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Old 02-01-2017, 02:22 PM   #1
dorajoan
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Fostering and personal privacy

My husband and I would love to foster/adopt if we can, but with all the craziness in the world with cps and allegations being made against innocent parents, we wonder if inviting the state into our home, as it were, is an undue risk?

I feel like I am already in a position of protecting the privacy of my personal decisions (non-vaccinating, homeschooling, Catholic, etc.), and wonder if broadcasting that to the government is not necessarily a good idea?

Sorry if this question sounds ignorant, just wondered if anyone had light/experience to shed?

Thanks so much in advance, all you awesome Moms!

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Old 02-01-2017, 02:50 PM   #2
Futurefam
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Re: Fostering and personal privacy

There is risk when you decide to care for other kids in your home. Allegations do happen, but I have never seen anything in our area that closed someone's license and I have no BTDT experience with allegations to date.
You will have visitors in your home (CASA's, SW, children, respite cases etc). Yes the homestudy is intrusive into your very personal life. Finances, pictures of your home, bedrooms, references including our neighbors were contacted. They asked us to divulge our general health, finances and work life.
In our area, religion was not something that was asked of us, but rather would we be willing to honor and continue any culture or religious beliefs for a child in our care.
Homeschooling foster children is not allowed here as state wants to track as a liability.
Maybe that will change someday, but for now they must attend public school.
I'm comfortable with the level of questions they asked, but if you are wondering how detailed your area gets and what they do with the data, ask to see the homestudy questionnaire.
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Old 02-01-2017, 03:29 PM   #3
dorajoan
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Re: Fostering and personal privacy

Thank you! Yes I think it was more of a worry of allegations especially as a family who is already kind of viewed skeptically lifestyle-belief wise!

Questions don't really bother me, and I wouldn't be demanding that my beliefs be imposed on foster children (homeschooling/vaccinations/religion) - just worried that my own might be used against me (if that makes sense)!!!
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Old 02-01-2017, 07:11 PM   #4
ruth74
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Re: Fostering and personal privacy

I've dealt with an allegation one time. The experience was completely hellish - there's really no other way to say it - but not from CPS. It was my licensing worker who investigated, and she was amazing. Our local foster parent agency also has allegation support, and they were extremely supportive through all of it. When I did my initial classes, they warned us that foster parents will most likely experience an allegation at some point. They are required to investigate any allegation against foster parents, no matter how ludicrous, so if there is an allegation, you will have to deal with an investigation of some sort.

I'm a single Jewish lesbian with an AA son in a very white, Christian area. I coslept with my son, fed him donor breastmilk as an infant, and am politically active in causes I care deeply about. CPS cared that I could offer a stable, loving home, support foster kids and birth families, and follow the rules they set out for foster parents. I've had other foster parents give me flack about some aspects of my life, including people on this or other sites at times, but I've never had a CPS or licensing worker care even a tiny bit. The one thing that you may come upon as an issue, depending on your area, is the decision not to vaccinate your children. Some areas require, especially if you foster younger children who cannot yet be fully vaccinated, that everyone in the home be fully vaccinated to protect the child. However, this is not true of all areas, and I think only applies to fostering children who, due to age or medical condition, are not fully vaccinated. That is not about judgement, but about the state's legal responsibility for the children in care.
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Old 02-01-2017, 07:26 PM   #5
SharedTheJourney
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Re: Fostering and personal privacy

"I feel like I am already in a position of protecting the privacy of my personal decisions (non-vaccinating, homeschooling, Catholic, etc.), and wonder if broadcasting that to the government is not necessarily a good idea?"

In our area, the agencies usual policy is to have the foster parent commit to vaccinate foster kids, enroll them in public school, and follow the biological parent's religious beliefs and wishes for the child (if that is possible). In my experience, they didn't hold this against the family. This collection of data is just to do a homestudy, a story summary of the family, its members, their home, their relationships, their strengths, weaknesses, their support systems, how they solve problems, etc..... The data is used for a better matching of child to family, and even so, they do have a questionnaire for the foster family to fill out as to what child they are willing and able to take in to care for, calling for a match with religion, ethnicity, race, disability, age, sex, or singular or sibling group, medical/behavioral/history, etc.

Last edited by SharedTheJourney; 02-01-2017 at 07:28 PM.
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Old 02-04-2017, 10:16 AM   #6
dorajoan
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Re: Fostering and personal privacy

Thanks everyone, I appreciate the input. I feel like this is something I really want to do - I think my husband was coming more from the side of hearing horror stories of people having their own children taken away unjustly by cps because of things stacked against them such as not vaccinating, having lots of children, homeschooling, etc., and didn't want to tempt fate...I don't know if that makes sense.

I have a friend whose neighbor called the police on her because her easily nervous daughter was sitting upstairs reading and then didn't see her mom or siblings and ran next door saying she couldn't find her mother. Mom was downstairs in the basement with the other siblings nursing the baby and playing, and had told her daughter that's where she would be. The neighbor was biased because they have 7 children and she thought the family was irresponsibly big.... This kind of thing scares me so much for my family!!
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Old 02-04-2017, 05:43 PM   #7
ruth74
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Re: Fostering and personal privacy

Quote:
Originally Posted by dorajoan View Post
I think my husband was coming more from the side of hearing horror stories of people having their own children taken away unjustly by cps because of things stacked against them such as not vaccinating, having lots of children, homeschooling, etc., and didn't want to tempt fate...I don't know if that makes sense.
Not that there has never been a case where kids have been removed unnecessarily, but often people will attribute their kids being taken to things like this, when in fact there is more going on. Honestly, it can be hard enough for them to remove them kids from horrifically abusive situations, and given how much work it is for them to remove kids, they don't want to do so if there's any other option. I get being nervous, and accusations absolutely happen. Just don't believe every time you hear that someone's kids were taken for no reason. If all those stories were true, the only kids in care would be the well-loved children with the most functional parents around.
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Old 02-04-2017, 09:30 PM   #8
dorajoan
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Re: Fostering and personal privacy

ruth74, yes, that totally makes sense too! I guess I'm just trying to sort it all out! Even without kids being taken away, there is a certain scary factor even to having cps show up at your door. They came to my house once as a kid because a neighbor saw us in the yard during the day and called to report us for not being in school. My mom had all the proper paperwork for homeschooling, etc., but I know that was still unnerving for her! I'm sure there is usually more to all those stories, but every time I hear one it puts me into panic mode ! Thanks for the input, every little bit helps!
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Old 02-07-2017, 06:41 PM   #9
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Re: Fostering and personal privacy

Fostering is such an act of unselfishness. We have multiple people at my church who have fostered and some that have adopted children they fostered. There have been some issues that have come up. I don't know that any of them would say that they wish they had never fostered. As an elementary school teacher, I see that the need is very great these days. I have even considered it myself. Hope you get a feeling of clear direction. It is a real life's calling.
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Old 02-07-2017, 11:07 PM   #10
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Re: Fostering and personal privacy

I've been investigated multiple times. Several I never even knew about! For example parents complained about a specific way I was caring for their child. CPS deemed the report ludicrous and it was closed with paperwork stating something or other that what I was doing was normal. Think using powder or not.

Then I had an investigation where cps showed up at my door. I still have ptsd moments about that. After they came there was no communication. The child was returned to the parent. And every time I heard a siren I was terrified I was going to be arrested. For over a year after I still took pause every time I heard a siren.
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