Thursday, May 29, 2014

an uninformed case worker

I've got several blog posts in the works. But Miss Daisy got herself sick this week and it's been rough. Really rough. Thankfully her illness was completely "normal" though and I didn't even bring her to the doctor. We weathered out the stomach bug like a normal family. (I'm also thankful that it appears no one else is going to get the...um...digestive issues.)

But I would like to continue to paint a lovely picture of what foster parents deal with regularly. So I'll share what the home visit from Emilia (Ricky's CPS worker) looked like yesterday.

First, she sent me an email at 4:06pm asking:
Please let me know what's a good day and time for my visit this month.
Please keep in mind that yesterday was May 28 and Emilia has to be in my home to visit Ricky before May 31. She doesn't work on the weekend. That gave me almost no time to actually schedule this visit. I pretty much just had to tell her to come whenever.

We emailed back and forth. She decided to come right then. She actually arrived just a little over an hour after she sent the first email to me.

Emilia went up to Ricky's room to talk to him. Then, in the most casual of fashions, she came downstairs and asked if there was anything new I needed to talk to her about concerning Ricky.

I brought up the fact that I want his ISP (Individualized Service Plan) to reflect that he is allowed more unsupervised time this summer. Right now he's allowed 3 hours a day. I want him to have at least 8-10 hours of unsupervised time this summer. For example, if he goes to the skate park in the morning, then comes home but I'm out running errands or something, then he goes over to the mall, then pops over to his brother's for supper, we might not see each other all day. His schedule would have been perfectly normal for any teen. But if I don't have permission from CPS for him to be gone like that, I could be cited for improper supervision. I need his ISP to put it in writing that he can be unsupervised for an extended amount of time.

I asked Emilia if she had received the email with this request from my agency worker. I had not been receiving any communication from Emilia myself and since Rainbow (from our agency) has been helping with my kids lately, she offered to try and get answers herself. Typically an email from an agency worker holds more weight than an email from me.

Emilia literally told me that she has several kids with our agency and she's not sure. Tripping all over herself she basically admitted that she hasn't paid any attention to the emails from our agency and she has no idea. She asked me to send the request again.

I then asked Emilia what was going to happen in court next time. She gave me some pat answer that amounted to, "nothing". I pressed a little. I said, "But the next hearing is considered a pre-trial. What does that mean?"

It was sooooooooo obvious that Emilia knew NOTHING of this case. She has written Ricky off so badly that she came to our house to talk to him about this case and avoided that conversation altogether. Ricky is going to age out so she does not give a damn.
Is he safe in our home?
Check.
Is he doing OK in school and life in general?
Check.

She didn't even know that the next hearing is a pre-trial or what that even means to this case.

I was sick.

Now...I know Ricky is going to age out. There's little Emilia could do for Ricky anyway since nobody in The System is willing to explore any other options for Ricky.

But as she was walking out the door, Emilia looked at me and said, "Well, I'm off to go see Michael."

Michael is Ricky's little brother.
Michael is only 12 years old.
Emilia doesn't know what's going on in this case at all.
Emilia doesn't even bother to open up the files prior to a home visit.
It looks like Emilia has written off Michael too.

Foster care sucks!

1 comment:

Susan said...

I think this happened with my last kids, my first placement. The county case worker and my agency case worker came to visit a week before court. I knew court was the next week, and naively thought that if there was going to be a change they would tell me at the visit.

One week later the day before court, I received a phone call from my agency saying the kids may be returned home TOMORROW. When they were at my house they had no idea that court was so soon and just realized that mom was working her plan enough to warrant re-unification.

I just thought that as professionals, they would be looking at those things prior to visits with the kids.

Lesson learned.