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  Topic Review (Newest First)
08-20-2011 05:23 AM


New thread here.

08-05-2011 02:35 PM


We're back together again! Everything that made the placement work so well the first time is making it work well the second time. The other foster mom is totally in the dark about the case plan, as there have been no visits beyond the first one. So I guess I'll start a new thread to cover my multi-year battle to get the worker to keep me in the loop. orngtongue.gif

07-23-2011 05:25 PM

Originally Posted by Polliwog View Post

 I would encourage the foster parents to go to every court date. If they are allowed to address the judge (I always am,) they should tell him/her that they hope that the siblings can be placed/adopted together.

Federal law protects our right to make a statement at hearings.  Of course, you may have to fight for this and it may result in nothing more than being walked in, making your statement and walked out (as is the case in NJ)... but it's your right.


Smithie--just make your intentions known to anyone that will listen.  And if you are truly committed to making the sib relationship a reality through visitation, etc. make that known, too; because they may NOT find someone to take both now OR during the entirety of the case.  So their thought with be: put J with your family because if they CAN'T find someone to take the sib pair--at least J will be in a home that will keep him.


But realize that despite all odds, mom MIGHT actually get it together (saw one of those and it's by no means pleasant if only because it's so HIGHLY unexpected and worrisome that it won't last) or they may find someone to take the two of the boys--a year after J is with you.  If you are not prepared for either scenario, this may not be a good placement for you.

07-20-2011 07:11 AM

 I would encourage the foster parents to go to every court date. If they are allowed to address the judge (I always am,) they should tell him/her that they hope that the siblings can be placed/adopted together.

07-19-2011 06:31 PM

That is a really good point Sesa.

07-19-2011 04:12 PM

Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

That's what my DH says, too - that the breaking up of the sibs is not in our control, and thus it's not our responsibility to prevent it. But it feels a little self-serving to me, to take in one and raise him and hope to keep him when I absolutely do not want to take his little brother. If that's what's on offer, though, I suspect I will take it.

you know... at the risk of sounding harsh it might be a little self serving but you didn't choose that path for him and you didn't break up the siblings. It is really out of your control and if you don't take him someone else will, and its entirely possible that that someone else may not see how important the sib bond is and may not work as hard as you would to maintain it. I think having him placed with you might really be a blessing to this little guy because you will work hard to make sure he keeps that relationship alive :)

07-19-2011 01:59 PM
Smithie That's what my DH says, too - that the breaking up of the sibs is not in our control, and thus it's not our responsibility to prevent it. But it feels a little self-serving to me, to take in one and raise him and hope to keep him when I absolutely do not want to take his little brother. If that's what's on offer, though, I suspect I will take it.
07-19-2011 01:08 PM

i have to say, that in the world of foster care you as a foster parent get very little say in where a child goes and with \whom. You can tell the worker you think its best for J to be placed with his sibling until your blue in the face, but chances are it will make little to no difference at all. You could decline placement because you have a moral objection to breaking up a sibling pair, but again chances are the sibling pair will STILL be broken up and J will end up in a different home that will not make maintaining his sib relationship a priority. Or, if you feel that J is a good match for your family, you could take the risks and have him come back to you, and love him and raise him, and do your best to make sure he maintains a good and meaningful relationship with his sibling.

There is no guarantee that he will not be moved in a year to a home that wants to adopt him and his sibling together. but there are never any guarantees in foster care, you basically sign up for uncertainty and last minute changes that make no sense to anyone. If you feel strongly that these risks are too great for your family, I would urge you to rethink being a foster parent at all and perhaps look into adoption of a school aged child perhaps internationally or even directly through dcfs, just not through foster care.

07-19-2011 12:16 PM
Smithie OK, I have updated information from the new foster mom and I need advice.

There has been a lot of action on J's case since I've been out of town. His mother got out of jail, had one visit with boyfriend (father of J's sib) in tow, and then missed the second scheduled visit. The drug problem is extreme, multigenerational and all-encompassing. No suitable kinship placement appears to exist. At the very very least, J is going to be in foster care for a long time.

