Friday, October 21, 2011

Really?

When you get your licensed renewed or you know a worker is stopping by I know most of you probably clean a little more than you normally do. We are all concerned that they might judge us over how much dust is on our molding or thing we are not good care giver because the bathroom doesn't look perfect.

Oh, how silly that is, at least where I am.

Some of you will probably be horrified/jealous to hear this, I actually find it horrible. Convenient for me, but horrible.

Yesterday the licensing worker came out to renew our license. To get ready for this I made sure all the fire alarms were working, the water heater was set on the appropriate temperature, the basement was free of children's toys because our foster kids are not allowed to play in our basement because we do not have an egress window, and cleaned cleaned cleaned.

So, she comes in and we sit in the kitchen. She asks if anything has changed, I said no. She has me sign the paper work I need to sign, goes into my bedroom to talk to my 9 year old son while he was watching TV in my bedroom AND paying on the ipad 2...and then she was done.

She didn't check anything. No medicine lock up, no fire alarm, didn't even glance into Lizzy's room...nothing.

Can I tell you something? No one ever does. In the past year including this visit no one has ever made sure that ANYTHING was the way it was supposed to be.


Can any of you guess why kids end up in crappy foster homes? Yeah, me either.

14 comments:

Larks Nest said...

I think its horrible too! I can tell you though, my licensor was fabulous! I appreciated that she went through our house with a fine tooth comb... I appreciate that she kindly reminded us of things. It made me know that SHE personally had a concern for the welfare of children.
Funny story- when we got our last placement, the Guardian ad Litem came to our home to see his progress (which I also LOVED), but I had been behind on my laundry and sorted it all out in my bedroom... like a million piles of it, and shut the door when she came over. When she asked me to see where he was sleeping, I about died. Because it was IN MY ROOM! So, I showed her the room in my absolute embarassment at the million piles of dirty laundry. She laughed and told me it was nice to come to a "real home".

CherubMamma said...

Every worker that comes in our home does walk upstairs to the foster kid bedroom and look around. I know that they are supposed to look at their clothes and things like that so I usually point out who's things are who's.

However, I rarely do more than run a vacuum and try to load the dishwasher when a worker comes. I laugh and tell anyone that comes in that I don't make beds for social workers.

But you're right -- they rarely check anything. Granted, my agency worker checks waaayyyy more than the CPS workers do. I appreciate the fact that they trust me. But I'm with you, I'm not completely comfortable that they just trust we are a "good" home and don't double check everything.

drivesideways said...

It is sad that the rules are not enforced, and we spend some much time getting the house up to high standards, and they don't even check for themselves. We are blessed with a placement worker who tells our birth kids that she is coming to make sure there rooms are clean. They don't know she is kidding, and they have their rooms spotless!

Cindy said...

I hope that is only because they know you are a great foster home but unfortunately that is probably not likely. Not to mention that some homes probably look great from the outside but are really trouble for these poor kids. I'm with you that it is horrible they don't spend any more time on the evaluation than that.

Carol said...

Your renewal sounds about on a par with ours. We have NEVER had them check our water heater temp or where our meds are.

There actually is, in our state, a fairly recent added state requirement that the CW see the room where the child sleeps once a month. The CW for a sib group that was in our home told us one week that the next week when she picked up the kids for a visit she would be looking at their sleeping place. (she could have looked right then, but didn't) She told us that that had been a requirement for a few months, but that there are just some homes that you know are OK and don't worry about, but that she really needed to follow the requirement. We have a 4 1/2 yr relationship with her and for a large portion of that time she was in our home on a weekly basis when she picked up kids for visits.

There is also a new state mandate that once a year a surprise visit is required. That visit happened recently here, but the CW (a different CW)called ahead and gave us 45 minutes warning. She didn't want to make the 30 mile round trip trip if no one was home. We used that time to take showers and get dressed.

Speaking of GALs, recently in court we had one say and sign that he had visited with our kids. We know for a fact that he had NOT.

On another note-relationships with bios. In the 5 1/2 years our home has been licensed, we have only had one child returned home. In that time we have had 2 who have been imprisoned for attempted manslaughter by arson, 1 violent teenager in foster care mom, 1 abandonment, 1 where the mother (no bio dad in case) was arrested at removal time and sentenced to 17 yrs for child abuses, sibs where the mom was a prostitute and continuing drug addict refusing treatment and stated under oath that she loved her kids, she loved cocaine, but that she loved cocaine more than she loved her kids. One baby was returned to his family after 6 days with us.So I guess we are coming from a different place than you are.

Mama P said...

Our licensing worker never even left our kitchen table! I joked that we could have kids hanging from meat hooks in our garage, but when you read stories about foster kids in cages or having lye poured over them...it's not funny to joke about anymore.

They don't care. They(broad,generally) just want to get in and out and get the paperwork done.

When we started this process adopting our boys from Florida...the caseworkers there told us they have to lay eyes on the child and take a photo once per month.(FosterMom said that they woke one of her kids up from a nap one day b/c the photo has to be eyes opened) If they see the child longer than 30 days, they get written up. My boys' foster mom said they had a caseworker who was fired because she missed the 30 days two months in a row! I am impressed by that.

We JUST started doing all the things like double locks, etc, at our house because we know that we have to have a Florida approved homestudy, haha. Otherwise, the ones here are a joke.

Mie said...

You know I've always hoped that they don't check our house that well because we've shown we're "good" foster parents and their focusing their time and attention on the "bad" ones. That's what I've hoped anyway.

Mrs. Bird said...

Our homestudy was very thorough. They checked all those things. In 14 months they've NEVER checked any of those things....they rarely leave the living room. Only the CASA has ever asked to see their bedrooms. The GAL has been out 2...should have been at least 3 times. Makes you wonder how thoroughly they check on the bio-homes, no?

Vicky said...

they barely did anything like a walk through for our license, but once we got a child, they came down hard on us for cause of the cats (that they knew we had) Now I get supprize visits at least 3-4 times a week so I have to keep the house visit ready! with a 17 month old, and full time job, that's hard.

MamaFoster said...

3-4 times a week sounds insane to me ... insane.

Pipsylou said...

ugh.

Debbie said...

It is horrible but at the moment a relief. If anyone shows up to check on our girls right now it's not a pretty site. But the important stuff is taken care of.

Alison said...

Our caseworker checks his room, but that's it. The license worker never goes past the living room.

I remember my dad saying once that we better fix something because they would look in our closets of course- check everything! I laughed because I knew how wrong of a perception that was.

Joie said...

I think I am terribly jealous of the "lack" of house inspection. I am so scared that if they do decide to license me, that my house is just not going to be good enough! Darn pets!

However, it makes you wonder if this is how so many "bad" houses slip through. Someone could seem really nice and kind and down to earth - but they could be hiding something in that house. Some clue to the real people they are. Thank goodness you are a caring and good one!

I am still rooting for my inspections to be so easy! LOL