Can I tell you how much I enjoyed just being a parent over my vacation?! I didn't have to answer to anyone else. No lawyers. No CASA. No social workers. No paperwork to fill out if my kid needed to take some meds. No logs to keep track of. It was very, very pleasant.
But I'm back now. Back in the land of too much paperwork. In fact, in order to keep from going insane, I do have to compartmentalize this part of fostering. I have to think of it as my "job" and the per diam as my "pay check". The parenting part of the children I do for free. But the paperwork...oh the paperwork...
We had a home visit this morning from our agency worker. We went over the details of life and swapped paperwork. I gave her some med logs and paperwork from doctor appointments. She gave me copies of Dude & Dolly's ISPs (Individual Service Plans). Then she handed me a new form.
Our agency is now requiring a DAILY recreation log. I'll let you read what Mimi had to say on the subject. I particularly liked her response. Thankfully I wasn't told that I have to list the therapeutic value of each activity. But I do have to say what each one of my kids did for recreation each and every day.
It was not a good day to spring this on me. I'm frustrated with "the system" in general. I think I enjoyed being away from it enough that I'm now in a place where I'm weighing out how much longer I want to deal with all the BS. Don't get me wrong -- I LOVE the children. I want to take care of them. Help them. Play with them. Advocate for them. Expose them to new things. Get them the services that they need. Show them what family can be like. Support them in the reunification process.
But I am tired of feeling like I can't be trusted to do any of that without having a form to prove that I'm doing it.
I looked at my worker and told her I had heard about this. I told her I think this is ridiculous. I then told her that I'm going to fill them out a month at a time. They will say little more than "played with toys". I told her that this last piece of paperwork might just be the piece that pushes me over the edge. If they get too nit-picky we might just be done fostering.
I knew I was preaching to the choir. I made sure to let her know that I'm not frustrated with her. I know these forms weren't her idea and she's just the messenger.
She can take my message back to the powers that be though. Paperwork sucks!