Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The joys of the monthly home visit

I am sitting here, waiting for Monkey’s social worker to come do her monthly visit. The visit she missed, without calling to cancel, last week. The visit I reminded her needed to happen via email yesterday. The one she gave me a time for ONE HOUR AGO, via text message. Monkey seems to always get pushed to the bottom of her list. Perhaps it is because she is only 6-months-old, or possibly because we’re pretty quiet foster parents and don’t ask for much or make a lot of contact. I’m not sure. But it is frustrating.

Relationships with caseworkers are always tenuous. We’ve been extremely fortunate – Monkey’s caseworker is the first one we’ve had, out of seven placements, that we have struggled with. However, it is still always kind of a tightrope walk come visit time. Is the house clean enough? Are the kids dressed cute enough? Is anyone about to have a meltdown? How much info can I ask for without asking for too much, thus irritating the worker? When we have continual issues with a  caseworker, should we call her supervisor to complain? We like to be friendly with the caseworkers but I can always tell when we’re too friendly and need to back off.

We try not to irritate any of the social workers at our agency. Foster care shouldn’t be this way, but around here it is very much a politics game. Foster parents who rock the boat too much get, essentially, blackballed. No calls, or calls for very difficult kids who are out of age range. We haven’t needed to rock the boat much, so it hasn’t been too big an issue. The one time we really had to advocate, we had the caseworker’s full support, but the poor decision making was happening above her pay grade. I still worried that fighting for what I KNEW was right would alienate us. I hate that I have to feel that way, but that’s just how it is. Sometimes you gotta play the game.

P.S. In funny foster parenting news, 4 yo SuperD has taken to pooping, then walking over to the bathroom door, presenting his little bum and asking if he got all the poop off. I suppose I should just be glad he’s concerned about it!

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