Edited by fosterparent - 11/15/11 at 2:17pm
I think that part of the problem is that you chose the user name of "Fosterparent" which would lead people to believe that you are a foster parent. You can choose whatever name you want, but it can be misleading.
Anyway, so now I'm thinking that they will be licensed for three children but want a least one under age three? Is that correct? And since she works at home, having a nanny might not be the best choice. What if the baby is a screamer? I have known LOTS of foster babies who scream almost constantly. Often due to early drug exposure, but not necessarily.
I can see that you want to help this family. Why not encourage them to come here and/or to fosterparents.com. We'd love to help them out directly. I know I've learned a LOT in both places.
I say hypothetical b/c the child is not actually in their home yet. Like I said, nothing in foster care is written in stone, things change. As far as working from home is concerned, then I would definitely want the kids to receive care elsewhere. My husband works from home and it is hard on him (and sometimes the kids) to see him off and on all day. It is hard for them to hear that when Daddy needs to come out of his office and use the bathroom that he is still working and cannot play. Every time he emerges from that room, he is attacked by the kids, lol. It's straining for him b/c he feels like he is ignoring them, even though, duh, he is working, he is not supposed to be playing w/ them.
I agree, the more one learns about attachment parenting, the better. You never know, the family may make one kind of care arrangement and then decide it's not working and change it. I'm sure they would appreciate gifts of supplies, how about giving them a baby carrier and a book about babywearing? A carrier like the Ergo is wonderful, can be used for infants or toddlers, and is expensive, so they may not feel comfortable making that investment themselves right now. Natural toys are also good items. How about a subscription to Adoptive Families Magazine? They support AP parenting.
Yes, there are always multiple options when it comes to childcare, but the state will not pay for all of them. If the family decides to use a private sitter or nanny, they will have to pay for it out of their own pocket whereas the state will pay a child's tuition at a state-licensed daycare center OR home daycare. State also does not pay for preschool, you have to use Headstart, or another free option, unless you pay for it yourself. Paying for a nanny, esp for children you are not/have not adopted is a giant money pit. It MAY be feasable for this family, I do not know them, but daycare would be free no matter what.
There is confusion with the terminology you have been using. Is there a know child who will be your relatives' foster child? When you give the age range of 0-3, it sounds like the child is hypothetical. If you are using the range of 0-3 to keep the case anonymous, that is different.
I really do hate to split hairs, but adoption language is difficult. The mom's here are not mean angry people, but we have been through a lot. In my case, I would rather save anyone the pain my family has suffered. I would second Polliwog's suggestion that you encourage the foster parents to be to join an on-line community.
(and in this case its not hypothetical as they are getting a foster child between the ages of 0-3 within the next few months, the nursery is already been set up) and in these situations a state paid daycare is a great alternative. my intention in this situation is not to tell this women what to do (i never mentioned she should quit her job btw, but there are other arrangements that could be made, she works from home) its to help her possibly see the situation differently by sending her some information, like AAP article i quoted. it may or may or not have an affect on her, i dont have control over this and fully recognize that.
I work full time outside of the home and we were available to take 2 kids ages 0-6 when we first were licensed. We had no idea what ages/gender/quantity we would get and staying at home was not an option.
Our first placement was a 5 1/2 month old baby girl who was already enrolled in daycare and was being cared for by a single mom (foster mom). So we just kept her in her same routine. She went to daycare and when she was at home she was worn a lot, bottle nursed, cared for in much the same way I cared for my bio-son except that she did not co-sleep. She attached within a few weeks and despite us being her third family and also being in daycare has no attachment issues. She is a completely attached, healthy, 2 year old.
When we decided to do another placement, we were available to take a girl ages 0-4 or boy ages 4-6 or a combination of the two. Again, we had no idea what age/gender/quantity we would get. And staying at home was not an option. Luckily, my job was a little more flexible in that my boss needed me not to take time off and there was no daycare slot, so when we got our baby girl (with 5 hours notice, a three month old) I got to work from home for two weeks, took one week unpaid leave, and then put her in daycare. I wouldn't say she was fully attached in those three weeks, but it helped to solidify our relationship and get her secure enough to start daycare. Same thing, I carried her a lot. The first pic I sent to friends/family was her in my sling that evening. She was more emotionally distraught at coming into care because she had 1:1 care previously by one lady and no other caregivers so really mourned her loss.
With the goal being reunification, you need to as foster parents weigh heavily the decision of what is best for your family and that child. We knew staying home was not an option, but our girls are fine and attached and happy kids and I love our daycare. It is .9 miles from my house and like a second family and they let the girls see each other often.
I see that you are deleting/moving your post so you probably won't see this. However, I do hope that you've at least thought about what we've said. We've been there/are there. We all want the best for the children who aren't able to be raised by their birth parents. But there is no "one-size-fits all" answer. We all just do the best we can. My fostering journey has been way different than I had ever expected. It's best to go in with your eyes wide open.