Friday, August 25, 2006

Argh, part deux.

The Caseworker called yesterday, but fostermama was putting Niblet for a nap, so asked if she could call her back later. She was going to be in the office for an hour, and by the time fostermama wrestled the baby down for her nap and took a breath, the time was gone and I was home from work and she had to scurry out the door.

So I was going to call the cw back this morning when I got to work.

Well, as I was leaving for work, the phone rings. It's the Caseworker's Supervisor. Who has previously proved to be reactionary and not a huge fan of foster parents.

My initial thought had been that the CW was calling to, at the very least, let us know what happened at court on Tuesday, right? Maybe even apologize for not telling us about it (giving some excuse that clears her, obviously.)

But no.

The Supervisor starts in on the schedule we sent with Niblet to the overnight. The schedule that was recommended and looked over prior by the OT. The schedule that was, I assume, seen by the dad's caseworker last week. But now the Supervisor is telling me that it's inappropriate for the dad to have to fill that out like homework and hand it back to us. I didn't ask if she'd like it simply returned to her... She talked about how we were "overstepping our boundaries" and took the opportunity to let me know what the role of a foster parent is. Which is highly hysterical, given that the Caseworker has proven many times that she's not all that clear on that concept.

I did not apologize. I did not agree that it was a bad idea. She claimed that the dad felt "insulted" by it, but I somehow doubt that. I told her that it was only a tool and that he had requested a schedule and that the OT suggested this format and thought that, by filling it out, it would help him keep track and learn the baby's cycles. I told her that everyone else who had seen it had either liked it or not made mention of it.
I told her that what we do need to know is the last time Niblet ate and slept so we know when to next feed and nap her.

Fostermama was in the background trying to tell me not to engage this person, but I didn't need that warning. I listened to what she said, said "okay", and hung up.

WhatEVER. Do I think it's ridiculous that we were the ones keeping track of how he was doing feeding and napping her? Yes! Do I think it's ridiculous that we were the ones who suggested he start overnights before he has a permanent place? Yes! Do I think it's overstepping our role? YES! But if nobody else is going to do their job and do these things, and they seem happy for us to, then that's what happens. They want us to stop - fine.

So next week we'll send a note, like usual, and outline her regular schedule, let him know when she woke up and ate, and ask him to write down when her final nap and food is before we pick her up. (oy, my tenses are getting all out of whack!)
If "they" have a problem with that, then they can stick it up their patooties, because that is NOT overstepping our role. That's taking care of the baby as long as she is in our care. Which is our only goal.

I really have no problem with the fact that they want us to stop having him fill in the form. However, there are respectful, non-accusatory ways to approach this and she chose not to take that route.

At this point, when we decide to start taking foster babies again, we're going to pick and choose our placements based on who the caseworker is and who his/her supervisor is. We've had enough run-ins with this Supervisor to know that she poisons her team again foster parents and we don't need to deal with that extra aggravation.


Co said...

The CW sucks. You're totally correct that if indeed she or whoever had a problem with the schedule, then she should have brought it up in a more respectful way, trying to ascertain why it was done, etc., etc. before saying anything else about it. Clearly, whether you're overstepping your bounds or not, you are doing it with the goal of making things go smoothly for Niblet. Since that's the goal (a goal I would hope the CW would see as laudable), there's no reason for her to be hostile or accusatory or define what a foster parent is to you. Understanding one's role or worrying about insulting the bio dad--that's not what any of this is about. She should know that. She sucks.

Julie said...

I do hate when they talk out of both sides of their mouths- "let us know what she needs- does.... and don't tell us what to do. You know best what her needs are.... but don't tell us.... we will figure it out..." It is so irritating. Keep the faith! I hear you on picking workers to work with. I am going to do the same. We have to stand up for ourselves in some manner to keep our sanity!!

fostermama said...

Clearly, whether you're overstepping your bounds or not, you are doing it with the goal of making things go smoothly for Niblet.

What is clear to the rest of the world is completely impossible for this woman to believe. It appears from our experience with her and others' that her biggest belief about foster parents is that the only reason they ever do anything is to try to keep the baby. So we have ulterior motives for everything and can't be trusted. All of us. All the time.

Tamara said...

I agree completely! That CW can stick it!! AND I can't agree more with the last paragraph re: future placements - we've gotten a lot of advice from "successful" foster parents who have adopted, and while nothing is "fool-proof", that method you describe seems to work best. The advice I've gotten: if you don't know the worker, and they can't tell you anything about the case - say "NO!" and don't feel a bit guilty for protecting your heart, your sanity, and your family.

You both deserve better than you got from these folks.