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Thread: Family Partnership Meeting

  1. #1
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    Default Family Partnership Meeting

    I've got a quick question for you ladies. Monday we are having a family partnership meeting at DSS and I'm trying to decide if we should take the baby or not. They said it was up to us and not a problem at all if she's there since we may have trouble finding someone to watch her anyway depending on my MILs schedule, but I'm wondering if it would be good for her to be there. This meeting, as far as I understand it, should have everyone there including her GAL and I think it might be good for them to see her with us. I think it might be good for everyone to associate us as her foster family which I think might be easier with her there. I'm also thinking if her GAL is there that might good as well. I have a hard time imagining how someone can be an advocate for a child without ever even seeing that child. I realize she's a newborn and doesn't have behavioral issues and things like that that a lot of kids may struggle with in foster care, but I still think it's important that they see her and remember that she is a person and an innocent and precious one at that. A name is just a name until you can put a face to it. Anyone have an opinion or advice on this? Also any info on what goes on at the meeting itself from your own personal experiences is welcome. I know a little about it. I just know that everyone meets and discusses the situation and what the hope for the future is since court is coming up. The SW said the reason they decided to have a meeting now is because the lawyer has some concerns with mom. I'm not sure if she meant the mom's lawyer or the GAL...I thought she meant the mom's at the time. Anyway, I hope mom is okay. I also think maybe it would help to see her baby there and just have the confirmation in front of her again that she's okay. Thoughts?
    MMC 4/12
    Leah (27) DH (30) Diagnosed PCOS and Stage 1 Endometriosis/Diagnosed CVID 2007

  2. #2

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    I have no experience in this particular situation. My only question as a momma would be, how long is this meeting? Would baby girl be ok? I know at this stage they can sleep for awhile, but if she needs your attention for a diaper change, feeding, etc., is this a meeting where it would be ok to do that at?

    That's all I've got Leah. I hope some of the other ladies can give you better advice. Hugs to you though. You're doing an amazing job!
    Angela, Andrew & Nicholas

    Three sweet angels in heaven

  3. #3

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    If it is ok though, if say bring her. You make excellent points!
    Angela, Andrew & Nicholas

    Three sweet angels in heaven

  4. #4
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    My words aren't coming but I'm not sure I'd take her. If mom is going to be thereit may end up just being more awkward than anything and if it's a stressful meeting I wouldn't the emotions to be picked up on by the baby. IDK, I wish I had more to advice, better words.
    With our big kids we did one big group meeting with everyone and then visits in our home with dad and it was always just weird. Granted our kids were older and but the meetings and visits with Baby C's mom (cs wanted us there) were always just weird no matter how smooth we tried to make it. It's always hard to see a mom (and the other siblings) leave her child, no matter how awful their situation is. If they have the capacity to feel a bond, it's hard.
    Julie, DH: W, DS: Mason, GGB Trips Amelia, Ellanor & Noah
    FFS "Baby C" disrupted fost/adopt of sibs Q,Z,J & K 9/10-3/11

  5. #5
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    Thanks for your input ladies! We decided not to take her. We aren't sure how long the meeting will be, how many people will be there, and the more we thought about it the more it seemed like their were just too many variables to take her. I couldn't think of any questions to ask the SW when she called me about it and that was Friday so as we've thought about it we've decided it's best to leave her with my MIL for the morning. If the meeting goes long, she might wake up hungry or need a diaper change and I can't imagine that we could do all of that while also paying attention to everything that's going on. I think BM would be okay but at the same time...we've only seen her once and she was fine then but since she's been noncompliant with meds in the past if she happens to show up without them there's no telling what she'd be like. My dad is a counselor and he says even with meds their moods can vary a lot but I don't know. So far she seems fine but like I said we just saw her once.

    I'm a little confused about the meeting in general. I thought they mostly did these either when the child was leaving your home and they were discussing how to best transition them, or if rights were going to be terminated and they were becoming free for adoption. In our training, these meetings were only talked about in reference to terminating rights. They like to tell the parents in these meetings because they think it offers them more support. However, there's no way we're there yet. She's only been with us for three weeks and we haven't even had the initial 75 day court appearance yet. I asked about the petition and SW said it would take a few months and that it was more intensive than what we had done to get certified so it definitely wasn't ready yet. So....I'm guessing this meeting is just to discuss what all is going on right now.

