Sunday, January 24, 2016

My People

When the investigator came to my house on the 8th, she said she needed to come back to officially interview Mr. Amazing. She also mentioned wanting to interview TT. We told her that the very next week wouldn't work because Mr. Amazing was going to be out of state for a work conference. She said she'd come the week after that.

My heart dropped a little. We were planning on having my mom, my sister, and her kids come to visit that week.

And at the time, it wasn't going to be "legal" for My People to come.

I just wasn't going to tell anyone.

You see...my mom and my sister have already gone through ALL the necessary background checks that my licensing agency requires. They've submitted state checks in Iowa multiple times. They've submitted FBI fingerprints. My mom went and got tested for TB once because she was told to. They've submitted forms. They've submitted references. They've gone out of their way to comply.

But my agency can't seem to keep track of things. They lost the fingerprints.

The State of Texas has all fingerprinting done electronically for the FBI check. The State of Iowa has NO locations that do electronic fingerprinting. So...when my mom and my sister submitted prints for their background checks, they did their fingerprints at the local police station and then mailed them in to the FBI.

Obviously both women passed the background checks.

But when I was told they had to do them again because my agency lost the information - I was furious!! Because of course, my agency wanted them to pay to have them redone. They also seemed to think that electronic fingerprints were "required". Now exactly how could My People that live in Iowa get electronic fingerprints done where there are no locations in the state that scan the fingerprints in and send them electronically to the federal agencies?! Did my agency think My People should drive all the way to Texas to get it done but not be allowed to see me when they're here?!

So I decided a couple years ago that when my parents and my sister were visiting, I just wouldn't tell anyone anymore. Once, when they were here while we had Daisy, I hid their suitcases and they went sight seeing while Mr. CW came for his monthly home visit.

But we're in the middle of an investigation. I would not take any chances.

So...once again...I called my licensing agency to ask what the requirements would be to allow my family members to come visit me.

I've asked many times over the years. The rules and regulations and how they're interpreted seem to be different every time I ask. My agency has rules above and beyond what the State Minimum Standards require. So, I asked again.

First I was told that they couldn't come unless they had passed state and federal background checks ahead of time.
Then I was told someone would check with "higher ups" in the agency. Maybe they could stay in a hotel the whole time or something.
Then I was told no. My family couldn't come. There was no way to get the fingerprints done and back in time. Even if they stayed in a hotel, they couldn't come over to my home more than twice or else they'd be considered a "frequent visitor" and "frequent visitors" have to pass all the background checks.
Then I pitched a fit with the local director. I insisted that according to the paperwork they had shown me, my family wouldn't qualify as a "frequent visitor" as long as they stayed less than 7 days. The definition of "frequent visitor" varies based on the actual frequency of visits. If the person comes less than 7 days for a single visit once a year, they aren't a "frequent visitor". Background checks wouldn't be necessary. My agency needed to say it would be OK for My People to stay.

Finally...after much tension and heartache...the local director said My People could come. In order for everything to be "legal" they needed to stay in my home less than 7 days. I laughed and said we'd just stay in a hotel the last three days of the visit because we'd be out in public and that would be allowed.

I called my mom and my sister back on Monday the 11th to tell them that the trip was back on. They had just about 48 hours to get packed if they were going to stick to our original timeline.

My people arrived on Friday the 15th as we had originally planned. (shhhhh...don't tell anyone....as far as the official people are concerned, My People arrived on the 18th)

While they were here, my mom and my sister went ahead and appeased my agency. They paid the almost $45 each to get their prints done electronically. Next time they want to come and stay, they will be on the approved list of "frequent visitors".

And wouldn't ya know it...the investigator I was all worried about never even called last week. And Bopper rescheduled her home visit. The only person in my house was my licensing worker and she already knew that I've allowed my family to stay with me "illegally" before.

But it's taken care of. They'll all be "legal" visitors in the future. Whew.

My People left early this morning to head back to Iowa. Star and Russell keep looking all over the house for them. Star has needed a lot of reassurance today. She's wanted to be held all day long. I'm hoping the babies settle back into our somewhat normal routine soon.

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We've got a very busy week this week though. Russell has all his therapies several different days. My licensing worker comes Monday. Bopper is coming Tuesday. We see the cardiologist on Wednesday. We're off to the orthopedic doc on Thursday. And Friday is hearing where, as far as I know now, the State of Texas is going to ask the judge to terminate parental rights. This week is going to be super intense.

I'll keep everyone posted as all the drama unfolds.

5 comments:

Thandi said...

Hectic stuff!

abrianna said...

How sweet that Star and Russell were looking for them. I thought the CPS supervisor thought there was not enough evidence for TPR. When did that change?

Cherub Mamma said...

This is how I understand things RIGHT NOW (Monday 1-25-16)...

Bopper thinks TPR would be best.
Bopper's supervisor thinks TPR would be best.
The lawyer for CPS (the DA) doesn't think the case is strong enough for TPR.
The goal is still non-relative adoption though. And as far as I know, the trial on Friday is for TPR and it will all play out then.

I'll find out more tomorrow when Bopper comes though.

abrianna said...

Thank you for the clarification. I knew Bopper and her supervisor thought TPR was best.

Really hope you can get Violet too.

Anonymous said...

THIS IS WHY PEOPLE DONT BECOME (stay on) AS FOSTER PARENTS.

This is abuse. You have been abused.
I'm in TX too & a foster mom. I'm am no longer surprised by the RUDE & DISRESPECTFUL we are treated. It's become so common.

I am CONSTANTLY told, "Don't worry we've done everything were supposed to." Meaning that we filed all the correct paperwork, sent on the correct emails, and made all the correct phone calls. The fact that things we're requesting, are not coming through for the children, does appear to be relevant. They don't care one droplet about whether or not the children are receiving services, family visits, etc. all they care about is that we made the appropriate requests and filled out the appropriate paperwork.
CYA is my agency's only concern; i.e., I did my job, doesn't matter if it was effective. I filled out all the correct forms, yay me.

Infuriating.
I'm so sorry for you.