Update – My First Placements

My First Foster Placements - Becoming a Foster Parent - Canada

I had started this blog to just record the process of becoming a foster parent and had no plans to continue once I took on placements, but I wanted to give an update about my first placement since that ‘officially’ made me a foster parent in my mind.

After I met my worker on November 3, I was put “on the board” to officially accept placements. Then, I waited. And waited. And waited. On January 30th (almost 3 full months of waiting for a call), I received an email from my worker saying she had a potential placement for me, and to call her the next day when she’d be in the office.

When I called her the next day she went over what she knew. The kids were still with their mother, had been in care before, but they had a court date on that Thursday to determine if the kids would be coming back into care. The kids. Two. Not one.. .two kids.

So, did I whip out my placement call list of questions and start rattling them off? Nope. I completely forgot about it to be honest! I listened. She gave me the info she had, which really wasn’t much and then asked my thoughts. The kids both fell in my age range. There was one boy and one girl, so I had the beds available. I said yes.

Then, I had to wait again. This time, for the judge to decide if the kids would be placed in foster care. Thursday afternoon came and I hadn’t heard anything so I sent my worker a quick email (we email a lot, since I work full time outside the home, it is the easiest way for us to send quick messages). She hadn’t heard anything either so she said she would see what she could find out.

The case had been put off until the next week. I had to wait a whole week again to find out if I would be caring for these children. It was a long, hard week. I didn’t know what to expect, would it be put off again? Am I sure I want to accept two children as my first placement? Am I sure I want to accept any children at all still? I starting having doubts, I starting rethinking everything.

Then Thursday came.

The kids were ordered into care and I received the call. The kids would be at my house at 6pm.  On February 16, I welcomed a sibling set of two into my home. Right now it is estimated at a 6-8 month stay, but you just never know. Their Mom has been great though and I am 100% confident there will be reunification. We talk on the phone every night before the kids go to bed.

Some days are hard. Like, really hard. But others are wonderful. I feel like I was definitely meant to have more than two children and this is part of my path…however, my children are sure they do not want anymore foster children to come into our home. Adjustment is hard.

~Meesh

 

Quick Update

Since being approved I have been contacted by my Resource Worker. We have set up a meeting for November 3. During that meeting she will meet me and we can go over me, my children and our placement preferences, etc.

From there, I am available for placement!

I am still hoping for our first placement by Christmas.

We are Approved!

foster-parent-approval_foster-care-blog_momma-meesh

Today I received my approval to become a foster parent! 

I am still in a state of shock… even though it has been over a year since I started the process, it is still an “is this really happening” moment! I can’t wait to share the news with my children!

So now, let me back up a couple days. Earlier this week my Home Study worker emailed me a couple questions. The questions she sent me were previously asked in my Home Study, but she wanted to add to the response she had written down.

Then today, she emailed me to say her Supervisor had one question about how I would introduce a new partner into the mix if I date or am in a relationship when I have foster children. I had thought about this before since I have to worry about that with my own children. Although I feel I am years away from that happening, I answered the best I could.

About an hour later she emailed me back congratulating me on being approved and sent me a copy of my report to review.  Once I reviewed it (I had no changes), I sent it back. Her administrative assistant will now format it and then send it off to be assigned a Resource Worker.

Yay!  I am approved! I am getting so close!

Next step:  Wait for the Resource Worker assigned to me to contact me (estimated to be next week or early the following week). Once they contact me, we set up a time to meet within 30 days. From there, I am open to placements!

I am hoping to have our first placement(s) by Christmas!

Thank you for following in my journey! I have now completed the process to become a Foster Parent!

Waiting on Approval… Continued

Waiting on Approval - Foster Adoption Process - Momma Meesh Blog

My two week wait turned into a two month wait… and is now looking closer to a two year wait by the time I will get my first placement.

I talked to my Home Study worker today as I wanted more information about future adoption (I plan to Foster first, but my five year plan includes being open to adoption). She informed me she has not started my write up yet about my Home Study for her Supervisor to approve. She is going on vacation for two weeks and said she will not be starting my write up until mid to late September. Due to vacations in her department, and kinship and child specific Home Studies she has had to complete, she had to push back my write up.

My heart broke.

Mid to late September?? That is four months after my final Home Study appointment!

I am blessed to have two bio children who I can focus on while I wait, so I will focus on that. My heart breaks for the others who are also waiting along me for such a long time who are waiting for their first child to come home!

New timeline:

  • Mid to Late September – Home Study Worker prepares Home Study Report
    • She will send the report to me to review and comment/mark up
    • Once I approve her write up (to be sure everything is correct) she sends it to her Supervisor to review
    • Depending on her Supervisor’s workload it could take days to weeks to receive final approval (although my worker has stated it is usually pretty quick…)
  • Mid to Late October – Final Approval Received (hopefully)
  • Within 7 Days of Approval a Social Worker will be assigned to me (end of October?)
  • Within 30 days, my Social Worker must set up a meeting with me (could bring me to late November?)
  • December?… open to placement calls.

Based on the new information I think it is more likely that I will be waiting until January for my first placement calls, but am praying things run smoother come Fall when there are less people on vacation.


