To shut me up, she sent me the court affidavit for removal. This paperwork was seen by the doctor and was used when the psych evals were written.
Foster parents don't typically get ANY court documents where I'm at. We certainly aren't given affidavits for removal. I'm not sure how I feel about having it sent to me. Though, I will say that some of the info contained in that document would have been nice to know from the beginning.
As of today, the Rockstars have been in our home for four weeks. CPS does have proof that they have been neglected. I still see no proof in any of their records of physical abuse. But the situation they came from is more serious than any of the paperwork I had been given at placement led me to believe.
I'm not going to stop advocating for their parents, though. I still believe these kids need to be home as soon as possible. Of course, their parents need to make some significant changes in their lives. But I still believe they have the capacity to be a healthy family.
One of the ways I advocate is to show empathy when the situation is being discussed.
Along with the affidavit of removal, my licensing worker sent me a screen shot from the County website showing me all of Dad's criminal issues.
I laughed a little, via text, and told her I saw that information the minute I got the names of the parents. I do my research. NOT because I want to "do" anything about it. But because I like to understand as much of the full situation as I can. The records are public. I'm not doing anything wrong.
I don't know exactly how my worker felt about this. My gut says she wanted me to be upset by the criminal history. I get the impression she would prefer I villainize the family of origin. I imagine she wants me to trust that CPS always removes kids with good reason.
The criminal record that Dad holds does not warrant the removal of children. It was of little interest to me when I first saw it - except to know what the kids have likely been exposed to so I can be sensitive to their needs surrounding the criminal events.
Then my licensing worker mentioned something Mom put on her Facebook shortly after removal. I replied at the same time my worker was typing another text.
My response: But she's young. And most likely unemployed. She wanted to fill her time. I didn't fault her for that.I sent another text.
My worker's second text: I'm like yeah I would definitely be thinking about (doing XYZ activity) when my kids are being removed.
I went under investigation and got my kids removed - we went to Sea World that weekend. It was gut wrenching. I had been caring for the kids for over a year. The investigation was bogus. (No citations. No disciplinary action. Nothing.) I felt weird going out. But staying home nearly killed me. All I could do was cry.My licensing worker didn't reply. I guess she's not used to foster parents having any empathy for the parents of the kids they're caring for.
I don't know what the Rockstars' mom is feeling. But I'm not going to fault her for doing an enjoyable activity after her kids got removed. No one should expect her to just sit at home and cry. And it's not like she can force CPS to offer her all the services immediately. She's tied to their schedule - and their schedule moves slow.
As a foster parent I have little to no say over much of anything. But I can help try and shape other people's feelings.
I refuse to speak bad about these parents. Despite knowing more information about the removal, and better understanding that it was valid, it doesn't change the fact that kids need to be with their parents. Moms and Dads will be better parents if they don't use illegal substances. And sometimes Moms and Dads need parenting classes so they can better understand the impact of dangerous behaviors. But that doesn't mean that these parents don't love their kids and that their kids don't need THEM.
Just because I offer a clean, safe, home filled with all the things they need and many of the things they want - doesn't mean that the Rockstars don't BELONG HOME with their parents!
Hopefully their parents will actually work the service plan they've been given so the Rockstars can go home. I'm positive the case won't move as fast as I want it to. And I do believe that The System is not set up in a way to make the parents easily successful. Foster care is very punitive and the problems at hand are very generational.
Which takes me back to a statement I made on Facebook not too long ago.
If Foster Care actually worked...I don't think we'd see the generational cycles of repetition.
Foster care sucks.