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!
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:
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 after-hours 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?
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?
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!