Monday, April 11, 2011

Possibly up the proverbial creek

This afternoon Gary and I had a conference with his (previous) social worker. Here's the situation.  None of this is news to me, by the way. I just haven't been posting about it.

1. Since he has not done any of the things he was required to do to get funding for post high-school education/training he almost certainly won't get it. However, if he can show that he has been accepted to a college, applied for two scholarships, filled out the agency paperwork, and get his unofficial transcript to the committee by FRIDAY, the committee will consider him. She assured him that he still qualifies for some transitional support.  If he has a job and some savings they will pay the initial deposits on an apartment, for instance. He isn't worried about that because he has decided he likes living here. (Part of the adoption negotiations included that he would continue to qualify for anything he would have had he not been adopted).

He has been planning on going to community college in the fall. I have suggested that with their current enrollment rates he needs can't count on being able to go full-time, but he is confident.

He also is confident that he going to graduate at the end of May. The school says that you are not allowed to have more than 9 absences, but he points out that that really just means that you have to petition if you have more. Now I told him that back when he had 8-11 in his various classes. I told him it wasn't all over. If he turned it around he could still make it work. I called attendance for an update and found out that he as 21 and 16 absences in the classes he needs to graduate (24 and 35 in the other two). He may still be able to petition, but only if gets at least a C. Oh yeah, he is supposed to show very good reason for the absences, like providing documentation that he was too sick to be there. (Yeah, um, he can get a doctor's note for at least one day).

So I've decided just to expect him to go to summer school. If he graduates in 5 weeks that will be extra cool.

Oh, his younger sister is graduating next month. She's going to the state school in the fall and might move into the dorms in the spring when she is 18.

He has constantly changing plans for his future. The fire fighting thing seems to be over. Of course, if he is in summer school he would miss the fire season anyway. (For those in other parts of the world, being a wild land fire-fighter and being a structural fire-fighter are different things. It is relatively easy to get certified to work on a crew during wild-fire season.)

So Roland and I have already warned him that though he won't be homeless, he can expect less support from us. I have framed it as "when you are no longer a full-time student." I need to be more specific though. Given that he has unofficially dropped (i.e. stop attending and agreed to take the F) one class he isn't really a full-time student now. I told him that he would continue to get "full support" for 90 days after graduation. I think I need to change that to "after when you were supposed to graduate with the option to re-new if you are in school full time in the fall.

Today I made it a bit clearer what will be have to pay for or do without:
1. Free gas and car access
2. Car insurance
3. His MMA classes
4. Cell phone
5. Deodorant, hair cuts, and all other misc. expenses
6. Anything else I can think of

Oh, and rent is $50/week, and I somehow expect that I won't be buying any of his favorite foods.

Of course all this is about pushing him to independence. If doing more for him was helping, we would help. It is obvious to everyone but him that he is scared. He fears failure so much that he sabotages himself. Everything in the future is easy. Everything in his present is easy or stupid and not worth doing. He always has plans, but no action.

So well, we will see how it all goes.


  1. I've done foster parenting with teenagers for the past three years. I love your blog! Thank you so much for writing about what you do. It helps me feel so much less alone. As far as the self sabotage... let me know when you figure it out. Every one of our 12 teens has done it. I'm beginning to dread graduation time.

  2. Glad I ran across you blog. A fellow foster parent,

  3. Did he graduate? Doing summer school? Would love an update. Hint Hint LOL


Comments will be open for a little while, then I will be shutting them off. The blog will stay, but I do not want either to moderate comments or leave the blog available to spammers.