i will be 18 in november and want to adopt my 12 year old sister. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 25 Old 10-20-2011, 10:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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my parents have been divorced since i was 4.  my mother has had a bad life, caused by herself.  she was a terrible motehr and my father got custody of me when i was 10 years old.  she has continued diong the same thigns she has alwasy done.  her life is ruled by sex, drugs, adn abuse.  when i lived with ehr i was taking care of my three siblings.  we were from house to house and often went without. 

 

she recently went to jail and got my brother and sister taken from her.  my brother went to his father and my sister couldnt becasue her father is in jail for 40 years, more or less the rest of his life.  he was convicted of reaping his own child, not this girl, but another one.  my sister is currently living with my granfather and my mother can not regain custody for atleast 1 year.

 

i am very concerned for her becasue her father is trying to get his tribe to get custody of her.  he then wants her sent to his sister whom cannot even take care of herself or her own children.  she is into drugs and alcohol and a lot of other things best not mentioned.  i am concerned for her safety and so is our mother.

 

she called me and told me of his intent.  i want her to have a better life than i did.  i have a steady income and i will be acquiring a place of my own where she can have her space, i know what its like to not have  a childhood and i want her to experience having one.  seh has been abused her whole life and she doesnt deserve what will come if she goes to the her tribe.

 

i will be 18 november 29th and i have a current income of almost 600 every 2 weeks.  i also have a vehicle that i will liscense and insure myself as soon as i turn 18.  i am also searchign for an aoartment or even a house to rent after i turn 18.  my grades are very goos i carry around a 3.6 GPA.

 

is it possible for me to gain custody of her?  i am her half sibling and i live in a different state.  i really feel strongly about this.  i will do anything neccessary to be able to acquire her.

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#2 of 25 Old 10-21-2011, 07:04 AM
 
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Wow, hug.gif and greet.gif!

I briefly thought about adopting my sister when I turned 18 for a lot of the same reasons, but my mother had never had her taken by CPS, and I was told that unless she was willing to give her to me then it was a no go. Im not sure what your chances are, but I think you are going to need a lawyer regardless, so that would probably be the best person to ask. I dont think the fact that you are her half sister will have anything to do with it, but the fact that you live in another state may.

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#3 of 25 Old 10-21-2011, 11:47 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post

Wow, hug.gif and greet.gif!
I briefly thought about adopting my sister when I turned 18 for a lot of the same reasons, but my mother had never had her taken by CPS, and I was told that unless she was willing to give her to me then it was a no go. Im not sure what your chances are, but I think you are going to need a lawyer regardless, so that would probably be the best person to ask. I dont think the fact that you are her half sister will have anything to do with it, but the fact that you live in another state may.


First, Lanlgeybaby, this is totally different because your sister is in foster care.  You cannot just up and "take" someone's child when they are not already in the "system" like Adaline'sMama is talking about.  However, your sister is already in foster/kinship care, so that means that the state or county is responsible for keeping her in an appropriate home.  Your mother will have very little, if any, say in this.  It becomes the county's decision.  Being placed with a relative is nearly always the first choice of both county and state when it is possible, which it might be for you. 


In most states, if a child is already in foster care, you do *not* need a lawyer.  You just need the social worker to do a homestudy and be in agreement that you are capable of raising your sister.  There will be at least one court date that you have to attend, but again, in most states, there is absolutely no need for you to hire a lawyer to attend.  The social worker would attend with you.

 

Living in a different state should not present a problem.  There is an inter-state compact agreement (ICPC) that can be done in which your sister's social worker in her state would contact your state, and request that you be given a social worker who would determine whether or not you would be capable of caring for your sister.  Your social worker would reply back to her social worker.  If you were considered an appropriate placement for her, your social worker would then help you, visit with you and her on a regular basis, etc. 

 

ETA:  This would apply only to being her foster/kinship parent.  The adoption process would be much longer.  Your mother's parental rights would have to be terminated either voluntarily, by her, or an involuntary termination by the county.  Your first step though would be as a foster/kinship placement.  All children in foster/kinship care must be in a home for 6 months before they can be adopted regardless.

