Thursday, May 22, 2008


The youngster's parents have appealed TPR. I'm not even a little surprised. Of course, that means we're stuck in fostering limbo for some unknown length of time while that appeal works it's way through the court system.

The managing social worker has reduced the sibling visits so that instead of seeing her siblings three times a month, she now only sees them once a month. I wish I had been consulted about that before it happened because of all the things we could remove from the schedule I wouldn't have touched her sibling visits. I'm hoping to set up regular phone visits with them, and start arranging play dates with them.

There is some good news though. After nine months of behavioral therapy our FFA has taken us off "hold" status.

Friday, March 28, 2008


The road to TPR is a bumpy one. Almost 16 months after the youngster arrived here, and almost three years in foster care (this time) the court ruled for termination of parental rights yesterday. While I think it's the right decision and I'm certainly eager to move forward with adoption, I don't think we're out of the woods yet. I fully expect that her father will file an appeal and drag this part out for at least another year. The prospect of at least another year of this limbo is disheartening.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

plea bargain

The criminal case that's been rescheduled again and again since last fall is finally concluded, and without the youngster having to testify. They guy was offered, and accepted a plea bargain. The sentence stinks but ultimately the youngster gets what she needs from the court system. She was heard, she was believed, and the guy goes to prison. He will take a strike, and have to register as a sex offender. It might be that is the best we can hope for.

Monday, March 3, 2008

bait and switch

The youngster has been making great strides with her behavioral therapist. She hasn't assaulted me in months, and she's in general doing better in school. That means that the funding switched because she met the initial goals. With the change of funding came a new "parent partner." I'm just going to say he sucks.

The initial parent partner was great. We had great communication and I felt I could call on her for feedback and support (which is what she said she was here for). Then came the new guy. The first thing he told me was that he does things differently than his colleague, but never said what he meant by that. It soon became clear to me that what he meant was that he was not hands-on. In fact, he said he didn't want to communicate by e-mail (why not just ask me to cut off my arm?). Then the only times he was available for meetings or phone calls were times that I wasn't. Then he disappeared, and frankly I forgot he existed. I figured as long as the youngster still had the same behavioral therapist we were good.

Well, that's what I thought until last week when I learned through a fourth person that he was unhappy with me. Might have been good if he had contacted me to tell me that before involving two other people. Then I contacted the managing social worker (out of county, and AWOL for weeks at a time) who characterized me as uncooperative and not committed to the process. What? I sent her an e-mail response telling her I object to the characterization, then forwarded the e-mail exchange to my FFA social worker who tells me she will see what the heck is going on.

Apparently the "parent partner" is complaining that I'm simply not available at a time that's convenient for him, so I'm uncooperative. I wouldn't give a rip except that he could terminate services that the youngster needs. As to being unavailable, I work full time, maintain the house, get the youngster to and from school, prepare her meals, get her up in the morning and off to bed at night. Did I mention we still have five appointments every week? In the last week and a half we've had two trips to the emergency room, one doctor visit, and one doctor visit tomorrow. I'm almost a year behind in replacing my broken eyeglasses, more than a year behind in my annual physical, and I haven't had two hours of quality downtime in over six months. Let's not forget the two pending court cases either.

The county social worker suggests that we all just have a sit-down meeting where everyone can define their roles. When would I have time for that?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

good to know

I got a call this evening from the youngster's attorney. She wanted to tell me that the youngster would not be required to be at the hearing tomorrow. Since I wasn't aware there was a hearing tomorrow that's good to know.

The good news is that while I had her on the phone I was able to tell her enough about what is going on with the youngster's behavior that she wants to know more. Since I've been trying for months to find an effective way to have someone advocate for this child in the courtroom this is a golden opportunity. She asked me to send her a comprehensive summary via e-mail to bring her up to speed. Hope she has a free afternoon to catch up on some not-so-light reading.

Friday, February 1, 2008

"It'll weed out those who are doing it for the $$." part 2

My hide is still a little chapped by this comment and I've been giving it some thought over the last couple days.

How much money would it take to get people to foster "for the money?" Seriously. Let's say someone wants to earn some money and they're looking for a job, how much would it take to get someone to look at fostering as a money-making enterprise?

You have to be on-duty 24/7. That makes roughly 720 billable hours a month. At a minimum wage of $7.50 that's $5400 a month gross. I don't know anyone receiving that kind of money.
Then factor in the loss of privacy (your home becomes a "facility"), missed work time because of appointments, the loss of any kind of a social life, being assaulted, court proceedings, having your house trashed, and general stress.

Please. No one is doing this for the money.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

"It'll weed out those who are doing it for the $$"

Ever wonder about the way civilians view foster care?

I learned today that the California budget is about to implode and foster children are going to feel the crunch. Specifically, it looks as if the reimbursements to FFA families will be cut by 5%, and those checks will be delayed by two months.

I mentioned this to a friend and she made the comment above. ("It'll weed out those who are doing it for the $$.") Is she kidding? Right, because all along my plan was to get rich doing foster care.

It's not hard to see where this is going to lead. Some families won't be able to take that kind of a hit to their household budget and some children will be looking at yet another move within the system.

Personally, I'm okay here. I bought my house when prices were reasonable, and the interest on my mortgage is low. My ride is paid off with about 30,000 miles on the odometer. I have a good job, health insurance and a retirement plan. This isn't my first recession so I know what's coming. Other families are less well-prepared and they will opt out, that's the reality.