Wednesday, May 14, 2014

New Caseworker Meeting

After 3-plus years as a foster parent, I like to think my expectations for caseworkers are reasonably low.

Our new one is already disappointing me.

We had a meeting scheduled with her (and our agency caseworker) for 3 pm. Mr. D came home early from work, but had to leave again at 4:30 pm. This meeting was scheduled by the agency caseworker ("Anna") -- I did not even have the new caseworker's contact information at this point, although the Anna had given her mine.

Seconds after she walked in the door (a few minutes after 3pm), Anna got a call from the new caseworker ("Meg"). Meg was so sorry, but she was going to be late. She got stuck in a meeting, was just now leaving the office (which is about 30-45 minutes from my house). Anna had to leave by 4pm, told her that and said she hoped Meg would be there soon enough for them to at least meet.

Had a nice, hour-plus visit with Anna, who we already know quite well. After delaying her departure as long as possible, Anna finally completed her part of the home visit and left. No Meg. No follow-up call about the fact that she was now over an hour late.

4:30. Mr D had to leave. Still no Meg.

She finally showed up about 4:45pm. NEARLY 2 HOURS LATE. She did apologize, but the apology included the statement "I'm often late, but not usually this late." And the kicker to the tardiness? She then told me that she was working in her office and someone came by to ask her if she was going to use the rental car out front and she realized it was 3pm, the time she was supposed to be at my house. There WAS NO MEETING. She just lost track of time. Which, fine, it happens. But, then she lied to Anna about why she was late. Followed by telling me a different story? Ugh.

She had not yet met with the parents and did not know how things were going on their case plan. She "hopes" to meet them before court. Given that she's "often late" and feels OK about lying about why, I will not be at all shocked if she doesn't meet them before court. I'm hoping old CW is still going to be there.

When I tried to ask about the TPR plan and timeline that Old CW had talked about, she looked at me like I was insane. At one point she said, "Well, that may be what Old CW thinks, but we don't really do it that way." Oh. So, the supposed supervisor who handed you this case is just flat out wrong about how it's going to go? What kind of nasty politics are going on in that office?

I got a lot of responses that sounded like her rote replies to parents desperate to adopt. She told me to "just wait it out" and "give them time to hang themselves." Ugh, again.

The "staffing" was the transition from Old CW to Meg, but apparently none of this quick TPR plan was communicated. (Or if it was, it's being ignored.)

She also appeared not to understand why I didn't think M should be in the courtroom or know anything about the error in the case plan goal. (In fact, she thought the reunification case plan goal was correct, but said we could "talk about that at court.")

We'll see, but I am not optimistic that this woman is actually going to pay any attention to what anyone else thinks.

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