So I had to put my big girl britches on the last few days.
Eight months ago I got a particularly tough case where there was an infant and his seven year old sister placed in care due to the mother's drug use during pregnancy.
Let me first say that I don't think anyone sits down and thinks "Wow, I'd like to be a drug addict".
The mother simply doesn't have coping and good decision making skills.
The foster mother was new. Her first placement. I hope I can support her through the turmoil that is foster care.
On several occasions I asked her R&C worker to go on home visits with me so she would feel supported. (R&C is Recruitment and Certification for those not familiar with foster care lingo).
Foster mom and dad have a daughter of their own who is about five years older than the little girl.
The little girl has way too much knowledge for her age and is very intuitive.
Foster mom and mom clash. Well, to be honest I clash with mom too. Mental health issues can be difficult to navigate.
The tough part is that the little girl keeps telling mom, who tells me that the foster family is saying very degrading things about her mom in front of her, on the internet, to other people etc.
As the SW it's my job to address those issues. Of course, foster mom lied and said the child was making stuff up and manipulating. Okay.. maybe... I'm just letting you know that IF these things are going on, they shouldn't be.
Then I find out that not only is it true... (Shoulda blocked your Facebook), the family's real names, pictures and foster mom's true opinion is all over Facebook.
The child reported to me that she gets punished when her mother reports things to me because the foster mom says that "what happens in the foster home should stay in the foster home".
So, even though I rarely move kids. I hate moving kids, my supervisor says this is enough and I have to move them. And I agree this isn't a workable situation since I've addressed this about five times now.
I feel like I've failed these kids. I'm probably going to need to cry this one out. I did buy a few weeks to make one last ditch attempt to find some relatives. I have a few leads.
I completely understand the foster mom's frustration and feelings! But her feelings don't come before the child's feelings and needs.
It really doesn't matter if you think that the child's mom is crazy. The child loves her and should be free to do that without hearing snide remarks. Now, I have to move a child from the only home he's ever known and the mixture of heartbreak and anger are a disappointing wave we all will have to ride now. Ugg.