Thursday, February 26, 2009

ice-cream good for your soul

Little guy had an incident at the psych hospital. he was asaulted by another kid there. great. just what he needs. as a sexual abuse victim I'm sure this incident was very helpful. Foster mom was livid, which is good because things like that shouldn't happen. Fortunately the incident wasn't as bad as they made it sound on the phone and foster mom let me know that little guy was ok.

I got a new case which will be interesting. I was wasn't too happy about it as it seemed to be more of a JJS case, but with a little more info, I can see how they felt DCFS custody was more apt. Weird family dynamic going on there, but I think the foster family we lined up today for him will work fine for him.... hopefully.

Speaking of wierd family dynamics, I had a team meeting with Suzie and her family and its like the whole family competes to see who can be louder. Suzie and her brother threw out random thoughts that had nothing to do with the meeting. Foster mom was trying not to laugh at the whole wierd circus show. Foster mom is doing awesome with Suzie so far. We've got her starting in a DBT group in my favorite therapy provider, and foster mom will go with her so they can practice the skills in real life.

Did have a good court review with Leo which was refreshing. I'm sure its that way for the judge too. She is a bit of a spaz, but not bad as far as judges go. I assume every worker has their favorite judges and other court personnel. This Judge let us in even though the attorneys weren't there so we could get in and get out (we didn't really need them since its a quick and easy it when my kids are doing good). I know I run late a lot, but thats usually because the previous meeting didn't start on time, and court is the worst for that. However, I don't really know what the excuse is for the attorney's and judges getting to work on time. sheesh, they even set their own work hours! Anyways this Judge is pretty good, except that she goes to trial on everything. I'm not legally trained, but terminating reunification services isn't something that should go to trial as its a DCFS recommendation, not a petition or anything else to set up a full trial for. Also the other courts don't do that. For Leo's case we went through 4 full trials. oh my what a waste of time and resources. Should only be 2, well in this case probably 3 since the mom wasn't playing with a full deck (yes I know not a clinical term, and not even that clever).

I had a couple of home visits tonight. Went quickly because I had met with the one family the night before, and the other one because the kid was still doing really well. I know its such a relief for me when my kids are tanking and throwing away their chance to break the cycle of addiction, DV, poor education, etc. I was thinking how glad I am that I have the weekend coming on. How greatful I am that my job ends, not at 5pm but I do get to go home at the end of the day. Thats why I'm so impressed with the families who help my kids and don't get a day off. Sure my job is taxing and I get annoyed, and a lot of hate is thrown my way, but I do get to go home, and if I need a sick day and don't have appointments that can't be rescheduled I can take it. Thanks all of you who take care of my kids!

I'm in a better mood tonight as I don't have any appointments tomorrow. Also today was icecream Thursday. My team and anyone else from the office try to go out for a few minutes to get icecream. Today was coldstone. yum!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

hurt heart

My heart hurts today. I saw little guy at the psych hospital today. Its one thing to get filled in by email how he is doing, and its another to see him in person. He did want to talk to me which is different, since he refused to see his teacher or tracker- both of whom he has a closer relationship with, since I only see him 1-2 times a month. There isn't anything I can do for him right now, and I feel so bad for him. In the meeting we had before hand I was kind of annoyed at the head guy who ran the meeting. I'm sure he is fine, and great at what he does, but the guy was somewhat arrogant and that just gets to me. Probably because I'm a know it all and can't stand others who act that way.

I went from one meeting (a team), to another (staffing), to another (staff), to court (drug), to a home visit. I probably should've gone back to the office to do some paperwork, but I was hungry so I went home instead. Paperwork will still be there tomorrow, thats for sure.

Jamie's dad did have to go back to jail today. The judge revoked his ankle monitoring thingy, he wasn't supposed to be let out any way. He wanted to stay out, as he had some great things lined up, but he didn't do his UA yesterday (said he didn't know, but thats pretty basic drug court stuff) so the Judge wasn't about to let him stay out.

Yesterday I got some logs updated, went to drug court, and had a team meeting for Celest. That didn't go so well. She was upset and it was like talking to a brick wall. We meet, we talk, she says ok, and things get better for a short time, but then we are right back were we were before. I really don't think this adoptive placement is going to work. I hate to think of Celest having another failed placement, but I don't know what else to do.