    Adjudicatory court is on Tuesday and the SW said something about wanting to do a meeting before that because "her lawyer had some concerns about issues" or something like that. Her lawyer I'm assuming is the BMs lawyer. She told me this when I asked how she was doing with it all and if she was okay. That makes me a little worried for her. There's no way they'd terminate her rights before the adjudicatory court is there? I can't imagine that they would do something like that even knowing that her other child isn't with her either. I figured the plan would be reunification even if they feel like there's no way it'll ever happen just because that's the procedure that's typically followed. It's good thing we're so busy this weekend or I might be too nervous about this. I just hope we don't show up and get told she's leaving us right away and going to someone else without even letting us know ahead of time. I can't help but worry we'll be blind sighted like that because it seems that they do these things sometimes. I guess all we can do is prepare for everything and go in with an open mind.
    MMC 4/12
    Leah (27) DH (30) Diagnosed PCOS and Stage 1 Endometriosis/Diagnosed CVID 2007

  6. #6
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    (((Hugs)))...I know absolutely nothing about the process but will be praying it all goes well and that you know in advance if the baby will be going elsewhere at some point.

    DS's case plan changed several times between adoption and reunification. At birth the plan was adoption (mom was in rehab and not interested in RU). At 3months they were able to contact her and she said she'd like to pursue RU (she was homeless at the time). However she went back to jail (drug charges). So his plan changed back to adoption. At that point a family fmom knew expressed interest and started the home study process. At 9 months BM never provided any indication that her situation had changed only that she'd like visitation and would fulfill the requirements necessary to get him back. After two visits though she went back to jail. Her jail sentence was such that it would fulfill the 15months out of 22months in foster care so they pursued tpr and the court granted it but not until 9 months later. For whatever reason the family that had been interested never completed their home study and no relatives came forward so we were matched.

    All that to say it can be such a crazy back and forth process : /...really praying for you Leah!!

  7. #7
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    Thank you Kelly! It's crazy how much it can change and how long everything takes. Sometimes I feel sure that she'll somehow end up in our family because she fits so perfectly in it, but I have to constantly remind myself that how I feel (in that aspect anyway) isn't going to matter to anyone legally and that fitting in our family doesn't count for anything. It feels right but I imagine it would with any newborn because they come to you having no past with anyone else so they're just as much yours as they would be otherwise. Obviously she recognizes me and my husband as her parents and if she's with anyone else for a few minutes and hears our voices she turns her head to the side to look for us. But...anything could still happen especially this early. Even though it feels like longer, she's only been with us for three weeks.

    I'm just ready for this meeting tomorrow, to hear what has to be said and to understand it the best that I can so that there isn't (hopefully) the constant worry. Mom has court Tuesday so we'll be worried until we hear what happens Tuesday on Wednesday and hopefully we can take a small breather at least until after Christmas. It'd be nice to feel like a family for the holidays at least.

    Oh and baby girl rolled from tummy to back yesterday!!! I freaked out! I gave her tummy time to work on her neck muscles and she got really ticked off and over she went! She's done it a few times now and it's obviously intentional. I can't believe she did that at 3 weeks! I was so proud!
    MMC 4/12
    Leah (27) DH (30) Diagnosed PCOS and Stage 1 Endometriosis/Diagnosed CVID 2007

  8. #8
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    Praying for you today!
    Jessica (33) and Ryan (33). Madelyn born August 5, 2009; Malachi born December 23, 2010 and Nathaniel born July 19, 2013. Lost a loved baby 02/29/12, 05/14/12 and 07/05/12 all due a serious allergic reaction to fabric softener.
    My Ovulation Chart , My blog about MCAD

  9. #9
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    Thinking of you today and hoping that the meeting answers some questions and gives you an idea of the direction.

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the support ladies! The meeting went very well today. It was friendly and not awkward. We met baby girl's GAL who was very nice and actually works with the mom's other kids so he knows her situation well. Looks like she has two other kids, one in foster and I'm not sure if the other was adopted or if he's in foster also. She knows who the dad is but apparently he's pretending to have nothing to do with the situation. Also, looks like mom chose to have baby girl placed in care because she knew the situation was bad. I can't even imagine how hard that decision was.

    They didn't talk about the petition but from what we gathered it's the person she lives with it that filed it so I guess that's not likely to happen if she's still living there once it goes to the courts. Overall, the meeting was great and was a good safe environment and while it hurts my heart to think of losing this baby, mom has all the best intentions. So we'll just have to take it one day at a time.

  11. #11
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    I'm so glad the meeting went well!!

    Such a sad situation though

    If mom is living with the family who is petitioning for kinship care then I don't think baby can be placed with them until mom gives evidence of a separate residence. It would be a violation of court order for mom to have unapproved contact with baby.

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