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"