Joey is our fifth foster child. As we had our first visit with his birth family I reflected on all my visitation experiences.
I have had visits at DCFS, the family support center, the park, the arcade place at Wal-Mart, & Mc Donald's.
We have had visits as close as 2 minutes away and as far away as 1 1/2 hours!
I have gotten no warning for visits "can we do a visit right now?", or a few hours notice to 1 to 2 days notice. Once the case is more established they are usually set like Mondays and Wednesdays at 1.
I have met at least 1 of all my foster kids birth parents. I have never met both the birth parents on any case. 1 of them it was the birth father and the rest have been the birth mom.
I have had unsupervised visits with just me and the birth parents in the dcfs lobby.
I have had the supervisor to the visit not show up, at the park. We (birth mom and I) called her and she eventually showed up.
I have had birth parents cancel last minute, not show up at all & leave a visit early.
I have never had a bad experience with a birth parent. Never been yelled at, or had anything scary or threatening happen!
I have taken a little one to a visit fully clothed and picked them up in just a onesie for no apparent reason.
I have taken a hungry baby to a visit with a full bottle ready to eat, told the birth parent baby was hungry. Picked them up an hour, baby screaming and a full bottle and the parent wondering why they cried the whole time.
My friend had a birth parent feed the 1 year old an entire container of Oreos!
I have had visits with not just the birth parents there but also siblings, aunts, and grandparents.
Okay on to Joey's visit... Our case with Joey is a little complicated (which I obviously can't say). We have been working with 2 CPS workers. Worker 1 is our actual worker, we've known him for years. Worker 2 has been helping worker 1.
So I didn't meet the birth mom at the start of the visit. I was still hoping to meet her that day. Towards the end of the visit Worker 2 came out and asked me to go into the other room to avoid the birth mom. We went into the other room and I explained to her that even though our case is weird I'm not going to let that cause problems. Worse case scenario is they (birth parents) come to my house. Worker 2 said if anything like that happens I'm to call the police. Plus that only makes things worse for the parents. Worker 2 agreed with me that it was important for me to meet them, but because of the complexities worker 1 was hesitant. She went and talked to 1 about it some more. The birth mom really wanted to meet me too, to know who had her son and such.
The other day I got the cutest picture of Joey smiling. I printed a copy of it and brought it for the birth parents. Worker 2 said the mom loved it.
After a few minutes worker 2 told me I could come out and meet the birth mom. She told the mom just don't do anything stupid! So we got to meet! She was really nice, we talked about what a great baby Joey is. We would of talked longer but I had to be somewhere.
I also meet the guy who will be our actual dcfs case worker. We were hoping for the same worker we had with Emma, but it isn't. Oh well. I've never meet this guy or worked with him, so for all I know he might be awesome too!