The Mathias Family

Catherine and her husband met in 2015 and were married in 2020. The couple moved to Savannah in 2021; Catherine is the Recruitment Coordinator for Elks Aidmore, a therapeutic foster care agency, and her husband serves in the military. Faith is important to both of them after understanding God’s heart for vulnerable children, they knew they wanted to join the community and become foster caregivers. 
“For us, foster care is not just about loving a child, it’s about standing in the gap for vulnerable families while the parents get back on their feet,” Catherine Mathias said. “Of course, we’re going to get attached to any kiddo that comes into our home, but we knew we couldn’t let our fear of one day saying ‘goodbye’ stop us from providing a child with the love, stability, and safety that they need to grow and thrive.”
Catherine and her husband Mathias have been licensed foster parents since April 2023, but their journey began almost two years before. From the day the couple attended their first interest meeting to the day they found out they were approved took two years.
“Getting your foster care license definitely requires a lot of patience!” Catherine said. “Our advice through the process would be to stay on top of your paperwork and submit things back to your social worker as soon as possible, that way you don’t fall through the cracks as they are licensing many families at the same time.”
With the support of their friends and family, Catherine is currently raising their first placement.
Their first placement arrive and according to Catherine, night one was “wild.”
“It’s surreal to only know about a child’s existence hours before you meet them for the first time and bring them into your family, but our whole lives flipped upside down in the best way the moment we got home,” Catherine said.
The first few days were spent collecting information about the child. Important information is required such as a social security number, medical insurance, birth certificate, and health history, but in foster care it is also important to obtain contacts such as the DFCS caseworker, CASA, and any additional service providers. Not only are you trying to take in every moment and be present for the child but you also now have court dates. In Georgia, foster parents are legally invited to attend court and the children in care are often requested to be present.
When asking about advice for the first placement, Catherine said, “take things slow as your family adjusts! Whether the child just entered foster care and you’re their first foster family or they are moving from another placement, their whole world has been rocked and it’s up to the adults in their life to establish security, stability, and safety. Be consistent, patient, and loving to establish trust.”
Catherine pictured during the Banana Baby tradition at Grayson Stadium.
Two weeks after their first placement, the Mathias Family receive another placement call. 
“We unfortunately had to say “no” to the second call due to the current capacity of our family; however, we are going to continue enjoying every moment we get with our sweet baby and rooting for his family,” Catherine said.
Their greatest advice for those considering foster care is to get educated about foster care and children in care.
“Take the time to educate yourself about childhood trauma as much as you can, listen to voices from former foster youth, and learn about social issues that impact the biological families involved in the child welfare system,” Catherine said. “This will all help you develop so much empathy for everyone involved. It truly is not about us vs. them but rather us stepping in to help them when they’re in need.”