Friday, October 22, 2010

And it just keeps getting more complicated

So, Helen, who was supposed to need a weekend away from her family, is currently between foster homes. I did not know that until I was getting things from the transporting social worker. After doing a little bit of checking I learned that the plan was that I take her to school on Monday and during the day her social worker, who can't work today because it is a mandatory furlough day for him (budget cuts), will find her a new place while she is at school. He will then pick her up after school and drive her to her new home.

I said, "Um, no."

Next week is my break. I will be grading and doing other desk work, but I can make the 30-minute drive (one way) to her school. I told them that I was going to keep her until they knew where she was going.

Of course it couldn't be simple. She is in the process of moving into the same private program that I have worked in. She can't be genuinely actually be admitted into it until she is living in a home licensed by the program. And ... wait for it  ... there are no program homes available in her school district. The state social worker's idea is to recruit one. This is fairly standard operating procedure. Once they told me that about half the kids come into the program with their family. Finding a home that fits the kid and getting that family into the program is often a better option than making a kid move to a different town and go to a different school. So, let's assume this works. The SW finds a home in the district; she gets placed with them; and they agree to join the program. That process will take at least 2 months.

She has been in an accelerated program and will graduate early in May. She is one of the kids in foster care who really are college material. She wants to go and the private program has excellent resources. They will get her through college without debt.

But she has to be in the program for one year before she qualifies.

Y'all doing the math?

Oh, and she turns 17 in a couple of months, which is also the deadline to get her in the program.

I told the program social worker that I would consider taking her (Roland knows NOTHING about this yet), but it really would be disastrous for her to have to change schools. They've paid people to transport kids to school before . I did it for a while as you may recall. So that is a possible option.

I just had lunch with her and told her that she was family and she wasn't going to be homeless, and we would not let anything bad happen to her. I also told her that right now the plan was to find her a home in her school district, and we were going to go forward on the assumption that that was going to work. I also told her that she would be staying with me for some or all of next week while they try to find the right home.

I think I am not going to ask Roland to consider taking her. I'm just going to let him get the pieces of the puzzle like I did and let him draw the conclusions.

And I would just like to note that I am having a very hard time concentrating on my work because I don't know what is going to happen. Helen however doesn't know where she is going to be living next week and she is cheerful and busily doing her on-line driver's education just down the hall from me.


  1. Your life is never dull Yondalla!

  2. Good luck, Yondalla. I hope it works out for the best for everyone. I feel so sorry for Helen ... the disrupted placement, the not knowing where she is going to live. It's wonderful that she has you looking out for her. The uncertainty must be very stressful ... I can only imagine and my heart goes out to her.

  3. Wow. And, wow.

    I don't really get the way the state/private agency dynamics work in your area. In my state, any foster home can have a child who is being serviced by any foster home. So, the foster home license can be held by one agency (or the state) and the child's case can be held by another with no problem.

    Either way, I do hope that Helen finds a way to stay in her school. And I am so glad she has yours for however long she needs!


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