Saturday, July 28, 2012

Monthly visits (NO! not THOSE monthly visits)

Technically both Primo's DH$ social worker and our agency's social worker should be visiting our home every month to see Primo and to check that he is safe in our home.  Our agency's social worker comes every month, DH$ not so much, and Primo's actual DH$ social worker has never been to our home.

There have been many times that these monthly visits have been scheduled, but the social worker is a no show.

This has been going on for months.  You might think I would be used to these visits by now, and in many ways I am. BUT... I can't help myself, I do a major cleaning and de-cluttering each and every time one of these visits is scheduled.  I used to be very disappointed when nobody showed up.

I must admit that I've begun to grow weary of these visits, whether they happen or not.  Primo's lawyer also comes out to our home once every three months.  This schedule makes for a lot of deep cleaning, de-cluttering and stress.

Seeking to decrease my stress levels in general, and specifically as they relate to foster care I have decided to try to make a philosophical shift in my thinking about monthly visits.  I will now try to look at these visits (whether they happen or not), as an opportunity to simplify and tidy my home.  You know, like an opportunity to commit myself to doing something I otherwise would not do regularly?  As I'm typing I realize that I'm not sure that I have really convinced myself of this, but I will keep trying, otherwise I cannot keep doing foster care.

Monthly home visits are getting me down.  Hopefully I will be able to re-frame how I perceive these visits.

Seriously, I am SO OVER entertaining the county (DH$), foster care agency and lawyer in my home so often.

Deep breaths...


11 comments:

  1. Do whatcha need to do. :) It is sooooo frustrating when they don't show like they should. Me, I don't clean special for anybody! (I might try and run the vacuum if they give me more than 15 minutes notice just so they don't leave covered in too much dog hair. LOL) As I give them all the obligatory tour of my home, I open up doors, show them messed up rooms and say, "Sorry, I don't clean for social workers." They usually laugh. I've had some mention that the foster homes that are spotless creep them out a bit. I've had others make mention of the bio homes they visit and that mine doesn't hold a candle to the messes they've experienced elsewhere.

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    1. You are a brave woman. I hope to someday come to a place where I don't clean for visits, but I am not a born housekeeper so my house is usually a bit of a wreck.

      As for dog hair, we have a constant layer everywhere (I swear my next dog will me extremely tiny or a breed that doesn't shed.)

      Maybe next visit I will have the nerve to not do any special cleaning!?

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  2. I wish you were on yahoo messenger..I am a foster parent who really needs to speak with someone else who is one and I have no idea what to do in some situations.

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    1. Foster care isn't easy, it helps me a lot to follow many different foster care blogs.

      Feel free to email me at m.wickersham at hotmail.com

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  3. Our state worker has only been here once in seven months, but at least she doesn't no show. She just never sets anything up :)

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  4. I used to make myself a little crazy about cleaning too, it was stressful for me and the kids. Our case manager and agency rep come once a month and not one time have either of them looked around my house which made me mad that I cleaned for nothing! This last time I picked up some toys but didn't even think about deep cleaning and again no one looked around! Of course it will be that one time that my house is a disaster that I will get a surprise visit!

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  5. I think your perspective on it being an opportunity to clean is a good one, however much you can't believe it at the time. I'm with the state so I don't have an agency coming to visit other than my state FAD worker every quarter. With my last placement the kids CW only came to my house 2x, and once was to drop the kids off. Actually I suppose they might have come 2 more times to drop off after a visit but they didn't come in past the front door so it wasn't really a visit. In the 8 months the kids were with mie the CW should have been here at least 6 times for a monthly visit. I really let my house get a bit out of control during that time because I didn't have those visits there to make mie make it spotless (and I had 4 preschoolers). It's so much easier to KEEP it clean than to get it clean. I mean, it wasn't hazardous, just not spotless like I wish it were.

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    1. Thanks for the support! So true that it is easier to keep it clean than to get it clean, you would think after 24 years I would catch on to that, but...

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  6. I have 4 foster kiddos, part of 3 separate placements. Each month, I have our family social worker visit (and he checks EVERYTHING!!), a social worker for each of the three cases, 2 CASAs (not sure why only 2), and then sometimes a lawyer or two or three thrown in. It truly feels like someone is always here to judge me, my house, and my family. It's a tough part of foster parenting!

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    1. WOW! That is a lot of visits. It does feel like someone is always looking over your shoulder, that is the part I'm getting tired of.

      As for checking around, unless it is my agency's yearly inspection, the only thing DH$ has checked for is that I have formula and diapers, hot water, and smoke detectors.

      Bless you for putting up with so many visits for your kids sake, you rock!

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  7. Hi! This is my first time visiting your blog :)
    I read of a mom who felt very much like you over the Social Worker visits to her house. She would stress much and would make her house spankin' clean every time. Finally one day the SW arrived unexpectedly. The house was a mess. After the visit the mom apologized to the SW for the mess, and the SW said, "I am so glad I can see that there are actually 4 children living here! It has always been so clean that I was beginning to worry if there were kids here at all" :) My husband and I are waiting for our license to foster, but reading your guys's blogs has been so helpful to me. Thanks! Gabie

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