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.