Sunday, August 4, 2013

Visit Logistics

Where I live and with my agency foster parents are responsible for taking their foster children to and from their family visits. If for some reason you cannot take your child to a visit you must find a social worker willing to drive them or another foster parent, or maybe some one who specifically has all their foster care clearances and is over 21. This is more of a one time thing type of option. As foster parents Mike and I are supposed to make sure Primo gets to his visits no matter what.

I've read on on other foster care blogs that some children are taken by transporters who pick them up for each visit and return them home afterwards. While I value my face to face time with Primo's parents and siblings I have to admit to being a bit jealous of those foster parents who have the option of a transporter.

I'm about an hour from Primo's visit sight, so coming home between dropping off for a visit and picking up is not an option given the 2 hour visit time. This means that I have to find something to do for 2 hours in the city or just hang out in the waiting room and that overall visits take 4 hours out of my day.

I would love to drop Primo off for his visit and drive home and have Mike pick Primo up on his way home from work, once in a blue moon this works and I love it when it does. For the most part however this doesn't work. Primo's parents are generally late for visits, so this means there is often an half hour during which all the siblings and foster parents wait in the agency waiting room, and on the days when the parents don't show up at all we leave the visit early. The two social workers who handle this case don't want to be caring for the children during this half hour wait, and if neither parents comes to the visit what then? They would have to be responsible for the children for two hours before the foster parents returned.

I realize that having a transporter could also be stressful as they are one more stranger that the children would have to spend time with. I would imagine that Primo would not love getting into a car with someone he doesn't know for an hour on his way to visits and back. But sometimes during my more tired and frustrating days I daydream of spending those 4 hours however I pleased instead of sitting around waiting and battling city traffic.

2 comments:

  1. This is why I think foster parents should be paid for their time while doing foster related activities. I am not talking basic parenting, but the things that you wouldn't be doing for a biological child like visits, court mandated evals, paper work, etc. You have to take time away from your family, job, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  2. We are fortunate. We have the option of a transporter, although it's often just as easy to take them ourselves - but our visits are only 1 hour long. It is ridiculous how "difficult" the states make Foster Parenting considering there is such a shortage of good care. I have often thought that if we weren't so crazy & committed to this (I am a former foster child)I don't think I would jump through all the hoops to be a FP. Craziness!

    ReplyDelete