Ms. Lawson appears to be very vested in Russell's long-term care and safety. She asked good questions and assured me multiple times that she will help me with anything I might need in regards to Russell's care.
We talked for a bit about the case in general. She was rather forthcoming with how she feels about Bio Mom, CPS and The System in general. It was refreshing to sense the level of honesty she portrayed.
As the conversation wound down I told her I had one more question.
I asked, "Who is responsible for the policy of having to get permission to leave the county."
She stammered a bit and then literally said, "It's just always been done that way."
Then she started to say something about me, as a foster parent, being such an exception to the norm.
I thanked her and then handed her a printed copy of the State Minimum Standards outlining the travel requirements for foster children. I said, "All I want is blanket permission to be able to adhere to these standards."
She said, "I saw that you wanted to go out of town this past weekend. Did you get permission?"
I replied, "No. Russell's CPS worker never got back with me so I did not go."
Ms. Lawson seemed very surprised and somewhat frustrated. She asked if she could keep the copy of the standards. She then started typing away on her phone to someone.
I chatted a bit with Ms. Lawson about the types of events we would be traveling for - explaining B.A.C.A. to her and letting her know that I just want to be able to do things as a family as per the standards without having to waste everyone's time with little requests to travel over a weekend.
We wrapped up the conversation. I assured her that I'd keep her in the loop with Russell's care and she left. She said she would be emailing me some more of Russell's medical records for me to put with his files. Then she left and headed back to court.
Lets than 10 minutes later I got a text that read:
Please ask the pediatrician if we need a neurologist consult based on his numerous skull fractures. Also, he can be taken out of the area.I'm less than impressed with CPS right now. But I can handle a crappy CPS worker if the lawyer is working hard to protect Russell. It's even better when the lawyer and I get along. Lawyers trump CPS every single time. I will not be asking for permission for any travel with Russell less than 72 hours long within the State of Texas again. Whoo hoo!!