A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove...but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child. --Forest E. Witcraft

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Details - part 2

This is the second half of the story detailing the initiating of visits for Precious with her mom.  You probably want to read the first half before continuing.  I left off last time with the CA arriving 45 minutes late at my home to pick up Precious for the visit.

I was holding Precious as I answered the door.  The CA introduced herself.  I asked if she had a car seat; she said it was in the car.  I followed her out.  Luckily the weather here is beautiful right now.  She pulled an infant car seat (looked very new) from the back of the car and then proceeded to buckle in the base for the infant carrier.  I was impressed that she knew how.  [I can't tell you how many times I've rebuckled car seats in cars that have come to pick up my foster children.  I don't care if I hurt the feelings of the transporter.  I consider the children's safety more important.  I even had one worker tell me they were never trained on car seats and thanked me for showing her.]

As I finished getting Precious into the car seat, I casually asked if the CA had confirmed the visit with mom (since the CA didn't confirm it with me until I called her this morning).  She said mom had confirmed.  We small talked briefly, and the CA finally made some comment about she was a little worried that mom hasn't called her asking about the visit starting so late.  The CA then said mom hadn't called her today, but confirmed yesterday. 

I suggested the CA might want to call mom to confirm now, before driving almost 30 minutes to the location of the visit only to turn around.  She said she had to take Precious, wait five minutes, and then she could cancel the visit.  She indicated the court had already ruled on this.  I said (maybe not so politely) that no, the court hadn't ruled in this case, because we still haven't been to court for this case.  Again, I suggested she might like to call, since I have an older bio sibling, who has now been adopted, and mom NEVER showed up for a visit in that case.  [Okay, so I can be controlling, but I try to be very polite and tactful.  I just think it is silly to waste a lot of time and effort if not necessary, not to mention any stress that the child may be put through.]

The CA then placed a call to mom and got no answer.  She left a message indicating that she was running late, asked mom to call back, and told her that if she was not present at the visit location at 2:45pm, the visit would be canceled.

I told the CA that I could pick up Precious following the visit; we were heading out to dinner anyway.  Since the visit was starting late and I recognized that the parent is still entitled to the full two hours if the late start time is due to the CA, I would wait until about 4pm to leave and would arrive at the visit location around 4:30pm.  The CA then said that she was now guessing mom would be a no show, and if that were the case, she would wait a few minutes and then bring Precious back.  I asked her to please call me if mom didn't show up, so that I would know they were heading this way.  The CA left with Precious about 2:25pm. 

Assuming a 30 minute drive, they arrived at the visit location around 2:55pm.   I figured that 15 minutes would be the maximum time she would wait, especially considering it would already be almost an hour into the scheduled two hour visit.  So, when 3:15pm rolled around and I received no call, I started to think that maybe mom did show up.  Maybe this case would go better.

At 3:25pm, the CA called and said mom was a no show. She was now leaving to bring Precious home.  Five minutes later, she called again and said she "just noticed the time".  Since she wouldn't get to my house until about 4pm, why didn't I come pick Precious up instead?  I told her that would be fine, but that it would take me about 20 minutes before I could leave.  Since I wasn't expecting to leave before 4, my son was still sleeping, and I would have to wake him from his nap and get all of us in the van.  She said okay, that she would see me about 4pm.  Again, I told her I wouldn't be there until after 4 (remember, it's already 3:30, it's a 30 minute drive, and I can't leave right away).

I went in to wake up BB and discovered he was awake, lounging in his crib.  I got him up, changed him, and came out to realize I had missed a call from the CA.  She then called again about 3:40pm, saying she would just go ahead and bring Precious home (she would have been halfway here if she had left when she first called). 

At this point, I told her no (okay, there's the control issue again).  I said I already had half the kids getting in the van and we were going out for dinner anyway.  My son was already awake when I went in, so it was not taking as long as I had expected, and we were just about ready to leave.

We got to the visit location and the CA was sitting in the parking lot, waiting in her car.  It's now about 4:15pm, almost two hours after Precious was picked up.  I'm not sure if she was ever taken out of the car seat.

The one good thing that came out of this fiasco is that mom is now on this CA's "no show, no call" list.  This means mom must confirm the day of the visit, at least one hour before the visit is scheduled to start, or Precious won't be picked up and the visit will be canceled. 

The next visit is scheduled for Thursday morning.  I asked the CA to call me at work that morning to let me know if the visit is on or off so that I can, 1) let Miss M know the CA is coming to get Precious, and 2) prepare to leave work to pick Precious up at the end of the visit.  We'll see...I bet I'll be calling the CA Thursday morning to find out what is happening.

3 comments:

  1. You are much more patient than I would have been. And I definitely would have pitched a fit about the baby being in the carseat for two hours! This is, perhaps, why some caseworkers avoid me. ;-)

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  2. Hope it all works out for the best for the babys and yours sake! I sometimes still cant grasp how people can do this to their own children...

    I also would have thrown a fit about the baby staying in the carseat that long too!

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