Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Protecting and advocating

I contacted Mr. CW today to see if Daisy still had her regularly scheduled visit. Interestingly enough, today's visit was cancelled. (Glad I called!!) Tomorrow's visit still stands though. The overall visit schedule will be changing next week after the lawyers and CPS can agree on things.

Overnight visits aren't being allowed yet. Instead, visits are going to take place in Mom's home during the day (on her days off from work which just happen to fall non-consecutively during the typical work week). Visits are going to be 10-12 hours long I think.

This is where things get REAL interesting though!!!

Mom is going to be required to hire a nanny/babysitting service to be in her home during these visits. If I understand things, this babysitter of sorts will not be reporting to CPS. However, they will be there to ensure Daisy's safety. Not only is Mom to hire said service, but she is going to be expected to pay for it out of her pocket as well.

I find the whole thing very, very strange.

Even stranger...Bio Mom chose and interviewed the same local company that I interviewed and in turn hired. The owner of the company meets with families in their home to basically do a needs assessment prior to having any of the sitters she has on staff work for you. I met with the owner just days before Bio Mom met with her separately. The owner of the company did tell Mom that she had already met Daisy. It seems Bio Mom was forthcoming about her situation and the fact that Daisy is in foster care.

CPS is running their own background checks on this small business before they will allow the new visit schedule to start. I assured Mr. CW that the business is legit and everything will come back favorable.

I addressed some of my other concerns with Mr. CW. I told him that I, personally, need to be protected when it comes to these unsupervised visits. I briefly explained what happened when Pumpkin was abused by her family one weekend and how I got blamed in court. I told him that provisions will need to be in place at drop off and pick up. I won't do this without another party looking Daisy over completely before and after a visit and I will not be wrongly accused again. I do hope Mr. CW understands how serious I am about this!

I then moved forward with some of my long-term concerns. Since the State has now fully opened the option of reunification with Bio Mom, things have to be put into place to protect Daisy and ensure that her medical needs are being met after she goes home. Prior to the injury that brought her into Care, Daisy was on a path of no medical intervention at all. Since that is no longer an option, will Bio Mom be required to attend Daisy's medical appointments now? And since Bio Mom's denial is a very valid concern of the State's, will someone from CPS be attending as well so they can document the interactions between Bio Mom, Daisy and the doctor? Mr. CW hadn't thought of this angle at all yet and said he would address things with the rest of the staff involved with this case at CPS.

As far as the missing vaccinations go, Bio Mom has already signed a piece of paperwork absolving anyone currently involved in Daisy's care from liability over the lack of vaccinations. Bio Mom is against vaccinations (believes they cause autism I think). No one from CPS is going to try and force Mom's hand on this nor are they going to try and get the judge to sign orders allowing vaccinations to start. Should the doctor Daisy is currently seeing officially announce that she will no longer treat Daisy in their clinic if she remains unvaccinated (as they have already threatened), it will be up to me to find a new clinic that not only takes Texas foster care Medicaid but will also agree to treat a special-needs, unvaccinated child. I guess CPS even tasked Bio Mom with finding a clinic under these perimeters and she found several. I'm NOT thrilled to death with this idea. I guess it'll be nice enough to get a list of doctors to talk to from Bio Mom so I'm not starting from scratch. But I like the pediatrician we see now and I want Daisy to maintain continuity of care with the same doctor.

Mr. CW stressed (STRONGLY STRESSED) how close things were to Daisy leaving Care yesterday. It seems that the ONLY reason she's still under the watchful eye of the State is because of the domestic violence issues raised against Mom. Otherwise, Daisy's lawyer (who has never spoken with any of Daisy's caregivers) was more than willing to hand Daisy over yesterday. I really question if she's read the file on Bio Mom and the incident that brought Daisy into Care.

I went ahead and dug out the investigative report that was emailed to me when Daisy arrived.  I decided to read it again. (I've NEVER received one of these. I'm betting I'm not supposed to have it.) There are accusations in the investigation from a paternal aunt against Bio Mom. Accusations of neglect in the home and of domestic violence. There are also reports from the investigator stating the condition of the home Daisy was removed from. I could be wrong, but it's my understanding if the condition of a home is poor enough that an investigator actually mentions it - the condition is pretty damn bad!!

I find it interesting that this aunt has never been interviewed again.

I find so many things interesting. There are a few questions I'd love to have answered by the people making decisions in Daisy's life...
  1. Bio Mom and Bio Dad are still "together". No, they aren't living under the same roof. But just two weeks ago, in a very formal meeting at CPS, they asked permission to move back in together. If Bio Dad isn't a safe person, and Bio Mom cannot see this at all, isn't that a significant concern? Legally they should not be able to say they aren't "together" because all they are addressing right now is the physical location where they sleep. I realize emotions can't be legislated. But something isn't right here.
  2. The current visits are concerning because Daisy cries inconsolably and it is documented that Bio Mom does not know how to sooth her. This goes along with the neglect that the aunt reported in the investigation. (The aunt states that Daisy would cry and Bio Mom wouldn't even get up to tend to her.) Is it a good idea to lengthen these visits without any form of supervision that is reporting to the State? What if Mom continues to neglect? Who is going to report it? Daisy can't talk yet and this level of neglect has never been addressed in the courtroom or anywhere else I believe.
  3. If Bio Mom has a history of domestic violence, should she be required to complete services addressing the problem?
CPS told me again, off the record, that they are pursuing terminating the rights of Bio Dad.

