Friday, September 9, 2011

Foster Care Friday: What Would You Do?

I have recently heard a foster parents ask a question like this: The birth mom to their foster child would like a picture of them. The caseworker advises not to. The sympathetic foster mom, understand that is must be hard to have some stranger taking care of your child and not even know what they look like.

My thoughts: With Samantha and also Joey’s birth parents, they both found great comfort in meeting my husband and I and knowing who had their child. Obviously with Samantha, she felt a real bond with me and the rest is history. But I’ve never had a negative experience when interacting with birth parents. I even had a visit at the park with Isaac and Madison’s birth mom and the caseworker forgot to come to supervise so it was just me, the kids and birth mom. Nothing happened. We talked, she gave the kids lunch, they played. (The caseworker eventually did show up, after we called her!)

I know each case is different…. But if I were in that situation, I would see if I could meet the birth mom. If it wasn’t possible or not safe then I would ask our caseworker about the CW showing the birth mom a picture of us. I don’t think I would just give a birth parent a picture of my husband and I for her to keep. You have no idea what she might do with it.

Also, in regards to some of the comments this foster parent got, I have never had a birth parent try to get info about my husband and I. I’ve never had them ask personal questions, or try to follow me. I was asked questions regarding the child and how they were doing, what they were eating and such, but never anything about me. The only time I was asked personal questions was after Samantha had decided to place Emma for adoption and she wanted to get to know us better. Which I was happy to do! I know I’m only at 4 cases with 5 foster kids’ total, just my experiences and thoughts.

Also trust your caseworker, If they say something isn’t safe, then trust them. There were times (post adoption) that Sam told me she was clean, and then when talking to our caseworker she told me, You know Sam’s still using, right? But no, Sam swears to me she’s clean. Guess what, our caseworker was right! They do know what is best for your case and do what is best for both birth parents and foster parents.