Some Answers

First of all, I appreciate the shared outrage and constant support from my amazing readership more than I can begin to express in my drained state.  Second, here are some quick responses/answers to your questions and comments…

1) I live in one of the very worst states for foster parents’ rights.  In fact, until you’ve had placements for longer than 12 months, you essentially have no rights at all.  Just recently a law was passed bestowing upon foster parents the singular right to be notified of and invited to court hearings involving their foster children.  Great law, except there is no recourse whatsoever if the law is not adhered to, or in our case, there is a “miscommunication” regarding the details…

2) There is no de facto parent status.  Foster parents are allowed to file a motion to intervene in juvenile cases, but again, they are never upheld until more than 12 months in placement.  From everything I’ve heard, TPR is never discussed prior to 18 months – and that’s in the completely clear-cut cases.

3) We are licensed directly through our state.  Agencies are only used for teens and therapeutic foster care – had we known more at the time, we would have seriously considered going through an agency…and the irony is that Sprout would have qualified as a therapeutic placement due to his multiple displacements…

4) Kids do have visitation.  1 hour a week with bio mom. When she can make it.  Just sayin’.

5) We do have a network of support around us.  We have a support social worker, foster parent “big buddies” who have been doing this much longer than we have, and we’ve been in touch with our state’s foster parent advocacy group.  That’s the good news.  The bad new is not one person (in state) was surprised by our story.  Of course they shared our frustration and were sympathetic, but not surprised.  Ridiculously long court dockets? normal.  Years to implement permanency? normal. Foster parents kept entirely in the dark? normal. 

6) A glimmer of hope exists once we make it to December (12 month placement).  At that point, we can submit our case to the advocacy group and there is a decent chance they would offer us an attorney to represent us and fight for faster permanency for the children, especially since they are so young.   Great news, and we will be crossing the days off on our calendar until we can explore that further.

Did that cover them all?  Any other questions out there?

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One Comment to “Some Answers”

  1. WOW! What a terribly outdated system. It is good news that the 12 months is almost up though! I truly hope you can get some help and can move this thing along. You all deserve answers and permanency.

    I hope you are feeling a little better today. I am thinking of you.

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