Not much has changed here, which has caused me to have little to write about.
Finally met S's newest caseworker. She did ask to see S's room and attempted to talk to S at least a little bit (but S is still 3, so it will take time before much can really be accomplished there). She took notes about my concerns and frustrations. It remains to be seen if she'll actually do anything about them. She was new to this county, so didn't know a lot about "how that works
here" when it came to some of my questions, which was frustrating. I couldn't tell if she was also new to foster care in general (just from a different county) or whether her previous social work experience had all been in a different area. I got the impression she had worked in the past investigating complaints -- deciding whether to remove children or not -- but may have never actually followed a case through to the bitter end. Why does S keep getting newbies? Is it because her mother is working so hard and the case looks "easy"?
S's rages are escalating. I'm pretty sure they are made worse by two things.
One is the recent return of her BioDad. He was in jail at the start of the case, out briefly enough to see her once, then arrested again and now out again. To his credit, he wants his time with her and he wants it to be a positive interaction. However, he is the classic example of a "Disneyland Dad" who shows up with sweets and presents and lets the child do whatever the hell she wants and calls it awesome bonding time. So, I get back an overtired, overstimulated, oversugared little tyke who melts down all over me.
Two is BioMom's recent use of some unfortunate phrasing. In an attempt to help her daughter understand that progress is being made, she has told her that she's finished some of her "homework." And continued to promise that she'll be able to come to Mommy's house "soon." The problem is that Mommy doesn't yet have a house -- and that's the one part of her case plan that is really still hanging to be completed. She has gotten a lot done -- many classes completed or nearly so, months of clean drug screens, employment obtained and kept. But until she finds herself a new place to live, S isn't going anywhere. And "soon" to a 3-year old? Does not mean "in a few months", which would be the best case scenario at this point. So, after one of these conversations, I get a emotionally, traumatized little girl who just wants to go home to Mommy and doesn't understand why I won't let her.
Oh, and throw in the fact that her preschool has some events coming up to which they invite family members. And her teacher informed me (with a great deal of embarrassment) that when she told the class that "their Mommies and Daddies" would be coming, S lit up and asked if her Mommy was coming. (She's not. It's held during one of the times she's in her required classes and the preschool is about 1.5 hours from where she lives. And she doesn't drive.) I'll be there, of course, but that's not the same.
We attempted to file our taxes, only to discover that the SSN for one or more dependent has been filed under someone else's account. We suspect it's L & O, who lived with us for more than half of 2012, then were with their mother for a few months, back in foster care (with another family) for at least a few weeks, and spent the remaining month or two with a different family member. For some reason, the IRS is not able (or willing?) to tell us which SSN is causing the error when we attempt to efile. So, we have to paper file and wait for it all to be sorted out.
So, it's been a lot of fun around here.