Friday, February 5, 2010

Wow. Yesterday was one HELL of an experience.

I experienced so many different things at my internship yesterday that my head is spinning!

First, we attended a foster care re-licensing session so that my supervisor knows how to properly renew her foster mom's license come this Summer. I tell you what, I am amazed at the amount of paperwork, legwork, etc, that goes into licensing someone to become foster parents. Holy shit! You would think they were applying to become the next President. It is insane, but I definitely understand the need for it. You want to ensure the children are placed with
appropriate people.

During this meeting, people were discussing how they get calls from people who are looking for employment in fostering! I know this is way more common than it should be, but there are definitely people out there who foster for the money. And I will tell you, you don't get a lot, and it is certainly not enough to fully support the child - you need to use some of your own income, for sure. So, it makes me wonder about the children in these homes, and the level of neglect. I think it is less common today with all the checks and balances, reports, etc. - but still...

After lunch, we sorted through legal paperwork for
TPR and Petition for Adoption. What a headache! Then, we went to court to file it. Then we had to retrieve some birth certificates from the Office of Vital Statistics. We tried to squeeze the Social Security office in there, but they close at 3:30! What is up with government agencies closing early? Honestly, I think government agencies should have different or longer hours. If you think about it, the people who most likely need to visit these agencies are the people who don't have the luxury to take time off from work. Our systems are so broken. Boo. GET A CLUE!

THEN - we went to the hospital to speak with a birth mom. This woman is of Mayan decent, so communicating with her was difficult. Supervisor speaks Spanish, and has experience with Mayans, so she said phrases 4 or 5 different ways before B.M. understood. This isn't an ideal situation. B.M. can't understand the process, nor the paperwork she has to sign. Come to find out, she can't read or write either, so her signature was an X. Supervisor told me that she had requested to leave the baby (Safe Haven) but the hospital administrator urged her to speak with us so we could get as much information as possible pertaining to her health, etc. That isn't going to happen. Supervisor is going to look into a translator for when she visits B.M. to get consent, but who knows if B.M. would tell us anything.

We got to see baby and he is just beautiful. He went to term and he is very healthy. They did all types of health screens on B.M. and baby and there doesn't seem to be any health issues, so that is good. The nurses were asking us about B.M.'s bruises, of which we could get no information from her. It would take months, most likely, for B.M. to open up to Supervisor And even then, she probably wouldn't disclose that she is physically beaten by a man/men. She told us she didn't know who birth father was, and where he could be. Not sure if that was legitimate, but it's all we have. People of these ethnic groups (typically undocumented and in the U.S. illegally) are very distrusting of any official-type because we all represent the government to them, which of course means, they could be sent packing. Supervisor told me later that abuse is very common in that culture, and you just don't talk about it, nor confront it. You just accept it. *sigh* Also, when asked if they use condoms, B.M. said they don't like them. It is quite common to hear this, and I assume the women don't dare question it. Blah.

I guess the good thing coming out of this is that baby is going to a good family. I wish I could be there when Supervisor made the call. I hope that B.M. walks away from this into a better situation for herself, and I really hope that we don't meet her again...

Next week:

  • Intake with pregnant teen for counseling, and explore her options

  • Post-placement with couple who adopted an infant from India

  • "Child Abuse and Neglect" training


  1. You are an amazing Social Worker!

    I love the work that you do! :)

    -Jen (