I'm feeling pretty down tonight, my heart hurts, and I feel like not much difference is made in these families or their kids' lives.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Jail- optional?

After being in this job, I leared that jail is optional. I've had clients not report to jail as ordered. Who knew that you could bargin with a judge as to which day you're supposed to go in, and then choose to blow it off? Its interesting how optional a lot of things that I took for granted is. Maybe the jail figures that not having custody of one's children is punishment enough, but I sware some of these parents are happy their kids are in custody so they can have non-interupted partying (not that it seemed to really stop them before).

I guess I'm upset today because Jamie's dad was ordered 60 days for drug court non-compliance and got out only a week later on an ankle monitor due to crowding. This guy has learned there aren't any real consequences for continued criminal behavior. I'd rather one of my other drug court clients get out of early because they are more likely to seek out treatment. Well, in all actuality this is going to play against him because he will most likely continue to use. The parents have already waisted 3 months so they don't have much time to turn it around. I actually think the mom is more likely to turn it around as she is the "black sheep" of the family, whereas his behavior is not that atypical for his family. Still though, I'm irked.

I'm also irked because Greg just got kicked out of mainstream school. He full on hit a kid in the face after that kid refused to fight him. He'll still try to make this someone else' fault, but his foster mom won't even go there with him which is good.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

almost through the week

Didn't get quite as much done so far this week as I'd hoped, but I'm over the last of the week, whoohoo! Got some more CFA's completed, a couple of home visits, a couple of crisis dealt with, but still way behind on my logs.

I had a good team meeting today for one of my teens, 16 year old. He is such a great kid! He is one that I want to keep even when he is ready to transition to the independent living team. It took a long time to get the appeal from TPR and everything cleared so that he could be adopted, and by that time he changed his mind. One of the other foster teens told him he could get a lot more $$ and stuff by staying in foster care. This, of course is true, but I think he also has rethought the finality of cutting off his mom, even though she is soo mentally ill. He is such a good kid and feels a lot of responsibility for his mom. Its sad, but the fact that he cares is also what makes him so endearing.

I also had a home visit with Greg, and while he is improving, I really worry that the criminal thinking and victim mentality will end up dictating the rest of his life. Greg's mom was picked up for paraphenelia and I'm trying to decide how much to tell Freeda's adoptive parents as they have an open adoption with the mom.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

letting the little things get to me

It was great to not have work yesterday. I like presidents day because I don't have any expectations or traditions for the day... a nice easy holiday. I actually did have to go in to work for a bit yesterday. Little guy had gone back to the hospital in the morning for observation before returning to the psych hospital for a seizure. They said that I had to sign him back in. Ummm Little Guy has a seizure disorder, so is this going to happen everytime he has a seizure? They also wanted me to come in person to sign him in (next county over) but just last week I was able to fax in the papers. Its a pain that I have to deal with someone different everytime I call there. I don't know how they run a place like that. It also seems that they don't know what to do with foster kids, and I'm pretty sure Little Guy isn't the first foster kid to visit. Anyways I signed the exact same papers the exact same way and faxed them over. I did put a note in the fax asking them to keep his case open the next time he seizes (usually about once a week or so) so that if the next one happens when I'm not available he can go back in without having to hang out in the regular hospital all day....

Today had court for Suzie and her family and it went fine. Afterwards they told me that some of dad's pills are missing, and they think Suzie did it. They got a new perscription filled, dad had 2 and now about half are missing. They think this coincides with Suzie moving to her new foster home which is the town next to theirs. Yep somehow she got into the house and took the pills (not all of them, just half of them), all while living a town away and on constant supervision (she is in a structured foster home). Hmmmm looks like maybe her perception of being the scapegoat isn't that far off. They did say that maybe she had one of her friends break in and do it. It is a posibility but seems a little far-fetched. Something not quite right in that family?

