Wednesday, August 30, 2006

There really needs to be some sort of competency standard for birth parents who're getting "their" kids placed with them/released from foster care. I realized the other day that her dad is older than the babysitter who we don't use anymore because she's totally wonderful with Niblet but her mental faculties aren't as sharp as they once were. And he's all drug-addled (past use we hope), too. There's no way it's actually safe to leave a child in his care.

But, she's going to live with him.
And he's eventually going to get an apartment, despite his total incompetence, because enough social services folks are working to get him a place. It might happen this Friday. Not holding my breath, as that would be the 4th time it "might happen" so far this summer. But once he gets a place, the transition was supposed to start in earnest. Only now her County Caseworker (evil one) is saying that any changes in her visit schedule will have to wait til the next meeting, which is not til 9/20. When at the last meeting, 8/9 or so, everyone was saying that once he got a place we'd revisit the visits even if it wasn't the next meeting yet.

So she might be in total limbo for 3 more weeks than necessary because this caseworker is so lazy and evil.

I'm feeling like for everyone's sake, I have to intervene. Today I called the placement supervisor to see if we could maybe get a CASA worker involved in facilitating the transition. She's on vacation til Friday. If she doesn't come through, or if the CASA thing can't be done, I think we should call the private agency caseworker's supervisor and see about getting her to advocate for a sooner change. She doesn't have the power to make the decision, but the County caseworker does see her as a little bit of a higher-up and if she pushed for something it might well happen. She will SO not want to get involved, but she's not stupid and will see that this is important so she might.

I'm torn about fighting for Niblet and possibly burning bridges vs. letting things go a little longer and allowing everyone to pretend things are OK. I'm tempted to file a formal complaint about not having been alerted to the court date and see if we can get the ruling changed to include a mandate for her father to attend parenting classes in order to get her back. There's no good reason it shouldn't have included that from the very beginning. And they SAY they're trying to get him help in that area but you know the County isn't gonna pay for anything if the court doesn't require it. :P


Huge mess.

All I want is someone in the system to stick up for her. There's a person whose job that is. Her "law guardian." But he doesn't do it. Not even a little bit. Won't even talk to us, even though it's in his job description to do so. Nods at whatever Evil-Caseworker says to the judge, without knowing thing 1 about whether it's true or right.

So awful....


Anonymous said...

BEWARE!! You are about to get burned by the Foster Care System

FosterAbba said...

Fighting for Niblet will burn bridges with the county, and if you aren't VERY careful, you'll find yourself blacklisted and you'll never get another foster, fost-adopt, or adoptive placement.

All you can do is document your concerns by keeping track of everything the father does wrong. (i.e. kid comes home having not been fed/napped/bathed properly) If you can document observed problems, that might have an effect, but be aware that the county's first desire is to return kids back to the biological parents, even if they aren't stellar.

In the county's eye, "blood is [usually] thicker than water."

Although I wouldn't word it as harshly, I do agree with the previous anonymous poster. Fighting the county on anything creates huge risks for you. Be very careful.

FosterMommy said...

Oh, we know exactly what can happen when you make even tiny waves with the County.
We were going to wait until this case is over for us before filing a complaint against the caseworker. and probably still will wait on that, but we need to do what's best for Niblet.

Ultimately, if we ruin our name with the county, so be it.
We're going through private domestic adoption, anyway, to get a permanent baby. We've learned that, if we want to be permanent moms anytime soon, that's the only way to do it around here.

So, basically, we're willing to take the risk if it's the only way to get the best for Niblet. We'd rather not make waves; we'd rather keep being foster parents; we'd like for all the caseworkers to be properly trained...but these things may not happen.

fostermama said...

We're not trying to fight to keep her. We're trying to fight to make the transition to her living with her father, rather than keep her in limbo for *no reason* other than the laziness of the caseworker.

This would be a heck of a lot easier to navigate if BOTH the case-workers in the placement unit weren't on vacation this week. Although, New Chick might still be around. I suppose I could try calling her for guidance, but I suspect that'd be useless. Might smooth over whatever ripples we do cause, to at least be able to say "we did contact your unit for advice"...

We'll see..

Tamara said...

No parenting classes? Ugh. So, as foster parents we have to take more classes and training and inspection than the parents do to get them back after being an addict? Fabulous. (*sigh*). I feel so bad for Niblet. And I feel for both of you, too. I hope the transition doesn't take long, but if Biodad still has not moved, how can that even be happening? You'd think they'd want him to prove himself capable first before putting Niblet at risk. It is so disappointing.

MamaKBear said...

I feel for you...I really do!

Found y'all through Michelle over at My Chosen Child...I'm a foster Mom to two of my nieces (ages 3 1/2 and 16 months) and we are just beginning the adoption process. It's been a long road...

Julie said...

I am sad for niblet- she is the one who is getting the brunt of all this- and the cws don't see it- I just don't get it. I pray that someone turns on the light!!! Hang in there!