Monday, January 13, 2014

Kid's Room

The room is ready, and waiting for a kid to arrive.  It actually can accommodate a crib infant and a child that can sleep in a bed, and I will be licensed for two children; but my plan is definitely not to take two kids at the same time, at least at first.  (Of course now that I have said that, I'm sure two kids is EXACTLY what I'll end up with!)

My awesome friend gave me the comforter set, my dad gave me the bedrail (which is a foldout, so is stowed under the mattress right now), the Big Bird chair was mine as a child, the dresser used to be my mom's, the changing pad came from my sister, and I bought the colorful shelves years ago on clearance (with the intention of one day using them for a child). 

They said that a Pack 'n Play was sufficient for a bed for an infant.  I got this Eddie Bauer one from a yard sale when my nephew and goddaughter were born a few years ago.  One of my patient's family members gave me an actual mattress for it since she used to own a day care. 

There is also a Sesame Street lamp that was in my childhood room as well, but it needs to be re-wired.  That's not a project on my list right now.

(Can you spot the fire escape plan posted on the door??)

Saturday, January 11, 2014

My Days of Sleeping In Are Numbered...

... by somewhere between two weeks and four months. 

(And if you know me well, you will know that sleeping until 10:00, 11:00, even 12:00 is a regular occurrence for me on Saturday mornings).

I had my home study on December 27.  This was really just an interview consisting of pretty much the same questions I had answered on the 10-page form that DSS sent me.  The interviewer was very nice and laid-back.  She asked about my parents, my siblings, how close I am to them now, how I was disciplined as a child, childhood memories and goals, my job and hobbies, reasons for wanting to foster, education background, financial info to determine that I am not needing the foster care income to make ends meet, etc, etc.  She was here a little under an hour and a half.  At some point (I don't remember how this came up), I asked if she needed to see the child's room.  (The last time someone was here, the room wasn't actually set up - and I figured someone had to verify what type of bed(s) I had so they could determine what age and how many children I could be licensed for.)  She told me she could look at it to check it off, but she could tell from my application and my house that everything would be in order; that sometimes she walks into a house and knows she will need to actually see the room, but she didn't think that was needed here.  After we finished, she said she would write up the report (usually takes 4 or 5 days), then submit it to the county DSS office, who would then send the license application on to the state for processing.  I asked how long that process normally took, and she said, "Well, I don't really know, but I did a home study in August and one in October, and I don't think either of them have gotten their licenses yet."  Ummm, what?!?!  Now, granted, she is not a DSS employee; she is a contract employee who only does home studies, so it is possible those people actually did get their licenses and she just didn't know about it. 

So at that point, I'm telling myself that I will just put in my head that it will be May before I will get the license... and then if it happens sooner than that, I will be pleasantly surprised. 

I put in a call to the DSS Foster Care Licensing Supervisor early the next week (right at the end of December) to ask about the licensing time-frame and some other things.  (Remember I still don't have a new licensing worker - or at least I don't know who it is if one has been assigned.)  No call back.  I called again a few days ago and left another voice mail.  This time she called back shortly after and gave me the name and number of the new caseworker.  Thank goodness I finally have someone I can contact!  That day when I got home, there was a small packet from DSS saying that I needed to complete the following items:
           - sign a page that would be submitted with the licensing application - basically stating that        were requesting a license for two children, ages 0-5, and that I was ok with this.
           - re-sign a page from my original application because it was from July 2013, and this had to be signed within 90 days of the license application.  I wonder how many people actually get their license application submitted within 90 days of their original inquiry?!?!
           - a form to be filled out by someone 21 years or older that could take care of the foster child if needed.  This was permission for a SLED check of this person.  (I found out later that ANYONE that would babysit the child will have to have a SLED check and fill out this form as well... so I told her she should send me about ten more forms!  I don't plan on using a sitter too often, but I would rather have 30 people on the list and never need any of them, than have 3 people on the list and none of them be available when I need someone.  And it seems like this would be something they would mention in training.) 

Yesterday, I FINALLY got to actually talk to someone at DSS!  When I asked about how long the licensing should take, she said once they have everything and send it in to the state (but I'm thinking, "who knows how long that might actually be??"  LOL), it usually takes 1-2 weeks for the license to be processed.

I will send all the extra stuff they asked for on Monday, so potentially I could have the license by the end of January IF they send the application right in to the state (HAHAHAHAHAHA!!  I seriously doubt they will).  At this point, I'm still trying to keep the mindset that it will be a few months so I don't get too impatient!