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Hurrah for wonderful firsts! - Page 2

post #21 of 58
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Lauren! Other than increased noise level there's not much to get used to.

Tigerhild, as I said above, I'm actually not concerned about transmission of illness to the other members of my family. I'm concerned that any serious chronic conditions, for which J is at high risk because Mom is an IV drug user, be identified now so that treatment can begin while J is in state custody. I have a few calls to make on Monday, and I may be able to ascertain vax status from the WIC office, which might as least take Hep B off the table.
post #22 of 58

To be sure that the baby is protected from Hep B, you need to find out if both the vaccine and the immune globuline was given.  The vaccine alone does not prevent a baby from developing a chronic (carrier) infection in some cases.  Depending on how good health care for indigent folks is in your area, that may not have been given--esp. if the mom did not have a known status as someone who has Hep B.  To my knowledge the HBIG is NOT given routinely.

post #23 of 58
Thread Starter 


By "baby," do you mean the younger sib who is also in care (age 18 months) or J (age 4.5)? Or both? Are you saying that a child who receives dose #1 of the regular Hep B vax at birth, plus subsequent shots at the behest of the WIC folks, might still have an infection if mom was a carrier?


If so, well, doesn't that suck. greensad.gif But thanks for the information - it will help me ask the right questions. 

post #24 of 58

IF mom has an *active* Hep B infection, and IF she does indeed pass it to the baby...then yes, the baby needs the HBIG *in addition* to the vax at birth (as well as continuing the series of the vax after).  So yes, even kids who have been fully immunized can still be carriers if they never got the HBIG.  (Keep in mind that the last time I had to deal with this on a regular basis via foster parenting and caring for pregnant women in the corrections system was in the late 90s/early 00s--maybe things have changed, but I don't know.)  The baby/child would likely be a carrier though, NOT someone with an acute infection.  I think a mom who is just a latent carrier (not in an acute infection) is less likely to pass on the infection--but the women I worked with all had active hepB infections, not a carrier with no symptoms type of deal.


However, there are a lot of ifs in there.  Only a blood test will reveal for sure if a person is a carrier.  The good news is that many people can be carriers (esp those infections picked up neonatally) and have few if any long term health effects.  It is something that they should be aware of though so they can protect their own kids.


So a blood test is worth it even with vax history, IMO, but to be really blunt I think it would be wildly inappropriate to have one ordered without speaking to the worker first.  I think anyone who would do something like that on their own without getting anyone's consent really should have their license pulled.  Not being able to do whatever you want whenever you want (even things that might be 'common sense' to you) is part and parcel of being a foster parent, like it or not.

post #25 of 58

You know, blood work, and even doctor's visits can be pretty traumatic for a child.  The child may have a history with medical procedures, or physicians that is difficult---I guess I am saying that it seems like the first order of business would be to create a safe place, and be a safe person for this young boy who has presumably had a lot of upheaval in the past few days. 


Not to tell you what to do, but if I were in your shoes, I would be extra careful to be partnering in a positive way with the worker.  Truly I don't know how this works where you are, but I would be very cognizant of the fact that this little boy may need you to be the safe one, and I wonder if that might mean that the worker would pick up the task of deciding about and implementing the physician visits, as they deem necessary.  Sometimes a split like that can be helpful.  Again, not sure if this is relevant in your situation.

post #26 of 58

Karne, it's standard practice here (and in many other places,) that the foster parent get a medical evaluation of the child when they first come into care (often within 48 hours.) It's rarely the social worker's job unless there's a real reason that it cant' be done. I wouldn't want a social worker to do it for me (although they are welcome to join us.) I want to help the child through these things and I want to build the relationship with the doctor (especially if it's one I haven't worked with before.)

post #27 of 58
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I have until Wednesday to get J to a doctor, and to begin vaxes (unless WIC turns up a shot record that's current). Also, a dental abscess we found this weekend will need to be treated ASAP. If I DON'T initiate medical care, my license could get pulled. But I will certainly speak with the worker and get permission for serum tests. I had planned to bring her (or him) in on that one anyway - they patronize a specific lab for the drug tests (nothing like shaving a patch off a kid's head to make him feel safe and settled!) and write the orders directly to the lab. There may be a similar procedure in place for other common lab tests.

Y'all can calm down. ;-) I'm going to be a proactive foster parent, but I'm not going off the deep end, I promise. I'd just like to accomplish whatever can be accomplished while I'm driving the bus. I think I may actually be very good at this.
post #28 of 58

Does your state have a immunization registry? If so, it's really easy to find out if the kids are up to date.

post #29 of 58
Originally Posted by Polliwog View Post

Karne, it's standard practice here (and in many other places,) that the foster parent get a medical evaluation of the child when they first come into care (often within 48 hours.) It's rarely the social worker's job unless there's a real reason that it cant' be done. I wouldn't want a social worker to do it for me (although they are welcome to join us.) I want to help the child through these things and I want to build the relationship with the doctor (especially if it's one I haven't worked with before.)