The current foster family is not a potential adoptive resource, and wants to see J in a potential adoptive home. The mom is contacting the social worker to suggest that J be moved back with us, since we want to adopt. I am glad that she is clear on what her family wants (straight-foster). I would be happy to adopt this child. BUT, I still don't want a two year old, nor do I want J to be raised by us for a year and then transitioned to strangers who are able to adopt both sibs!

What should I say to the worker? Anybody know some magic words that will make her place the sibs together? If she just won't make that a priority, do I shrug my shoulders and do my best by the one God has placed in my path? Or do I decline to be involved in the totally gratuitous breakup of an adopable sibling set?

06-29-2011 03:23 PM
Smithie "It doesn't really matter if they're full sibs or not.  Even half-sibs raised in the same house are connected like full sibs. "

Oh, I totally agree. Give that, and the very young ages - 2 and 4 - I remain mystified by the apparent inability to get these boys into care together after the initial emergency placement of the younger one. But who knows, maybe it's happening even as I type.

With regard to 5 week vacation - I think part of the problem was that it was home investigator who ended up with the responsibility of placing J. A worker proper, such as he was finally assigned over a week later, might have had a better idea of the paperwork and social engineering nightmare she was in for with the kin, and understood that my home was not the right choice. Oh well, next time I'll understand that myself. At that, if these kin had not formally requested visitation, I think the social worker would have sent J along with us, because that would have been the easiest thing for her and would not have required that she fill up one of "her" families. I wish it had gone that way, honestly. I think I'm going to roll back into town and discover that there has been no placement, no visit and J has benefitted in no way from bring moved out of my home, where he was very happy and getting lots of sib-love from my young kids.

I'm honestly not sure if we'll wind up foster-kidless if we decide to avoid placements with young siblings in care. I'll ask my licensing worker when we get back.
06-28-2011 08:51 AM

Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

As far as I've been able to tell, J and his little brother were raised together in the same house since brother was born. I have no reason to think they aren't full sibs. 


It doesn't really matter if they're full sibs or not.  Even half-sibs raised in the same house are connected like full sibs.  I know--I have both (full and half) and was raised with different ones during different periods.  :)

And limiting yourself to not taking kids who have sibs in the system could render you not taking placements... unless you also want to take the sibs (and that assumes the sibs are not already placed somewhere for a while--which happens, believe it or not).  Just a head's up.  I don't disagree that it's horrible; but they usually TRY NOT to do that.  It's just not always possible.  At the end of the day, we can only hope to provide the greatest comfort, healing and help to the kids that land in separated homes.  I've had at least two sets of those.  For one set, I got authorization for phone calls and they went to a special sleepaway camp for a week of the summer that was meant to bring separated sibs together (the other wasn't with us for very long, and not during summer).



ETA:   The cw probably thought nothing about you leaving for 5 weeks.  They may have truly thought the kinship placement would work and that J wouldn't be with you long enough for it to be a problem.  Stupid.  Some of them seriously don't operate by "worst case scenario" when it comes to length of placement and that is my profound pet peeve with them.  >:(


06-28-2011 06:12 AM

As far as I've been able to tell, J and his little brother were raised together in the same house since brother was born. I have no reason to think they aren't full sibs. I have a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old myself, and that may be one of the reasons I'm struggling so much with the sibling separation. As more information emerges, I may feel differently. 


I saw J yesterday! I brought him some stuff he left at my house and his new foster mom the initial-placement subsidy that was mailed to me. He is doing well. He would rather be with us "going to Grandma's," but it's clear that his new foster mom gets him. He had a pile of new-to-him toys and a new-to-him Big Wheel (foster mom rallied the troops at her church, as she had no boys around J's age). He's going to get to go on a shorter visit-Grandma trip later in July, with his new foster family. 


