Monthly Archives: November 2013

Made it Through

We made it through our inspection, individual interview and couple interview.

Last Friday it rained non stop.  The state inspector came in the middle of all of that.  He looked at lots of things in the house.  He tested our water temperature which we did not find out what it came in under, but it was well under the 120 degree requirement.  Our refrigerator again was set and good to go.  He tested our smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector.  At first the carbon monoxide detector did not sound, but it came right along.  He walked the entire backyard looking for things like lighter fluid or other things that needed to be locked up and put away.  The only thing we were dinged on was our cleaning supplies.  We thought it was ok if we had them set out of reach, but they needed to be locked.  No worries because we had extra space in a locking box so we were able to move those over and when our worker came she checked it off as passing.

Our worker was with us from 1:30 to just after 4:00.  So many things to talk about.  One large thing that stuck out was she said “I was worried about the two of you”.  She was worried because our original hopes and goals had not lined up with what the intention of what the foster care program is meant to do.  We really have grown in the idea of being mentors to parents and helping them and being a resource for them.  The foster class process is great for that sort of thing, letting those going through the process gain a good look at what it is going to be like and what the expectations of the state have for those foster parents.

As our worker was leaving she described the things that still has to happen.  She has to input all of the paperwork that we have give into the computer which she says she is about 75% of the way done.  She also has to wait for some of our references to return the forms and she has to call two of those references.  Once she has completed those things and our references have returned those forms then she will submit our paperwork to the state.  From there the state licensing group gets ahold of everything and it is out of our worker’s hands.  She stated again that we will most likely not be through the process until after the new year.

Now on the other side is some waiting time.  We will keep you posted on where we are and where we will go, no solids but lots to come.  Thanks for reading.

Thank Yous and Updates!

First off…

Thank you to everyone who were able to make it either in person and in spirit to our Welcome to Parenting Foster Party this last Sunday.  We are blessed with so much support and we are very thankful for everything people have shared with us.  So many wonderful expereince, advice and things to help us be better prepared as we welcome little ones in our home.  This process would have been/will be so much more diffecult without all of you by our side, supporting us in the many, many ways that you have.

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Above is a glimps of the festivities.

 

Tuesday Nick was interviewed by our worker for more than two hours.  There were lots and lots of questions, but was split into three main parts.  The first were the overall skills of providing care, secondly she asked about the support system and the family we grew up in and finally the current family unit of the two of us.  Guess there is no real way to cram for that type of interview because the questions were all about him and he just had to answer from how he saw it.

Tomorrow we will have the state out for the tour and inspection of our home.  Our worker did a quick one at the end of the interview and said that everything should be fine.  We had to turn down our water heater because the temp was about 122 which is above the 120 mark.  We picked up lockes for the two crates that we have the pesiticides, paint and bleach in.  We should be set for that inspection tomorrow along with Cheryl’s interview and then our joint interview.  Should be more of the same types of questions.  There are more than 70 pages that have to be filled out by our worker to be given to the state.  

We will keep everyone posted on the events of tomorrow and the soon to be placements.  Thanks for reading

Foster Class – Session 6

We arrived at the multigenerational center in Mesa on Saturday like we have the last six weeks, early. Driving more than 50 miles makes us always think that there is going to be some large accident that we will get delayed with. It works out good for us because be early and waiting is far better then being late and having to walk into a full room. The other advantage; we got our seat. No there were not assigned seats but it always feels better to sit in the same place from meeting to meeting.

While waiting we got to listen to the two presenters talk about some drama with one of their internal works. No job seems immune to the drama of office politics. In the end the talked seemed a lot more worried about the situation then the listener. Always wonder how much those who hear the concerns are actually concerned about the concern themselves.

The first thing we as a class discussed was the homework. We only very briefly skimmed over it. The workers wanted to hear how it made us feel. They said the primary purpose of the homework was to get us to use the go to guide which is what we felt while we did the work. This part of the day only lasted about 15 minutes. At the end of the presentation our worker collected the paperwork from us which was the first homework that was collected. Good simulation and good to know where we can go for answers for lots of instances as a foster parents.

From here we moved onto talking about slang that children used. We listed lots of words most adults would not use in polite company. For us it always feels a bit uncomfortable to say and hear these types of words. That of course was the point. When that sort of slang is used it is either thought of as normal and not ware noting a reaction or is seeking some type of reaction, but in both instance the reaction part was what we discussed. They talked a lot about sexual abuse and how the words and actions could be common or uncommon based on age and situation. More and more about tidal human development.

In the end we were asked to fill out an evaluation of the course. This form was about 3 pages but had lots of ranking 1 to 7 so took much less time to fill out. Always good to evaluate how those being presented to felt the course met their needs. We were given certificates showing that we had completed the course. They told us that the forms were good for any licensing organization, which we plan to stick with this organization, but it is good to know that we have it.

