Chronicles of a Foster Family: “Time For the Case Plan Meeting”

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February 8, 2014 by greenhouse04

Okay, so I haven’t been sure how to write this post. I mean, how do you write a post about a meeting?? All you do at a meeting is sit around a table and talk, and hopefully make a decision or come to an understanding.

But, meetings are another real part of foster care. The meeting I went to recently is called a Case Plan Meeting. It’s purpose is to review with the parents the reason their child is in custody, and outline for them what they need to do to get the child back.

And yes, this meeting was basically several people sitting around a table, talking. But, imagine this: one of those people just had a baby who was taken away from her; another was a woman who had taken that baby into her protection, home, and heart; another was the woman who made the decision that the baby needed to be taken away from his mother; the other were people who would ultimately advise the judge on whether that baby should go back. Not your typical collection of people sitting around a table at a meeting.

Imagine the emotions present. I had emotions bubbling beneath the surface; I can only imagine the emotions surging within Baby M.’s mom. Hopefully we were the only two people with strong emotions about the case; the four social workers present seemed pretty unemotional and objective.

Seeing Baby M. in his mother’s arms and hearing everyone talk about “when” he will go “home” wasn’t the only cause of my emotions. The very room we were in was laden with memories. The wooden giraffes in the corner had seen a lot happen, including visits between my children and their birth parents on numerous occasions. Most significantly, it was the room in which Eddie had his last official visit with his mom, at which she sobbed, gave him gifts, and said goodbye. It was almost surreal seeing those same giraffes again, not to mention the same checkered rug, tiny table, and donated toys.

Bathed in those memories while at the same time facing a new “Case Plan” that outlined the future of a baby I loved, it was easy for me to feel overwhelmed, almost light-headed. But I knew from experience that it would be like this, and remembered in those moments that Christ was with me; He is sovereign, and we can plan all we want, but His plans will prevail.

You can imagine that I was relieved once the meeting was over. Then, a few days later I got a letter in the mail inviting us to another Case Plan Meeting! Thinking it was a mistake, I asked the social worker about it. Yep… they have to have another meeting because a “third party” wasn’t present at the first one!

Ah well, I don’t have to go again. There will be other meetings for me to enjoy. 🙂

 

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3 thoughts on “Chronicles of a Foster Family: “Time For the Case Plan Meeting”

  1. VirginsRock says:

    We are becoming foster parents now. We should be licensed by June. My question for you is do you have to attend all meetings/appointments the child is scheduled for or can you decline? I’m not sure how I would be in the room with the child’s biological parent, is it possible to have the case worker go instead of me?

    Thanks for your input 🙂

    • greenhouse04 says:

      No, you absolutely do not have to attend any meetings if you are uncomfortable. The foster family social worker usually always attends anyway (I am speaking from experience with our agency, of course), and they can inform you of the particulars. However, I don’t know how you’d avoid seeing bio parents at medical appointments – attending medical appointments have been part of some of our bio parents’ case plan, and as the foster parent you would also need to be there. But, if I were you, I’d tell how you feel to the social workers and see what they can work out. Also, while it’s really hard to see bio parents, if you adopt any children you might be glad you did see them. I am so thankful that I can tell my children about their birth parents – what they look like, little ways they showed that they loved their kids… Good luck on becoming foster parents!!

      • VirginsRock says:

        Thank you so much for the feedback. Because this is our first time I am just a tad nervous about some aspects of it. Thanks for sharing

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