Sunday, September 09, 2007

I'll be a killjoy...

As awesome and relieving as it is to be cleared, it feels somewhat hollow as well.

We still can not do foster care again, because we'd risk the same thing happening. I'm really sad about that!

And we know this is happening to lots of other foster parents in our area and around the country. Our placement worker (the one useful person at the county) said it's happening a lot right now. Craziness! As I said to her, this is one sure way to get rid of all good foster parents.

Someone posted on a listserv I'm on about how Alameda, CA has this approach to foster care that really prioritizes the kids' rights (silly things like permanency and safety), and I am so jealous! I wish I felt I had some power to create change here.

Plus, the huge (for us) amount of money we spent on this is a real sore spot. We really need that money, especially with all Squeak's medical issues.

The caseworker who screwed us is spending her days harrassing other bio parents and foster parents around the county, with her inept supervisor smiling and nodding and being clueless. I'm sure there are no repercussions for her for how she handled this. Nor any training on how to do it better in the future.

It's just SO upsetting.

I started out doing foster care after MAPP class feeling really good about the system here and thinking it worked as well as it could given the crazy situations it handles. Oy, was I wearing some rose colored glasses! If the caseworkers and their supervisors were to actually **receive MAPP training**, maybe things would be better. But they don't. They have no idea how it's even *supposed* to work, much less how to get it there.


I wish I could be a foster parent. I wish I could recommend it to my friends and acquaintances who show interest. I wish my life hadn't had this cloud hanging over it for *half a year*, and I wish I hadn't spent money I don't have on getting cleared.

I really appreciate everyone's enthusiasm about us getting cleared. It's nice knowing we've got cheerleaders. :) I just can't quite get behind the "hooray"s. :(


Bacchus said...

I'm glad everything is cleared for you. Alameda is great to work with, or at least my experience has been that they really focus on reality and what is best for the child.

There are some counties in California though that are not at all easy to work with.

Just doing fostercare for a year, and ours was very smooth, I can see why people get burnt out doing full time foster.

Tricia said...

Who could blame Ya? The system, in general, sucks.

LeftLeaningLady said...

It is so sad that 2 caring individuals who want to help are forced out in this way.

I've considered foster care for years. I couldn't do it when my son was young, sadly, I was afraid that the children could cause him harm OR end up in your situation and lost custody of him. Now he is grown, but I don't want to lose my house paying lawyer fees.

Maybe one day the system will not keep good foster parents away from the children who need them.

FosterAbba said...

I don't blame you for not wanting to foster again. When people ask me for my opinion about it, I tell them I can't honestly recommend it.

Co said...

I can see how it's a hollow victory. The "villains" didn't pay or even learn a lesson. The "heroes" technically won, but you also lost a lot, too--money you didn't have, time you couldn't spare, the desire to foster in the future, and the faith you had in a system which they knew was screwed up, but which you thought ultimately was trying to do right by children.

Hugs. It sucks.

Robin said...

I understand the hollow victory, especially since you never did anything wrong. Hang in there!

Marymurtz said...

I stumbled upon your blog by searching for other foster parents....I've been reading back through some of your posts, but they made me remember so many of the struggles we had as foster parents, I don't know how much I can read!

But I hear you-----we started out thinking we'd do foster parenting for years, for hundreds of kids. We were burned in the worst way possible and after we miraculously were able to adopt our daughter, who had earlier been moved to another foster home, we realized we couldn't continue working within such a broken system.

I'm proud of you for speaking up on your blog about this. It's appalling how, in the name of "family preservation" the children live in a constant limbo that virtually guarantees they will not be well-adjusted adults, thereby perpetuating this dysfunctional cycle.

I'm bookmarking your blog and will read back through.

ina said...

Since you don't have much to lose - your son is yours, you'll no longer be foster parents - would you consider going public with this? Talk to the press, get rosie o'donnell (a BIG advocate of fostering) involved? The people who are doing so much to make a bad situation even worse REALLY need to be put in their places.

Kikilia said...

Hope everything is going well for you guys.

Miss seeing your posts.

HerMajesty00 said...

A long time foster parent here in Massachusetts use to joke, "Foster parents do not retire with a gold watch, they retire with a 51A"
As in a foster parent isn't rewarded with a gold watch to celebrate their years of service. Instead they end up leaving after a false child abuse report is filed on them.
You helped, you made a difference and thats what matters. Even when I could no longer foster myself I still recommended it to others though. Someone out there will have the strength it takes to change the system to truly serve the children.
Meanwhile, kids need a palce to stay. God bless.

Amanda said...

Hi --

Just wondering if you might allow me to read your live journal. I'd love to keep up with you and Squeak and Niblet.