We were scheduled to start our home-study today with our local Child Welfare Agency and midway through the introduction, the social worker realized that I worked for the County and had access to a database system which has addresses of the parents of children placed in foster care. Incidentally, I had provided this information with our application two months ago, but I guess no one caught this. Anyway, she went to confer with her supervisor who felt that this posed a conflict of interest—I am not sure why since in California, you are licensed as a concurrent foster/adoptive parent. This means that a child first comes into your home as a foster child, while the foster care system is trying to reunify the child with their parent/s, relatives or as a last resort, making a permanency plan that involves adoption. In the interim, the foster/adoptive parent must take the child to the parent/s for any court ordered visitation until parental rights are terminated by the courts and the adoption is finalized. I pointed out that they would already provide me with the parent’s addresses for court ordered visitation, but the decision was made to refer us to a different Child Welfare Agency in a different county.
Could our local child support agency have saved us from having to take the afternoon off for this meeting? Yes, they could have read our application and made the determination two months ago, but oh well. The social worker did not even apologize for the oversight; she was just thrilled for me that I would have the afternoon off to enjoy lunch with my husband. Yes, I do enjoy having lunch with hubby, but I am trying to save up all my time off to bond with the munchkin when we finally get a referral. So all the mountains of paperwork we had completed is now in the shredder!