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Niece is in foster care...help! - Page 6

post #101 of 112
Thread Starter 
The social worker called us back!!!

She was very helpful and talked with us for over 45 minutes. She gave us a lot of information, cleared up a lot of things, and really put some perspective on the situation.

You all are right. According to state law, they won't place our niece out of state unless parental rights are terminated. They see no incentive for SIL to get straight unless she has steady visitation with her daughter. The social worker said flat out that she doesn't see any posibility of SIL getting her daughter back unless she went to a hospital to detox. There just isn't enough time for her to wean off slowly. The state terminates rights after 15 months in care. If she detoxes at the hospital, she's far more likely to relapse...plus, I honestly don't think SIL would try that.

The social worker said that SIL is in really rough shape. She's failed her last 6 UA's, and falls asleep while talking to her. I'm disgusted at hearing this. I knew she was bad off, but not that bad. She also set us straight about the father. He in fact does NOT have a job, and does NOT have his own house. He pretty much just couch surfs from home to home. The social worker held little to no hope that he would be cleared to gain custody. Man, addicts really can be convincing!!! It's so horrible knowing that you can't believe one single word they tell you. Everything has to be questioned.

We were given the names, professions, address, and phone number of the new foster family. We're calling them tomorrow. They're both teachers and are seasoned foster parents. The last home our niece was in, she was the first child they had ever had in their care. I feel like this home is a really great place for her right now.

So basically, we won't be able to gain custody of our niece until parental rights are terminated. That is unless we can convice SIL to give us custody before then. Dh thinks he can do this...I personally don't see that as very likely. The social worker encouraged us to visit our niece and the foster family as often as possible. We're of course going to do everything in our power to do that. We live over 10 hours away, so it's going to take a lot of work. We're fully invested though.

We emailed the social worker rfe-stating our intentions and everything we discussed, per the advice given here

I'm feeling like we have a direction now, and a path. It's very sad though to think that our niece will very likely have to wait in foster care for over a year before she can have her forever home. If we could move up there, we would in a heartbeat. Dh is really tied up into his Phd program here though, and needs to finish asap. I worry what must be going through our niece's mind right now. What can she possibly be thinking? Will she be able to truly bond with us after all of this? It's all so so sad.
post #102 of 112
I'm so happy there's been some good news for now, please keep us posted and best of luck with all of this!
post #103 of 112
That is very encouraging! I mean, obviously it is disappointing that your SIL is in such bad shape and the father is as well, but it sounds like you talked to a good worker who has a clear picture of the situation and was able to convey that to you. It also sounds like the first foster family probably really wanted to adopt, and this probably wasnt the best "first foster" situation for them since if the little girl is TPR'd you really want her. Maybe they will wait for a situation that is more appropriate for them (if their goal is in fact adoption)....even though you live far away, perhaps you can make a photo book for your niece so she can be familiar with who you are, and make occasional visits? I do think that even after a long time in care, she will still be able to bond with you....after all, many people adopt kids who have spent years with foster parents, and they bond and become a family.
post #104 of 112
If the foster family is willing to Skype with you, that might be a good possibility. You could always buy your niece a webcam if needed.
post #105 of 112
Our dd was 22 months when she went into care the last time. She was with that foster family 9 months until the TPR was done. I had flown out and had 1 visit with her in that time, and called and spoke to her daily. I also sent pictures of our home, my other kids, etc.

She is 5.5 now and totally bonded

This time should now be used to get your background check done, and your kinship homestudy, so if TPR is done there will be no delay. I flew out the next morning after TPR.
post #106 of 112
Oliver'sMom~ I just caught up with the thread and I want to give you big s. I'm so sorry this is happening to your family and your niece, especially when you're pregnant. It's not easy to deal with something so stressful when you're also trying to keep your family, body, and mind as healthy as possible.

I hope you're able to get custody of your niece, and that your SIL is able to see clearly enough to either sober up or give you custody.
post #107 of 112
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all of the encouraging words!! This thread has been a life saver for me. Just being able to write out my thoughts/feelings, and the events as they progress is very helpful.

Skype is a fantastic idea! I'll ask the foster parents if they're open to that when we call them tonight. I also like the idea of a photo album. We'll for sure be calling regularly and maing as many visits as we can. I think in many ways it will be easier to maintain contact with her now than when she was with her mom. Often times, SIL's phone would be disconnected, her electricity would be turned off, or she would move and we didn't know where they were. It's amazing to think that we may never have to worry about all of that anymore. At least not with this niece.

We're moving to a new and much nicer house in June. Should we wait to get our kinship homestudy done until then? Is there a way I can find out the criteria needed to pass a kinship homestudy? If we had it done now, would we have to do it again after we move? Sorry for all of the questions. We'll for sure start the background check right away as I know those can take several months.

Thanks again!
post #108 of 112
Call about scheduling the classes. In my state you basiclly have to take the foster care classes. They did our finger prints and collected all the info at the class. The social worked did the home visit/home study. I'd explain you were moving in June and the fire marshal and social worked can wait to visit then.
post #109 of 112
so happy to hear your niece is in a foster home that will be conducive to you adopting her if mom and dad are TPR'd. so sorry to hear that your SIL isn't doing well.

after having seen a few of these situations happen on this board, I'm wondering if you might want to think about making your identity a little more hidden on here if you're going to be posting specifics about the case. especially since you're dealing with your own family, there is a pretty high likelihood of *someone* coming on here and reading what you're writing, and what others are replying.

best wishes, and do keep us updated as you can...
post #110 of 112
Thread Starter 
Just wanted to give a final update. Our niece was placed with her father yesterday. He was granted full custody. She's been having regular extended visitation with him over the past couple of months and has really bonded. We made a visit to see our niece and everyone last month, and met the father. He seemed like a totally good person. So it looks like this story has a happy ending!

Thanks again for all of the advice and support!
post #111 of 112
Oliver's mom, that's great news, hoping he does turn out to be an awesome dad. will you be able to keep in touch with them?
post #112 of 112
Terrific news!
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