Surprise, surprise

Today was an eventful day. I got permission from the FSW (family support worker) to contact the boys' previous foster mom to pick up their stuff. The FSW had previously said that she would take care of it, but it was taking way too long! I called the old foster mom today. She already had all their stuff packed up, and was just waiting for someone to pick it up! It took like 5 minutes. Ha!

The boys are Sudanese. Apparently in Sudan women don't have much say, and the old foster mom felt that was why the boys were disobedient and that being in a home with a man would be good for them. They are doing so well in our home so far, it's odd to think that their previous placement had problems with them.

I talked to the FSW about the boys' case yesterday. She just kind of gave me some family history and told me a little bit about the boys' mom and the way they used to live. It made me really sad, and again I can't believe how well-behaved they are for all they've been through.

The old foster mom gave me the boys' "Home files" which is just a file that the foster parent has that has a bunch of information in it. It's supposed to have stuff about their behaviours, therapy, history, etc. And...guess what? Our have NOTHING other than the boys names, their parents names, and their placement history. There are 10 sections, neatly marked and indexed and matching a table of contents, filled with blank papers. Awesome! And it turns out that they have been in and out of foster care since 2006???? So that was kind of a surprise too.

Y asked me today what "adoption" was, and we talked about that a little bit. He asked if a kid was adopted, does that mean he doesn't get to see his mom anymore? I said that an adopted child might still see their mom, but they wouldn't live with her anymore. He asked why a child would need to be adopted, and I told him that sometimes a parent can't take care of their kids anymore, so it's best for the child to be in a home where he can get taken care of. He abruptly changed the subject.

C also asked Brian the other day if they were going to stay with us forever. The answer, for now, is that they are just going to stay with us until their mom gets better. I wonder what they think when we tell them that, considering they've already gone back to their mom once and got taken away again.

It just breaks my heart. :(

The FSW doesn't know anything about when the next court date is, and doesn't know if the Foster Care Review Board is reviewing their case or not. Thankfully since I am on an FCRB, I have people I can contact to find this information out! Foster parents are supposed to get notices about these things, but since we are not licensed with the state yet I'm not sure if we would get notices sent to us or not.

The FCRB is a board that meets that reviews cases of kids in foster care to make sure the cases are progressing, and that the kids and the parents are getting all the services they need (counseling, therapy, etc.). Every kid is supposed to get their case reviewed by an FCRB every 6 months, but their aren't enough review specialists (the people paid to research cases and facilitate the board meetings). There are 5,000 kids in foster care, and 4 review specialists...you do the math! It's impossible. But I sent an email to one of the specialists to see if they could review the case if it isn't being reviewed already. Obviously I would not be on the board that looked at the case, but as a foster parent I can go and talk to the board. The board then makes recommendations to the judge, who can order whatever he wants to get the case to move along. According to the FSW, "this case is a mess" and basically nothing has been done on it at all since November. That is so terrible in my humble opinion.

I feel terribly helpless, but I am going to keep on pushing back at the FSW until I get some answers about my questions. In the meantime, the kids are the ones that suffer. :(

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