Communication is something that we need in our lives everyday. At work, at home, and most importantly needed while working with all the parties involved with fostering and adopting through Children’s Aid. Lack of communication can leave a person to become batty!
For the first year, the family is not involved or have any knowledge of the court proceedings. I completely understand the right for privacy, but if we could all work together it would make the process so much easier. When you are fostering with the intention to adopt, we found we became very resentful. We had to work with our worker, B’s worker, and also at times the birth mom’s worker. Not to mention having to deal with the drivers when we were unable to drive to the birth family visits ourselves.
We were resentful because our lives were put on hold for a year for a child that we loved, but may not be able to keep. Think about it, having visits from Sunday to Wednesday those four days are completely occupied. Then the courts changed it to something like Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The courts and Children’s Aid don’t generally care about your personal family time. We had Saturdays to plan family outings and with all the traveling, we usually just wanted to stay home. Our son plays hockey and had a tournament only 20 minutes away, but there was a court ordered birth family visit so we booked a driver so we could have a normal day at the rink, but we didn’t have the contact numbers for the drivers or anything, and in a tournament, you don’t know if your team is moving on and where you’ll be at what time? It’s beyond frustrating. I remember we went to a friends house 2 hours away for the weekend, so we booked a driver just so we could actually stay and enjoy ourselves. Even a weekend getaway to Great Wolf Lodge is next to impossible. This is why we became resentful. Our lives stopped. Was it worth it? Of course, but in order for children to experience family interactions and connect with the foster or adoptive homes, they need to be involved for the weekend family interactions.
We respect that most birth families are working towards the goal of having their children come home. We also understand they want to spend as much time as possible with their children. At the end of the day children need routine, food, roof over their heads and love. It’s very sad to know these kids are being driven all over the county so many times a week, sometimes leaving school early to be at their visit.
I don’t know who is responsible exactly as to why the courts or CAS can’t work with everyone involved but it goes back to lack of communication. I think that all parties should be involved with the schedule when possible, to think about everyone involved. Work with the child’s nap time, school, and leave room to have normal lives. When children are in a car seat 8 hours a week they lose out on important development stages. The best outcome that I can think of, is having the scheduling to be more hands on. Have some flexibility after trying the schedule for a few weeks, and being able to adjust based on the child’s natural schedule. I’m not bashing CAS as we have had some very positive relationships with our workers, but I do feel strongly that change needs to happen for the best interest of the children. COMMUNICATION 🙂