Friday, November 30, 2007

the line has broken

To say it has been difficult to take off my case manager hat in order to don the foster mom hat would be an understatement. It's been hell. Almost impossible to stop thinking the way you have been for almost sever years. To suddenly be on the outside. I knew it would be hard, but had to be done in order to best serve my new role without pissing off every case manager I ended-up working with. This being our first foster child, I have been extra good, keeping my mouth shut and only offering up minimal suggestions to benefit the midget.

And yet I've been shut out.

The case manager has responded to the 3 e-mails I have sent her over the past 4.5 months. I have not actually seen or spoken to her since she dropped the boy off in July. That's ok. He's doing well, has no special needs, nothing I really need her assistance with. She had informed me the MGM (maternal grandmother) was being considered for placement. OK. Now we start thinking along those lines, knowing the heartache that will occur when he goes, but at least we know.

He has visits with MGM once per week for one hour at the CPS office. I suggested these need to increase in both time and duration, as well as moving to MGM home so he is able to familiarize himself with the new surroundings.
No response.

I requested information on what daycare situation he would be in so that we could start with some kind of transition. I was aware MGM works, thus my assumption would be some kind of daycare. I offered to start transporting him to whatever daycare she would utilize so he could get used to it (as opposed to being with me 24/7).
No response.

I requested information on the next court hearing so that I may attend and see what's happening first hand.
No response.

On Wednesday, I get a call from the CM. She informs me there was a court hearing on Monday and MGM has been approved for placement. Holding my tongue about not being told about the hearing, I only ask when she plans to increase visitation, and how much time before he goes. She states she will talk to the case aide about visits as she is the one who has been scheduling and supervising them. She states MGM has SOME THINGS TO WRAP UP so it is unlikely he will transfer to her care until January.

Right after this conversation, I check my e-mail. An old co-worker has forwarded a message sent to all of CPS from the supervisor of the midget's case manager. My co-worker has attached her own comment above the e-mail stating:
This sounds eerily like your midget's case??

The e-mail reports a family on the worker's load is in need of assistance. If anyone saw the news, on Thanksgiving day there was a house fire leaving 15 people homeless. Her family has three children and will be getting custody of their grandchild. If anyone can provide assistance or resources for assistance it would be appreciated.

In a follow-up e-mail, she stated the Red Cross will be assisting the family, however, their help is limited due to the family's legal status.

This prompts me to look up news stories on home fires on Thanksgiving as sure as shit, there it is. A picture of a burned up house with the car MGM drives to and from visits in the driveway. The article states the home owner is NOT MGM, and there were 5 adults and 8 children in the residence.

MGM has some things to wrap up.


It is at this juncture, my already thin line between foster parent and case manager snapped and my head started spinning.
How did they pass a home study with that many people in the home? How were background checks completed with no social security numbers? Why is the cm saying stupid shit like MGM has some things to wrap up with the woman is now homeless with three children and no belongings?

So I sent an e-mail to the GAL (guardian ad litem - atty who represents the child's best interests) voicing my concerns and apologizing if I was overstepping any boundaries. She agreed to meet with me at the court house between hearings on Monday.

As a last note, I know exactly why the cm is blocking me out. Her supervisor and I used to work together. Without going into detail, she did some shady stuff - providing case information on one of my cases to an opposing attorney. She was written up and told to take some time off, but that was it. And now she's a supervisor. Yeah, welcome to THE SYSTEM.
I'm pretty sure once she knew who the baby was getting placed with she had a talk with her worker. Whatever. Little does she know I also know how to work a room and will plant a big bug in the GAL's ear about the entire situation.
And did I mention I got the dirt on the GAL from another co-worker? I already know exactly what buttons to push to get my point across.


OHN said...

Steph~YOU ROCK! There are so many things in our "systems" that absolutely suck and stay status quo because everyone is too afraid to speak up. I am with you about utilizing whatever resources and info you have to get this shitty situation opened up. Once again you are again so much stronger than I ever could be. I would be out of my mind knowing he could be going to that situation. Don't you wonder how people are promoted to supervisory positions that really should be cleaning sewers? Unreal.

Beagle said...

There is something seriously wrong with the system!

Promoting jerks seems to be common in larger "systems". Hospitals work that way too. I used to work with a very team breaking (as opposed to building) nurse who now manages the center I used to work for. Thank god I'm not there to endure her wrath.

OHN said... can contact me at

My Reality said...

I don't know how you are doing this. If I found out that kind of info, I don't know how I would restrain myself.

If you decide to leave the country, I am north of the border.

Bea said...

Hm. Well, I hope you can sort this out... it sounds like a whole lot of funny business.


Chris said...

Absolutely unbelievable! I don't blame you at all for being completely pissed! We definitely need to get together for a drink stronger than Starbucks.

hope548 said...

The whole situation is seriously messed up. Sad. It's supposed to be about the best interest of the child. I'm glad there are people like you who remember that! Good luck.

Kristen said...

Hi there, I stumbled upon your blog. I just wanted to pop in to say I'm so sorry you are having to deal with that crap. I've been there and the system does indeed SUCK!!! Hang in there.