 

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#4 of 25 Old 10-21-2011, 06:33 PM
 
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1st thing 1st contact her social worker and let them know you exist. Also with tribal courts are involved it becomes a much more difficult process. They always want to get the kids to stay within the tribe. Good luck!


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#5 of 25 Old 10-22-2011, 09:52 AM
 
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1. You are a wonderful big sister. 

 

2. The fact that your sister is currently in foster care means that it is possible that you will be considered for placement once you gain your majority. 

 

3. You need a lawyer, one who works with child services all the time in the region where your sister is currently in care, one who has had previous dealings with the tribe if at all possible. Placing a child outside of their service area is a hassle for the workers and everybody else involved. Keeping a mixed-race child out of tribal hands if the tribe caims them is a hassle. All bureaucracies seek to avoid hassle. You need to make sure that you have a skilled advocate making your case that you are the best placement for your sister. 

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#6 of 25 Old 10-22-2011, 11:38 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

1. You are a wonderful big sister. 

 

2. The fact that your sister is currently in foster care means that it is possible that you will be considered for placement once you gain your majority. 

 

3. You need a lawyer, one who works with child services all the time in the region where your sister is currently in care, one who has had previous dealings with the tribe if at all possible. Placing a child outside of their service area is a hassle for the workers and everybody else involved. Keeping a mixed-race child out of tribal hands if the tribe caims them is a hassle. All bureaucracies seek to avoid hassle. You need to make sure that you have a skilled advocate making your case that you are the best placement for your sister. 



I will say it one more time.  No she does NOT necessarily need a lawyer.  Realize Smithie that having to have a lawyer is a *major* barrier for many individuals because they are *very* expensive.  In some states, a lawyer may be required, however it is highly likely that a social worker will be able to handle everything, and if an attorney is involved, it will be the GAL who will be paid for by the county or state.  There are enough barriers in the foster/kinship process. You don't need to create one more without reason.

 

Don't lose hope Lanlgeybaby if you cannot afford a lawyer.  I worked in the foster and adoption system for years and the vast majority of the time, there were no lawyers involved in placements at all.  I hope that these comments haven't scared you off from pursuing having your sister placed with you.  Her social worker will let you know if a lawyer will be required, but my guess is it will not be needed.

 

And Smithie--All bureaucracies don't seek to avoid hassle.  The vast majority of people in the foster and adoption world who I know seek to place children in loving homes with family members if at all possible.  If I was this 12 year old's social worker, I would be thrilled right now to have her 18 year old sibling interested in caring for her.  What a wonderful thing for a child to have a family member wanting to care for them.  Enough already about the bureaucracies...many times they're made up of people who truly care.  Not to mention, if you want to talk about hassle, talk about trying to find an appropriate, caring home for the millions of children in foster care when most areas have a real lack of individuals wishing to foster parent.  Relatives stepping forward isn't a hassle.  Its a blessing.

 

 

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#7 of 25 Old 10-22-2011, 12:57 PM
 
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Very well said, APToddlerMama.

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#8 of 25 Old 10-22-2011, 01:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lanlgeybaby View Post

my parents have been divorced since i was 4.  my mother has had a bad life, caused by herself.  she was a terrible motehr and my father got custody of me when i was 10 years old.  she has continued diong the same thigns she has alwasy done.  her life is ruled by sex, drugs, adn abuse.  when i lived with ehr i was taking care of my three siblings.  we were from house to house and often went without. 

 

First off, I have to say that this sounds REMARKABLY like my own upbringing.  I would send you a cyber hug, but I know how strong you are and may not need that right now.  But feel free to pm anytime you need to talk to someone who's been there.


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post

I will say it one more time.  No she does NOT necessarily need a lawyer.  Realize Smithie that having to have a lawyer is a *major* barrier for many individuals because they are *very* expensive.  In some states, a lawyer may be required, however it is highly likely that a social worker will be able to handle everything, and if an attorney is involved, it will be the GAL who will be paid for by the county or state.  There are enough barriers in the foster/kinship process. You don't need to create one more without reason.

