Andy and I spent an hour this afternoon at a fun event called a Case Plan Review! Woo!
In theory, the Case Plan Review is a chance for all the parents and the worker(s) to sit down and discuss the case, the goals that have been set, and where things stand, and to make any changes that might be necessary. In our county, the foster parents are invited, which is cool because there are parts of the case they don't discuss with us due to confidentiality, but if they discuss it in front of us it's fair game.
In practice, neither of the baby's parents showed up, so it was just me and Andy and an impartial transcriber and the baby's worker and the new worker - next week the case will be transferred from "intake" to "management," so the person involved with the case changes. The new worker is the same one who worked with the mom for our baby's brother, so she's familiar with the mom and, to a lesser extent, with the dad.
They still held the meeting and did the review even without the parents, so we got to hear some new details and to hear some specifics, which was interesting. They also asked us, officially, if we are interested in being a pre-adoptive placement for this baby if things go that direction (um, yes!), but of course they have like ten months and a million chances before that's even considered. (My sister was excited to hear that, so I assume some of you also think that means something, but no, it's just procedure. Some foster homes are foster-only and some are foster-to-adopt, so they were just checking boxes to make sure that if the parents and grandma fall through, they don't need to locate another family for this baby. It's just paperwork at this stage - but it does mean that we officially have first dibs if the case heads that direction, so I guess that is a good thing.)
Two good things are coming out of this meeting today:
1. They are adding a visit so that the baby can see her grandma and her brother every week. This is something we were really hoping for, because if she's going to live with the grandma we'd rather the baby at least recognize her.
2. The new worker seems to be taking the gross skin condition pretty seriously and understood that the parents need to both be treated within the same twenty-four-hour period and also that their homes need treatment before visits resume. (Yay! I'm still freaking out about reinfecting, though!) I also spoke up and asked if maybe we could have the parents confirm treatment, etc., the day before the visits, because it's been that the worker has just called me the day of the visit, after I take the baby to daycare with her travel bottle, diaper bag, and freaking heavy carseat that gets in my way when I try to open the door. So if they have to confirm the day before, I don't have to haul all that visit shit to daycare and home unless there's a real reason.
It's really frustrating for our friends and family to hear that, to the county, any progress, however slow, is still considered progress. But the family really deserves all the help they need to get this baby back in their lives, and we'll do what we need to in order to keep her safe until that happens or the plan changes.
Our next court date is April 16, but I really don't think the baby will be going anywhere then. I mean, crazier things have happened, but a lot of things would have to be done really quickly in order for the county to order her placement elsewhere, and that would be out of character for the people involved.
Foster parents: do you get to go to Case Plan Review meetings? Non-foster-parents: what do you think of all this crap?