Feb 15, 2020
Have you ever been under investigation as a foster family? We have! And we are here to share about it. Not the details of our investigation per se, but definitely what happened when we found out, and how it panned out. Listen to the episode to hear alllllll about it!
So, we have been a foster family for over 5 years now. And we made the decision to only foster babies for several reasons. A big reason - they can't talk. We have A LOT of talkers in this house, and we didn't feel like we needed to hear more words. Also, we are afraid of things like THIS. Having allegations made up about us. Not to say that is something that definitely happens when you have older kids. But We only fostered babies and never had this. Then we started fostering older kids and BLAMO! Investigation.
Last year we decided to take in older children - and 2 of them! And what a glorious decision that was. Unicorn and Mermaid have been great additions to our family, and we are thankful for them. But their mom made an allegation against our 4 year old, and all of a sudden we were being investigated! This came out of left field, especially since we felt really great about our relationship with their mom. And as our case worker aptly put it - we felt so betrayed. We are over here working our tails off to care for her girls, and we are trying so hard to operate in a way that is above reproach, and she still does this to us.
Apparently, if the investigation is an emergency, someone from the state will come out to see you within 48 hours. Someone came to see us about a month later. The investigator was very kind and talked to me, then each of the kids, and then our bio kids altogether. The process took about 2 hours. And then he called the other adults who live in this house, but weren't present. So, maybe make sure everyone who lives in the house is home when your investigator comes.
Everything came back unfounded. We are thankful that that ordeal is over. And we are aware that not everyone is so lucky to have an easy investigation. I am aware that foster kids can lie about your family, and that bio families can as well. We encourage you to get a call recording app to record phone calls (something we should have done but didn't), and making sure your family has rules - that you actually abide by, so that allegations made against you can't stand because everyone in the home already lives by those rules.
We are here for you if you should ever find yourself in this position. It is something that foster parent classes tell you to be prepared for - but this is not a guarantee, nor is it something that should prevent you from getting involved in foster care!
We referred to a lot of past episodes within this episode. Please check out the episode with our Case Worker, Kelly Lewis. We also spoke with an amazing GAL who helped us to understand the legal side of things. And Kim Vehon of Foster Arizona is such a huge support to me. And she has so many resources for foster parents. Also, Grace Sharp, a dear friend, used to help manage a group home, and you should listen to her episode as well!
Even though we were not thankful for this investigation at the time, we are thankful that there are steps to find BAD foster families. We are aware that people who pose as safe homes, are anything but. We want those homes to be shut down! We do find it frustrating though, that good foster families who are truly trying to do right by kids in care, have zero legal representation. We hear there are several new bills and pieces of legislation that are emerging, so we are interested to see how that comes to play for foster families.
"Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools." - Ecclesiastes 7:9
That was a word specifically for me! I definitely acted the fool that day (and a few days after) as I processed the investigation and the allegations made against our family.
"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love." - Ephesians 4:2
But THIS good word is how I should have acted, and how we all need to act, even in the face of anger and disappointment. We are not responsible for our first reaction to news and events. We are, however, responsible for our first actions, and subsequent actions afterwards.
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