Sunday, September 09, 2007

Supervision of Foster Children

Frankie's babysitter youth companion came over to meet him today.

She was a foster parent for 25 years, and a classroom aide for my husband. Now she is retired and volunteers at the school. She completely understands that Frankie does not need to be taken care of and yet probably should not be left home alone.

Wednesday Frankie gets out of school early and everyone else is either in school or has to be somewhere. So she will spend the afternoon here. She said she would bring a book. She should also be available for any of those other pesky teacher work days when the kids are off and Hubby is not. Who knows, maybe Hubby and I will even go out on a date sometime.

Rules regarding supervision of foster children vary widely. Where I am children cannot spend the night anywhere unless there is an adult who has had a criminal background check. They cannot spend more than 48 hours somewhere unless there is a licensed foster parent or social worker on duty. (It isn't too difficult to get an exception for school, church, youth group trips).

During the day time though, there are no particular rules, at least in my agency and with teenagers. I am expected to use a prudent parent standard. So, if Hubby and I want to walk the dogs for 15 minutes and all the kids are engaged in something, we take our cell phones and go. The kids regularly get home from school at 3:30 while I am usually in my office just 10 blocks away. Hubby is at his school several miles away, cleaning up from the day and getting ready for the next. One or the other of us is home by 4:00.

So we are not required to have a babysitter for Frankie on Wednesday afternoon, much less one who has foster parent experience and has had a background check. We are required to follow a prudent parent standard.

And my prudent parent o'meter tells me it is not wise to leave Frankie alone for 3 hours.


  1. Prudent is a good thing.
    For Frankie and everyone else.

  2. I like your prudent parent-o-meter. Maybe I'll get one!


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