I feel the need to be somewhat vague when it comes to Ricky's story. He's old enough that he could easily find me online. I do not want to betray his trust in any way. Therefore, it's unlikely that I will blog much about actually parenting Ricky. Instead, I'll focus mainly on the case and what The System looks like as it gets ready to age out a kid.
Ricky has started opening up about what his life has been like. Needless to say, he's a child from the hurt places. He's never had a stable parent and he suffered as a result. The area of the country where we live is rampant with violence and gang
activity. Drugs are everywhere. It's a totally different culture. Think of some of the worst case scenarios you've heard of and you might have a decent picture of the first 14 years of Ricky's life.
When Ricky was in middle school he got "caught". For reasons that I'm not sure Ricky even knows himself, HE made a decision to turn his life around. In an almost demanding way, Ricky went to a school administrator and announced that he no longer wanted to do anything that he had ever done in the past. He needed a clean slate. This administrator wrote a letter and introduced Ricky to a teacher named Rebecca.
Rebecca turned Ricky's life around. She plucked him up from the culture he was neck deep in and gave him the ability to escape it. She rescued him. Ricky got to see a whole new world. Over the course of a year and a half Ricky grew, matured and realized that things could be different.
Then CPS got "officially" involved in Ricky's life.
I got a phone call from Rebecca today. It seems for reasons that no one wants to explain, Rebecca is no longer allowed to see Ricky anymore. The lousy 30 minutes she was getting once a week at the tail-end of the bio family visit, that were fully supervised and in the CPS office, have been cut off completely. Even though the bio family has NO problem with Rebecca being there, CPS has said "no".
What the Hell is The System thinking?!
Rebecca saved him.
The System is Hell bent on removing her from his life. It simply does not make sense.
Rebecca tried to call the case worker.
She's not taking calls.
Ricky tried calling his case worker.
She wouldn't take his call either.
I knew to not even bother. I called my licensing agency.
Unfortunately it was after 4:00PM on a Friday when all this news hit the fan. I know nothing is going to happen before the scheduled visit tomorrow. And somehow I've got to convince Ricky to go to that visit anyway even though the ONLY person he WANTS to see isn't going to be there.
My agency loves Ricky. They simply adore him. I know they will help advocate. And I know that a phone call from another social worker will have more weight than a phone call from an angry foster parent. But sadly, it's still late Friday night and I'm sure CPS didn't take their call either.
Rebecca has spoken with several different lawyers about intervening into this case. They've literally told her that yes, they can take her money. But odds are they best they could do would be to get Ricky back to her a couple months before he ages out anyway.
My heart just breaks when Ricky says he wants to go home.
Home is with Rebecca and I can't make that happen.
And now, he can't "legally" see her at all anymore.
For now though, unlimited phone contact is still allowed.
Ricky is on our car insurance. He's got a driver's license.
And Ricky is allowed up to three hours of unsupervised time every day (per CPS).
I'm going to parent with my kid's best interests at heart.
I'm going to look the other way when I need to when it comes to who he may or may not see at a restaurant or the mall.