Things I have learned about foster care in the last week.

First, let me tell you that the children from out of the area did not come to stay with us, instead they had them sleep in an office for two days before placing them in a home in the area. I had also gotten another call yesterday asking if we would take two females, 10 and 6. Based on what little information they provided, I was comfortable taking the girls. I requested more information. I was told the case worker would call me. Humm…haven’t I heard that before? If I remember correctly EVERY case we had been contacted about, and asked if we would take children, I had requested more information about. I was told that the case worker would contact me and fill me in on the children. Cool, right? Wrong. I have NEVER been contacted by any case worker.

You see, I’ve noticed a trend…if you ask too man questions you get skipped. I’m beginning to think they just go down the list of homes and ask in short, “yes or no,” and if you say no or request more info you get skipped…too much work is my best guess. I am going to conduct an experiment, next time they call I will say yes, despite the amount of information (within my comfort level) they can provide. I am willing to be big bucks that children will be placed immediately. I know that this is the name of the game, I know that there is a lot of unknowns in foster care. How hard is it to tell me which school they attend, what medical conditions (if any) the children may have, and why they’re being placed into care? These are the questions I am asking; I am not asking what their favorite foods are, what color hair they have, or if they ever got beat up on the last Tuesdays of the month at Bible Camp. I am not being difficult.

With all this negative stuff flowing freely, I feel the need to update with the positive side too. I recently spoke with an on call worker, she was a complete joy. She kept me informed on the children who were from out of the area, even after they were placed. I really appreciate her following up and understanding that I am, factually, emotionally invested in children…even if they are strangers. I felt relieved when the children were placed and appreciated the text messages. If I knew her name I would speak praises but I cannot remember. I have her number saved in my phone as Nice On Call Lady so I can remember.

What’s next? More waiting. I know this is all part of my plan, I know this is a lesson I need to learn, I know. I don’t like it but I know. You got me God, go you. I’ll continue to wait.

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6 thoughts on “Things I have learned about foster care in the last week.

  1. thebeautifulopportunity says:

    Wow!! Our foster care systems work so differently!!! I’ve worked with four different placement workers and they all have been willing to answer questions or tell you that they don’t know.

    Though honestly, the info the social workers have is sometimes incomplete or flat out wrong. Not because of incompetence, but because the situation can be so fluid, the parents may or may not be good sources of info, there’s a game of “operator” going on as info is relayed from police to Child Protective Services to foster care workers to you, etc. So while the social workers absolutely should try to answer your very reasonable sounding questions, maybe it will be fine to take children on faith that it will all work out.

  2. Crazy, Mad Mommy Love says:

    I have to say that I have had similar experiences to you. Not when it comes to placement, but just a lack of information provided by social workers of kids I had already accepted. I had to find out from a different social worker who ran the visitation site that my foster sons’ dad was in jail instead of hearing it from my worker! I learned very quickly YOU have to ask the questions because they will very rarely offer up information that might be pertinent to the care of the kids or the case itself. Very frustrating.

    I understand that they have a very high case load, but you think it would be easier to find the right placement the first time instead of having to move kids later on when the family isn’t prepared for the particular needs of the placement.

    • Mohave County Mama says:

      I agree! Again, it’s not like I was asking random stupid questions. Simple things like violent/sexual behaviors if any, or which school they attend. I’ve been treated like I’m a jerk for asking questions, like I’m being uber selective and that’s not okay to their standards. I’m trying to stay within my comfort zone. This foster stuff can be hard.

  3. Rick says:

    Information is good. How can you properly respond to a situation if you don’t have appropriate information to fully understand it?

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