Got some more paperwork caught up today, sort of. Also had a team meeting. One of the people on my team got docked by CPR (one of the review processes they use here to make sure caseworkers are doing what they are supposed to do) for saying she completed the month home visits by visiting the child AT the home instead of IN the home. The reviewers said that unless she said, IN, then she might not have actually gone inside the home. I'm pretty sure that if I mark that a home visit was completed, that I went into the home, and not just stood outside to talk for 60 minutes or so, but whatever! Its one thing when review process are put in to try and help workers, give another perspective, etc. But its so stupid, and a waste of everyone's time, energy, and plain just makes me mad when its stuff like this. No way does this help a worker, or help get better outcomes for our kids. I'll know in March if I get pulled for the ickier review, QCR.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

violent workers

Yesterday I went to a training on "worker violence" I was excited because I thought we would be learning how to do it appropriately. However, it was on violence against workers which is a much less pleasant topic. One of my favorite quotes for the day was "if you continue working in this field, you will have a gun pulled on you." With budgets tight maybe the powers that be were thinking this helpful topic could make it so they don't actually need to fire anyone. I don't know about the other workers, but getting shot/stabbed/threatened is one of the least of my worries, what with the pile of documentation on my desk that threatens to smother me every single day.

Thats pretty much all I did today and yesterday.....catch up on paperwork. Funny thing that it doesn't seem like I get any closer to actually catching up. I finished up some service plans, and some CFA's including team meeting notes today. I'm only have a supervised visit scheduled tomorrow, but should probably see about scheduling this month's home visits as by Monday we are more then half way through February.

Celest stopped by my office yesterday. She is starting EMDR every Tuesday and I'm very hopeful that it will help her stay on track a bit longer. Although she was upbeat and talkative, she also looked tired. Thats not good. I know I'm not my best self when I get tired, hungry, etc but it seems these kids react way worse to those circumstances. I hope its not a warning of things to come.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Why does everyday feel like Monday?

This blog is pretty boring, but since its mostly for me too bad for anyone else! Nothing too exciting today. 4 and a half straight hours of trying to catch up on logs and I finally got all my home visits from last month entered in. My wrists were very achy by the time I finished up. Before that I played phone tag, answered emails, faxed paperwork, wrote court reports, etc.

Oh and I spent like 2.5 hours at drug court. Jamie's parents showed (I was wondering if they would), and looked like they must have had a big pre drug court party last night (those parties can't be that great if everyone looks like they do afterwards, guess Heroin isn't a pretty drug). They got 60 days jail time with authorization for prior release should slots come available at the residential treatment center, after they finish the treatment course offered in jail. Problem is the treatment facility will not let them be in at the same time so whichever one does better in the jail program will get the first slot available while the other has to wait an additional 30 days or until their jail sentance is finished, whichever comes first. They really need to get their butts in gear because they've already waisted 3 months of reunification services, the next 2 months could be in jail, and then they are only left with 3 more months to make significant progress in changing their lives completely around.

One of my emails today was to Celest as she is supposed to be reporting to me on Fridays and I hadn't heard from her. She responded and sent me a good report, so the cynical part of me is thinking, what is she buttering us (her team) up for this time. She reports she is in a happy place right now and she is making good choices. For Celest she makes choices based on how she is feeling. This seems a bit backwards as for myself when I make good choices I feel better about myself, not the otherway around. This leads to some pretty serious issues for Celest as she cycles pretty frequently between feeling great and tanking.

Another issue that caused me stress today was figuring out where one of my boys, Mike, was on respite. He was supposed to have family therapy today and if he didn't go there would be H E double toothpicks to pay (excuse my language). Foster mom has been having problems getting Mike to appointments, such as his therapy appointments. I had left her a message regarding today's appointment as bio mom refuses to speak directly to foster mom. (huge bad feelings between the two moms, mostly because Mike doesn't want to go home...and for good reason-long story here). Didn't know she had gone out of state and the kids were in respite. PANIC. This case is going to probably end up in some sort of trial as the GAL is filing a petition in behalf of her client (Mike) for permananet custody and guardianship. We have tried to mediate a petition twice now with no success. Mike is even more upset at his mom because he wants this to be all over with. What he really wants is to be adopted by foster mom but there isn't enough there to support TPR (again really long story). Anyways it was really important that Mike be at family therapy today. Fortunately it was all worked out and Mike made it. Don't think family therapy went all that well because bio-mom didn't have the visit afterwards. I won't know for sure because the family therapist doesn't like to communicate with me. I haven't had this problem before and it is extreemly annoying. When asked to give me an update for court, he usually ignores it. Once when threatened with a supeona he gave me a 4 sentance update. wow thats helpful.

