Do they drug test family members before placing with them?
Today I am attending the Team Decision Meeting for Little D (has been with us almost 3 weeks). We have met biomom for 1 visit and Aunt has had two visits. Biomom is a mess and just doesn't seem interested in getting custody of her son. The aunt actually seems pretty normal and we actually kind of like her. However, I suspect they BOTH are into smoking marijuana. We saw some tattoos that give this notion away.

I think this Aunt we met is the most likely person they will place Little D with. Does anyone know if the agency drug tests family members before they place with them? This family has a history with CPS...a history that includes drug abuse.

Again, we like this aunt, but we just get that gut feeling she has an "extracarricular" lifestyle.
I don't think so. They would look at whether the aunt has had prior child abuse problems and whether the aunt is capable of raising a child (in their opinions).
this may surprise you
Too many blunts, not enough SW's. :arrow: Sad but true.

While in training, (risk assessment training mind you) a Ohio approved trainer said , basically

"WE DO NOT DISCERN RISK BASED ON THE LEGALITY OF A BEHAVIOR"

In other words, being stoned is not the crime. Possession is the crime. Even if there is possession, CPS cares about the RISK TO THE CHILD of the behavior, NOT the legality of it. The idea is that in Ohio, CPS might discern (for lack of a better word) that a stoned parent may not pose a high enough risk to keep the child out of the home.

What matters to them, they trained us ......is the parenting. (She alluded that this changed in the mid to late 1970's because SO many parents (and probably a few Foster Fams) were smoking weed. She hinted that back then they used smoking weed as a criteria, and the sytem became overwhelmed. :eyebrows:


So, now the tide changed and drug addiction (remember alcohol is a drug) alone cannot be a determining factor unless it negatively effects parenting. If felony drug trafficers frequent the house, that's a different story....

P.S. I'm not saying that I agree, I'm just the messenger!
I see. I guess I wouldn't be surprised is they did not test the aunt.

In thinking about this whole thing, I also consider the fact that aunt has 4 children of her own..all in her own care. She is living with her soon-to-be exhusband's parent's with all her children. I'm guess his parents can't be too bad of people if they kicked their own son out before kicking aunt and her 4 kids out on the street.

I always wonder about some of the bioparents and their family members we meet. I wonder if the face they put on in front of us and the SW's is so well practiced that they are able to fool us. It isn't like me to be judgmental and suspicious, but I learned quickly from our previous biomom that all is not what it seems.
If her record with CPS is clean and she passes a quick home inspection, she is likely to be "good enough".
Normally not here either. FP don't even get drug tested here, so it doesn't surprise me that family members would not. They still get the background check so if there were prior convictions related to the drug use, that might be a problem, but even then, it would depend on the circumstances involved and how old the convictions are.

They may very well still have that lifestyle, but remember the tattoos could be from a long time ago and they have since changed. DH was a wild teen, even got in trouble for some marijuana when he was young 18-20ish, so imagine his surprise when we were getting licesned that it was still on his record. He has definitely changed since then- thank goodness!

Our now AD was removed from her parents for marijuana use, but they were given in home services for a over a month and half and DHS was trying to avoid removing the baby, but parents quit showing up for court and weren't complying, so baby was removed and placed with us. Now mind you, they have many other problems besides just marijuana use, but knowing DH's history at their age, it seems kind of ironic that we ended up with their daughter. DH did feel just a "tad" guilty that he did (some) of the very same behavior. But then again, he didn't have a child that he put at risk either. :eyebrows:
They don't drug test relatives or foster parents here. I do think that a drug check is part of the background check because my sw mentioned the relatives did not have a history of drugs with the background check.
Drug testing people who do not have any child abuse/neglect reports in their background and a clean criminal background check (eg no sales or manufacture) would not be fair. As a relative caregiver I should not have to submit to any test unless regular licensed foster parents are required to have the same test.