 

Waiting on Approval (Still)

Waiting on Approvals - Foster Care - Becoming a Foster Parent - MommaMeesh Blog

I am still in the waiting process. It has been almost two months, which was the estimated time line for my approval, however I have not even received my Home Study report to review yet.

I touched base quick with my Home Study worker last week and she hadn’t got to my report yet due to a backlog of people ahead of me. She is swamped with Home Studies, which is great, but also frustrating.

I am hoping within the next week or so I will receive my report to review. It then goes back and gets approval from her supervisor.

The next waiting game will be when I am assigned a Worker. After my official approval they have 7 days to assign a worker to me. From there, she has 30 days to come meet me. I am really hoping that is a large time frame and it is actually much sooner… but the way things are going, I am expecting it to be the full estimated time.

My hope is still to receive a placement in August, however, each day I don’t receive my report, I am losing hope for that.

I will update as soon as I get approval 🙂

 

Placement Calls – Questions to Ask

Foster Care Placement Call Question List - Becoming a Foster Parent blog

I am currently brainstorming questions for when I receive my first placement calls. I would love input from people who have gone through the blur and excitement of the first calls.

My Home Study worker suggested I create a list of questions to keep with me for when I receive a call. I am drafting it right now and plan to have her review it at my final home study appointment coming up next week.

Have a look at the PDF (Foster Care Placement Call Questions (PDF)) and let me know your thoughts. Is there information missing or are there too many questions for the first call?

I should add these questions are for school aged children, age range of 4 to 7. I don’t have baby-related or teen-related questions.

Edited to add:  A Commenter gave some great question ideas which can also be found here: No Bohns About It

I am sure there are lots of lists similar to this one out there. If you would like me to add your list, please let me know and I will add it to this post 🙂 

 


 

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Foster Placement Welcome Package

After my Home Study appointment yesterday (I’ll post about that soon…) I decided to go pick up more items for my Welcome Package. I plan to make a few of these packages so I always have one on hand to give to children entering my care. They are packages meant to be more of a welcome gift with fun items in side for them, rather than a necessity pack. The necessities (shampoo, toothpaste, etc.) will be given as well, but they are just picked out of the stock cupboard rather than given as a gift.

My goal with these packages is to make the child feel welcome and give them items that are theirs. They will be coming in and having to share toys, craft supplies, etc., but these are items just for them.

Foster Placement Welcome Package_Becoming a Foster Parent Blog

Items

Note: my age range is ‘young school age’ (Kindergarten to Grade 2) 

  • Duffel Bag
  • Pencil Case
    • Markers
    • Pencil Crayons
    • Pencils with Matching Erasers
    • Pens
    • Glue stick
  • Colouring Books
    • Since I don’t know if I will receive a male or female I included both a “Frozen” themed book and a “Justice League” themed one as well (and really, I don’t like to limit boys to “boy things” and girls to “girl things” so I am going to include both for the children)
  • Sketch Book
  • Journal
    • This is a really cute dog themed book that has writing prompts and quotes in it. For example: “Things that make my tail wag”
  • Toys (these will change with each package, but here is what is in my first package)
    • A dinosaur egg that hatches when you soak it overnight in water
    • Angry Birds foam ball
    • Glow Sticks
    • Package of plastic Animal figures
  • Battery Operated Toothbrush – this is a “necessity” but a fun version. I also have plain old fashioned toothbrushes if they prefer in the stock closet, but we use electric toothbrushes, so I wanted to include these in the package. The two pack was cheaper, so that is the reason there are two.
  • Floss picks – again, fun floss, not the boring old normal floss
  • Snacks – we of course will have snacks on hand and will have a snack when the child(ren) first arrive, but these are items that they can put in their container in their room if they want. I have set a container under the bed so they can store things there (toys, snacks, whatever it may be – up to them). These are fun snacks to put in there for the first week in case they get hungry and don’t want to ask for a snack.
    • Dole Strawberry Fruit Snacks
    • Dole Orange Fruit Snacks
    • Box of Animal Crackers
    • Water Bottle (both of my kids keep a water bottle beside their bed at night, so I wanted to include one for the new placements)
  • I also plan to include a cuddly stuffed animal, but don’t have one picked out yet.

Foster Placement Welcome Package_Becoming a Foster Parent Blog_All Items included

I bought almost all of the items from Dollarama so most of the items were only $1-$3, including the duffel bag! The only items I didn’t buy at the dollar store were the toothbrushes and floss picks, which were bought from Walmart.

Total cost of this package was around $50 (Canadian).

Foster Placement Welcome Package_Becoming a Foster Parent Blog_Duffel Bag

Once a new placement comes in we will also “shop” for the necessities they need from the stock closet. I have some clothes on hand as well, but plan on shopping for the child once they are in my care and I know sizing. The clothes I have on hand are for the first few days in case they don’t come with much.  There is a clothing allowance with each placement, so I plan to use it for them so they have lots to take with them when they leave my care.

I will be posting more about my stock pile, I just have to organize it better first!

Do you give welcome packages? If so, what is in it?

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