Saturday, April 08, 2006

A sense of calm...

Has come upon me since what happened yesterday. Although it will continue to be uspetting, I have had no remorse for the decision I made, in fact, I feel good about it. In fact I would probably be mad at myself if I had not decided to resign after what happened. I guess if I am going to leave it is best to leave standing up for something I believe in. What is it exactly I believe in??

..That children have the right to be loved, feel loved, and not be treated as though they can handle every thing that comes their way simply because people say they are resilient.

...That although I believe no system is perfect, there should still always be in affect a sense of prefessionalism and strife to do what is best for the situation, not what is best for the person who is in charge, whomever that may be.

...God didn't put me here on this earth to sit back and shake my head when I feel there is an injustice being done. More than anything I know this and believe it with all my heart.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Well it happened!!!

It was inevitable but I was trying to get out (June 2) before I thought it happened. Day started out like any other, morning went fine. Did a couple of case plan staffings, wrote a court report, went on a couple of visits to see some kids, then went to lunch with my co workers. When I get back to the office I see a note (on a freaking post it) that says "The P***** children need to be moved to the K********* home, today!" Ok some background, but not too much sorry. These children are 3 children in a sibling group of 4. They were taken into care due to parents incarceration for meth use. Their parents are set for termination this next Wednesday. Basically this is my BIG case that I have had since I started. The one where I worked my tail off, seeing these children at the beginning more than my own. The oldest has been in the same great foster home since they were taken, however the 3 youngest ages 10, 5, and 2 have been in a shelter, then moved to a foster home, got comfy then were moved when foster mom decided to sell her home and be out in one month unbeknowest to all. They were placed back in the shelter 2 weeks ago.
I lost it! We have policy and procedures yet we apparently only follow them when we feel like it. Our policy states that children are to be given 2 weeks notice before they are moved. And before they are moved they should meet the foster parents beforehand. Well this never gets to happen. Usually we give the kids a few days notice. Never really liked that but hey! Well these particular children have been tossed around too much and everytime it has been with absolutely NO NOTICE to them. They find out literally 30 minutes before they leave. Now I have seen their faces when they had to move the first time out of the shelter (which they were doing great at by the way) they were scared to death. Well today I refused to let this happen again, at least I tried. When I found that note I "immediately" called the placement unit, which is who apparently makes the decisions to where these kids go. Well no one was there at this time. So I left a message saying they did not need to be moved today. I then "immediately" emailed all of them including my supervisior who was out of town this day. In this email I pointed out that these children did not need to be moved today, they have until the 17th left in shelter days and court is this coming Wednesday and we need to wait for what the judge says plus we need to give these children some notice as they are all diagnosed with adjustment disorder. Well everyone of them except my supervisor read that email as it tells me they do when they do. No one replied. I immediately call the shelter and ask them if the children had been told they are moving. They said not yet. I said don't, I am the caseworker and this went over my head. Well a few minutes later a supervisor of another unti comes in and tells me the children have to be moved today but cannot give me a good reason why, just that we want to save as many shelter days as we can in case something happens. OMG!!! I said I cannot do that. She said the order came from the higher ups. I lost it. I said well here I am their caseworker and not only am I unable to make these decisions I am the last to find out. So I decided that I must resign. Not being my supervisor she felt bad but couldn't say much about it. Soon after the shelter called me back asking what to do as they got called by Placement again and was told the children were moving. I had to explain to them that apparently I was unable to make the decision although I was against it. She then told me that one of the workers from Placement said they had talked to me 10 minutes ago and said I was "cool" with it. I was livid. That was a flat out lie. No one talked to me, except for that supervisor. I don't think there could have been any less professionalism.
So basically....
I wrote my resignation to my supervisor saying I would complete the next weeks duties that I had scheduled including this court for this case where "I" will get chewed out by the judge for this decision although it was not mine. I am nothing more than a body to fill a quota to see children monthly and make sure court orders are completed, but even though I am the one that sees these children and has to answer for them in court, I get to make No decisions about their well being. No wonder states cannot keep their caseworkers. People who actually want to help these children are overshadowed by a government that refuses to care. Whatever their agenda is, it is not the welfare of these children. I did not go into this field to be a warm body, I did it to make a difference. Since I cannot do that I feel that God's Will is not for me to be here any longer. I am really tired of typing so I am going to stop. There is much more to this story and more sadness but due to the nature of the situation and confidentiality I am unable to go into further detail. I do wish somewhere down the line I have made a difference, to someone.