Originally Posted By Graham
As one of our highly respected founding members has commented earlier, PPSD is sweeping this Board!. It seems to be rooted in the power that families assume to rest in the hands of adoption social workers, whose god-like burdon of decision-making can never be fathomed and thereby understood. I hate to admit a trade secret, but the Emperor is, in reality, barely dressed.
While the Adoption Social Worker does indeed recommend decisions and actions of considerable importance (life-changing importance even), most actually have little real power. Nearly all their decisions and proposed actions are in fact only recommendations. There is another person or body with the actual power of decision and, usually, beyond that, yet another body with review of that decision. This chain of command can go up a long way in some organizations (try adopting through the City of New York or the County of Los Angeles and you'll see how it is). Every organization in child welfare has an appeal procedure. Most children in the system are under the jurisdiction of the Court, and many have their own attorneys appointed for them by the Court, external to the agency that is responsible for their care. These are all opportunies for families who feel they have been wrongly judged, or that a child has been victimized by a decision, to obtain review and to present an alternative reality directly to those with the real power and real responsibility.
I know it seems as if the social worker controls everything and the family is expected to be a good and cooperative, and quiet, family until the decisions are made. I realize that is the climate that many of you experience. The truth is... you have much more power and influence than you give yourself credit for. You'd be amazed how many families have been able to jump the queue waiting for their home study to begin simply by writing the Governor. I'm not suggesting anyone do that, but I share it as an example that families don't stand out from the crowd - unless they stand out from the crowd. (On second thoughts, most of you couldn't hide in a crowd if you tried! lol, never mind).
Originally Posted By barki
Yes, at every step we've taken toward finalization AFTER placement we've been shown that even with our son at home with us it isn't over until the fat lady sings. (and even then I'm sure I'll continue to have nightmares and an upset tummy for awhile!) There are review boards, judicial reviews, etc. etc. If the birthfamily were to jump up again and demand another review I know they could get it. Even now. It's been months and/or years, but it still is a live case that is slowly (although faster than many!) making its way to that adoption decree being signed.
Did I mention that this is after the adoptive placement? Oh, and that I'm a nervous basket case? We have another review this week and I'm so nervous I've got a migraine. Oh no! Will that appear paranoid and will they deem us unfit because of it?? Do I confess or shut up and suffer in silence???
It's like this you see -- I used to be normal, but now we are adopting.
I think for many of us it is the total loss of power in these situations that frustrates us most. For example, I know we have been selected for these children, I know we will eventually get to see them and bring them home, and I know where they are living, but can't go see them myself. The biggest frustration is that these kids are sitting in a shelter for only TWO reasons - the social worker won't make the time to meet us over there and she still has to go the placement planning meeting which is supposed to be this week. Once that is done, they can come home. But the social worker knows they're safe and she has other fires to put out of much greater importance. And I totally get that - really I do! But I am sure she will wait until day 29 (the children can only stay in the shelter for 30 days) and then be calling my cell phone and paging me in a flurry of activity to get them placed the very next day. Of course, nevermind the fact that I have a part time job that I need either quit or take leave from and would PREFER to give them more than 24 hours notice! ggrrrrrr.....
Graham, I hear what you are saying and I have great sympathy for the case load most social workers carry. But the quicker those kids get home, the better off we will ALL be!
Originally Posted By Jerry
It's very telling. I'll throw out a few of those "inspirational phrases" that seem to be appropriate now.
1. "We must be the change we wish to see in the world." If you don't like something then change it. It's not always best to launch an assault to bring about this change, but sometimes it's needed. It's far easier to sit back and let someone else do "it," but do they have our best interest at heart? It's not very likely they do. You are the best advocate for yourself.
2. "You are disappointed if you fail, but doomed if you don't try." It's an attitude of having a "successful" failure. It becomes successful when we learn from our mistakes, and then continue with our pursuits. I believe the most important concept I've learned throughout our journey is that all the caseworkers for all the kids can only see our homestudy as a part of a "stack of homestudies" on their desk unless we make the effort to stand out. We're doing a video about "us" and our home...........who we are and what we believe. I don't know if it will make a difference for a caseworker evaluating us for a possible placement, but I do know that we will have made our best effort. Maybe, just maybe, we will impress them enough to advocate for us as well.
and finally....
3. "We live the most when we are giving." This is probably the most telling about "me." In everything we do, in everything we experience there are gifts. Although it doesn't always seem so wonderful, and we don't always feel appreciative, we can come here and find some hope. Something along the lines of a profound respect for everyone and everything that touches our lives. We can't forget to give to ourselves either. Accepting the gifts we're offered is giving to ourselves. It shares in the good heart of the giver. A good nap, a night spent watching a movie, a laugh or two over our faux pas', and a reminder that the world and caseworkers are not out to get us can help to revitalize.
Thanks for the lift Graham!
Originally Posted By yrand
Lara don't quit work or even take leave until the kids are on the plane coming home.I sat for three weeks on unpaid leave of absence waiting on my girls and they pulled a bait and switch on me at the TPR hearing!!I finally got reimbursed by the department but I had to fight for it.
When they told me the baby was coming home on the 24th, I went to work in a flurry of activity to get things done and wrapped up or taken home. Then I waited........ but my work has been so great and accomodating, but even THEY will want some notice about when I'll be leaving "on leave" or permanently.
What ever happened to your girls, yrand? Didn't a judge order a new worker assigned to your case??
Originally Posted By yrand
Yes they have a new worker who I have yet to speak with.I've been laying low and letting my attorney earn her retainer.I
will call and introduce myself one day but for now I'll let the professionals handle it.