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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Picking Battles

Next time I decide to: 1)Run a 1/2 marathon 2) throw a baby shower 3) start grad school all in the same three week period, someone, anyone, please stop me. It's going to be a miracle if I make it to June 16th without a major breakdown.   Well ok, June 19th because we have a status hearing that week.

I'm trying really hard to pick my battles. I did pick one this week with the new(bie) caseworker. Simon came home totally unable to cope with life after his visit with his Dad. Dad no-showed the visit on Mother's Day, so the kids drove an hour waited at McDonalds for a half hour and then drove the hour back all without breakfast. 

Yeah. Not a good thing for kids of neglect, PTSD and anxiety. 

So at this visit Dad announced next week he's bringing the new baby brother for them to meet. And for the next five hours Simon lost his sh*t. I have no other way to explain it. Any slight correction or potential look of disappointment and the kids was crying for 20 minutes. Then he'd start a task and something would happen and he'd be back to the crying. At the point where I yelled because he decided to use his brand new shoes as the brakes to his bike, the day was over. He ate dinner, took a bath and went to bed. Thanks Dad! 

So I send an email to the case worker (seperate from the Bio Mom's medical bills are coming to my address email) asking her to please call me to discuss this new sibling. She emailed to say she got my message and would call the next day. Then of course, she didn't call. When she did call I laid out my issues.

Dad had not participated in any information meetings about the children. He has not been to an ACR. He has not been to a family meeting. He has not been to court. I have been the foster mom for only 5 months and I've been to court 4 times. He has no understanding of the emotional challenges these kids are facing. His inconsistency is already hard enough for the child. Adding an additional sibling, a brother no less, is not going to help this kid with his losses. He already lost two brothers in Texas, why would we add a third BEFORE paternity is established. We don't even know this man is Simon's father and since no one has actually done anything about the paternity test, we don't know this baby is Simon's brother. And if he isn't the father, do we have any idea how replaced a child who already believes no one can remember him, will feel? 

And while I'm on the subject, why is this man even getting visitation? He has not done anything to get a case plan in place, let alone work one. He missed more than 1/2 of his last 10 visits. You're telling me there isn't enough documentation yet? My parting words were, I have been patient but we are now at the point where this child is being harmed by the system and we are causing more trauma and since I am the one who is going to have to help heal trauma, I think enough, is enough.

I of course got promises to address this but never heard back. 

Yes, I understand if this man is Simon's father that Simon has a right to visits with his sibling. Although, it's unlikely this person is going to follow through with any kind of visitation once the state is no longer involved (the kids had not seen this man for years prior to coming back into foster care). And yes, Sarah is likely his child and this is definitely her sibling. But why should they have to lose more siblings? Why introduce that loss into their lives? And if we have to, then at least let them prepare with their therapists and let me send a camera with them. 

I did get to the bottom of the medical bills. The hospital looked up one of the kids' Medicaid cards and saw the address had been updated and decided to use that one. I reamed them out for the safety issue they are creating for DCFS foster families since they violated that kid's privacy and also made our address part of her medical record. 

1 comment:

  1. This is the kind of thing I would call the children's attorney about. I know from experience not every foster parent even knows or hears from their foster child/children's attorney. Primo has had 4 attorneys (they're referred to as a guardian ad litem around here) in 2.5 years and two of then were amazing and fought for him in court to have his visits reduced when they were clearly not in his best interest.

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