I've always said that the most frustrating thing about life in Foster/Adopt Land isn't the behaviors of the children like they lead you to believe in your initial training classes. ...The most insanely, mind-numbingly, want to pull your own hair out, makes you want to scream at someone, frustrating thing about foster care is having to deal with the grown-ups involved!
Today, I am thankful for my agency's Family Specialist (aka. "Nice Lady").
I know I've mentioned a few times how much I really like this woman. In over three years of fostering, I can honestly say that Nice Lady has to be the one person on the "business end" of foster care who has genuinely cared enough to help me... the foster parent as well as my kids.
I met Nice Lady the day that Monkey arrived, and over the past six months she has been a constant support in an otherwise kind of all over the place case.
She usually responds to email or voicemail requests within an hour or two (completely unheard of in Foster/Adopt Land). The one time she didn't respond right away, I found out was because she was in surgery. And I learned that because she emailed me that night from home!
She does her very best to track down the Invisible CPS Caseworker when I've pretty much given up hope of ever finding her.
She has contacted doctors and Medicaid for me when I've been too busy at work in order to dispute medical bills.
She listens to my occassional rants about how frustrated I am with Monkey's caseworker, and doesn't judge me. She addresses all of my concerns to the best of her ability, and has helped talk me down from the "IF I EVER GET AHOLD OF THAT WOMAN..." ledge.
She's acknowledges receipt of paperwork; keeps track of things that I might be missing, but doesn't hound me for it; looks forward to my weekly status reports and photos of Monkey; comments on his milestones and any concerns that I might have about his case; and always, always tells me how cute my baby is. It doesn't hurt that she tells me over and over how I am one of the best foster parents she's ever worked with either. ;-)
I am unbelievably thankful for the woman who I believe is absolutely the World's Best Social Worker. If she ever leaves my agency, I do believe I might just follow her. :-) And if you don't have a "Nice Lady" at your agency, I'm thinking you should just come to mine! I'm willing to share a good thing with my fellow foster parents. Goodness knows, we can use all of the "good things" that we can get! :-)