Thanks Polliwog.  I wasn't sure what was appropriate in the circumstances, but your explanation clarifies that for me. Our situation was a bit different, and it was quite a while ago, so clearly, not applicable.

post #30 of 58
Thread Starter 
Apparently, there is no immunization registry. Official shot records are generated by the child's pediatrician (hah, not likely) or by Public Health if shots were given there. Public Health holds your WIC checks ransom to force vaxing. I am suddenly less upset about that than I used to be.
post #31 of 58
Thread Starter 
... aaaaaand the kinship placement looks like a no-go. On the upside, we've been authorized to tear the urgent dental issue.

I need to get this kid placed with his sibling, unless there's a compelling reason to avoid that. I hope to make contact tomorrow with the permanent caseworker for both boys.

He's still wonderful, in case anybody had any doubts on that score redface.gif
post #32 of 58

They may not place them together, its not at all uncommon for sibs to be split up in FC. My son was with me, his sister was with a relative who didnt have room or desire for the baby. Then she went to another foster home and though i tried to get her they made up excuse after excuse why i coudnt have her. Only after i moved to a much larger place would they consider having her placed with me, and that was only after the school year was over and TPR had occurred. Had her then-FP wanted to adopt her, and i only wanted my fs, they would have been more than willing to split them. Its sad, really.


So its possibly this could end up a number of ways. They could move the older boy to the home the baby is in. They could move them both to a new FH together. They could leave each where they are and if rights are terminated, allow each family to adopt the children separately, or they could leave the kids where they are and a year from now if TPR goes through, place them in a home willing to adopt both together. It really just depends.


With my first two foster placements, i never heard from anyone about anything. At one point, when my son was placed with me and i didnt hear from anyone in i dunno...a couple of weeks? and i had left msg after msg they finally called back "is there a problem? is something wrong? do you want him moved??" so i just stopped calling. And with my foster daughter, i didnt hear anything for WEEKS and then boom, a bmom visit, then moved to relatives in the span of about a week. Nearly two months no agency contact, then she was gone.


Glad he is doing well in your home. Just be prepared you might not be seeing the little guy's true personality yet...i know when my second son moved in, he was the most obedient little thing. If i raised my voice even a little (hardly at all! just a bit of firmness...) he would immediately put his head down and look ashamed. But that wore off soon enough!!! wink1.gif  And with my daughter, we did visits for two months and i didnt see anywhere NEAR the behaviors she actually had once she moved in. Not at all saying there is more there, just saying dont be suprised if the honeymoon eventually ends, esp when it finally hits him he's not going home anytime soon.

post #33 of 58
Thread Starter 
Yeah, the instant obedience wore off pretty fast. But the behaviors that emerged haven't been atypical of a four-year-old so far.

This family is leaving (by car) for a month long vacation in eight days, so either they'll move J (in with his brother, please God) or they'll let us take him along. For my part, once that question and the necessary medical stuff is resolved, I don't much care if I don't hear from the caseworker, um, ever again until she informs me of TPR. But on J's part, to bond to us for a year and then be taken away to be placed with his sibling would be awfully hard on him, and I need to advocate against that and make it clear that nope, no way, I do not want a two-year-old. Already got one, thanks.
post #34 of 58
Thread Starter 


Guess who shares a pediatrician with my kids?!?! Guess who is fully vaxed?!?! Talk about kismet! (Or, talk about the fact that I selected the ped deliberately a couple of years ago, knowing that he took Medicaid). They recognized J and were glad to see him happy and whole.  


The dentist visit is not going to be any fun, as it turns out there are several issues to contend with, not just the one I discovered myself. guilty.gif But not redoing the vaxes is a gift. 

post #35 of 58

I was thrilled that my DD went to DS's pediatric office. It made life so much easier.


Did you tell social services about your extended vacation before you accepted the placement?

post #36 of 58
Thread Starter 

Yes, I did. Did that take that into account as they should have? Maybe not. All I can do is communicate clearly from my end. 

post #37 of 58

congrats on everything sounds like everything is going smoothly right now.

post #38 of 58

congrats Smithie!  glad to hear everything is going well so far! 


have you met the 2 year old yet?  be careful, they can sometimes weasel their way into your heart ya know... ;-) 

post #39 of 58
Thread Starter 


Tiffani, it sounds like if this placement goes long-term we will be actively discouraged from any but legally required meetings the two-year-old, in the hopes that both children will "flunk" their Sibling Bond Assessment if the case goes to TPR a year or so from now. I can't even deal with that insanity at the moment. I will deal with it later, IF we and they (social workers) decide that we are the family who keep J as mom works the case plan. For sure for sure for sure, our family is complete at four kids. 


The dental situation is gothic. Extraction of the abscessed tooth is scheduled for Friday, and full-sedation dentistry for basically a mouthful of rot in October. This was the first time my cheerful matter-of-fact foster mom persona wore a little thin. But J has no fear of dentists - why should he, he's clearly never seen one splat.gif


Other than that, though, things are great. 

post #40 of 58

The first of that is horrid. I'd make sure the GAL knows about that.


Sorry about the dental stuff. I used to work for Head Start/Early Head Start and visited the dentist with tons of kids. Some cases were equally horrible. My kids love our dentist, though. I'm so lucky that she takes Medicaid.

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