 

Don't lose hope Lanlgeybaby if you cannot afford a lawyer.  I worked in the foster and adoption system for years and the vast majority of the time, there were no lawyers involved in placements at all.  I hope that these comments haven't scared you off from pursuing having your sister placed with you.  Her social worker will let you know if a lawyer will be required, but my guess is it will not be needed.

 

On one hand, I agree with this.  On the other, I have seen enough situations where you talk to the worker, they sound very much "for" the situation, and they aren't being truthful and come back with all the "reasons" why the judge wouldn't allow it when in fact, the judge never even heard it.  So while I wouldn't jump to get a lawyer just yet, I WOULD make sure to find out who the judge is (which may take some work--different states have different levels of privacy around these things) and write a letter directly to the judge.  If nothing else, it's the best way to TRY to ensure you are on the judge's radar.  If you CAN get to the next court hearing, I would.  Especially if it's a state/county that would allow you in the court room.  Make sure to WRITE DOWN every interaction you have with the state for your own records because it's easy to forget stuff.  Nothing fancy, just date, time, person's name, what was said, any relevant case numbers, phone numbers, dates, etc.  These things come in handy later on.

 

I'm not sure if you're referring to your half-sister's extended family as a "tribe" in the literal sense or the figurative.  If you literally mean a Native American tribe, you're going to want to get into another foster/adoptive forum with foster/adoptive parents who have dealt with this.  Because that IS complicated.  But if you're using that term figuratively, you have a much easier path before you.

 

Good luck!


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#9 of 25 Old 10-22-2011, 02:37 PM
 
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If she is even part Native American make sure to let the case worker know if you are also of Native American decent yourself. In my state they prefer to place Native American kids with Native American families but it does not have to be on Native land. In my state Kinship placement is the first choice for placement. So at this point all you have is the issue of them deciding if a placement with you is better or a placement with her Aunt. But since it doesn't sound like they are even currently in contact with the aunt but just in contact with her father it's hard to know how viable an option this really is.

 

Right now you actually would be the preferred placement in many places by virtue of a closer biological relationship and having  an existing personal relationship. You just need to let them know you want her and start working from there.

 

You said that she is currently with your grandfather. Does he know you would like to get custody? What does he have to say about it? What would he say to a case worker about it?


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#10 of 25 Old 10-22-2011, 04:55 PM
 
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"I will say it one more time.  No she does NOT necessarily need a lawyer."

 

And I'll say it one more time - I'm sure you're a great social worker.

 

No doubt you would hop-to immediately to determine if the OP meets your criteria for kinship placement, and the interstate aspect would not discourage you, nor would it discourage your identical-twin counterpart in the OP's home state. You would do everything necessary to make this placement happen, if you believed that the placement served the best interests of the child. 

 

Since you are NOT the social worker in this case, I think the OP needs to get a geedee lawyer if she's serious about taking custody of her sister. Her extreme youth and her out-of-state status make her request for custody unusual. Unusual requests to a bureaucracy require some goading. 

 

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#11 of 25 Old 10-22-2011, 08:38 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

 

"I will say it one more time.  No she does NOT necessarily need a lawyer."

 

And I'll say it one more time - I'm sure you're a great social worker.

 

No doubt you would hop-to immediately to determine if the OP meets your criteria for kinship placement, and the interstate aspect would not discourage you, nor would it discourage your identical-twin counterpart in the OP's home state. You would do everything necessary to make this placement happen, if you believed that the placement served the best interests of the child. 

 

Since you are NOT the social worker in this case, I think the OP needs to get a geedee lawyer if she's serious about taking custody of her sister. Her extreme youth and her out-of-state status make her request for custody unusual. Unusual requests to a bureaucracy require some goading. 

 


Smithie--I'm not going to lie.  Sometimes I really want to start pulling out my hair.  Out of state and kinship placements, including young adult placements are nothing out of the ordinary for the average social worker.  Barriers.  Barriers.  Barriers.  That is number one.  Telling someone they need a lawyer is a barrier if they cannot easily afford it.  Not to mention, a lot of social workers would be insulted and put off by the idea of someone getting an attorney attempt to "force" a placement on them.  Not to mention, do you realize how much time social workers spend in court?  Do you realize how many judges completely respect and defer to the social worker's recommendation on placement?  There aren't a ton of lawyers who are able to argue a case successfully when a social worker is doing a decent job.  Which, guess what?  The vast majority are.  Not just me.  Most.  Especially in the foster/adoption arena. 