I'm about as clean as you can get. I may drink 1-2 beers a WEEK. However, my family has many alcoholics in it and the new generation, drug addicts. Thank God I escaped that hell. In my early days I smoked weed. Its been probably 20 years. I'm so glad I didn't get a tattoo. LOL
I guess it's different in New York -
[url]http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/18/nyregion/parents-minor-marijuana-arrests-lead-to-child-neglect-cases.html?_r=1[/url]
I would think they would do a home study and if there were any signs of use that may exclude them. My FD's grandparents were excluded because of signs of drug use during the homestudy but they were never tested.
I was surprised that we didn't need to take a drug test when we were in the process of getting licensed. I think fp should be tested.

I am pretty sure that the background checks around here are not the extensive ones that we had to have as fp. I was surprised on how things went down with baby A in such a short time.
They probably will not test. Our kids just went back to a distant "relative" in which the entire family has a long drug history. This woman was never tested. She was even as bold as to smoke in the house on visits with the kids there and the baby has breathing problems and got sick. When I reported it the CW said it can't be true because she told us that she doesn't smoke anything anymore or drink and she was even willing to post a no smoking sign we gave her on her door. Smell the kids and you can tell what the person is smoking. CW says I can't tell what that is and even if I could you can't prove who it is from.
BoysParent said...
Does anyone know if the agency drug tests family members before they place with them?



I was VERY surprised that hubby and myself were not tested when Nephew was placed with us. I thought maybe they'd test us when we finished getting our license, but they never did. We do NOT do drugs nor have any history of it, but it seemed odd to me for them to remove him from the home of a drug user then place him in another home without even testing.
BoysParent said...
Today I am attending the Team Decision Meeting for Little D (has been with us almost 3 weeks). We have met biomom for 1 visit and Aunt has had two visits. Biomom is a mess and just doesn't seem interested in getting custody of her son. The aunt actually seems pretty normal and we actually kind of like her. However, I suspect they BOTH are into smoking marijuana. We saw some tattoos that give this notion away.

I think this Aunt we met is the most likely person they will place Little D with. Does anyone know if the agency drug tests family members before they place with them? This family has a history with CPS...a history that includes drug abuse.

Again, we like this aunt, but we just get that gut feeling she has an "extracarricular" lifestyle.



They don't test here, heck, they barely background check relatives here. And I know you go on to say that you aren't usual to judge, so don't. I am not an advocate of smoking marijuana because i fully believe in following the law. That doesn't mean I agree that it should be illegal. I don't. I think it is a bunch of hooey. Alcohol has been proven in so many research projects to be far more damaging than recreational usage of marijuana, and it is completely legal. But I digress, that is not a debate for here.

There are probably far more recreational drug users in your everyday world than you would ever guess. I was chatting with some colleagues some time ago and told about how they went on this annual trip that the "voted elite" got to go to a tropical locale. And she was offered up not only marijuana but cocaine by high level management. I was flabbergasted. And my company does drug testing and you have to consent to random drug testing.

The point being, whether legal or illegal, there are hundreds of thousands of parents out there using drugs on a consistent basis and still able to "parent" successfully. So, if she smokes a joint, or whatever they call it today, after the kids are in bed, who cares, as long as the kids are being taken care of properly. If she is doing it in front of them, that is an entirely different story.

There will be sooo many more things for you to be concerned about in this foster care world. Now, having said all of that and defended this person whom I do not know, I have yet to meet someone who does recreational drugs and does do a great job of parenting. I know that FFDs auntie does pot, but not around her kids and she abstained when pregnant, but is she a great parent, no, does she meet more than their basic needs and love her kids, yah.
Forever Mom to Chubbs

Former Foster Mom to:

Blue Eyes
Princess
Monkey
Seriously, just because family members do drugs does not automatically mean relative caregivers do drugs. We should not be tested unless all foster parents are tested. Of course, family members should not be considered if there is recent drug/alcohol problems. I would not think some of my family members would be appropriate as foster parents, but a background check would reveal that in their case.

As an aside, I live in California. I was taken aback recently when a young mother I know posted a pic of FB of her smoking weed. Someone admonished her saying think of your babies. She commented that CPS had already visited her and everything was hunky-dory because she had a medical marijuana card. :eek:
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