After the class was over, we were done by 10:50, we drove to Costco. Picked up some things needed for the welcome to fostering party. Afterwards we made a pact to not shop at Costco in the afternoon until after the new year. We also picked up another shelling unit for the garage which we plan to use for some of the things we. We’d to take out of the bedroom closets so there is room for their things.

Later today is the foster party, next week indri jail and couple interview, state inspection, tour of possible child care facilities and more to come in the following weeks. Thanks for reading.

Study Guide

Later today we will be attending our last foster class session. Over the last week we were asked to complete some homework (every week there is work to do at home) which was fairly extensive. We received six separate packets with a simulated case study, one description of the child who came into care and five events. At the root of the activity our agency wanted us to use the “Go to Guide” to be able to answer questions. It was very effective in establishing just how many questions can be answered by a short 50 pages of information. At the end the situations that we encountered which were not over dramatized and gave a good account of situations that could/will occur. The worker did not tell us specifically how we will use the homework to facilitate interaction this week but I think we will either describe the situation that we encountered and where it can be handled with our resources or we will be split into smaller groups and interact with others who had similar or different case studies.

Earlier this week we also finished two final needed parts for our application that had not been given to us until last week. The first was a mutual criteria paper which described 12 area of interaction. It sounds like those concepts will be the basis of our individual and together interviews. The information kinda felt like a pre-test or maybe a study guide. Either way lots of good things to consider, but it was very easy to write. The second thing that we had to complete was a family map. We put ourselves in the middle with extended family around us and the things we are involved with and interested in around all of that. When I write it, it sounds more complicated then it felt to make.

After class we will come home where this place will become welcome to fostering central. Family staying the night to set up for the event in the park for tomorrow afternoon. Sounds like the co-planners have put together a whole lot of fun stuff. It has been so wonderful to have so many people around us be so encouraging and helpful. We are very appreciative of the great support.

To come…. Last class session, welcome to fostering party, worker interviews, state inspections, licensing, placement and being “resource parents” (to use their term). Thanks for reading.

Foster class – Session 5

Yesterday we met for our fifth foster licensing class.

Since the first class the presenters have been saying they end the class meeting on a positive note which we found out yesterday that it was more in jest then seriousness. The topic of the class was foster parent complaint and CPS investigation. The largest take away received was the idea of openness and communication. It may or may not be natural to pick up the phone and call someone to file an incident report every time something happens but it sounds like that is what should be done so that they are running records of the situations. I think our presenters thought it would be a scary thing, but it makes sense that parents who have had they children removed will try everything to get them back even if it means trying a bit of creative story telling.

After our presenters talked for a time we had the chance to meet foster parents. They have 10 children in their home, 2 biological children, 6 adopted children and 2 foster children. Very interesting to hear the parenting styles and the things they do to be effective. They both work in independent jobs which lets them have more time in the home which is probably how they can manage 10 children. They talked a bit out a parenting program called Love and Logic which in Buckeye Nick was trained on the teacher side of things. It is Truly an amazing to hear the things that they have set up to be effective.

At the of of the session two of our classmates declared that they had other arrangement for the last class. We have been going to these classes for five weeks, splitting up our Saturdays. After next Saturday we will be done. We received more then the typical amount of homework this week, it looks a lot like we will be using the homework as our main driver for interaction for our single session next week.

That is all for now, thanks for reading.

Picking up steam

A lot more has happened since the last we wrote and updated the baby puzzle.

Last week we attended class 4. (Which was sessions 6&7). Lots more good information. The presenters are concreting our idea of what it will mean to be foster parents. Our largest take away is we should expect anything. It actually makes sense because the children who enter care come from so many backgrounds. One large part of the conversation last Saturday was about transition at the end of foster care and what a smooth one might look like. Communication and preparation seem like the big common themes to transitions that are successful.

This week our worker started to prepare us for our home visits. They have to interview us as individuals and then again as a couple. Something like 8 hours of interviewing. The state also comes out and does an inspection of our home. All of these interviews and the inspection will be completed by November 22nd at around 5 or 6. Some time this weekend we will go through our home and triple check everything to make sure it is ready for our inspection.

Next Sunday will be our welcome to parenting foster party at 1:30 at the park right around the corner from our house. We tried to remember to in its everyone we thought would want to attended but from phone calls we have found out we left out a few people. If you are one of those contact and we will give you the details. Sounds like it is going to be a full house… well full park. The party will come the day after our last class meeting.

So many things to do in the coming weeks. Our last two classes, welcome party, interviews, home inspections and depending on the license time frame maybe even placement of a kiddo. Thank you for reading , we will try to be more diligent in the coming weeks about posting as the individual events happen.