So a quick way to mess with a Millennial and just get them totally mixed up and off their game is to take away their internet access. This is what has happened to me over the last 1.5 to 2 weeks and it has really thrown me off. And now, I feel like I am just catching up and getting back on track. Which is a bummer, because there was lots of stuff going on at work that I really wanted to talk about. Such as:
- My attempting to place a child in protective custody with another colleague but ended up just sitting in a car waiting for cops to show up for hours.
- Half the day I spent thinking I was going to have to remove one of my kids from his grandma because she wasn’t providing adequate supervision. His mother was arrested for driving without a license and without a child restraint, but it turned out that it happened before he came into grandma’s care and not during.
- My (somewhat) successfully and coherently explaining the court and legal process of child welfare to a relative caregiver.
- Taking a 30 lb 7 month old downtown to get her paternity testing.
- Negotiating and tight rope walking to get to an agreed dependency on a case that was very close to going to trial.
- Doing a slew of homevisits and noting the differences between relative caregivers and foster parents.
- Trying to get a family basic things such as their rent and electricity bills paid.
- Talking with the TANF and food stamps workers and trying to figure out their system so my clients can access those benefits.
And probably something that was pretty big was the father of Blue’s oldest son came to visit. I had the lovely job of informing Blue of this (she did not get as angry as I thought she was going to) and that her visits with the kid might be altered as a result. And then I was there when the son and father met for the first time in years (they had been speaking on the phone and writing letters recently). Blue did decide that she wanted a paternity test during the few days that he was here. He was not required to do so as he is the legal father (he is on the birth certificate) but agreed anyway. Well, despite her swearing that he was not, results showed that he is and now they are looking to send that child to live with his dad. Very interesting.
So an eventful few weeks. But I am starting to feel more comfortable in my job and feel like I am asking fewer questions. I am feeling more confident when speaking to clients and what to say to them. That being said, it is becoming more clear to me that my supervisor definitely gave me “easier” – more straight-forward – cases, which is nice as it helps ease me into the job. I wonder how long it will take for her to give me a crazier one. And I still haven’t had to speak in court. So I am kinda looking forward to getting that out of the way so I am not so anxious about it. But that will happen soon.
I have also found that I much prefer to have a case from the beginning. However, I am also finding that I am having to fill in a lot of gaps that the investigative social workers are missing. They aren’t asking questions, they aren’t running background checks, they are missing important forms. So I am not thrilled at that because it puts me into a position where I almost have a dual role – social worker trying to help get families services, but still having that investigative hat on where I am actively still searching for evidence to use to get dependency. Sigh. But the important thing is: I still like my job!