I got a call from the respite coordinator at our foster care agency again today. It seems the foster parents of the little ones we had agreed to watch this weekend wanted to change things. Instead of having us watch their 2 and 3 year old foster kids, they wanted us to watch their 19 & 20 year old foster kids instead.
I think it's pretty cool that there are 20 year old foster kids in our area. One of the many problems of foster care is the issue of kids aging out of the system with nowhere to go. By not getting kicked out the minute they turn 18 down here, it gives them a chance to become more mature. It gives them somewhere to go. I'm sure it makes it easier for them to continue their education. (I believe Texas offers up college assistance to current foster children and all children adopted out of foster care in the state.) I think it's terrific.
As much as I think it's terrific to have older kids getting the support they need, it sounded like a pretty big change for us with almost no notice! Little kids to adults. Changing a few diapers to totally rearranging the meal plan and having to go grocery shopping so I've got plenty of food for two more big people. I've got enough on my plate that changing things up like that didn't seem like a good idea. So, I said no. Then the foster parents decided to not leave the little ones with us either. I'm not sure what's going on, but it looks like my weekend will be completely free to work on Christmas crafts and baking.
Things had to be switched up with the teenage boys that are scheduled to come next week too. We are only licensed for three foster kids. Our particular county has determined that any more than three makes it a group home. Those guidelines would require us to have a full sprinkler system in our home. That is not going to happen -- waaayyyyy too expensive of a remodel! I thought they'd make an exception with the four respite care kids though because it's not an "official" placement.
Turns out they can't bend those rules. So, only two of the teenagers are going to be coming. That's not going to change things up much at all. Should be pretty easy. For what it's worth though, I've already got the meal planning done. And since I won't have two little ones underfoot this weekend, I'll get a start on the muffins, cookies and snack food that I want to have on hand for the extra kids.
One thing is for sure when you're a foster parent (or any kind of parent for that matter), things are constantly changing!