We have been blessed with some GREAT Case
Workers; we have had a few average ones and one really bad one that I can think
of right now.
My biggest frustration is caseworkers. Even the great ones
have their faults.
I was a case worker once so I do understand the
demands of the job and all the bureaucratic bs that comes along with the job, to
be honest that is why I left the field, well kind of, being a foster parent I am
still in the job, on the outside looking in, with virtually no power.
Anyway, my advice to case workers:
1) Be honest! I think the biggest
problem is when caseworkers don't or can't say what is going on. Don't tell me
"I don't know" or some lie. Tell me the truth, tell me you are not allowed to
tell me that information or that you have to talk to the powers above, or just
better yet, tell me the truth.
2) Let me know what is going on before I
hear it from other people (parents). This has happened to me with pretty much
every case. I have heard everything from visits are increasing to kids are going
home from the parents. Then I look like the dummy who knows nothing. I typically
reply with the truth, well no one tells me anything so I don't know. Then of
course I have to call the caseworker to find out and they act like they don't
know. Sometimes I think that the parents are calling the shots more than the
3) Acknowledge that you heard what I said, or received my
email. I send emails to caseworkers on everything; maybe I send them too much,
although I'm not going to have a caseworker not know what is going on with a
child in my home. Most of the time I don't hear anything back from them.
Sometimes it doesn't really bother me. It does bother me when I ask them a
question and they don't answer it. I think I'm going to start highlighting the
questions in my emails! :-)
For the most part I love our caseworkers; I
do feel for them on the job they have to do. I also believe most are doing the
best they can do and they feel pulled in all different directions. I will
continue to do what I do no matter how they do their job. At the end of the day
I know I have advocated and done everything for the kids.
For the one
caseworker that I know was horrible, I pray for him, and the kids who are
effected by his decisions.
Well at least this is a day in the life of me being a foster parent. I believe that most people don't understand what most foster parents do. It is often more than just being a parent. It is a lot of
work and a lot of wonderful moments!
Due to the privacy of the children in my home and their biological families I can't share exact details, although this is what my weeks pretty much look like at any given time.
My Typical Week:
*Everyone up and ready for the day.
*Unload the dishwasher; throw in a load of laundry. Get clothes into the kid’s rooms from weekend laundry.
*Write in child’s journal for this afternoon's visit.
*Call from our agency Case Worker (CW), we are very fortunate to have an agency calls and checks in with us often.
*Therapist comes to meet with 2 children from 8:30am to 10:30am.
*Sometimes I am present (in the same room) through the whole session, sometimes I am able to use this time to get this and that done, while taking care of the two little ones.
*After therapy get the older ones settled and usually a lot of hugs and I Love You's are exchanged.
*Snack, finishing unloading the dishwasher, make bottles for the 2 little ones for the day.
*Do hair get ready for school
*Two are off to school for a few hours
*While the older two are at school I take one of the younger ones to a visit 25 miles away for an hour visit. While that one is in the visit the other little one and I either run to the store or play in the van.
*Back to pick up the older two from school
*Home for Snack and playtime
*Get dinner ready, finish whatever laundry is in the washer/dryer
*Bath and Bed Time, I will say I am a stickler for an early bed time, they are in their rooms and in bed by 7am, I won't promise they are asleep before 9pm.
*DH and I's time, well with at least one of the
*Finish cleaning up, wash bottles
*Usually by 11pm I am off to bed and will have 2 feedings at night.
Tuesday (minus all the daily routines):
*Visit in the morning for one child for 2 hours, 25 miles away, all kids in tow.
*OT for one of the little ones while the older ones are in school.
*Visit in the morning with one of the children for
2 hours, 10 miles away, all kids in tow, although we are able to come back home for about 1 1/2 hour while the little one is in their visit.
*While the older ones are at school, PT for both little ones, this takes up the whole time while
the older ones are in school. I will say if I am lucky I can hop in the shower why the PT is working with the kids!
*1x a month we have a 2 hour morning visit 35 miles away, all kiddos in tow. Try to do some grocery shopping with two in tow during this time.
*Free time with the little ones while the older ones are in school!! If I am REALLY lucky they will nap at the same time.
*After school, run home for a nap and off to a 2 hour evening visit from 6-8pm. Driving at the beginning of rush hour it usually takes us an
hour + to get there.
*Usually home and kids in bed by 9pm
Friday (My Appointment Day):
This is the day I try to leave open for appointments (Dr., Dentist, CW's, GAL's, etc.)
For a couple months my Friday mornings have been invaded by our favorite OT. We have two kids receiving OT in our house right now so we had to fit her in somewhere.
Also throughout every day I send email, make phone calls to CW, GAL's etc. They also come once a month to visit the kids in our house. I keep a journal for each kid and write something in it
to send with them on their visits.
Weekends I really try not to plan. We
do try to do something fun, most of the time we end up getting the things that we didn't get done during the week done.
So when do I have time to Blog????
I have no idea right now. Probably, my free time. I enjoy writing so it is not a chore for me to do. Sometimes I will do reports, journals, or blog
while the kids are playing or napping, most of the time it is when the house it quite and just the dog and I are up at night.
I'm not saying that other parents are not as busy. Where we do visits, they may be going to soccer (which we also try to work in too BTW) or visiting grandparents or volunteering. My point isn't to say that I am working harder than any other parent. There are many parents out there that I don't know how they do it. It is just to give an insight to people out there that most foster parents are working hard to care for the kiddos in their home and it isn't just babysitting someone’s child.