Friday, October 13, 2017

Our Shortest Placement

We just had the strangest, shortest placement. DSS called and asked us to take a 12 year old. They were having a hard time placing her based on her age and transgender orientation. We said we would take her. We had no idea that this would become one of our shortest placements.

She wanted to go up to her room and I could understand her need to process her day. Little did I know why she went upstairs. A little bit later a cop showed up at my door. He wanted to talk with me and her. We went out on the porch. Privacy is hard around here, Benjamin and other kids kept checking in with me and heading back in. She told us that she didn't feel safe in the house and that she found a white powdery substance in the bathroom. I was shocked. The cop looked at me, I looked at him, I said that she has been in my home less than 2 hours and obviously doesn't want to stay there. He told her to take it up with DSS and left.

We went inside and I called DSS to tell them what happened and to come get her because she is serious about not staying with us. This is all after hours so finding people in another county was a challenge. She said she was sorry but she just didn't feel safe and our neighborhood is sketchy. She really wanted to be with her nephew who went to a different home. She wanted to be with her family. I told her that I understood but this was not going to get her with either person. All she had to do was tell me she really wanted to leave, calling the police was not necessary.

DSS tried to convince me to let her stay until they found another placement. I said no, that I didn't trust her in my home and don't feel comfortable. After a few hours they came and got her.

What a crazy day. I feel bad for her, she did not want to be in care but had no choice. I imagine that she went to a group home.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Document

The written word, much more important than the spoken word when it comes to DSS and our children. When our child was taken for a new forensic interview and moved to a therapeutic home the activity was reported to OHAN (Out of Home Abuse and Neglect) per protocol. Abuse and neglect do happen in foster homes and group homes all the time. 

The girls have gone through several workers in the short time I have had them. My main communication has been through texting. On occasion I call and talk with them but I always make sure that behaviors are written down. I reported all behaviors for both girls to each worker. When you look back you can see that the behaviors that they pulled little miss for where similar behaviors that I have been reporting all the time, just escalated as she has gotten more comfortable in our home. I also copied my messages to my licensing worker.


I have always done this and this is the first time that I have needed that back up. If I had never written about my concerns with some behaviors that might have seemed minor then, it is very possible that we would be under investigation at this time. However, after a review of all the correspondence OHAN has closed the case without even calling me.


So to all you foster/adoptive parents out there; document, document, document.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Changes

The girls got a new social worker. Wow, this one listens. This one takes action. One child had a new forensic interview based on my reporting. It all happened so fast. Wednesday I texted the social worker about an ongoing issue, Wednesday afternoon she told me that they were going to move her to a therapeutic home but had to have an evaluation first. So she planned on getting her on Friday. Thursday I spent most of the day looking for clothing, I found three pairs of matched socks, many unmatched ones.

Such is this child's level of attachment that she was delighted to go with the worker to a new home. Her sister hasn't even mentioned her, such is her level of attachments. I have mentioned that they have no attachments. This social worker gets it, she says that they don't seem to care if they see their parents or not and don't mind leaving. I told her that this is my first foster kids who walk in the door after a visit and have no behavior changes. It was as though they had just taken a walk down the street.

I think I was more upset about her leaving, I knew it had to happen but I hate breaking up siblings. Not sure where this will lead to in the future but I think it is going to be a long term case. It is truly amazing how much quieter my house is with one less child in it!

Itty Bitty......I couldn't make it to the foster care review board. I texted the GAL and told her. She thanked me for reminding her because she had forgotten. She called me after the meeting to catch me up and to ask the question. Would you be an adoptive resource?  No, this doesn't mean the case is going towards adoption, they have 15 months to work their plan. It does mean that the GAL heard some things that lead her in a certain way. This will be a long case as well. It feels as though less and less kids are able to go home. Things are brutal out there.

Neurologist

We travelled to Charleston to see the new neurologist. Before I went I requested her medical records from her previous neurologist.

The new neurologist looked at her records and stated that there was no way that was all her records, that they were incomplete. They didn't have all of her sleep studies in there. He asked me when she had them done. Well, I don't remember! I pulled up my blog and put sleep in the search bar and up they came. How convenient.


Sleepy, her current status.


He wants all of her records before he decides how to proceed so I signed a bunch of forms so they could get them directly from the hospitals and off we went. He said he would call me in a week to discuss a plan of action. Thank goodness he is willing to do phone consultations!

We were able to have a nice lunch together.


Larissa slept on the way there and on the way home. It was a quiet drive.


I am working on patience. In the meantime she is on her same medication. I think it needs changed though, her dizziness is increasing.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Larissa school

Well, Larissa is now homeschooled. It wasn't the bullying (although that was getting old), it wasn't the teacher (I never heard back from her principal), it was the exhaustion that finally made me complete the paperwork to homeschool her. She was missing at least one day a week for headaches or even dizziness and then I was picking her up early one or two days a week. She was missing too much class time and she was struggling to keep up.

Today was our first day with Connections Academy and we are struggling. Larissa is challenged by all the different requirements and reading all her materials on the computer is causing her to have headaches. Heck, even I am struggling to figure out what all she is supposed to do and where she is supposed to be going. I guess there is a learning curve!

Going with an internet based program made the paperwork easier, I sure hope with time it becomes easier to navigate. Anyone use one of those internet based schools? I think the K12 is a similar program. Say a prayer for me! So far I don't feel that I am doing a great job as a coach.

Tomorrow we travel to Charleston to see a new neurologist. I am hoping for a different perspective but I don't have much hope. It has been such a frustrating experience getting these seizures gone.


Saturday, September 30, 2017

Anthony

Last year we decided that it was time for Anthony to go to a regular math class. He was receiving services for both math and ELA. If  he stays in that program he will not be able to graduate with a diploma. So our plan was to have him go to regular math this year and ELA next year. He has been working hard with his math. Some nights he will study it for hours. I have relearned some math that I had forgotten!

Last week I received an email from his teacher saying that he had scored high enough on his testing that they wanted to go ahead and put him in regular ELA this year. Great! We will meet on October 9th to change his IEP. I know that changing in the middle of the semester will be stressful for him but I think it will be in his best interest overall. He will be ready for high school next year (hard to believe that I will have high schoolers once again!)


We are very proud of the hard work that he has done to get here. 

When I think of where he was when he came into our home at the age of 2 1/2 I am amazed at where he is today. Hope, why we do what we do.

Little Upcycle Project

I got Vaida a bunch of dress up outfits for her birthday and at the last moment decided that I wanted to hang them on something. I went out to my back shed to see if I had anything that would work. I found this old shelf that had a shelf missing. I am actually surprised that my husband hadn't taken it to the dump.



I cleaned it up and took the top shelf off. I then added some wood to the bottom so that it could support her if she sat or stood on it. Then I spray painted the entire piece.


I painted the shelf that I removed and put it on the other shelf as support for that shelf.


The dress up clothing included some new items and some repurposed dress up outfits that my girls had outgrown.


Wrapped it with a sheet......


She seemed to like it.


On another note, if you send me a facebook request tell me that you are a reader. I have been getting some requests lately that I don't recognize. If I can tell where they come from I have been accepting the request.