When we return, I'm going to seek (and, I think, actually get) an update from J's caseworker. We're certainly open to taking him again and keeping him for the duration (although new foster mom might resist that, and I'd respect her wishes - I don't see anybody keeping this kid for five weeks and being eager to give him up). But I continue to hope that he will be reunited with his sibling and/or placed with kin ASAP. He has a lot of kin in this area. 


Assuming J is settled in a situation that is good for him, in August we'll open our home again to another placement. At this point, I'm still feeling strongly on the sibling issue, and given the sad number of kids we have in care in this state, I don't think it would be unreasonable to request a placement where the child was an only or had so siblings he's been raised with. 

06-27-2011 08:05 PM

When we got our now 6 yo (she was 23 mo at placement) She had a sister that was 2 years older. The sister was "missing" for almost a month. The ended up being split with sib going to her bio dad and dd coming with us. I was very sad at 1st to know they were being split, but we soon realized they had spent most of their life apart and had no bond :(

06-23-2011 01:38 PM


Whew! What a day. Turns out that a kinship placement for both boys is emerging again (maybe the same one, maybe not), they are in process on a homestudy, and they have formally requested visitation. So obviously I could not J out of state for five weeks. I brought him today to an experienced foster mom who lives a couple of miles away from me. 


It was hard to leave him. I can only imagine how it feels after a longer placement. I hope to find, when we return, that he is back with his brother and being cared for by family. 


I've discovered that I feel really, really strongly on this sibling issue. I didn't think that I would. The next time around, I think I'm going to decline placement of a child with siblings in the system, unless they are older and on path to "age out," or already in kinship care and the plan is to work towards RU with a parent and/or with family. Also, I think we'll set our target age a little older - like 6. 

06-23-2011 08:41 AM


If this goes long-term, hopefully the other foster mom and I can deal directly with each other and arrange a sensible visitation plan. 



Where i live its a regulation that siblings have visits at least once a month. Birthparents once a week unless something else is ordered by the court. Do you know if sib visits are required where you live?


06-23-2011 05:21 AM


"Wow did they actually say that?"


Ehhhhhhh... yes. Yes, I absolutely believe that was the content of the message being conveyed. But it's all wrapped in 15 layers of social-worker-speak, so maybe I am wrong, and I hope that time will prove me wrong. I'm new to this, after all. 


I do not think that they tried to place the sibs together. Younger sib was taken in on an emergency basis a couple of days before J. But seriously, two young kids with no prior history on a simple neglect case, with Mom incarcerated maybe long enough for TPR to move forward on that basis alone? If they don't have foster-adopt homes lined up who are willing to take a chance on such a case, then they are not recruiting hard enough. But maybe the permanent worker will have such a family in mind, when she gets around to returning my call. Or maybe there are issues with the younger sib (i.e. special needs, behaviors) that I am not yet aware of, and that make separate placement a sound idea. 


If this goes long-term, hopefully the other foster mom and I can deal directly with each other and arrange a sensible visitation plan. 


Thanks for listening and caring! My IRL family is being very supportive, but they haven't spent the last two years thinking about the foster system. 

06-22-2011 06:55 PM

not to mention the lifetime benefit they may have if they are allowed to create a bond, even if none currently exists between them.... sheesh, sorry you have to deal with that... and dental stuff is rough too, hope it all goes smoothly... hugs!

06-22-2011 04:22 PM

Wow did they actually say that? Thats kinda crazy..i mean, clearly if they've lived together so far, they have a bond right? Did they even try to put them in the same home? I can't imagine its THAT hard to find a placement for two young kids. angry.gif

06-22-2011 04:17 PM

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.

06-22-2011 02:35 PM


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. 

06-21-2011 08:03 PM

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... ;-) 

06-21-2011 07:12 PM

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

06-21-2011 01:19 PM

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. 

06-21-2011 12:03 PM

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?

06-21-2011 08:38 AM


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. 

06-20-2011 04:35 PM
Smithie 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.
06-20-2011 04:07 PM

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.

06-20-2011 03:27 PM
Smithie ... 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
06-19-2011 07:51 PM
Smithie 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.
06-19-2011 06:18 PM

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.

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