Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Decision to Make

The next phone call came almost a month to the day after we had agree to take in the 3 siblings whose DFCS office was not able to keep a caseworker on the file long enough to schedule a meeting with us.

L is a 7 year old girl; O is a 3 year old boy. They are likely to be a very short term placement as there's a mother, father and grandmother all involved in the conversation of the best permanent placement for them. However, at that moment, they were sitting in a county DFCS office, looking for a place to sleep that night.

The agency had been turning away placements for children that would have fit well into our home over the past month while they held us available to the 3 G's. They had told that county so and now called us with the most difficult decision either of us had ever had to make. Did we want to continue to wait for the 3 siblings or could we take on these 2 instead?

Over the last month we had reminded ourselves not to let the waiting affect our reaction to the children themselves. Whatever reason for the delay -- Were the DFCS workers incompetent? Possible. Were they overworked and understaffed? Highly likely. The case had changed hands in that office at least twice in that month. -- regardless of who was at fault, it wasn't the children. Could we walk away from them now . . . never having met them?

Ultimately, we decided that we had to help those we could. The 3 we had been waiting for were currently safe, although separated; L and O were sitting in an office with nowhere to sleep that night. Within a few hours, they arrived at our house.

"This will be a pretty short-term placement . . ." Well, we learned with R and A that those words mean nothing. There would be a hearing on their case in 2 or 3 days. After that, we would know more about why they were here and how long they might stay.

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