Our worker contacted us about a child who is 18 months old. Mom tpr'd voluntarily, dad is not parenting due to having been incarcerated since prior to the child's birth, and will not voluntarily tpr. In addition to the sentence he is serving, he is waiting to be tried on a new (serious) offense. Dad has suggested no family members as potential placements, though we understand he could do that at any time.
The child is receiving two kinds of therapy each week, and will likely need more, not less, in the future.
Those of you with experience, would you care to give your opinions on whether dad will end up parenting this child? We are open to foster/adopt with some degree of risk, but since adoption is our goal, don't want to walk into a situation that isn't at all likely to go our way.
Thanks for any and all replies.
Our experience is...."Things can change in a blink of an eye." I'm not kidding one day everything seems to be going our way and then the next cw's are telling us looks like the child(ren) could go home. Then next week the parents do something against the caseplan and BAM! we're in the drivers seat. 14 months of back and forth, back and forth. I'm sure some people have different experiences but for us it's been a constant roller coaster ride! Best of luck!
Blessings ~ mommyof9
[font=Arial]I will agree with "Mommyto9" - things do change on a daily basis. I guess what you have to keep in mind (boy this is hard for me to say because my dh and I might loose our fs because of a miscommunication between the Judge and DFC) is that as foster parents - we are just that - foster parents. We are there to provide the child/children a place to live while their bps receive help and work towards "getting" them back. I have even been told by a cw (when I had in the past asked for tutoring assistance) that as fp our only jobӔ was to provide: a roof over the childs head, provide food and make sure that they got to school. Nothing else. How sad!![/font]
[font=Arial]Our fs was removed April 2003 when he was 8 months old. He was placed with us as "placement to adopt" in October 2003 (we are his third fh) - but - according to the TPR court order - we are going to loose him. Not because of anything HE did, or because the parents have a wonderful history but because of something that the DFC might have done in error. So, even when the plan IS adoption Җ that does not mean that it always works out.[/font]
[font=Arial]Brief parenting history of the bps: (fs is the 3rd child for the 54-yr old bdad and the 7th child for the 40-yr old bmom - they have three of these together - but yet they have NONE of these children - in fact, when our fs was removed there was only one other child living in that home - his at the time 8yr old half sister - his two sisters (at the time age4 and 2 (?)) were already being raised by grandparents who have guardianship and had been for about two years). All of the bmoms children are with their bdads with the exception of one 17yr old son that was sentenced last Fall to 16 years in prison and I think another son that might be in jail.[/font]
[font=Arial]Now, you and I know that it doesn't always work out this way - but the goal of the foster care system is REUNIFICATION (boy - I don't like this word sometimes!!) Җ NOT adoption. Sometimes, reunification is NOT in the best interest of the child. Sometimes the child will be placed back with the bps only to be removed a little later on. This is why it's important to keep a good line of communication open between you, your cw and the DFC as a whole. You want to be there for that "in case" situation. Also, it helps if you can have some sort of communication with the bps.[/font]
[font=Arial]Sorry for such a long response, but this is something that really hits close to our hearts and our home.[/font]
[font=Arial]My thoughts and prayers will be with you. I was told the other day that a childs ғhard drive gets ԓbuilt during the first three years of life. If you can be a part of this childԒs life for the next year or so, then you will have made a life long impact on their life. I am trying to remember this myself as the next hearing (early June) comes up and the Judge hands down his decision as when to remove our fs from our home.[/font]
I have many nightmare stories to tell about DFS but, in your case I would bet that this child will be adopted. I would take the chance due to the fact that it doesn't sound like Dad will be getting it together anytime soon. As a Foster Parent, all of the Dad's that I have dealt with that were incarcerated did not get their children back. I also worked for DOC for 10 years and there are alot of people that will never stay out of prison long enough to be a parent. Miracles do happen and people do change but with Dad already having another case, it doesn't sound good for him. Take a chance, Love a child!!!
I agree with rights, it seems like the bmom is the more highly motivated individual to parent and where she is voluntarily signing off - that is such a good sign. Keep in mind some incarcerated people won't sign off because trial dates and court appearances get them out of jail for the day if nothing else.
I think you stand a good change of being able to adopt this one, better than many other scenarios you may be presented with.
It's all a risk though - as you know with foster/adopt.
Good luck!
What I have learned in foster care is that anything could happen.
I have a case almost like yours. My 3 yr old fs came to us when he was 15 mnths old. His father was in prison and his mother dissapeared. After a year mom showed up stating she wanted her son back, it was a month before tpr trial. She got visitation for a month and then termination went through. According to the judge was regarding bonding issues. He did not recognized his mother and to our fs my dh and I were his mommy and daddy. With dad well he is in prison for another 3 years and he still has to go for trial for another offence. Mom did not appeal, she agreed that he should stay with us. Dad did appeal even though there is no way that a judge would have a chilld stay for 5 yrs in a foster home and then send him back to his father. He is doing it to make the process harder. Fathers family wants us to adopt him and is sad and relived that tpr was set. They are nice people who want what is best for J. That is what we are waiting is for the appeal and hoping that the beggining of next year to finally adopt our little guy.