Monday, February 9, 2009


One of my little guys was admitted to the psych hospital today. I'm hoping its just a matter of getting his meds back on track. The kid couldn't sleep because his head was so wired while the rest of him was exhausted. Little guy has been moved around a bunch, but is finally in a good home. He is 10, but the size of a 6 year old which is a huge improvement over when he came back into care last fall (from a failed kinship permant custody/guardianship) and was the size of a 4 year old. Even though he is small he is on tons of meds for seizures and behaviors. I'd sure like to see him off some of the meds and on the right combination. Now that he is in a really good home, they've charted his cycles and really helped his behaviors so they started to decrease some of his meds.

Little guy has been diagnosed autistic, not sure thats completely accurate, but either way its difficult for him to let us know whats going on inside and how he is feeling. I feel sad about this kid. He's actually realy good natured and we can see him really struggling and trying to be good. I got permission from his Judge to put him on the adoption exchange to try and find him an adoptive home, even though TPR hasn't occured. The policy here is to not terminate parental rights unless an adoptive home is located. As reunification services aren't offered to the bio family, it kind of leaves little guy in a catch 22, but I'm glad his Judge agreed that we need to explore every option for little guy. Problem is that he has been moved so much in his life, and is in such a good home that I'm going to be really reluctant to move him, even to an adoptive home. This is probably the wrong perspective, but I'm a worry wart. Any homestudies forwarded to me have been from out of state and, not really set up to deal with a child with Little Guy's special needs and behavioral issues. I worry about not meeting the family, or being able to do a good transition etc. for the out of state families. I don't want to deny Little guy a forever family, but I definately don't want to set him up for a failed adoption either.

Either way I'm feeling sad about his case, as well as his older sisters. She has been in her foster home for over 4 years and so I'm not in a hurry to move her to a home for the same reasons. She also has special needs, and behaviors which are harder to work with then Little Guys'. I'll continue to look for adoptive families for both. Little Guy doesn't really get family and what it means, but is doing better at this. Sister has a connection with her bio family and would like that to continue (with her limitations she doesn't really understand adoption and sort of flipped out when we last talked about it 3 months ago and I really don't want to jepordize her current placement). Both kids have made good progress, but I always have a sense of saddness that they don't have real permanency.

Jack and Celia's mom did go to jail today. She almost didn't make it to court and when she did arrive she looked terrible. She told the Judge she had a change of heart this weekend that she didn't want to live this way. I hope she did have the change of heart, but she then admitted to using Heroine and Cocaine yesterday. Hmmm hope the change of heart came after she used! Now I'm left to decide what to tell the kids. Mom doesn't want them to know she is in jail. I don't want to lie to the kids. I'll staff with my supervisor tomorrow.

My supervisor is really great. She tends to be right when we disagree (which is annoying), but that doesn't happen very often. One would think I would catch on that she at times has more perspective since she doesn't get as wrapped up in the case as I sometimes do. I'm really glad that she is a hand's off supervisor. She really lets me just do my job and doesn't hassle me. I wouldn't be a happy camper if I felt that someone was always looking over my shoulder. I know of one supervisor that requires her workers to follow the 9-5 schedule, but that doesn't work so well for our job! She is also good at providing the extra support when I'm struggling with a case.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Yesterday met with Suzie's new foster parents and gave them the low down. They sent me a quick email today that all is fine so far. Crossing my fingers that it continues that way! Its nice when I get positive updates because it seems that usually I just hear when everything is falling apart. I have a bit of PTSD from cell phone rings probably because of this (my family gets annoyed when they can't get ahold of me, but unfortunately any cell phone ring gives me the same reaction so somehow my cell phones tend to be on silence and get lost often :)

Supervised visit for Jamie went fine, although there was something about p. grandfather that gave me what I call a bit of the "wierds" or "creepies". I'm used to pure hatred focused in my way, or other not exactly happy vibes, but something was "off" about this guy. I'm sure other people get those occasionally too, I've learned to trust that feeling and fortunately I won't have much to do with that guy!

Unfortunately found out that Jamie's mom checked herself out of detox last night. She would've been released this afternoon so thats not looking good.

Supervised visit for Jack and Celia was interesting. It was like the kids traded places. Jack was real upset and crying when he couldn't stay with his mom, while Celia was super excited and happy about going to the kinship placement. For the visit Jack was happy (not bouncing of the wall like Celia was the other day) and Celia was withdrawn. Foster mom indicated Celia was fine right until they left for the visit. The visit itself went fine. Hope I saw mom softening a bit in her attitude and motivation to change her life..... I sure hope so because her kids love her and really want to be with her and their dad.

