Thursday, February 25, 2010

Something to Get off my Chest II

Yesterday, my day started waking from a dream I would rather not have had. It was and still is considered a “sweet dream” that only succeeded in providing me with a deep longing for what isn’t my reality. I find those dreams much harder to recover from and it takes me a few days to shake off the feelings experienced during that short time frame.

While still attempting to recuperate from said dream, I was needed in court for one of my two cases. It was dismissed from the docket against my recommendations which didn’t upset me as I had asked for an additional 3 months only to allow mom and daughter some transition time in order to get used to a new routine and schedule. I felt mom needed it more than the daughter. But the judge disagreed hence the decision she made, though not lightly.

Outside the courtroom, I approached mom and foster mom, stating they wouldn’t need to see me anymore either. It was an attempt at a pleasant peace out. Foster mom instead used her hand to signal a sweeping motion while she told me to “Go home!” Yeah, if only that’s how easy it was.

I know I’m not in this job to make friends with the parents. In fact, I feel I’m going to make more enemies because I am in their lives due to them being under the court’s watchful eye. This means I report truths, even if they are hurtful. My voice and opinion are geared toward what is in the best interest of the child and that is all.

What bugs me most about foster mom’s reaction is that she lost all objectivity in the case because of her close friendship with the biological mom. I feel she wanted biological mom to get her kid back so bad, she is/was willing to give of herself whatever it took to make that happen.

As a social worker, this bugs the shit out of me.

Just a few short hours later, the other intern and I attended a group supervision then a MDT (Multiple Disciplinary Team) meeting. This is a time when detectives, SWs, CPS, DSS, RNs, MDs and LCSWs get together to discuss certain cases that might be tricky. Most often these are sexual abuse/assault cases, often with small children but some teenagers. A significant majority are young girls. In this particular meeting we got to briefly here the stories that brought 5 young girls, all younger than 7, to the attention of the police detectives. I wish I could say it was “simple abuse”, but it wasn’t. The good thing is these girls are young enough that with proper therapy they’ll be able to move passed this incident without it interfering with their social development.

However, sometimes we get those moms who believe the boyfriend/husband over the child. And those piss me off. At the same time, one has to understand there is a whole dynamic attached to this seemingly simple problem. Most of us think we would ditch the guy, yes? It’s not that easy especially when mom’s are dependent on their boyfriends/husbands almost exclusively. There is an entire family system that needs work much like that of families experiencing domestic violence.

If mom fails to provide a safe place for the child, CPS can remove the child from the home.

This posits a nice segue into the case we re-reviewed after the MDT meeting. I can’t say anything about it because it’s high profile and high risk. But when you have 3 children who did not ask for their parents during the first 1.5 months in foster care than 2 of them cried when they found out they were being returned home, it breaks your heart. Even more so, it rips your heart in two knowing the justice system failed them so miserably.

Something I learned from this though is DSS stays on for an additional 6 months after cases have been dismissed from the docket. This is to put family stabilization services into place in order to help the children and parents adjust to being together again.

And CPS can still investigate the family, keeping the case open as long as possible.

There are times that, as a single mom, I really don’t understand the concept behind any sort of abuse. I do recognize how easy it is to lose control of your temper at one point. However, purposely antagonizing your own children because you feel like it makes me physically ill.

So then I got to pick up Peanut and go back into life like everything was fine.

I had 2 pieces of yellow cake with chocolate frosting for dinner.