Prickly Paperwork Possibilities

October 2nd, 2011
Posted By: on Foster Care
Categories: Paperwork, Short Term

Paperworkdiary or planner.  It's such an innocuous word -- and yet a foster parent can shrivel at the thought of it.  So what's a parent to do? First, let's face facts.  If the state is going to remove a child from his or her parent and place them in another home, that act is going to necessitate a lot of paperwork and it is only right and just. The second fact is similar to the first and just as important and inevitable:  There is nothing you can do to reduce the paperwork so the quickest path to sanity is to accept it and do what you can to manage it. I have what you might call a foster care mentor.  She is so organized… [more]

New Placement Practicalities

August 31st, 2011
Posted By: on Foster Care

front doorI'm nothing if not practical.  My hubby would probably say I'm practical to a fault.  Nonetheless, I thought I'd share a few of those practical tips today.  They are all on my mind since we were expecting a baby this weekend. Paperwork can be an issue.  What works for me is to keep all my forms in a binder.  I have it divided in sections and in the first section, I keep one of every form I need for a placement.  I know that with every placement I will need a medical check up, a belongings inventory and sometimes a medications form or "baby's first days" form.  I put their placement papers in the second section and this way, I can just… [more]

Sane Licensing and Renewal

June 6th, 2011
Posted By: on Foster Care

check_listIt's time for license renewal and all the assorted inspections, certifications and paperwork.  When we were licensed, all these little things seemed so daunting but be assured, it does get easier.  Here are my top five ways to stay sane while checking off the things I need to do:

  1. Use my calendar. Things that occur monthly, quarterly or annually are set to "repeat" on my calendar.  For example, each month I must submit a medication report; once a year I need to provide our driver's licenses and car insurance.  By setting these things a few days or weeks before they're due, I take the stress out of it.
  2. Remember my two cardinal rules: First,  each item is  easier than it sounds; Secondly, each thing

Caseworkers: The Good and the Bad

February 1st, 2011
Posted By: on Foster Care

1237611_teamwork_2In any profession you have your people who excel at what they do. They feel, in a sense, called to their jobs. They often view it as a mission or fulfilling their destinies. While they may become stressed with the details of their jobs. Overall, they found it and life to be enjoyable and worth doing well. Then you have the opposite side of the coin. People who are there for the paychecks. They clock out at five and do not think about work again until after their first coffee break in the morning. I have dealt with both types of caseworkers as a foster parent. Some really care for the children and families they are working with. You can feel of their concern… [more]

Headache

December 15th, 2010
Posted By: on Foster Care

deskI am the type of person who does not go looking for conflicts. I don't do drama very well and I like my life to be well, boring I guess would be the word for it. Which is why I find myself wondering some days (today would be one) why I am involved in foster care. Why do I do this to myself? I just got off the phone with a caseworker and I can feel a headache coming on. Wouldn’t life be so much simpler if the Department of Child and Family Services was not on my speed dial? I can already feel the stress draining out of my tired bones just saying the words. What causes the majority of the stress… [more]

Will New Foster Care Licensing Rules Lose More Foster Homes

July 16th, 2008

Rules intended to protect children in foster care may drive away foster homes. I understand the logic behind the new rules. Various states have taken a beating for not protecting the children in their care. Children in foster care homes have died or been abused and the public is outraged. The public should be outraged; I am not minimizing the consequences. However, you don’t see the outraged public stepping up to take foster children into their homes. That is the problem; there are too few foster homes for the children who need them. Most of these outraged citizens wouldn’t consider letting a 10-year-old fire-starter stay even one night in their homes. Nor would they want a sexually active teenager sleeping under their roof. Who does that… [more]

Foster Care Caseworker Goals for Reunification

May 7th, 2008

Usually a foster care caseworker is assigned to a new case within two to four weeks of a child or children entering the foster care system. Siblings entering foster care would normally have the same foster care caseworker. By the time a caseworker is assigned to the case, the children have already been in a foster care home for two to four weeks. Hopefully, it is the same home that child protective services (CPS) placed them in the day they were removed, but it isn’t always. Since the children are settling into their new home, the worker doesn’t usually move the children to a different placement. That is unless, the foster home request that the children be moved, a suitable relative is located for placement, or… [more]

Foster Parent Services Expected in the Reunification Plan

May 1st, 2008
Categories: Paperwork, Placements, Terms

Most agencies now require the completion of numerous training hours to become licensed foster parents to care for children. In Michigan, parents who want to foster children for the Department of Human Services are expected to complete nine PRIDE classes. Each class is about three hours long, which is quite an initial time commitment for two active parents. One of the sessions addresses the agencies expectations of foster parents in the reunification plan. While many foster parents pursue licensing with the hope of adopting a foster child, the agency makes it clear that the initial goal is almost always reunification. Foster parents are considered part of the “foster care team.” They are expected to assist the agency in meeting service plan goals for reunification. The foster… [more]

Foster Child Goals for Reunification

April 28th, 2008
Categories: Court, Paperwork, The System

As strange as it may sound, even foster children are given goals in the reunification plan. The foster children, like their parents, are expected to make progress towards their assigned goals. Their progress is reviewed every 90 days by the court at the review hearings. The goals for the children vary depending on their ages, developmental levels, and needs. It is up to the foster parents and caseworkers involved in the case to assist foster children in achieving most of their assigned goals. This is because most foster children do not have a car or a driver’s license to transport themselves to assigned therapies or activities. Even if the children were old enough to utilized public transportation, they would still need to be provided with proper… [more]

The Parents’ Reunification Goals When Their Children Are in Foster Care

April 24th, 2008

Children have been removed from their parents’ home by child protective services. The children have been placed either in a licensed foster home or with an approved relative for temporary care. Unless the children were removed for extreme reasons, the original permanency goal of foster care is usually reunification with the birth family. Within a couple of weeks after the children are removed, the parents will meet with the foster care worker who has been newly assigned to their case. The foster care worker will review the reasons that the children were removed from the home and discuss it with the parents. Based on the reasons the children were removed, the worker will establish a plan for the parents to follow so the children can be… [more]