The saying goes that when one door closes, another opens. I maintain that if the door closes on you enough times, it may be time to consider a revolving door. As I posted yesterday, the three boys who came to us last October went home this past Friday. In a strange turn of events, about five minutes after I clicked “Publish” on that post, we got a call from the case worker on the three other children (if you’re keeping track, it’s ‘T’, ‘L’ and ‘K’) who were in the car, sleeping with their mom in our back alley. It seemed as though the father was in violation of part of the safety plan put in place and so, there were grounds for the children to be removed.
An hour later, we had the three children back in our home. No sooner did they get in the house that Jessica had to head out the door with ‘L’ for an appointment that was set, and as a result, we did not have a lot of information. We were not sure why they had to be removed and we were not even sure what the plan was to be. We didn’t know how long they were going to be with us but we did know that they’d be safe here and they’d feel comfortable.
At 3:00 I had gone to go pick ‘T’ up from school, but she had already gone on the school shuttle. The case worker had not had a chance to call the school and let them know. Fortunately, they were able to call the driver and the driver had not dropped her off at her dad’s yet. He was rerouted to our house and by 4:00 yesterday we were up to a house with six kids (staying with me?).
To be honest, I feel bad, not only for the kids but also for the father. It is so obvious to me that he loves those kids, but by the same token, it only takes about 30 seconds to see that he has almost zero parenting skills. The goal of foster care is always to reunite the kids with their biological family, so I am really pulling for this guy to get the help he needs to become a good father. It’s going to be a mountain to climb. Not only does he need to get a handle on his anger/emotional issues (fortunately, there’s no evidence of abuse towards the children), but he needs to learn good judgment from bad because currently, his life is the result of several poor decisions made along the way. He’s never had anyone to help him learn how to make good decisions.
The violation was simple one. Part of the safety plan was that he and the mother were not to have contact. Most of his violent outbursts were directed toward her and it was felt that if the two were kept separated, he’d be far less likely to have an incident. But when the caseworker pulled up yesterday, the mother was there with the kids. And based on Jessica’s interaction with the family on the mothers Sunday visitations, it was fairly obvious that the kids got to see their mother pretty regularly. And while that doesn’t seem like much, it was enough to be deemed unsafe. When you think about it, it could have been a big deal. Imagine what would have happened if there *had* been an incident.
Once here, it was as though they had not left. They knew our routines and remembered everything. They remembered their manners, followed our schedule, went to bed on time and slept. . . and slept. . . and slept. They also seemed genuinely happy to be back. ‘K’ even had to be woken up this morning after 9:00. It’s obvious that these kids were not getting good sleep (if any) because we’ve learned that kids in situations such as this don’t tend to have a schedule of any sort. They stay up until they are exhausted and get up when they feel like it. It’s sad that they had to come back, but at least they have a place to go and we’re happy to have them. We’re still hopeful that their dad will get his act together and gain the tools he needs to be a good father to those children.
So now that they’re here and settled in, it’s time for me to go talk to the contractor about that revolving door.