Monday, December 26, 2011

On the Charts and Weekend Visits

At Rose’s four month well-baby check-up last month she weighed over 10 pounds which means she is now officially ON THE CHARTS for weight! Success. We’re looking forward to seeing how much weight she has gained at her 6 month appointment next month.

Meanwhile, Rose's mother has progressed to the point that for one of her weekly visits she is being granted supervised visits outside of the DCFS office on the weekends in a relative's home. So instead of a caseworker supervising the visit, a relative who has passed a background check is the one who supervises the visit.

I was a little surprised about weekend visits being granted so early on in the case because in the past the parents of our former foster children were usually only granted weekend and/or extended visits a month or two before reunification and Rose has only been with us for three months- less than half the total time she’ll be in our care. But the heart of child welfare is what is in the child’s best interest and I’m sure it's beneficial for both child and parent to start spending time together in an actual home-like setting (versus an office) as soon as possible to prepare for reunification. The next step is to start having visits in Rose's mom's apartment [She has an apartment now- which is great progress.]

I have a pretty good relationship with Rose's mother and she’s been easy to work with. We respect the roles that we each play in Rose's life. In other words, I respect the fact that Rose is her child and she is working to get her back and she has learned to trust me enough to know that I'm not trying to "steal" her baby from her. She also frequently expresses gratitude for me which is nice (and rare) for a foster parent to hear. Because of our relationship, I feel comfortable enough that when the caseworker recently asked me if she could give Rose's mom my phone number I said "yes". (My cell phone is untraceable so she still doesn't know my last name or where I live). That way it's much easier for Rose's mom and I to communicate with each other about setting up times for the weekend visits or doctor's appointments, etc. Not to mention, it’s a lot easier for the caseworker as well.

Rose’s parents got to see her for six hours on Christmas Eve. We gave them a framed picture of Rose we got taken last month at a studio. It was so stinkin’cute!

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