3rd Rep and 3 Weeks

Last week we had our first meeting with Licensing Rep #3. She works with the agency that we are switching to given the fact that our first agency was far from supportive throughout the licensing process. (See the last year’s worth of posts!) Apparently the third time’s a charm. She arrived at our house early (which was a refreshing change from our previous experiences.) It became obvious that she was very knowledgable about the licensing process and later shared that she has worked as a licensing rep for her agency for the last twenty years. That spoke volumes, not only for her expertise but for the credibility of the agency.

She was efficient, down to earth, and kept up with our sense of humor (What do you mean we can’t keep the children in a closet?) She got a quick tour of the house and explained that it would take three weeks to have the state reissue our license with the new agency’s name, then we are on the list as open for placements. Three weeks… it was the first time we had a definitive timeline for ANY step of this process. Three weeks also just happens to be my first day back at school. Of course.

She said that we could get a call right away or it could be six months before anything comes up. Either way, if we get a call in the next month I have to consider that it is the beginning of a new school year and I need to at least get a few weeks in with my new students before I take off. So much of the decision is situational, so we are going to take things as they come.

Overall, our meeting with Rep 3 was so positive. She will be the one calling us with potential placements and will be revisiting every six months to make sure our home is in compliance. Fingers crossed that our future caseworker is as knowledgable, prepared, and professional as she is!

Three weeks… cue the immediate nightmares. That night I tossed and turned with dreams of children showing up at our house and all we had to offer were two bare mattresses. Forget the fact that we really have NOTHING else in preparation, somehow the idea of not having bedding kept me up all night. Thank goodness for summer break, the next morning I headed out and filled my cart with sheets, pillows, and comforters. We have two fully-dressed beds, I can rest easy for now!

Curtains, beds, bedding, and stepstool (even with the stool I can't make the top bunk!) all from Ikea.

Curtains, beds, bedding, and stepstool (even with the stool I can’t make the top bunk!) all from Ikea.

As for everything else… We are open for children between 3-8 years old. To all my parent friends out there, what are your go-to kid supplies? Obviously, clothing, car seats, strollers, etc. will need to wait until we know the age/size of the children (be prepared for the frantic call for guidance when we do know the ages and gender!) but I’d love to hear from you about all the other good stuff you depend on! I feel like I have done a lot of homework about raising children that have experienced trauma but have no idea about the general everyday raising kids stuff. Any input is appreciated!

In preparation for “The Call” our PRIDE instructors gave us a great resource to use so we aren’t caught off guard when we do agree to a placement and we need know which questions to ask. Whether or not our Rep will have the answers is dependent on the situation but it’s a place to start. Here are the questions included on the form:

FOSTER PARENT ANSWER SHEET

Full Name of Child:

Nick Name:

Age/Sex:

Date Received:

Birthdate:

Do you have the Birth Certificate?

What is the Service Plan for this child?

Do you have the Medical Card?

Does the child have clothes/other possessions?

What is the legal state of the child?

Caseworker Name:

Caseworker Number:

Caseworker after-hours number:

Supervisor’s Name:

Supervisor Number:

Supervisor after-hours number:

What is the estimated length of time the child will be in our home?

Reason child was in the system:

Where is the child coming from? Own home? Another foster home?

Why did he/she have to leave?

What progress have the biological parents made toward reunification?

FAMILY VISITS

Where/Location?

What Day? Time? How often?

Can the time be changed if necessary?

Who will provide transportation?

Does the child have other siblings in the foster care system?

MEDICAL NEEDS

Date of most recent exam:

Does the child need medical care? If so, what kind?

 

So, we are quietly preparing and I’m bracing myself to take on this busy time of year!

 

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4 thoughts on “3rd Rep and 3 Weeks

  1. That’s such good news. I would also ask if there are any challenging behaviours that they are aware of.
    We also take in children between 3 and 8 (we actually do birth to 13) and here children are required to be in a car seat until they are 8 years of age/certain height/weight, so we had one in the car ready to go that is suitable for that age range. Gave us time to shop around and find the best car seat for our needs.
    I’m surprised by the bunk beds. We’re not allowed to use bunk beds here for fostering children under 9 years because of the number of children that are injured falling/jumping from them.
    That’s why I love blogging, seeing all the differences in providing foster care around the world.

    • Great info! We weren’t given any ages for the bunk beds but if we end up with two that are younger there’s room for a mattress on the floor for a while. There are similar car seat regulations here as well. It’s still difficult. A three year old is very different from an eight year old. We are definitely flying by the seat of our pants!

      • Our car seat is convertible so it can do from 3 – 8. Wasn’t cheap but it’s handy.
        The bunk bed rules might be different from state to state and country to country. Where we are, it’s over 9.

  2. Go to stuff:
    Blocks or duplo type toys ( Legos if they’re older but you’re not looking at that right now)
    Cars/ optional track
    Coloring books/ crayons
    Books – don’t worry about reading level, you’ll probably end up doing a lot of reading aloud which is great for both bonding and development. They will love pictures even if they can’t read yet.
    Big ABCs of some kind, we had the foam letters that go together like a puzzle and the letters pop out too – great for playing but also gets them familiar with the letters and they can do matching to get the letter back in it’s block and eventually can put them in ABC order.

    Yes, I’m a teacher and love toys that foster creativity and are educational (shhh, don’t tell the kids that!).

    Those are my favorites for that age.

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