Foster Care Month: A new support village for single foster moms

A relationship that started over one tiny, curly-haired, beautiful baby girl might just improve foster care for many.

That baby, named Faith, brought foster moms Erin Myers and Rachel Diana Hudson together. She was placed in foster care with Myers in January and stayed with her while caseworkers looked for family that might be able to care for her. That family turned out to be Hudson, whose cousin is the baby’s mom.

It’s a situation that could have been contentious. But the two women met and instantly realized they have so much in common. Both talked about not only wanting to foster children and help them reunite with their parents, but also to do something bigger to improve foster care.

They settled on starting a group for single foster moms. In just a few weeks, the group GCA Village has more than 50 members. They hope to grow it into a support hub of respite, resources and other help for foster moms who don’t have the help of a partner in their homes.

“I have longed for this community for some time,” Hudson said. “It takes a village to raise a child even when married with a support system…I really hope that as the world opens back up, we can plan a few events to meet and get to know one another in person. Personally, I would like for this to be a safe place where single foster parents can come to connect, share, support, provide and receive resources, and I hope that we can come together to bridge gaps in services and better support current and future single foster parents.”
Their longer-term hopes include starting a childcare and advocacy center specifically for foster families. They want to provide trauma-competent care for children in the foster system and “cater to the crazy and hectic lives of foster parents,” Myers said. 
Myers, 25, knew some foster kids when she was in school so she was familiar with foster care and always planned to become a foster parent. But she had a picture in her mind of what a foster family should look like – she should marry, buy a house and have a beautiful fenced-in yard before starting to foster. 

A year ago, she made the decision to toss all that out the window. She realized she had “everything I needed within myself to be a safe and loving foster parent. I was done waiting to become what society told me I needed to be and took a leap of faith.”

Faith was her first placement. She is waiting for her second. She recently added a second bed to her home study so she can take siblings.

“I felt very nervous about meeting a member of my sweet foster daughter’s family,” Myers said. “When Rachel came over to introduce herself, I instantly knew we had very similar hearts. She very transparently told me her own story and her heart behind foster care, and I knew in that moment that our sweet girl would be safe with Rachel. Since then, we have bonded over mutual passions and dreams. I wholeheartedly believe that Rachel and I have connected for a reason, and the best is yet to come!”

Hudson, 30, has two biological sons and also was a surrogate . She has provided respite multiple times and fostered two placements, including Faith. Her interest in foster care started when her grandparents took custody of her after she “bounced around.” They were foster parents also.

“I realized how close I was to being ‘in the system’ had it not been for them,” she said.

She still gets help from Myers with Faith.

“We were worried at first it might be confusing or stressful for her, but she’s resilient,” Hudson said. “It’s wonderful for Faith. She knows who we both are and gets excited every time she sees either of us, which is reassuring.”

 Myers hopes that as this group grows, it will help prompt more people answer the call to be a foster parent.

“Our goal is to see families restored,” she said, “and lives changed.”  

To meet Myers and Hudson or join their group, look for them on Facebook at GCA Village.