On to today. Today isn't a normal working day, but its not like my schedule is normal! Went for a sort of IEP (it was a meeting to decide if they needed an IEP) in another county and somehow they hadn't invited the foster/kinship. What the what? It was a little frustrated because they were wanting to put the kid back a grade level and I was asking that they do some evals first (they were a little suprised at this request). These children were horribly, horribly, sadistically, abused and neglected for the last year. He had only attended school a couple of months since he came into care. For him its not an IQ thing, but a sheer lack of exposure (went from not reading to reading in a week or so). The progress on these children is simply amazing, not just accademically, but socially, emotionally, in therapy, etc. He and his sister have come sooooo far since I first saw them in that hospital room (that night I had to call my mom to get a little home lovin' and know the world is still ok). I've seen some bad things in this job, but nothing like that, ever.

I kind of caught on that they really didn't know the background (shocking that no one read the paperwork, I know!). This was a fairly high profile case, and I figured with the info on the kids it wouldn't be too hard to put two and two together but apparently the school hadn't. So, I put it together for them, and explained this kid was hours away from death. I actually got a little emotional about it (I try and stay professional at all times). The cool thing was the way the whole room changed in their attitude towards this child! Now instead of thinking this is a problem kid, they were energized into how they could support him! Whoohoo! Both kids are going to have a whole school looking out for them. It was probably ok that the placement wasn't there because I could probably be a little more candid about the situation. The teacher is going to make this child a priority and work with the family, and I have every confidence that by next school year he will be at grade level!

Its amazing the resiliancy from these kids, and its because before the last 1.5-2 yrs their needs were met. It makes me feel bad for my neglected kids whose abuse wasn't as sadistic, but will suffer from the effects of the neglect their whole lives. Its these two's younger sister that I worry about because she didn't have as good of foundation even though she was not the focus of the abuse.

When I got back to my office, just the one other worker who is usually there on Friday's and late was there. Poor CPS worker! She got a red tag on a infant with all sorts of bruises. Just on the face. Still makes me sick to think of those pictures. She had had a red tag on another child with a pretty nasty bruise on his face earlier that also appears non-accidental. In both cases the parents claim falls. Hmmm only bruises on the face? I don't know what your experience is, but generally in a fall there is other injuries. For the baby they claim that she fell off the couch 2 times. That doesn't explain the bruises on like 5 different planes of his face. I think my number is up for a new case so I wonder if I will get the baby's case (don't know if the older child will go to a case).

Sure glad I don't work tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

oh thats what that smell was

I think I got a home for Suzie, yay! They are spending some time together tonight and then I will do a pre-placement meeting with the foster parents tomorrow morning to see if they want to go forward with placement. YAY again! Going to a structured placement will be a bit of an adjustment for her, but I think they will be able to deal a bit better with her behaviors which aren't that a-typical. Hope all goes well. Also my coworker Lilly was able to take Suzie to school and back so I didn't have to get up as early. Whooohooo! One of my least favorite things is to get up early!!! probably good thing I don't have kids of my own :)

Did a supervised visit with Jamie and her dad. Mom got a detox bed yesterday so she couldn't be there. She called during the visit saying she didn't think she will stay (at detox). Sure hope she does because I'm afraid she will overdose again, and this time not survive. Also its probably easier to detox there, then at jail. I think dad was on something (if he wasn't on something, he wouldn't probably be functioning-hard to go cold turkey on a 10 balloon habbit). Unfortunately he is probably going to jail Monday after drug court so he'll get to detox there. I actually feel realy bad for him and his wife because detoxing from heroin is a horrible, horrible thing.

Speaking of that the one thing that makes me sadder and madder then anything else is babies born addicted. BABIES SHOULD NEVER, NEVER, NEVER have to go through that. Here in my state we have a huge probem with perscription drugs, so even "normal" looking people have babies that are addicted. They don't screen babies unless they start to show signs of withdrawal. Many babies on opiates, don't even start showing signs until 48 hours after birth and by that time they are discharged. So they get to withdraw without any medical intervention. Lucky them. If the mom continues to use and breastfeed then they don't withdraw as bad, but if she uses and doesn't nurse, then she is high and can't take care of the baby while he/she withdraws. Thus setting up the awful cycle of neglect.