Our other fs is a year old. Everything was going for adoption till two months ago. Now he will be going home to his father in two weeks. Now we are waiting for another legal risk. I personally would take a chance. We did with J and looks like soon he will be our son forever. Good luck with you and I hope things work out.
Thanks, you all. We decided to accept the placement if we are the family chosen, which we won't know for a while yet, I suppose.
It is hard to wait for the call, I checked my messages a dozen times today!
This whole thing has gone very quickly and I was posting my updates somewhere else--but yes, we were chosen and we brought him home yesterday after 2 visits.
So far, the transition has been smooth--maybe too smooth. He doesn't talk, but he is very smiley and pretty cheerful.
This week I will be talking with his new worker (through my agency; he was with another county) about where they are in the tpr process and about getting his services started back up.
It seems crazy that it all happened so fast--we can't really believe he is here!
Thanks again for everyone's advice and kind thoughts! I will keep posting on Foster to Adopt as time passes :)
When things are meant to be, they can go so smooth, it even seems strange. I have been wondering about your situation and I am so glad that you got him. I know he will be yours for keeps soon.
We have had R in our home for four months now. There was a hearing almost immediately after he arrived at which his goal was changed to adoption.
Dad is still refusing to terminate voluntarily, and although he was convicted of his most recent alleged crime, and the crime was violent and involved a weapon and was a parole violation, too, he is a free man as of last week :eek:
Although he has been incarcerated since before R's birth, he says he is planning to parent.
The caseworker says the plan she gave him involves finding housing, employment, and attending counseling. She says it seems unlikely that he will be able to do these things for long enough to impress a judge and get custody of R, as he has been incarcerated repeatedly since his teen years.
On the other hand, he can start having visits as soon as he undergoes drug and psych screening.
I guess I am just looking for reassurance that there is no way (or almost no way) a judge would change the goal back away from adoption and turn R over to this guy...and any ideas on how long the judge can give bdad to get his act together? Also, bdad claims he has no other children, but I can't believe the court would just take his word for it--how do they know he doesn't have a bunch of other kids he is not parenting or supporting--whose job is it to look into that? Thanks, all.
Although I am in Canada and Canadian, I was a child welfare worker for several years. My experience here suggests as the social worker told you, that dad won't get his act together and hold it together for long enough to impress a judge. Given this has been his way of life for years it is not likely to change "over night". Also if he is sentenced to a long term jail term he cannot parent his child. If that happens then it is likely that the child welfare agency will seek to terminate his parental rights without his consent.
As for other children he may have, being a father and not supporting kids (ie child support) doesn't mean you don't have a right to another child that you father.
If he has other kids, it would be a good sign if the child welfare agency doesn't already know his name from another case. Even when fathers are not involved in their kids lives the child welfare agency still asks single moms for the names of their children's fathers and documents this in their system.
I was reading over your situation and was wondering if Gregory got to stay with your family. I sure hope so!
One thing I've noticed with foster care is that there is no precendent. Every case is different. Of course, reunification is always the plan, but it seems like bio mom has a lot to overcome before she can be a fit parent. The rules are different in every state...and no one ever seems to know for sure what will happen.
Good luck to you...I know the roller coaster ride is traumatic.
Not sure if I'm on the right thread because I'm still trying to get myself around what's going on here. But I have had a child since he was 25 days all the mother gave me guardianship because she did not want him. He is almost 6 years old and I have a TTR coming up in one month. There is another woman who has her seven-year-old who's had her six years and there's another woman who is her has her 10 year old and she has adopted her already after I told the mother a year ago. I was going to take her for tpr then she tried to act like she wanted to see him and wanted to know him, but he doesn't even know. I'm not his mother. Is there a chance that after almost 6 years the judge would not tpr and give this child back to a complete stranger? Who has three children one who's been adopted into who I've been living with other women their whole lives.
I agree with others that the case could change at any time. However my advise is position yourself for success by applying for Defacto parent status anytime after 6 months, submit Caregiver information form (JV-290) at every court hearing. Keeps notes with dates on any contact the parent has with the child or you. A summary of these notes should be submitted in the JV 290 form. Make sure SW is aware that you take notes on everything. This will sometimes keep the SW accountable. Advocate for the child in writing to the SW via email listing your concerns for the child and what you do for the child and how its impacting the childs growth and development. Take my advise when it comes to DCFS and court everything must have a paper trail that can be documented. Ask ( in written form via email) and continue to ask for every service you think this child may need. When submitting the JV 290 form state the facts as you know them not your opinion. Information should be presented using bullet points which makes it easier to read. Remember everyone involved in the case (children's attorney, parents attorney and judge) gets a copy of JV-290. You are the one who knows the child best and you want to present the facts as the expert on this child social, educational and emotional growth. When the time comes petition the court for education rights which allow for you the right to make any educational decision such as therapy decision, IFSP...