 

My opinion is that lawyers have absolutely no business whatsoever in making decisions on placements. They are trained in law.  They are not trained in the bazillion other aspects that determine whether a potential placement is going to meet the needs of a child.   It makes a lot of workers just sick when we spend months and months in a home determining safety, whether or not a family can meet a child's needs, etc., and then an attorney pops into the situation never having stepped foot in potential foster/adoptive parents' home and makes a recommendation to the courts based on the thousands of dollars he/she is going to make and nothing more.  Sick.  Because really, what business does someone have throwing out a suggestion on placement when they haven't done in depth interviews, seen the home, read letters from friends/family, viewed the CPS file on both child and prospective homes, etc.  They're getting paid.  That is it.  So, in my opinion, the probabililty that the social worker is going to be peeved about a potential resource coming out fists swinging with an attorney, instead of assuming that the worker has the child's best interest at heart and is happy and willing to work with the family member on the placement, is not going to improve the potential foster/kinship family's position one single bit. That worker will be thinking "What on earth is going on in that home that instead of contacting me, he/she is immediately hiring an attorney?"  I totally reject the idea that lawyers are necessary or useful in the vast majority of placement decisions....for either the potential resource or the child. 

 

The attorney that OP would want to appeal to would be the child's attorney, the GAL.  That person works for the child.  Getting him/her on board is a fabulous idea.  It is also FREE.  Hiring your own attorney without contacting the social worker and going through the home study process is a gigantic waste of money, silly, and stupid. 

 

Lawyers can be useful in placement situations on rare occassions.  I would suggest someone seek out an attorney if the social worker was negligent, wasn't responding to requests for a home study, appeared to not have a child's best interest at heart, etc.  I would never in a billion years suggest that one pre-emptively determine that the process wasn't going to go smoothly without getting the big (and expensive) guns involved.  It will aggravate the worker, cost a ridiculous amount of money, and not improve the outcome. 

 

There will be plenty of barriers in this process due to tribal affiliation.  Don't create any more. 
 

And to be clear, all comments are related directly to foster/kinship/adoption cases in which CPS, the county, and state are involved....Obviously not private and international adoption situations in which the role of the attorney is definitely necessary and much different. 

 

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#12 of 25 Old 10-23-2011, 04:35 AM
 
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Smithie and APToddlermom, I think you both have good points and everyone knows that I'm very fond of proper legal representation, but what it comes down to, is this:

 

 

OP, if you can afford a lawyer, talk with one who handles situations like this about your plan and find out what it would take to retain him/her should you find you need his/her services. If you cannot afford a lawyer, forget about it entirely and proceed on your own. You can do it. Plus, you are amazing for trying and I really hope you succeed. <3


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#13 of 25 Old 10-23-2011, 09:09 AM
 
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Smithie and APToddlermom, I think you both have good points and everyone knows that I'm very fond of proper legal representation, but what it comes down to, is this:

 

OP, if you can afford a lawyer, talk with one who handles situations like this about your plan and find out what it would take to retain him/her should you find you need his/her services. If you cannot afford a lawyer, forget about it entirely and proceed on your own. You can do it. Plus, you are amazing for trying and I really hope you succeed. <3



I am not saying there isn't a time for proper legal representation. There are times when it may be necessary with the school system or with medical professionals, for instance.  That does not mean that you hire a lawyer to come to your child's tonsillectomy under the assumption that your physician may accidentally cut off your child's leg instead of take his tonsils out or hire an attorney to come to your child's first day of school assuming the school is going to refuse to make accomodations or implement an IEP when you haven't even requested an evaluation for your child. You don't get an attorney involved pre-emptively in what should be a straight forward placement decision either unless red flags pop up that make it advisable.

 

Regardless, I am sorry OP that this conversation has deviated so very much from your original questions.  You will find lots of people willing to help you on MDC, and we all have different opinions. 

