauma work. Focus is given to how she handles her emotions and having realistic expectations about the process. And finally, there is ongoing discussion about continuous lifestyle changes she can make to prepare for reunification and ensure this never happens again. Moms often continue attending support groups after reunification to work on skill-building, and to encourage new moms as they begin their journey.
5How is confidentiality, safety, and mandated reporting dealt with for support group participants?
It is critical to create a culture of safety in every support group, so that moms feel comfortable to share openly about how they are doing and what is troubling them. This openness is the first step to getting help and making progress. What is shared in a support group stays in the support group, unless there is disclosure of intended self-harm or harm to others. Facilitators report general updates about mom to the social service case team, but do not share specific details.
6How is the progress of moms tracked?
Each week, moms complete two worksheets to help them with their progress. One is an emotional well-being inventory, and the other is a goals worksheet. Both worksheets help moms to gain greater self-awareness, make small steps on their treatment goals, and to become a better parent. Progress is also demonstrated by relationships the mom builds and maintains. As moms attend group consistently, their relationships often improve.
 

Learn how you can get involved.

There are many ways to get involved with Moms Matter®.

Complete a referral for Moms Matter®. Anyone can submit a referral — this includes moms, case workers, CASA/GALs, attorneys, treatment facility staff, health assessment center staff, foster parents, family members, friends, and mentors. Once a referral is received, our team will reach out to the mom immediately and invite her to the nearest support group and make contact with the person who sent in the referral.

 

Programming Currently in Development

Virtual Community for Moms

When a child is removed from the home, parents don’t know where to go or what to do. It can be an isolating journey filled with grief, pain, heartbreak, and self-shaming. Parents in isolation can quickly spiral emotionally and lose hope. That’s why we’ve created a community for moms to connect with each other. We strongly recommend that moms build in-person peer connections during this time, like enrolling in our Moms Matter® support groups.

However, we realize that not everyone has access to in-person support. Our statewide virtual moms communities are safe spaces for moms who have social service involvement to share ideas, resources, and encouragement with one another. Moms who have successfully reunified with their children serve as leaders within each community, facilitating positive dialogue with moms who are at risk for or have recently lost custody of their children to foster care.

1Who can join?
Any mom who has had a social service investigation within the last 3 years. All moms who join the support group are encouraged to stay and remain active in the support group after the case has been closed and/or they have reunified with their children.
2What community should I join?
Moms should request to join the community in the state where she lives.
3Where do I find the community?
Our communities are hosted on Facebook, and can be found by searching “Unification Station [your state]".
4What if there is not a community in my state?
If there is not yet a community in your state, please contact us at connect@fgi4kids.org .
5Who is the administrator?
Our Parent Advocates, who lead Moms Matter support groups facilitate the group. Any questions or concerns can be directed to them, or our COO, LIndsey Hesketh at Lindsey.hesketh@fgi4kids.org.
6What is safe to share?
Personal stories are encouraged, and helps new members to feel comfortable sharing and asking questions.
7Who can see my posts?
Each community is a “closed community” meaning that only members can see posted content. Non-members who know about the support group can search and find a list of who is in the group, but no content is visible.
 

A note to dads:

We pride ourselves on filling gaps within the foster care system so that hope is restored to every child. If a service already exists, we see no point in replicating it, unless we can find a better way. At Fostering Great Ideas®, we focus on moms, but other organizations focus on dads. For aunts, uncles, grandparents and fictive kin, consider our program, It’s All Relative®.

 
 

Have questions about our Moms Matter support groups?

Please connect with us so we can help you connect with others. Fill out the form below and our team will be in touch soon.

 
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