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 For the visit Jack was happy (not bouncing of the wall like Celia was the other day) and Celia was withdrawn.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!


Lisa said...

Totally relate to the cell phone thing. Before I started homeschooling J myself it was always some trauma or rage that was greeting me on the phone. Yuck.

Recharge your batteries this weekend so that you can tackle the world come Monday!

Torina said...

Hey! I found your blog through Lisa's. I LOVE your blog name. So funny! I am glad you found a foster home for Suzie. I have a question. When a baby is born addicted to hardcore this grounds for automatic removal? And TPR? And how is that viewed differently than a mom who drinks while pregnant? Just curious as I have three kids by foster care adoption who are all affected by drugs or alcohol or both. Plus, I just went through a series of MSW courses where we visited various local county and tribal social service all that I talked to, it just meant the mom was recommended to get counseling if it were alcohol but for whatever reason drugs were taken more seriously. It blew my mind so I am wondering if it is similar in other areas of this magical country...

evil social worker said...

Good question. When babies are born addicted hospitals are supposed to be manditory reporters and a CPS case is opened. Addicted babies are grounds for automatic removal, but of course it is up to the judge. I think this is due to the fact that drugs are illegal, so the parent is endangering their child through illegal activity. From what I understand, FAS isn't screened -partly because alcohol is legal and partly because babies don't withdraw the same as from something like heroin. It would be great if laws were changed so that drinking alcohol was illegal while pregnant! It would also be great if hospitals changed their policies so that meconium testing was required for all babies. I just looked it up and apparently you can test meconium for excessive alcohol use during pregnancy

I have seen a few cases where kids have been removed due to alcohol, but those kids tend to be older.

evil social worker said...

Oh, one more thing our state doesn't do automatic TPR. I believe that policy does indicate that can be filed pretty quickly, but virtually all cases are offered reunification services. I did have a case in which mom gave birth to an addicted baby right before termination trial on the 12 month old, and the new baby was added to the termination trial as Judge agreed that mom had obviously demonstrated her failure to address her substance abuse issues! For kids under 36 months parents have 8 months till a permanency hearing (can be extended up to the year mark if parents have made significant efforts). Kids over 36 months have a year till permanecy (which can be extended an additional 3 months if the child could concievably be returned by the end of the extension). We try to place all kids in an adoptive/foster home so that if reunification services fail, the kids are adopted by their foster family so they don't move from home to home. TPR doesn't occur unless an adoptive home is found, but as our kids are usually in their adoptive home, TPR occurs after reunification services are terminated.