Tag Archives: child welfare

PRIDE and Coffee.

Starting this Saturday I begin a new round of PRIDE classes.  My asshole boss decided that I should do Saturday classes.  I think he should teach Saturday classes and see how he likes spending every Saturday of a whole month at work.  I don’t mind working a Saturday every now and then, but generally I like having my weekends OFF.  Now, because my boyfriend is gone, doing Saturday classes isn’t that bad.  At least I will have something to do on the weekends this month.  And I can work shorter daytime hours during the week.

Being a nonprofit agency, we tend to buy the cheapest of things for office supplies.  One thing that we don’t skimp on is coffee.  I am so glad we get a name-brand coffee.  Right now we have Maxwell.  Sometimes we get Folgers.  Sometimes we splurge and get Starbucks… Mmmm…  I am so glad that I can have as much coffee as I want on this diet.  🙂

There are 23 working days this month.  Well, 27 for me.  That totally sucks!  I am so taking a day or two off somewhere this month.  *stamps foot*

Ok, for those of you who are wondering what PRIDE is, I’ll tell you.  This is what I send to prospective foster/adoptive parents:

PURPOSE

Foster PRIDE/Adopt PRIDE is a competency-based program for the pre-service training, assessment, and selection of prospective foster parents and adoptive parents.  PRIDE Training consists of a nine session training program and a mutual assessment process involving a series of at-home family consultations.  The program is based on the philosophy that knowledgeable and skilled foster parents and adoptive parents are integral to providing quality family foster care and adoption services.

OVERVIEW

Session One: Connecting with PRIDE – Session One gives you the unique opportunity to learn about the world of foster care and adoption through the stories of children receiving child welfare services.  Session One also welcomes you to Foster PRIDE/Adopt PRIDE, explaining how this training program fits in with the process of assessing and selecting foster families and adoptive families.  You will discover how families are licensed and certified for this important work.  Session One spells out how the knowledge and skills (known as “competencies”) that successful foster families and adoptive families need. (Saturday, October 6, 2012; 10AM-1PM)

Session Two: Teamwork toward Permanence – One of the most challenging tasks for foster families and adoptive families involves developing an understanding of birth family issues –knowing how to talk with children about their families and being able to support their family relationships.  This session lays the foundation for this understanding by first exploring the ways in which families support a child’s identity, cultural heritage, and self-esteem. (Saturday, October 6, 2012; 1PM-4PM)

Session Three: Meeting Developmental Needs: Attachment – Session Three explores how abuse, neglect, and trauma impact a child’s attachments, development, and behavior. (Saturday, October 13, 2012; 10AM-1PM)

Session Four: Meeting Developmental Needs: Loss – Session Four reviews the stages of loss and their impact on the child, with an emphasis on how loss affects the child’s behavior. (Saturday, October 13, 2012; 1PM-4PM)

Session Five: Strengthening Family Relationships – Session Five reviews the child welfare goal of returning children in foster care to their birth families whenever possible. (Saturday, October 20, 2012; 10AM-1PM)

Session Six: Meeting Developmental Needs: Discipline – Session Six covers the knowledge, skills, and personal qualities adults need to instill effective, appropriate discipline. (Saturday, October 20, 2012; 1PM-4PM)

Session Seven: Continuing Family Relationships – This session promotes understanding of permanency timeframes, and the importance of the “child’s clock” in making permanency decisions. (Saturday, October 27, 2012; 10AM-1PM)

Session Eight: Planning for Change – Session Eight takes a practical view of what to expect during the first hours, days, and weeks of a child’s placement in a home.  You will learn what to ask the worker and how to talk to the child.  You will also have the opportunity to explore how placement will impact your family, and particularly your own children. (Saturday, October 27, 2012; 1PM-4PM)

Session Nine: Taking PRIDE: Making and Informed Decision – In this closing session, you will hear from a panel of experienced members of the foster care team.  Birth parents, foster parents, adoptive parents, workers, and other members of the child welfare team present their views and answer questions. (To Be Determined)

I have taught PRDIE enough times now that I am very comfortable with what I am presenting at each session.  I can improvise and share from personal experiences.  I have my notes as a security blanket, but I can handle the topics without much help from the notes.  I actually enjoy teaching the classes.    I would just rather do them during the week than on a Saturday.  Oh well.

Good day.

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Referrals.

As you know by now, I am a Foster Care Social Worker.  Today I was hoping to leave work around 10 minutes ago (4PM).  Instead, we received a referral and now I have to play phone tag and the waiting game.

Part of my duties and responsibilities at my agency include teaching a class that prepares people to become foster and adoptive parents.  During this class we discuss many things such as teamwork, attachment, discipline, loss and grief, family relationships, planning for change, and a multitude of other necessary components of foster care and adoption.  When I discuss the referral process I state something like this:

The DHHR calls us with a referral.  We ask many questions about the child or sibling group in order to know as much as possible about the situation before contacting our families about the referral.  We ask questions regarding behaviors, education, medical needs, abuse and neglect history, placement history, and reunification plans.  If the child has been in the system for a long time or if the DHHR has been involved with family in order to prevent a foster care placement, chances are that we will know a good bit about the child or sibling group.  However, there are many times when we receive very limited information about the situation.  Sometimes we only know the age and race of the children.  So, when we call you with a referral, we will pass on whatever details we have gathered.  If I state “that is all I know,” that means that I have no further information about the children.

So, today I called a family and said something like, “we have a 21 month old Caucasian boy, [name], who is developmentally delayed.  I’m not sure what ‘developmentally delayed’ means in this situation because the worker didn’t know what kind of delays the child has.  Also, mom is incarcerated, but the worker didn’t know what for.  Dad is MIA.  The boyfriend is very violent towards the mother and baby.  This is all I know.”  Thankfully this family has been through the process enough times to know not to ask, “what developmental delays does the child have? Does he have any behaviors we should know about? What is mom incarcerated for? Where’s the biological father?” etc.

I remember making a referral where I literally knew that there was a boy and a girl and one of them was 1 and the other 2, but I didn’t know which was which (the person who gave me the referral was not the case worker for the children).  That was ALL I knew.  That parent asked me a thousand questions.  I just kept saying, “I don’t have any more information.”

Also, during the classes I teach I stress that we never know all of the information.  We may be told that the child has been neglected, but we may not find out that the child was also sexually abused until 6 months down the road.  Why?  Because a child needs to be know that he/she is in a safe home before confiding such a terrible secret.  We stress the importance of nurturing and loving children.  We stress that positive attention is needed in these children’s lives because the majority of the children in foster care or in need of adoption have a history of abuse and/or neglect.  We have one foster father who really irritates me because I always feel that he is focusing on all the “bad” the child is doing.  I am sure to praise the child for small achievements like a C on a test or a day of no fighting.  Children crave and need praise for the little things so that they know they can do better things.  If they know that they aren’t always bad and that they can do well, then (generally) they act better.

I love the kids I work with.

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