 

I don't know that you've received many concrete ideas on how to proceed so here are some of my ideas (obviously differing from some other points of view when it comes to the lawyer part).  I am not trying to discount any one else's opinion, but there are plenty of people on MDC who are very fearful of the entire child welfare system and I just come from a very different perspective on that as someone who has worked in it.  I tore off my rose colored glasses a long time ago, but I still do not believe there is typically a real need for lawyers in the majority of cases. 

 

1.  I would call the social worker and GAL and let them know you would like to become the kinship/foster parent for your sister.  Explain you live in a different state and understand that the worker would have to complete the ICPC paperwork to have your home studied. This should not be a problem.  Your sister's worker will have MUCH less paperwork to complete by turning everything over to ICPC than she would if she had to do your homestudy herself.  She'll probably be thrilled. Lawyers paid for by the county and state typically deal with issues arising from tribal affiliation, so your sister's social worker should be able to turn that over to them as well.  Explain to the worker and GAL everything you have explained here (why you would like to care for your sister, your plans for housing, employment, etc.) Prove to them that you will be able to provide your sister with a safe and stable environment.

 

2.  If the social worker refuses to request that your state do a home study and the GAL also refuses to get involved, contact the social worker's supervisor.  If he/she also refuses, contact the department supervisor.  If this still gets you no where, by all means, contact an attorney.  I strongly doubt that will be the case.  If it is, your attorney can guide you from here.

 

3.  If the social worker agrees to a home study, realize it will take many months to complete.  In that time, there are lots of things you can and should be doing if you want them to approve you as a kinship/foster parent.  A steady income, even if small, is important and it looks like you already have that.  A car is not necessary if you can rely on public transportation for everything you and your sister will need.  If you would be unable to get her places she would need to go (ie. therapy), then having a car may become an issue.  Chances are though, it will not.  Having an apartment or home where she will have a bedroom separate from yours will be critical.  Ask the worker for your state's licensing regulation handbook.  It will list what you need to do to your home for it to meet standards.  Things like square footage of the home (usually 200 square feet per person if I recall), bathroom doors having locks, smoke alarms in bedrooms, sister having her own bed, etc.  It would be good to get this handbook before you move just to be certain your place will meet standards. 

 

4.  If you don't have health insurance, see if you can apply for Medicaid (public health insurance).  If you think you will have a difficult time affording enough food, heating your home, etc., please be sure to apply for assistance.  Do not wait until the home study process.  The worker will want to see you have everything in order to provide your sister with a stable home.  If you have any medical needs that you haven't addressed, make sure to do that too, and get a physical with a doctor.  They will want to see that you are healthy and don't have any chronic medical issues.  It is easier to establish a relationship with a doctor now than going in to ask for him/her to sign off later. 

 

5. Keep your pay stubs, locate your birth certificate, etc.  Your worker will want to see these.  Talk to friends, family, and community members about being a reference for you.  The social worker will likely want several individuals to fill out a form stating you'd be capable of caring for your sister.

 

6.  Build up your support network.  Who will provide you with emotional support when you have tough days?  Who can you call at 3am in case of an emergency?  Who will be willing to pick your sister up from school if your car breaks down or you get stuck at work late?  Not only will the worker want to know you have this in place, but you will undoubtedly need a tremendous amount of support yourself.  Parenting your sister won't be an easy job. 

 

7.  Find out about the school your sister would attend, be ready to tell the worker who you'd use as a doctor and dentist for her, therapist if needed, etc.  Even if you just have a little plan, it will show your worker that you've thought through all the responsibilities you will have and that you're capable of handling them. 

 

8.  Wait for your home study to be done.  Wait for all the tribal affiliation things to sort out. Etc.  If your home study does not end up getting approved for some reason, I would ask for a Family Support Plan.  Ask them to tell you the specific steps that they would want you to take in order to have your sister placed with you.  If they refuse to provide you with a plan, or if they give you a plan, you complete it and they still do not approve you as a resource, then once again I would seek legal counsel.  Otherwise, I'd let it be.

 

Good luck!  I hope this works out for you and your sister.  Feel free to PM me if you have questions.  The process can be long, obviously it is worth it in the end. 