CPS talked to me about a baby today thats pretty bad off in the hospital with a bunch of different drugs in his system. Although this is a sad situation, he is going to receive medical care, and he will be placed in a home that can nurture him and meet his needs giving him a chance. I know this won't chance some of the effects of the substances he has been exposed to, but in a good home he can receive the interventions that will help him do the best he can with any limitations.

On a lighter note (probably only funny for those of us who deal in this sort of area), on the last visit with Jamie and her parents, they found a pipe in the diaper bag. They were whispering to each other about it and thought I hadn't noticed (I was typing notes). Hello! I'm there to supervise I'm going to be watching and listening to what you are doing even if I look busy at other things! Anyways they decided to put it back. After the visit I talked to foster mom who had no idea what I was talking about, and said she had been through the diaper bag. So I had to explain what a pipe looks like. Pipes are usually ordinary objects that have been altered a bit. In this case it was a pen tube (ie the top and bottom screwed off and the ink thingy removed) that was singed/burned on one end. It was pretty funny because she had wondered why there were so many of these broken pens around when they cleaned out the bedroom (this is a kinship foster mom).

Our local drug task force offers good trainings on what to look for if you are worried about drug use and I would highly recommend everyone, especially people with teens, take similar trainings. In one of them they even lit some pot so people would know what it smells like (don't worry, it was old stuff and they did it so that you couldn't get high!). After that, I finally understood what it was some of my highschool aquaintances were doing during lunch :)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

placement shmacement

So finding a home for Suzie was more difficult then I had hoped. I had two posibilities going into today, but neither of them returned my phone calls. ( I had called them on Thursday, spoke to one on Friday, and then called again today) hmmm that should've been a clue for me that perhaps they aren't interested? The foster family coordinator let me know that one for sure was out later this evening.

So then I had the current foster family take Suzie to the short term shelter, but when she got there they called me (9pm) to say they didn't have room. I had called about 5:30 to let them know she was coming and they said they did have room, but apparently the message didn't get to the intake people. Fortunately they said they would keep her even though they were over as I had called earlier (gald I did that!). I'm also glad the foster dad stuck to his guns and said they couldn't take her back as they tried to pressure him to do so.

The placement has really not worked out, and the communication between me and the home has been all kinds of mixed up. They told me they didn't feel they could care for her, but said it wasn't an emergency. This evening they called their foster coordinator and my supervisor to tell them I wasn't doing my job to get Suzie to a new placement. However when I called them to let them know they were to take Suzie to the shelter (as we had talked about last week if she was too much to handle) they were again reluctant to do so. This left me very confused! I had hoped to have a placement for Suzie today, but as they know she isn't an easy child, and so its not suprising that its hard to find a home. Also though, if things were really as dire as they told my supervisor and their coordinator why didn't they take her to the shelter earlier? They tell me things are hard, but their ok to continue, and they tell others that theings are horrible and don't understand why I haven't moved her. Ok, enough venting. She is at the shelter tonight and hopefully everything will be taken care of tomorrow!

On the bright side I did get one CFA updated today. One down 15 more to go.

Monday, February 2, 2009

sort-of removal (ie take 2)

Yep, still being evil and stealing children! Today I did a sort-of removal where the kids (call them Jake and Celia) were with mom in a trial home placement at a treatment facility, but she got kicked out. Too bad dad is in jail so he can't care for them either (said a little sarcastically, I'll admit). In this case, it was fairly inivitable but I still had hoped that the parents would get it together! Too bad they just feel like everyone is out to get them and they are the best parents in the world.... yep thats my job to persecute the best parents in the world, FYI!

