Why This Mom Matters (Neva’s story part 1)

Close up of little girl hugging her mother

Moms Matter™ is our program that supports moms whose children have been removed from home. Nationally, over 50% of children in foster care reunify with their parents. Reunification is always the first option, if possible, because no matter who you are, you always want your Mom.

Neva (a Moms Matter participant)On August 4, 2018, my children were removed from my home and placed into foster care. My children were 5 and 6 years old; they had never been away from home.

Nothing like this had ever happened to me, and I couldn’t understand it. I was living in a nightmare. I was devastated. I was angry. For the first two months, I slept in my car in my driveway, because I couldn’t sleep in my house with the kids gone.

Today, I can see that I was in denial, combative, and traumatized. Probably not a pretty picture. I started Moms Matter four weeks into the process. It was the first time I felt understood since my kids were removed. I didn’t feel judged. Dena [the Moms Matter Support Specialist] let me say anything I wanted. She never looked shocked, she always said “I know!” Other moms were going through the same thing and I no longer felt so alone.

There was support and trust in that room and we helped each other. It didn’t happen overnight, but I became easier to talk to and less defensive. I’ve made real friends and built support systems that I will carry with me.

Over the months, I got better. I completed parenting classes, I’m working with a counselor, and continuing Moms Matter. When I recently got Zantrell as a caseworker, I couldn’t tell if I had gotten better or if he was just the best! Zantrell worked hard on my case, stayed in communication with me, and was so good to my kids. My last court date was June 5. The judge ordered my children to come home on June 28. I feel prepared and supported and so excited! Today is my reunification day.

I will continue Moms Matter because my friends are there and these women know and understand me.

I hate that all this happened, but as my kids and I adjust to our new lives, I’m grateful for all the things I’ve learned.”

~ Neva

Neva has now reunited with her children. Read Part 2 of her story here.

In the U.S., every state proclaims June as Family Reunification Month. In South Carolina, Governor Henry McMaster “…encourages all South Carolinians to recognize and support families who have successfully reunified with their children, those families currently working through the process, and the many support persons who help these families.”

The proclamation is profound. Read the full proclamation here.

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