 

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#14 of 25 Old 10-23-2011, 02:15 PM
 
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That is wonderful information, APToddlerMama. I can see how preemptively hiring a lawyer could really backfire. It's like going to the school superintendant (or even the state person) before you've even talked with the teacher about a situation.

 

OP, I did have another thought. You might want to talk with a therapist who could help you work through this situation. It might be that you aren't ready to be the parent of a twelve-year-old. I'm a lot older than you and don't think I could foster a child who is that age. It might be that you are more prepared to be a great big sister than you are a mother to her. Maybe not.

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#15 of 25 Old 10-23-2011, 06:24 PM
 
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Even though I disagree very much with APToddlerMama about almost every other aspect of this situation, OP, I do agree that talking with you sister's GAL is a good first step. In some states, the GAL is always a lawyer, in some states not. But either way, IF they are any good at their job, they can be massively helpful. And if THEY think you need a lawyer, they'll actually be able to provide you with a reference for a good one. 

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#16 of 25 Old 10-24-2011, 05:47 AM
 
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APToddlerMom, I agree completely that a lawyer tagging along preemptively could backfire and/or be a waste of money...let me clarify what I meant:

 

 

When I talk about "getting an attorney" I usually mean CONSULT with an attorney in order to establish a relationship with someone knowledgeable in the area of concern and to get a clear picture of your rights, responsibilities and what the process you are involved with entails, before you embark. <---- That's just wise. I didn't mean she should drag this lawyer along or even bandy about his or her name. She needn't even mention she has spoken with one. No matter what you are doing, when you are working with a government agencies with the power to make a happy or sad outcome for you, you should go into the ordeal with a clear expectation and a confident manner. I think it's POSSIBLE to do that without consulting a lawyer, but speaking with someone in the area who works with the agencies in question on a regular basis can be a world of help.

 

That's all. I always, ALWAYS speak to my attorney before I do anything that has serious repercussions for my family or my goals. It's definitely helped me a lot....and I've never been personally in need of advice in a situation like this...THIS situation I would ABSOLUTELY speak with someone knowledgeable. The GAL could be that person, though, as you pointed out....and that would be most awesome. <3

 

 


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#17 of 25 Old 10-27-2011, 06:26 AM
 
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wow what a wonderful big sister you are. I hope things work out and will keep you and her in my thoughts. please keep us posted.


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#18 of 25 Old 10-27-2011, 07:00 AM
 
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I wish you so much luck - I think APToddlerMama and Smithie just about covered it (two different approaches, both have worked for different people). Don't let lack of a lawyer keep you from taking action on this ASAP (time is of the essence!) but know that it's an option if you don't get where you want with the caseworker (caseworkers are usually not actual social workers, btw) and the GAL. Also consider trying to get in contact with the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) if there is one. Best of luck. Keep us posted.

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#19 of 25 Old 10-27-2011, 01:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fosteringlove View Post

I wish you so much luck - I think APToddlerMama and Smithie just about covered it (two different approaches, both have worked for different people). Don't let lack of a lawyer keep you from taking action on this ASAP (time is of the essence!) but know that it's an option if you don't get where you want with the caseworker (caseworkers are usually not actual social workers, btw) and the GAL. Also consider trying to get in contact with the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) if there is one. Best of luck. Keep us posted.

In many states the person who does a homestudy absolutely must be a social worker, not a caseworker.  In my state, I have never once worked with a worker who completed home studies who was not a certified or licensed social worker.  I've worked on a lot of ICPC cases too and never encountered that in other states, though my experience working with other states is limited and I'm sure there can be variations. 

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#20 of 25 Old 10-27-2011, 05:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post

In many states the person who does a homestudy absolutely must be a social worker, not a caseworker.  In my state, I have never once worked with a worker who completed home studies who was not a certified or licensed social worker.  I've worked on a lot of ICPC cases too and never encountered that in other states, though my experience working with other states is limited and I'm sure there can be variations. 


The worker doing her homestudy, in her home state will be a lic. sw. That doesnt mean the CHILD's worker will be. But i call everyone a "sw" regardless just for shorthand.

