We have a new social worker, H seems to be very knowledgable and great to work with. We discussed M's case (none of which I can share for confidentiality reasons) and what my hopes for the future are. I again told her that I am concurrent meaning I am pre-approved for adoption if a child in my home needs it. M's case is no where near that point right now and it will be months before we know if he ever will need an adoptive placement. I also repeated that M is welcome in my home for as long as he needs to be and that I am willing to work with his mother as much as possible.
There are several things I like the social workers and birth families to know while I work with them. The first is that I am here to love the foster child while he or she is with me. I am not here to replace the birth parent or "win" the child.
The next thing is that I truly want to co-parent with the birth parent while I have placement. This gives the birth parent every opportunity to be involved in the child's life while working towards reunification. It also allows the child to see that all of the adults and "moms" care and love him or her.
I want to communicate with everyone. I want to make sure that everyone knows what is going on. I often include more than one social worker on emails if I think everyone needs to know something. I won't hesitate to call a birth parent and update him or her if we have a working relationship and human services approves it. I won't lie or hide anything for anyone. Secrets got these children and families into the situation and will not help anyone with reunification or permanency (adoption) plans.
M is my second foster child and probably not my last. I really do believe I want at least 3 kids just not all right now. The third child won't come until Jacob is at least 4 and maybe 5 or 6. If M stays, I will want him to be at least 3 (he is 16 mos now) and to be well-adjusted and comfortable in my home and family. I expect that will happen before he is 3 but not anytime soon. If M is able to return to his birth family, I would be open to siblings as long as Jacob is 4 or close to it and only one of the other children is not walking and able to feed him/herself. Basically, I only want one infant at a time. Maybe when Jacob is a little older I would consider infant twins but not anytime soon.