Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Oooh, I'm mad

So the new worker called me today to tell me that the baby was going to have a visit with her mom.

Apparently the baby's mom got a note from a doctor saying she doesn't have the horrifying skin condition, and that's good enough for the worker!

1. The note is from the same facility that misdiagnosed the child THREE TIMES, even though I insisted they test for this issue at her first visit there. (They did, and said she didn't have it.)
2. The mom told the old worker three weeks ago that she had, in fact, been diagnosed with it. Even if she had gotten the treatment, it's incredibly unlikely (like, just about impossible) that she'd be symptom-free by now.
3. We got the old worker to agree that BOTH parents would be treated before EITHER parent would resume visits, and that the parents needed to be treated in the same span of time (ideally twenty-four hours) in order for it to be considered effective.
4. We only have the mom's word that the dad has been treated, because neither worker has been able to get in touch with him in weeks.
5. The dad's house has not been treated. The worker assured me that she told them repeatedly how important it is for the house to be treated. Pardon me for not being reassured.
6. If the baby gets reinfected, that means time out of daycare for her, which means time out of work for me. Cool. For those of you who think that should matter less since the county pays us to be foster parents, let me tell you that the $0.59 an hour I make as a foster parent is a small fucking comfort when it comes to time off from work.
7. The worker has not called me back to tell me if the visit even actually took place - all I know right now is that the medical transport company picked her up from daycare and dropped her back off, but there is a slim chance that the worker forgot to cancel the transport (it's her first week with this case) so the baby just hung out with the visit supervisor. Naturally, I can't get anyone on the phone to confirm this, so:
8. I will now be bathing the baby, and washing her carseat cover and diaper bag along with its contents.

I know we have no rights as foster parents, and I know it's in our best interest not to piss off the worker on her second day in our case, but hey, guess what? I'M NOT GOING TO BE OKAY WITH THIS. I left her a message asking her to let me know if she's going to let the dad have his scheduled visit tomorrow, that I officially request that it not take place until we know the home (and his five-year-old and his mom, who live there) have been treated, that I know I'm making her job harder and I apologize for that but I'm not comfortable with the baby being reexposed to an infectious disease, that I can get notes from the doctor indicating that the parents need to be treated in the same time span, and to call me in the morning.

Ugh. Okay, vote time: Should I call the worker's supervisor to make sure this is being taken seriously, or do you think that will just make things more complicated?


  1. I would do a faux-concern thing copying the supervisor and the new caseworker saying "I just want to make sure we're all on the same page and I know what the plan is here. Dr X said both parents needed to be treated concurrently to protect the baby's health and the way previous caseworker let us know that would work is XYZ. Can you confirm whether this is the current plan? I really appreciate your attention, since this little sweetie has been through so much already and we want to do whatever we can to prevent a recurrence of the nasty disease." Lee, on the other hand, would be more up-front and make it clear she thought the new worker wasn't doing her job right. For us, Lee's had more direct success, but I still think my way is better.

  2. Clearly I have no useful advise, but I'm frustrated for you. Good luck!

  3. Thorn, thank you, as always, for your sound advice. I take it that you all get email addresses for workers and supervisors? So far we've only gotten phone numbers, or I would have tried that. I talked to the worker this morning and used a lot of the language you suggested about concern for the baby. I think I'm more like you in my style than like Lee. I definitely didn't want to set the worker on edge about whether we'd be reporting her every step to her supervisor. I think we had a good conversation and she was pretty upfront about some stuff the other worker hadn't told us (for whatever reason) so I think it will be okay going forward.