 

In my area, it gets even more complicated. The adoption and foster units are TOTALLY separate (in the same office but the adoption unit doesnt do anything involving a foster child until TPR occurs and they are either recruiting for an adoptive family or doing an adoptive assessment on the foster family), plus we mostly have private agencies in my county, that contract with the county/state to provide services. So, the child will have a COUNTY/DHS worker, who likely has never met the child and doesnt make any day to day decisions for that child. Then there will be the agency worker. She probably will be a licensed social worker, but my agency also had other workers that did things like home visits, transport kids if necessary, supervise visits...so it was never clear who was an actual social worker and who was a "case worker" (or i think they called them "case aides" or "family service aides" or some such thing.)

 

There is a difference in adoption homestudies and foster care homestudies though arent there? The person who comes out to clear your house for fostering, measure your bedrooms, ask you questions....does s/he have to be a lic. social worker? I know that most people dealing with the adoption side of things will likely have at least a BSW.


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#21 of 25 Old 10-27-2011, 06:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by queenjane View Post


The worker doing her homestudy, in her home state will be a lic. sw. That doesnt mean the CHILD's worker will be. But i call everyone a "sw" regardless just for shorthand.

 

There is a difference in adoption homestudies and foster care homestudies though arent there? The person who comes out to clear your house for fostering, measure your bedrooms, ask you questions....does s/he have to be a lic. social worker? I know that most people dealing with the adoption side of things will likely have at least a BSW.



In my state, all workers for children who are part of the formal child welfare system (ie. CPS investigations, ongoing workers, foster care licensers, and adoption workers) have to be licensed social workers.  Caseworkers here work frequently for agencies that offer services that support the family in other ways...ie. parent educators, mentors, etc.  I've had limited experience with ICPC cases, but all of those workers were licensed.  I don't know the criteria in all states though obviously and suspect there is variation.  I'm pretty sure when it comes to foster/adoption licensing, you must be licensed. For international adoption, it is definitely a must. 

 

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#22 of 25 Old 10-28-2011, 08:08 AM
 
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We don't have anyone with the label "case worker" or anything similar. They're all called social workers. I have no idea if they're all licensed social workers. It really doesn't matter to me.

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#23 of 25 Old 10-28-2011, 02:22 PM
 
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I had a friend who got custody of his 3 little sisters as he was 18 when his Mom died and the rest of the family had serious issues. They weren't in foster care yet, but I guess it was pretty clear they could go to no other family. That was 11 years ago. I know tribal laws are complex, though. I wish you luck!!! There is lots of good advice here. 


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#24 of 25 Old 10-28-2011, 03:21 PM
 
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I just want to offer you support and encouragement, you are a great big sister!   I know that all of this legal mumbo jumbo seems really difficult to understand at first, but hang in there, you will soon be an expert!  Whatever happens in the end, your efforts to keep your sister safe are wonderful, and we would all be lucky to have a big sister like you.  keep us posted on your progress, or if you have any questions!

hugs!


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#25 of 25 Old 10-31-2011, 05:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by queenjane View Post

In my area, it gets even more complicated. The adoption and foster units are TOTALLY separate (in the same office but the adoption unit doesnt do anything involving a foster child until TPR occurs and they are either recruiting for an adoptive family or doing an adoptive assessment on the foster family)

 

It's actually the same in NJ--fostering and adoptive units are separate.  They're not even in the same buildings; although the adoptive unit has a few satellite offices around the state.  The adoptive unit places children whose goal is adoption and the foster unit handles children whose goal is RU (with bps or with other relatives).  In the case where a child's goal changes, the case is handed over to the appropriate unit--there's not usually any overlap.

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by queenjane View Post

 

There is a difference in adoption homestudies and foster care homestudies though arent there? 


I know in NJ there is a difference; but the same person can do the inspection at one time and write up two different homestudies since there is a lot of overlapping information.  They then send one to the fostering unit and one to the adoptive unit.  But this is only if you're licensing for both at the same time.  Many people don't realize you can do that, so the adoptive unit just comes out later (when there's an adoptive placement) and does a homestudy.  Most of the time, you wait long enough for a lot of the things to need updating anyway so it's notsomuch a big deal that you didn't do it up front.

 

As to who's licensed and who's not--I seriously don't know.

 


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