Saturday, November 23, 2013

We said "yes"

Rainbow called me on Thursday. Rainbow is not the intake worker at my agency so I thought nothing of it. About 30 seconds into the phone call though I realized that Rainbow was not calling about the usual kind of business. Instead, she had a big question for us.

Would we be willing to take a placement? Given the special circumstances, she said that we were the first family that came to mind to fix the problem at hand.

About 2 weeks ago a six month old little girl came in to Care. My agency, in all their "wisdom", placed this cherub with a brand new foster family as their very first placement.

This precious little girl, Daisy, is a victim of severe shaken baby syndrome. As Rainbow listed off all the medical problems as a result, I ached. The evil in this world can still surprise me despite how calloused I feel sometimes.

The foster family she's with right now has been unable to make all of the medical appointments that Daisy requires. My agency has been having to pick up the slack. And while this may be acceptable in other agencies, it absolutely is NOT where we are at. In fact, when we sign the paperwork for our license, we specifically have to agree to transport to all visits, medical appointments, counseling and therapies. Our agency will assist if we get into a jam, but they simply cannot do it all the time.

Rainbow told me today that the foster family, despite being quite vocal about having difficulties with this case, and not being able to do all the transport, hasn't asked for a move yet. Rainbow was simply laying the groundwork should a move be necessary.

After much prayer, we have decided that we would take Daisy into our home. Rainbow said she has to get the specific case information from CPS next week. From there she will have to give the current foster family an ultimatum about the transportation issues. I don't know if my agency would force the move or not -- but if Daisy needs a new home, we have agreed for it to be ours.

I'll know more next week.


kate said...

Wow. That's big! :>

Annie said...

Well, frankly, seems to me that first foster child or not, if a child is supposed to be somewhere you have them where they are supposed to be - especially if it is a doctor. When we fostered (and perhaps this was my big mistake) I considered we were PARENTS. (Don't they call it "foster PARENT?) What parent would not get their child to doctor appointments, or call some agency to do it for them? That's just weird to me.

Mie said...

Annie - just another thought...

Sometimes foster parents don't know when they're signing up, especially newbies who are excited about getting their first placement. They don't know what questions to ask and agencies (or in our case central placement) does not always initially supply all of the other information that's needed. They say yes and then learn that besides the normal 2 day/2 week/4 week/2 month/4 month, etc. doctor appointments (if they knew to expect those) there are also weekly visits (that are suddenly 2 hours, per parent, per week, split up in 1 hour chunks so you have 4 visits to attend to each week) plus weekly speech therapy for feeding issues plus the urologist plus the cardiologist plus the neurologist...

I'm just saying it's possible these foster parents were told a very mild version of her story and that she'll have "a few" appointments to go to and then suddenly that turns into 25hrs per week of visits.

We got our daughter because the foster parent who originally said yes was older (i'm told "elderly") and already had 4 other children, one of whom was in a wheelchair, one of whom was blind, and in comes our daughter who was relatively healthy but whose parents had claimed she had every diagnosis under the sun so they could be warm at the hospital which meant she HAD to have a ton of follow-up visits to "monitor" her (non-existent) conditions.

I always take my kiddos to their appointments but I do work full-time. We worked for 4 months to find a play-therapist who would come to our home for our kids because transporting them to play therapy after school was just not really an option with our family. I do not transport kids to visits. I do as often as I can and have exclusively been the transporter in past cases but right now it doesn't work out. They're picked up from their various locations before the visit by 2 different transporters, I finish my work day, and then I pick them up after work.

Anyway - this isn't railing on you Annie...just giving other readers a different perspective as to why this situation could have happened.

Annie said...

That makes sense. I think I had (still have, really) a more literal sense of "Foster Parent". I see it as being a parent (and doing the parenting "thing") in everything but the legality. I found out the hard way that while they use the word "parent" that isn't really what the workers mean and it isn't what they ordinarily expect or perhaps, even want. I still think it is [mostly] what they should want....but that's another story. I can see how in order to get a child in a safe place, the work of parenting that child might be portioned out...and how they might choose a parent who couldn't do all the appointments (like you) rather than have the child in a less advantageous placement.