As I mentioned previously community services has expressed reticence at my continued involvement in Champ and Buddy’s lives. Apparently offering to help Nan, and having her take me up on that, suggests that Nan isn’t coping. So I’m currently taking advantage of having a school aged child and spending my couple of free hours a day immersing myself in reading every policy, report, research and legislative document related to children in care in my state. I’m looking at rights of carers, rights of children, rights of birth families, best practice, corporate directions, overall aims, policies on contact, policies on restoration, policies on family support, policies on Indigenous children, literature reviews, research papers and every little thing in-between. At the end of this I plan on knowing how this messed up piece of crap system works better than the staff at community services themselves.
You had better believe that if they try to claim that I’m not allowed to support the birth family post-restoration I will fight them to the death.
They are so damn narrow minded!
I’ve been keeping in contact with Nan and helping out here and there as she adjust to the huge task of looking after two small and very active children. This is even more important because Nan isn’t allowed to leave the kids with pretty much anyone in her network of support (her daughters etc).
Nan and I were being on the discrete side of things, but cs found out that she has my number and we talk to each other.
I quote “If she’s asking for help it’s a sign that she is not coping”
If she’s asking for help it’s a sign that she knows her limitations and is utilising all the resources available to her to give herself the best chance of succeeding. It’s not like she’s dropping the kids off to me and going on a bender. I’ve looked after the kids twice. Once while she did the groceries, and once after swimming lessons so she could catch up on housework.
I may have white lied and said I hadn’t really helped at all. CW then said it was about my safety, especially if the kids had to come back to me. I hate hate hate that I have zero control in this situation. If I didn’t have big sister I would be tempted to tell them fully the amount of contact I’m having with them and if they have a problem that I’m happy to step down as a carer. That way I would just be a family friend and cs wouldn’t be allowed to have a say in what contact I had. And if the kids came back into care I could just take them as a kinship placement. It kills me that there is no thinking outside the box.
I probably shouldn’t tell them that I let big sister talk to her mum on the phone…
My boys are coming to spend Wednesday to Monday with me while Nan has to go away.
I can’t wait.
Even though it draws out the grieving.
Trying not to hold on to the stupid dream that Nan will decide it’s too hard and they should live with me.
Today is Friday, and will be the first day since the kids left that I won’t see them.
Struggling with the Ethics of foster care and how to determine who is the best to look after the kids.
They’ve been gone three days and already have nits and Buddy’s cold is getting chesty. I saw them get into a car with no car seats (didn’t hang around to see it drive off) and have contact with bio mum, who I”m fairly sure they aren’t supposed to see. They are also very very tired because Nan can’t get them to sleep (if you’ve been reading for a while you’ll know that bedtime has ALWAYS been an issues and you need to be super firm and on top of it to get them to sleep at night.).
But I’m not convinced that they are unsafe (with the exception of the car seat thing, which is why I was a chicken and drove off quickly so I wouldn’t see). And I am convinced that they are loved and fed.
I’m so biased by my own middle-class upbringing and beliefs about parenting. I’m trying to learn to look past the poverty and see the heart.
After stressing a bit because Nan didn’t answer my calls last week, I just had my second telephone conversation with her.
She’s letting me take the boys to a birthday party on Wednesday (the day after they go home), and I’ll pick them (and Nan) up each week for swimming lessons. She’d love me to have them on weekends sometimes so she can go out to the club etc.
Then we had a good bitch about community services.
I feel much better that it really isn’t goodbye tomorrow, and I’m really hopeful that we will be able to make this work 🙂