Total denial of how drugs have got them to this point in their lives. Total denial of how the neglect while they are high has effected their children. I'm not sure these guys are going to get it because you can't hit much more bottom then your kids getting removed, but here it is again. Just so frustrating! These kids want to be with their parents, I want them to be with their parents, and so does the family, but the parents are too focused on being the victims and continuing in their drug lifestyle. In this state they only get 12 months to turn it all around, and here we are 5 months into the program! NO MORE EXCUSES, NO MORE MESS UPS, NO MORE ATTITUDE! its like dealing with my teens :)

Speaking of teens, one of my RADteens is doing good this week (Celest). YAY! After reading some of the RADblogs, I'm going to see about getting her into EMDR, as we have a provider that we contract with that does it now. Their waiting list is getting huge because everyone is hearing about the awesome results they are having. Anyways Celest has really done awesome when I think of all she has been through. I sure wish she had had someone committ to her way back when. Talk about a depressing! I did her timeline about a year ago. Here is a kid whose story reads just like all the classic problems with foster care kids (languishing while waiting for parents to get it together, failed homes, no adoption goal, abused in a foster home, etc). There is actually a young woman (Sophie) interested in adopting her (I can say that as she is a couple of years younger then me), but Sophie has just been so flaky that it has almost made things worse. GRRRRR! (canceling visits, not setting up home rules and boundaries, etc). I don't know about you all but when I get a new case with a diagnosis, or something that I'm not completely familiar with I do my homework! Here is someone who says she is interested in adopting, but has yet to even understand what Celest has been through and how its affected her. When you cancel plans, or even percieved plans OF COURSE it effects my gal. DUH!

anyways I'm so glad things have changed in my state from when Celest first came into care (almost 14 years ago as she is almost 17). One of my kids, Freeda, just got adopted a couple of months ago at age. Freeda would probably be headed for the same life as Celest if things were done the same way, but fortunately for Freeda, she has a chance for something more now. I had a team meeting with Freeda's older brother Greg today and something is up with bio-mom. Sure enough I got a message tonight from the drug court team that she got arrested this weekend. Funny how that didn't come up in the team meeting :) Couldn't have been anything too major as she was released the next day, but I'll need to follow up on that. Oh joy. Well visitation isn't going to go unsupervised anytime soon!

Greg was pissed off the whole meeting because he can't find his i-pod. I told him to call his last placement and that didn't make him feel happy at all. Placement was a kinship/child specific placement that knew Greg from school and liked him and wanted to help. Yet again well-meaning people who didn't do their homework, felt that I was naieve (they didn't like his group home which granted wasn't perfect, but Greg was doing better then he had done previously), and were easily traingulated/manipulated by Greg. Because this was something that Greg was working for, and I felt one of the few chances for permanecy/normalcy for Greg, I pulled tons of strings for Greg to get to go there and step down from the group home by Christmas. They blew off every suggestion I made about the level of structure and supervision Greg needed. I realy tried to make this work, but it was almost a relief when Greg blew it, as it was going to disrupt eventually once they saw the not so charming side of Greg. They told him that one of their rules was no substance abuse. Pretty sure I told them that Greg liked to huff. Pretty sure I specifically warned about aresole items, inluding body spray as that is one of his favs. Guess what they found him doing? Guess they decided evil social worker didn't really know what she was talking about. Not that I'm still upset about that or anything.....

Anyways Greg is doing well in his new home. I'm pretty impressed with the rules they've laid out and the structure/supervision they've got. Not sure I'm real impressed with the therapist yet, but we will see. I sure hope he doesn't blow this one because the next time he is going JJS (ie out of foster care and into the criminal system) and I can't do much for him then. Yet again why I'm happy Freeda has an opportunity for a life seperate from this bio families dysfunction and destruction (4 generations of it). They are doing an open adoption with visits, etc all according to Freeda's needs. YAY!

Tomorrow I need to figure out which home to place Suzie with. oh joy. This is an icky case. 16 year old, DV family- more emotional/mental/psycological then physical but thats worse on the kids and harder to prove. Suzie has problems with being truthful so that doesn't help figure out whats going on in the family since she says one thing, they say another, etc. Truth usually ends up somewhere in the middle. Glad I've got an on the ball RFC (foster family coordinator) for this one!

My super supervisor sent me a list of all I need to do for the upcoming QCR's. I swear if they pull my name I will seriously consider quiting. I was dead set on doing that if they pulled me last year, and they didn't so I'm more optomistic this year. My supervisor really is the best, but I'm so far behind on documentation that if I take the time to catch up I won't do any actual casework for weeks/months!

I was going to type up my notes from CFTMs (team meetings) tonight (I think I'm current till October?), put in my home visits for last month and put off the rest tonight, but I decided to just come home, eat, blog, and go to bed instead (ie put it all off!). Don't worry there will be more to document tomorrow so my to do list will just get longer :)