The national average for family reunification is 49%.
Families who are separated experience devastating and traumatic loss – this leaves a lifelong impact on each person in the family including parents, children, and even extended family members. Parents must work hard to complete a court ordered plan to achieve reunification – the ultimate goal of foster care.
No one thrives in isolation. Many parents work hard to welcome their children home. This is challenging. It is almost impossible alone or without proper support. Moms Matter meets these moms in their pain, and through peer support, training, and coaching, moms learn to cope with their loss, build life skills, and take steps forward in their treatment plan.
Moms who actively participate in Moms Matter experience 90% reunification rate.
Dena is the Program Manager for Moms Matter and she shares her success.
Today, I have 23 Moms reunified with 38 children at home with their family. I can reach almost all these Moms and some of them are still involved in Moms Matter because they love it. Their friends are there, and they love helping the women coming in behind them. And remember, this includes the Covid years. I don’t think you can know what happens unless you were in it. Resources shut down, DSS offices shut down, COURT shut down. Women had children removed and could get NOTHING done. Not drug classes, not parenting classes, not court dates. Nothing that first year and then zoom…
Every single thing I learned in my training and continued ed, has been brought to the forefront in working with these women. Motivational interviewing, trauma informed and TREM/MTREM, FASD, PTSD informed, Grief training, Supervision training, ACE and, of course, Ethics, Ethics, Ethics. Fostering Great Ideas also provides supervision and training on an ongoing basis and is open and familiar with the addiction community. I am blessed with that. Currently, with online Moms Matter, I have women all over the state, with cases in Charleston, Lexington Co, Laurens Co, Horry Co, and all over the Upstate. Our desire is to train more facilitators for Moms Matter and have a real working presence across South Carolina, which is wanted and needed.
Twenty-seven percent of reunifications will re-enter foster care. This has not happened for Moms who stay involved with Moms Matter or stayed until reunification. As we know, peer support makes all the difference in any successful recovery.
My success stories are amazing. These women challenge me, inspire me and motivate me everyday to continue my recovery, just to keep up with them! We laugh together, mourn together, rage together, and celebrate every tiny step forward as they move toward a new life with their children and their new support systems. These women are just thirsting for someone who understands their lives in the middle of the most traumatic thing they will ever go through. I am so happy that that person is me. It might be you, too.
Dena’s story was originally published in APSC Spring Newsletter, March 2022
Learn more about Dena’s work or make a Moms Matter referral.