September 21, 2012

Meeting with the Caseworker. Finally.

He was a burly guy with a dark hair, a big smile, and an arm covered with tattoos. He shook my hand, and I invited him into the house.

"Show me around,” he said.

“Um, what do you need to see?” I asked. “Here’s the piano, here’s the fireplace, here’s the kitchen table.” The downstairs of our house is one big room, so I could point to everything without moving. The only separate space is my office, just off the front door. I stepped in and waved my arm around. “Here’s my office.”

He peered in and said with surprise, “Wow, that’s a lot of books.”

Then we sat at the kitchen table and talked. I showed him the manila folder of information I’ve accumulated on Little Biker Boy over the last four years. I’ve got names and phone numbers for a bunch of other caseworkers, mostly from the Child Protective Division.

“You’ve got more information than I started with,” he said. “When Little Biker Boy was assigned to me, I was given a blank file.”

This was my first time meeting Dark-haired Caseworker. Little Biker Boy’s foster mother and I started the paperwork months ago to get me approved as someone who could take Little Biker Boy on outings and bring him to my house. But it’s a slow process that included background checks on my husband and me, and a mandatory visit from the department of social services to inspect my house, which gave me this chance to talk directly to the caseworker.

Dark-haired Caseworker confirmed that Little Biker Boy’s mother had signed away any rights: she will no longer have any contact with him at all. But it’s also unlikely that Little Biker Boy will stay indefinitely with his foster mother: the department likes to get these kids into adoptive homes whenever possible.

We talked for about an hour. So much is still uncertain, but at least Little Biker Boy is getting the help he needs – a team of people looking out for him. 

"I wish he could have had this sooner,” I said to Dark-haired Caseworker. “I mean, I saw the red flags four years ago. So did some of the social workers at Child Protective. It sucks that nothing can be done until after the child has been badly abused.”

He nodded. “I know. That’s the way the system works now. It’s frustrating.”

After he left, I added his name and phone number to the manila folder. Then I called Little Biker Boy to tell him the news: he’ll be able to visit us now.

22 comments:

Kendra said...

I'm so glad to read this, jo(e). Is there any news on Little Biker Boy's sister?

Anonymous said...

Adopt him!

Lorianne said...

Oh, excellent. That's the best news I've heard all week.

liz said...

YAY!!! May his sister also get into a good situation.

robin andrea said...

This is such a good story. I hope his life stabilizes.

jo(e) said...

As far as I know, Little Biker Boy's little sister is living in the next town with her biological father. She isn't in foster care yet.

Cindy said...

I'm glad he's got you in his life.

Elaine said...

Rawr! Celebration!

Martha Spong said...

Oh, jo(e). I'm so glad he can visit you but wish there were some bigger plan for his safety and security. Bless you for going through all this.

JMKH said...

He's a good kid with a wise friend.:-)

Heather said...

oh gosh thats fabulous news, I do hope though that the long term affects arent negative or damaging..sigh, you've done an awesome job!!

Amelie said...

Great news! You're so wonderful for taking care of him.

jackieregales.com said...

Jo(e), I once sent you some princess dresses for Ponytail to play with--is there anything we could send to assist with Little Biker Boy? Something he might like to have at your house, or school supplies, or anything? Let us know if there is anything we can do. I know it won't be what he needs most, the care and support and presence that you give him, but it's a thought.

ChrisinNY said...

Praying mightily that the scars heal soon for Little Biker Boy. He deserves to be happy- as do all children.

readersguide said...

Oh, I wish he could stay where he is -- seems so hard for him to have to move on from what seems like such a good place. But I'm glad he can visit you --

jo(e) said...

Jackie: I still have the yellow princess dress Ponytail used to play with. It's hanging on the back of a door in my house. I haven't seen her in more than a year, but I keep the dress as a reminder.

Thanks for the offer, but I don't think there's anything readers can do right now -- except contribute to Women's Shelters in your own area. There are kids like Little Biker Boy and Ponytail everywhere.

BrightenedBoy said...

An unstable mother is out of his life and you're in it. It's hard not to see that as a positive.

Kyla said...

Yay! So glad he'll be able to visit again.

Amanda said...

Such good news, overdue though it is.

museyme said...

Glad you have achieved visitation rights. I'm sure that was a huge relief to Little Biker Boy. Any chance his foster mom would adopt him?

jo(e) said...

i don't think she has plans to adopt him. I'm not sure what will happen next for him.

sciwo said...

Smiling and crying all at the same time, as I catch up with you and little biker boy.