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Posts Tagged ‘agency’

And I am just thinking and thinking and thinking about the concept of permanency.  And how everyone talks about it but no one gives a shit about it.  The constant court postponements, the inept and incompetent bureaucrats, the changes back and forth, the lack of accountability, the lack of empathy and human kindness.  Everyone waiting for everything to be perfectly aligned so that we can have permanency.  Guess what – nothing will ever be perfectly aligned, somethings just will not change.  So decide.  How can anyone possibly believe that a life of insecurity and uncertainty is best for a child?

And I am not advocating for adoption every time here or even most of the time – I think that biological parents get the shaft over and over and over.  I’ve said it before, the amount of time, money and resources that are put into child welfare via foster care subsidies and court costs would be so much better applied if we simply turned our attention to helping people in trouble, to acknowledging the crushing and dehumanizing impacts of racism and poverty.  But no, we want to pretend that we are interested in helping families and reunification but we’re really interested in ass covering and politics.

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So, the thing with extended unsupervised family visits is that there is no damage control, there is no perspective. Whatever is heard has about 8 hours to marinate in the 11 year old brain and become fact.

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What the staff at our agency know and think to be right and the actions that they feel compelled to take by the giant f-ed up bureaucracy that controls all of our lives, well, let’s just say it’s a really long walk.

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To not leave New York if I go to live with mommy?

I’m not leaving New York but how about I promise not to leave New York until your old enough to come visit me no matter where I live?

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I am really having trouble listening to Blitzen.  It is hard to sit with compassion and kindness while someone tells you how much you suck, even when you know that is not what they are really saying.  Andrew keeps telling me not to listen to her words.  And I know that this streak of awfulness is related to anxiety and fear about 1) moving 2) new summer schedule 3) vacation 4) cancelled and rearranged family visits.

Sigh.

I went out on the stoop to get some space and peace and hang out with my best friends, Ben and Jerry.  Blitzen followed me outside to yell at me some more, tell me that I didn’t need ice cream, proceeded to stick her hand in my pint (yeah, it is that bad – I am eating it straight from the carton – if you see a disheveled woman roaming the streets of NYC trying to eat ice cream discreetly from a carton wrapped in a paper bag, you’ll know that it is me) and I maturely responded by pitching the pint out into the street causing Blitzen to start sobbing and yelling that a car was going to hit the ice cream, flip over and people would die and it would be all my fault.  When I explained that due to physics, this chain reaction was extremely unlikely, she replied that she had seen it happen at her old foster home.  I couldn’t argue because Blitzen has seen a lot of fucked up and unbelievable shit so it might have actually happened.

PS – Dear internet – I know that throwing my carton of ice cream was extremely bad parenting and littering, and I am deeply regretful about both of those things. But no one died in a car flipping tragedy so at least there is that.

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1) I will continue to self-medicate with Ben and Jerry’s every night, ultimately reaching an extraordinarily unhealthy  weight as opposed to my current a little bit unhealthy weight and get diabetes, have to give up the ice cream (my sole comfort in life)?

2) My heart will explode from all the adrenal constantly coursing through my body as it plays out stupid ‘flight or fight’ to Blitzen’s fight and flight every day?

3) I will move to Alaska, change my name Brown Bear Betty and attempt to live with bears until they eat me?  I am deliciously Ben and Jerry’s flavored at this point so it wouldn’t be long before the bears decided to snack on me.

4) Figure out self-care?

I think, sadly, given my personality and 43 years of experience, 4 is actually the least likely to happen.

Also, we have an FTC today.  I know that I swore last time that I would never go back.  But since I am so bad at #4, I will probably go….

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Quoting email from our caseworker:

‘We are finished with this round and the next court date will be in October. There was no resolution this time – foster care will continue until permanency is achieved. The goal for all the kids is still reunification.’

Meanwhile, all manner of shit that I can’t discuss here has gone down and still, we lope along as if we are in no hurry.  These children will have been in care for 7 contiguous years in August, 7 years and numerous placements (and not all the good nurturing kind of placement either).  3 of the children are in unstable placements as we speak.

But no hurry.

Can I say it for the 10,000 time?  Why haven’t these children been returned to their parents?  After 7 years (the entire life of one of the children, by the way — never ever has lived with her bio parents), you’d think given all the resources that have been poured into this, the hours in the court, the case managers and therapists, that someone should have been able to make a determination about whether or not these parents can parent safely.  You’d think.

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