foster care

What is was supposed to be

This was supposed to be a mommy blog. You know: Look at the cute things the kids did. Can you believe that actually happened? Are fourteen month olds supposed to be able to open the front door. What it actually is turning into is one big rant against the system.

What is parenting supposed to be? Tiring? Yes. Absolutely. You get up, get the kids ready for school. Pick them up from school/daycare/bus stop. Do homework. Eat dinner. Maybe go to the playground. Read a story, brush teeth and bed time. Instead parenting is nag, nag, nag, don’t sit on your brother, nag, nag, nag, eat your dinner or you are going to bed, did you want to go to the playground, don’t run behind that car! Go To Bed!!! This sounds like any tv sitcom. In our house, I feel like I’m the conductor and the kids are smashing on the drums twenty four seven.

Even good days are quickly over run by bad behavior, tears, and cranky over tired children that can’t get enough sleep no matter what I do.

Add in the appointments, the tutoring, the doctors, the teachers, caseworkers, guardian ad litems, and now attorney ad litems. We use an app called COZI to track all of our appointments. This weeks list makes me want to hide under my desk and never come out. Yesterday there was a conflict between an appointment with a doctor (that we knew about) and an appointment with an attorney that NO ONE told us about. And we got scolded because we did not attend.

How it’s supposed to be? We work as a team in the best interest of the child. I honestly think there should be help, especially for cases where kids have medical issues. The “system” staff is overworked, underpaid and a lot of times too scattered to know who is who and what is what. That team mentality doesn’t seem to happen too often. Each individual is working frantically to get the bare minimum done. There are definitely good people in the “system” and we have individuals who are a godsend to us. But a lot of times, it feels like we are banging our heads against a very strong wall.

Why continue, when kids, adults, and professionals exhibit bad behavior. Because those kids have so much potential and need someone to keep screaming at the top of their lungs, banging their head, and advocating for them.

Sorry for the rant.

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foster care

Staffings

If you are involved in foster care, you will likely attend a staffing. They occur about every three months. If you are lucky, you will be given notice of these far ahead. More than likely, you will find out about them three days before and have to scramble to get time off from work or rearrange your other appointments. Kids are not allowed to attend, so you’ll to calculate if you can make the 1:30 staffing an hour away from daycare and get back in time to pick up the kiddo at 3. You will not.

What is a staffing? It’s a group of professionals involved in the case. The case is usually a sibling group. You have the caseworker, the caseworker’s supervisor, some people from quality control, a guardian ad litem or casa if you are lucky enough to have them, an attorney ad litem if your kids are appointed one, some people from quality control who ask lots of questions that amount to “is everything being done,” biological parents and foster parents. Biological parents may or may not show. Same for foster parents.

Our first staffing was intense and serious. Bio parents did not show. We had had the boys for a few weeks. We stated their needs, updated them on our situation, and listened to everyone’s spiels. This occurred before a court hearing called judicial review. We were asked if we were willing to adopt the boys, and being that the parents hadn’t done anything toward their case plans (stop taking drugs, show up for counseling, get jobs, get housing etc. . .) the professionals involved in the staffing stated they’d recommend changing the goal from reunification (kids go back to bio parents) to concurrent goals of adoption and reunification (bio parents aren’t doing what they are supposed to so we are planning ahead).

Joe and I left perfectly exhausted, rushed home, rushed to day cares. It felt very dramatic.