Thursday, February 20, 2014

Daisy has a new caseworker

Ahhhhhh Foster Care....

I got a phone call yesterday. The male voice on the other end of the line was a new one to me. He asked if he could make a home visit between 9:00-10:00AM.

After just a bit of conversation it was established that he is Daisy's new CPS caseworker. I said that he could come over and I got the house ready for a visit. I do not clean for caseworkers. But I do go through paperwork and make sure my calendar is easily accessible so I can answer questions quickly. I also prep the children and get them involved in something out of the main area of the house. Home visits go so much faster when the 9yo and 10yo aren't chiming in to add to my stories or correct anything I have to say. TT and Bart finished their math and went upstairs to their bedroom to play a board game. All was well.

Mr. CW (sounds like good blog name for now) showed up on time. He was dressed nice and got down to business immediately. From what I can tell, Mr. CW has a clue, and that is a very good thing.

We went over the basics. I gave him the contact sheet that lists all of Daisy's specialists. He never did explain why he's taking over Daisy's case but I do know that Daisy's other worker is still employed by CPS.

I've got two guesses as to why the switch happened.
  1. CPS simply did a shuffling of cases and this is where Daisy ended up.
    Nothing more. Nothing less.
  2. CPS recognizes the severity of the criminal charges and the likelihood of at least one bio parent getting their parental rights terminated. I believe that maybe this new caseworker is a "CPS Specialist IV" which would give him higher credentials should he need to testify in a trial.
Either way, I don't know much now. Mr. CW took the information, made a quick tour of the house and left. The whole thing was rather uneventful.

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Uneventful for me anyway. I was a little nervous prior to Mr. CW's arrival. However, I did some self-care by lighting a calming essential oil and I turned on some classical music. I calmed down pretty quickly after he left.

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I thought everything was fine with TT and Bart. They came downstairs and reported that they had been getting along. Both boys fixed themselves lunch and ate without issue. Then they went into the living room to play another game.

Not too long after they started, Bart quit playing. He reported that TT was dysregulated because he (Bart) was winning the game. Typically this is enough for cause a mini WWIII in my living room. I tensed up and waited for the explosion.

It never came.

Then TT came up to me all on his own and said, "Mom, I'm dysregulated and I don't know why."

TT let me use a ton of self-calming techniques from our bag of tricks. TT seeks sensory input...especially when he's dysregulated. Sometimes when he's completely wonking out he'll throw himself on the floor or up against a wall. When he's willing to accept sensory input, we can do it in a much healthier way than restraints (which have been sometimes necessary when it's gotten really bad). I keep a personal massage-thing in the living room just for this occasion. He sat on the floor in front of me and let me massage his back. And since he was WILLING to do this, he even made it more effective by pressing back against the pressure.

We talked. I actually figured out the problem right away. Of course I told him it was a guess - because I always want him to correct me if I'm wrong! But I gave him words for his feelings.
TT...you're scared. The new caseworker worried you. You didn't know if the new worker was going to be a good one and do his job. That uncertainty upset you. You worry about Daisy and you don't want anyone to hurt her.

You didn't like the way we had to hide Granny and Papa's things. (G & P have gone through ALL the background checks but our agency lost them and I've been unwilling to force my parents to pay for fingerprints again. Therefore, because they are here to see us from Iowa, they had to leave this morning during the home visit.) You don't like being dishonest - neither do I, TT - but you understand why we did it this way.

You are safe TT. And Daisy is safe. I think this new caseworker is going to be just fine.

Granny and Papa came back. No one got in trouble today. It's all OK.
Not only did TT listen and let me massage him, but he looked up at me and said, "Look mom. I'm strong sitting too." I did some bilateral tapping on his knees and we sat there together a little while longer. You could practically see the anxiety wash off of him.

The triggers can be so small sometimes and yet manifest so big. TT has made HUGE amounts of progress!! He's very protective of Daisy (VERY protective)! TT doesn't want anything bad to happen to her. And because of his own story, he feels an empathy toward her unlike the other boys in our family. But I can promise you, two years ago he probably would have gone into full blown rage over these big feelings. The fact that he came to me and used words is amazing!

I'm so proud of him!!

1 comment:

kate said...

I'm so impressed that TT could verbalize what was going on and to seek a healthy, connected solution. HUGE! AMAZING!