Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Ridiculous Paperwork

Anyone involved in foster care knows about the absolutely ridiculous amount of paperwork that is required.  Medication logs for each individual medication, status reports, forms for every doctor/dental visit, clothing inventories, placement paperwork, etc. etc. etc.  (I deliberately used three "etc's" because there is so much more I haven't listed. ;-)  I'm normally a complete and total anal-retentive nut a pretty organized person when it comes to all the required paperwork.  Heck!  My agency has asked me a couple of times to teach a documentation class the next time I'm between placements!  But I received an email request from my agency director last Friday that even I, the Documentation Queen, thought was over the top.

Hey Agency Foster Parents,

I have noticed that most of the foster parents that have been here a while are not completing the monthly Recreational Logs for their kids.  Likely, you were never told!  If you are new then this is just a friendly reminder that Recreational Logs are due by the 5th monthly.  I have attached the log and you are welcome to handwrite or type it - whichever you prefer.  If you would like copies just let your case manger know and she can bring them out.  You do not have to document every little thing they do but it is nice to show CPS (and the Judge should a case go to adoption) that the child has regular planned activities.  If you should need any help determining the Therapeutic value for a particular activity please feel free to e-mail, call, or ask the case manager when they come out on their next visit!  Thanks for all you do for our kids - have a great weekend! 

~Agency Director (aka. "New Girl")

I assumed this was just a mass email and was meant for parents with older foster children.  I have a 4-month-old.  He doesn't have much of a social life and really doesn't do a whole lot.  I emailed New Girl and said as much.  "Is there a minimum age on this?  Monkey is four months old.  He doesn't do much other than eat, sleep, and poop.  :-)"  I should have known better...

I was informed by New Girl that, yes indeed, I must fill out a monthly Recreation Log for my infant.  She went on to say that they'd like to see 3-5 activities per day as well as the "therapeutic value" of those activities.  She suggested using daycare as a "social skill," tummy time as a "motor developmental skill," etc.  I, however, being a complete and total Little Miss Sassy Pants, have decided to get more creative with my logs.  If I have to fill out yet another log every month, I'm going to enjoy myself!

Potential examples for my upcoming log:
  • Activity - Playdate with almost 3-year-old Booger Bear; Therapeutic Value - "Self-Preservation/Self-Defensive Skills"
  • Activity - Slept in his carrier while Mama ate at a Mexican food restaurant; Therapeutic Value - "Cultural Identification"
  • Activity - Screamed bloody murder when Mama didn't get his bottle in his mouth fast enough for his liking; Therapeutic Value - "Communication Skills"
  • Activity - Happily played in his own poop after a diaper blowout; Therapeutic Value - "Creative Expression"
  • Activity - Pulled the cat's hair out during tummy time; Therapeutic Value - "Learning Cause & Effect"
Yeah...  I think I'm gonna have fun with this!  I'm kind of thinking the agency might rescind their request that I teach that documentation training class though.  :-)


CherubMamma said...

Oh my! I would DIE if I had to fill out recreation logs. I too am a documentation queen. I keep every piece of paperwork. Each kid has a binder sorted out by category (general health, dental, vision, education, etc.) But if I had to keep a full recreation log for very long I would probably go crazy!

We have daily logs that we have to keep for the first 30 days after a placement. Those logs include a line for "recreation". And because Pumpkin is classified as Specialized, I have to keep those daily logs for 30 days every 3 months to continue to prove that she really is "Specialized". However, I never get more creative than "played with toys".

I particularly liked Monkey's Creative Expression!!

Fi said...


that's something i'll need for the future.

Michelle said...

Wow~I have been fostering for two years now, and have never been asked for ANY documentation at all! We work directly with the state DCFS-the SW comes out once a month and asks us if they've gone on any appts. and we talk about general life. That's it.
No documentation required here.

CherubMamma said...

@Michelle - that's how it was when we were licensed in Iowa. It sure was nice to just be trusted to take care of the little ones.

The paperwork we have to deal with now in Texas is off the charts! In fact, it feels like a part-time job sometimes.

Diane said...

Love it! Please follow through and let us know their reaction! This request is insane for a 4 month old.

Mama P said...

I am DYING LAUGHING at your "log entries."

Im with Michelle...no one has ever asked us to log anything. We haven't even gotten our monthly visits. For all our county office knows, we could have the kids hanging by meat hooks in the garage, because the very few times anyone comes, they don't go past the front door.

Sorry you have so much paperwork :( I keep my own personal baby-care logs for the first few weeks of a placement just to establish a schedule pattern, but that's my own thing.

Tammy (aka. "Mimi") said...

Oh so very jealous of those of you who don't live in Texas right now! If it wasn't such a pain to move while fostering, I might consider it. :)

Penelope said...

IVE only been asked to medication logs. I guess this is next. Luckily we will be adopting soon.

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