Wednesday, November 01, 2006

I've been found out (update) here's the deal.

In my area in addition to state foster care, there are two private agencies (that I know of).

There is a private foster care agency that takes especially difficult kids. They are supposed to do short-term therapeutic care although some of their kids end up in their homes for years. I shall hereafter call them TCA (Therapeutic Care Agency). Mandy, I have just learned, is the only TCA provider that will take girls.

I work for a private foster care agency that does permanency care, hereafter to be called PCT.

PCT licenses. I have a PCT license. I have told the woman who runs TCA on multiple occasions that I have a PCT license. What I either did not say clearly or she did not hear was that I have ONLY a PCT license.

TCA does not do independent licensing. They only work with state licensed foster parents who are required to have more training.

The bottom line is that I can no longer do respite care for Mandy, unless I get a state license.

[Insert expletive here.]

I would have to take PRIDE training, and I don't know if they would allow me to take the version for experienced foster parents as I am not experienced with them. I would have to have a new home study, and fill out their version of the paper work.

That would be a major pain in the butt, but that is really not the main problem.

The main problem is that I don't want to work with the state. Evan got into PCT because I did not have and would not get a state license. I do not want to get a license because they will call me and ask me if I can take some kid or set of kids just for the weekend and then on Monday to say they don't have another place lined up, can I keep them for just a little longer? It will not work to say that I only want to do respite.

So I would have to say "no." And I could, until the next gay kid comes along.

We would say "yes." I know we would. And then we would be working with the state. We will have no support. When we go to Maine they will not purchase a plane ticket. If the kid needs rehab, or a counselor, or a dentist I will simply have to find one that takes Medicaid. If I need help on the weekend I will have to call the hot line and speak to whoever is on call, who will not know me or my kid. I will not get reimbursed for school expenses. I will have to buy all their clothes at the major discount chains with monthly vouchers.

Of course the room and board reimbursements will be less than half of what I get now. That is less important than the other sort of supports, but it has to be considered. I would like to tell you how far down on the list my state is for reimbursements, but if I did you could figure out where I live, and I am committed to remaining anonymous. So let me tell you that it is near the bottom. It is about half of what any reasonable study indicates that it costs to have the kid in your house.


Clearly I really do not want to do it.

But the alternative is never doing respite for Mandy again, and I don't like that either.

So Linda's state worker is very sorry, the TCA woman tells me. It turns out that PTC licensing requirement is equivalent to the training necessary to take care of E4 kids. She should not have moved her.

"She said that knowing that I don't have a state license?"

"Yes. But you know, she is very young. I think this might come up again."

So she wants me to mail her a copy of my license and every time I do respite care for Mandy she will make sure that the social worker is notified.

See why I don't want to work for the state? They don't even know what their own rules are.


  1. I'm glad to hear that you finally got that mess all straightened out, but it seems weird that they expect you to have a license for respite care.

    I thought, in most states, all you needed to do overnighters for foster kids is to have a clean background check and a valid CPR/First Aid certificate.

    I guess you can chalk this up to an inexperienced worker. It's a shame the kid ended up having to go to the teen shelter and miss school as a result.

  2. I have to have a license in order to get paid as a respite provider.

    Hopefully she did not miss school. Her social worker said she would arrange transportation. I hope she did. The shelter is nearly 30 miles away from school. At least the rush hour traffic will be going the other way.

  3. OKAY, I thought where I lived was sucky when it came to supporting our foster kids!

    It is really awful to think about how poorly cared for these kids are by your state!

    I can imagine that a lot of people who might otherwise be foster parents are turned off by the amount of hustling they would have to do. It also certainly would make foster kids stick out in a family when they couldn't go to the same doctors etc.


    Sorry that it has been so messy for you.


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