But if Bio Mom is still "with" Bio Dad, I don't think it's safe to send Daisy home!! I'm all for second chances. But something isn't sitting right with me here. Bio Mom is still head over heels in love with the man that nearly killed her daughter and took over 20 minutes to call 911 when he did it.

Are we just going to close our eyes to all the danger signs and send Daisy back? What if this man somehow gets acquitted criminally. What if??!! The door would be wide open for them to become a happy little family again.

I'm angry. No...I'm furious! And I'm not even in this case all super lovey-dovey hoping Daisy becomes mine forever. I love the little girl! We've even discussed that we would consider being an adoptive resource should the case come to that. But I'm not all a mess because I want to parent Daisy forever and ever and ever. No...I want to watch CPS do their damned best to protect this little girl and ensure that her permanency is SAFE! And I'm not seeing that.

I'm just as pissed at Daisy's lawyer as I am at Bio Mom for not kicking Bio Dad to the curb! How can this professional say and do the things she did yesterday?! Did she not read anything in the court report?! Because she certainly hasn't talked to any of the people that know Daisy and know the case. Bio Mom's therapist reported formally that Bio Mom is in denial about the "accident". (There's that word again. "Accident." Bio Dad did CPR wrong. That's how Daisy almost died.) Even the therapist sees a problem!!!

I placed a call to Daisy's lawyer this afternoon at 1:00PM. I left a message. I'm going to call every day until she schedules a meeting with me. (Even Mr. CW thinks it would be a good idea for me to meet with Daisy's lawyer.) I'm going to do my best to come across as an advocate for Daisy without too much bias against Mom. It's going to be difficult. I hope she will speak with me. But someone has to look into these allegations against Bio Mom and take them seriously. Daisy's life depends on it.


Meg0422 said...

There's a lot here but I wanted to ask about vaccinations. Would it be a doctor's opinion that with Daisy's medical problems that she really does need them?

When a parent can't soothe a crying baby, eventually someone would get upset with said baby and act out. Hmmm?

Cherub Mamma said...

RE: the vaccinations
It depends on the doctor that you talk to. We met with a specialist in a big city three hours away that is brought on board to specifically determine that the injuries are non-accidental in nature. That doctor said that Daisy is no more at risk than any other unvaccinated child.

Daisy's current pediatrician is a huge proponent of getting all the shots! She says she is unwilling to put the other children at risk by continuing to care for Daisy because she could be a carrier of something. (However, this doctor likes me and doesn't want to HAVE to turn Daisy away. She pushed the responsibility off on the clinic administration as to whether they will continue to serve us or not.) There is a very good chance that when we go in for Daisy's 1-year check next month we will be told she cannot come back to that clinic.

And last, My Genius Brother says that the other kids aren't at risk in the clinic as much as DAISY is at risk for not having her shots. In general, kids with special needs tend to be sick more.

If anything, Daisy should get her flu shot. But...I'm not allowed.

grkanga said...

1. Daisy is going to be expensive if she is in foster care. If she is returned she is not a cost factor to CPS/medicare etc.
2. Is the nanny a mandated reporter and what does that mean in your state? In CA a child who is abused can sue when they are 18 any mandated reporter who fails to report for damages incurred. At least that used to be the case but may not be any longer. Laws change. Find out and be sure Mr. CW has informed sitter of this.
3. Lawyer is paid even if lawyer does not act or show up or learn about the case. Free money for doing nothing. Honest.
4. Sorry to be so cynical...comes from age and sad experience with foster/court systems. ***
5. Protect yourself and your children and your may not be allowed to protect the foster children in your care.
6. Crossing my eyes in hope and with good wishes. Sometimes biological parents really do change their lives and actions and it sounds like mom is willing to try with classes. Remember to hold this CAN happen even when it seems unlikely.
***+why I try to protect my identity, Experience.

ROBYN Chittister said...

Unvaccinated children are no more likely to be carriers of disease than vaccinated children. In fact, vaccinated children are more likely to be carriers, especially after they have been vaccinated with certain live-virus vaccines (varicella, Hep A, MMR). The vaccine package inserts for those vaccines specifically state that the children should not be around pregnant women, infants, or other immunocompromised people for various amounts of time, depending on the vaccine. Very, very few people know this, however.
Furthermore, a whistleblower recently leaked that the MM parts of MMR are not as effective as Merck has been reporting, and Merck knows this. The P of DTaP is not effective against the current strain of pertussis, the CDC reported.
I could go on...
Not all people who refuse vaccines do so because of the autism link. Personally, I researched the diseases and the vaccines and found that the vaccines came with too high a risk.