Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I win.

Well, at least I am not the only one driving these kids to these visits. Sometimes I feel like I am. I have always hated that at our agency the bio family AND the foster family come in the same door and park in the same tiny parking lot...seriously, there should be some type of privacy available to us foster parents and our license plates don't you think?

BUT...I would not like having the kids transported I don't think. I would feel SO out of the loop!

Anyway, I am curious...when was the first time you found yourself finally standing up for yourself or family when it came to your child's social worker?

I remember two of mine very clearly:

1. Lizzy's 2010 Christmas visit with her bios. Her lawyer called me right after court and told me that he had approved a visit on Christmas as long as she did not spend the night with them, and if I could not transport she was not going.

Well, Lizzy's nasty social worker called me up and told me that she was going to have a 3 hour visit with her bios on Christmas that I had to transport for.

I said "No." I think she was pretty surprised. I told her I was not ruining my family's Christmas by having the whole day revolve around a visit in the middle of the day. I told her she could either go there first thing in the morning and stay all day or she wasn't going.

You should have heard her try to bully me. I got to the point where I just repeated the same thing: "It is our Christmas too."

Eventually she gave in and agree to doing it exactly the way I wanted.

Ha ha, I had finally won one.

2. I can't remember if this was before or after the 2010 Christmas, but I took Lizzy to a visit with her legal dad. When it was time for her to go in with him she started screaming because she was scared and her face was literally turning blue from crying so hard. I got so mad I finally said very loudly "THIS IS NOT RIGHT!"

They did still drag her into the visit, BUT that incident led to this issue being brought before the judge and "ha ha" I won again. It was court ordered that the workers could not make Lizzy go in there kicking and screaming. If she wanted me to go into the visit with her I was allowed to go in with her. If she was just fine and wanted to go in then she went in by herself.

It wasn't extremely simple though, before this was in front of the judge, the day I through a fit the social worker tattled on me to the people above her. They called me in the office and tried to tell me that this was what they had to do. I explained the situation further PLUS told them about all the inappropriate things this social worker had been doing and by the end of it they told me to "please don't feel like you are in trouble because you are not at all and we will be talking with the social worker about these issues."

Once we had the court hearing I was probably very smug because I had gotten what I wanted ...I hated that social worker. She literally almost ruined Lizzy's life.

About a year ago she left the agency (BEST THING TO EVER HAPPEN) and suddenly everyone is very open to talking about what a horrible social worker she was, the other workers and foster parents alike. They should have fired her.

So, what FINALLY had to happen for you to freak out and say "No, that is NOT going to happen!" ????


Rachael said...

I just did this the other day, and it turned out I didn't even need to. Our foster baby came with a contagious disgusting condition which we FINALLY had diagnosed and treated, and I had to get a doctor's note that said the parents weren't allowed to resume visits until they'd been treated too. I had to then call to tell the worker that if only one parent got treated, they still couldn't visit, because the parents (who are on-again in their crazy relationship) will reinfect each other, and I am 100% not risking reinfecting the child or myself. She hemmed and hawed a little bit - "Well, if the one has documentation that he or she was treated, we can't..." and I offered to call the doctor and get another note stating they couldn't visit unless they were both treated. When she realized I wasn't going to make it easy on her, she agreed. Turns out neither parent bothered to get treated, so it doesn't even matter. And we're being transferred from this worker in Intake to a different worker in Management soon, so we'll see how things develop.

MamaFoster said...

glad that so far they are keeping them away...that stinks so bad, what a first placement! :)

Maura said...

there have been a few times I had to put my foot down. Like the time we transported our foster daughter to almost 16 no show visits with bio mom before I finally said enough is enough we are not bringing her unless mom comes an hour early to conform. Thankfully the cw was understand at that point and agreed but I wish I had spoke up sooner.

Mama P said...

There's only one time I put my foot down, and that was the time I made BioMom5 meet me to pick up her children rather than taking them to her house. Of course, I lost that battle b/c she came without carseats.

The only other opportunity I had to stand up for us, I panicked and didn't...and I let a baby go who I should have snatched up and walked away with until his rights were given to him. I should have put my brokenness aside, and stood firm against watching my baby be returned to the very man who had beaten and abused him.

Missional Family said...

Hmmm...the only one that comes to mind right now is the one time that Goofy Girl apparently got sick during the visit. It was at bio mom's apartment, supervised by the home based counselor (Clueless!).

They called about an hour before the visit was to be over and asked me to come get here. I told them I was still at the store, a good 1/2 hr away. I still had to check out, etc.

HBC kept insisting I came b/c GG wanted to go 'home' and wanted 'Mommy'. Of course she did! She'd spent over 2 years with us at that point, she only knew bmom as a lady she played with once a week, never as mom.

I told them I wasn't rushing. Kids get sick. Kids get cranky. Bio mom better learn that real quick. If she wanted her returned to her, she needed to deal with her happy, tired, sick, whatever.

I got there about 8 minutes before the visit was scheduled to end...and didn't apologize.

Mie said...

I've had a few times.

My first placement - mom had mental health issues and was young and was immature. So, she literally told her daughter to annoy me. She even gave her things and said "here, annoy her with this". Her daughter was 2. I told the caseworker that if she ever does anything again I won't let her come to the car and get her kids or put them in their carseat - she could wait behind close doors and say goodbye in the playroom.

Placement 2 - Though we had a good relationship with the parents mom wanted to challenge our request to take #3 out of state with us for the weekend to attend a wedding. So, in the conference I said "Ok, we can just put him in respite". She changed her mind fast!

When my last placement was getting ready to go home they were approved for overnight weekend visits. The first one was on my son's birthday party. I simply asked the parents nicely if they would avoid taking them that weekend because it was his birthday and I didn't want to ruin our son's birthday pplus their son was looking forward to the party. They obliged, but if they hadn't I would have put my foot down.

And finally with Summer, she had an awful caseworker. She would not communicate at all, schedule last minute drop-in CW visits, and simply come and pick-up or drop off Summer for her visits as it suited her. So I finally called her caseworker (after getting no response from her) and said she needed to give me notice if visits were canceled and she was bringing the baby back. She said she didn't have time to make those calls. I told her that if I don't get a call I can't guarantee I'll be there when she gets back and I guess she can use her time to wait for me, which could have been a 3 hour wait. She changed her tune.

Plexus Prosperity Pipeline said...

I did on February 20th, biofam was an hour and 20 minutes late returning kids to me...and I got exactly what I wanted, for now at least.