Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Foster care triangle

Now that I'm in a case with more birth parent communication, I'm feeling a little stuck in a foster care triangle.  I want Caterpillar's mom that she has my support for reunification.  I will do my best to care for Caterpillar, and I will do my best to support their bond and relationship.  At the same time, that comes with limits.  I can't wait around indefinitely when she shows up late.  Unlimited grace on lateness is not good for anyone in the end, except maybe Caterpillar, as he still benefits from time with his mom.  The caseworker and case aide are very firm with lateness and set up a system where she needs to be half an hour early for the visit or I won't bring Caterpillar.  His mom is having some trouble with this system and is frustrated.  She tells me she's frustrated and wants to know how it inconveniences me.  I pass the buck back to the agency and tell her it's their rules.  At the same time, I know they are rules to help me, so I'm not entirely being sincere or supportive of my agency's authority.  Yet, I'm not sure how to communicate that, and I'm not sure if it's a good idea to do so.  I mostly listen, empathize a little but not a lot, change the topic to how Caterpillar is doing and how I know she wants to see him, and tell her I hope to see her at the next visit. 

Recently, a medical concern became a hexagon or some other crazy mess of lines: birth parent, foster parent, caseworker, old doctor, new doctor, pharmacist.  I'm still not sure I navigated that perfectly, but I did the best I could.

I remind myself that it's better when all these people care, even though it makes it difficult.  I've been in cases already when one point of the triangle didn't seem to care, and it's very sad.

In a couple weeks we have a foster parent support group on birth parent relationships.  I'll take notes and share them, as I feel like I could never learn enough on this topic.

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