postponed until further notice?!!!!

The Termination trial has been postponed. I imagine it is all a lesson in patience. I am trying not to go down to the Dept. and ring somebody by their skinny little neck. Those horror stories still exist of other children who have it much worse than Jeremiah, and I must remind myself that it could be more unpleasant. This thought process doesn’t seem to make it any easier.
Yesterday and today were the days that were supposed to decide Jeremiah’s future. We were ready for this to be over. Jeremiah will continue to see his bio parents until the date of the next Termination.
This all happened because of ICWA, and someone who was new at their job dropping the ball. I understand being new at your job and not knowing what to do in each step of the process, but where was the Supervisor? The one who meets with them to make sure everything is covered?
ICWA (Indian Child Welfare Act) must be covered in EVERY case. This means that every bio parent must be asked if they have any Indian heritage. If the answer is no, nothing needs to be done. If the answer is yes, documents must be sent to the tribe in which the parent is affiliated. The tribe first checks to see if any family member has been registered with them. If no one in the family has been registered, it ends there. If a family member has been registered, the tribe can then decide if they want custody of the child. Even if they have never known the child in any capacity, they can still take custody.
In Jeremiah’s case no one asked the bio mom if she had any affiliation with an Indian tribe. That is, up until less than two weeks before the Termination hearing. While in a meeting with all associated with the case, the state representative asked Tam (bio mom) if she had any Indian affiliation. She said yes, and the whole room dropped like a dead weight. Everyone knew what this meant. At best, it would hold everything up. At worst, the Indian tribe would seek custody.

The reason that it is so important that ICWA be covered is because they have more power than you would believe. They have caused cases to start over from the beginning. We don’t want to start over again.
The Judge did have the option to go ahead with the hearing and then wait to hear what ICWA responded with, but he chose not to go on with the hearing. So, now we wait, and pray, and trust that God will take care of Jeremiah, and that He will give us strength until the end.

changes in the works

I have been hearing some disturbing news about the Department of Human Services lately. Some of the information has to do with other counties, but some of it is in reference to ours.

A reliable source recently told me that our county ranked highest in the amount of Terminations that are filed every year. This means the Termination of Parental Rights. Workers from our county were sent to Colorado Springs (who is ranked very low in the number of Terminations filed), where they took a look at what their county is doing. Is this so that they can make changes and not have as many Terminations filed?

I asked this reliable source when this all took place. She said it happened this summer. Then it all began making sense. I saw some major changes taking place this summer. When we renewed our Homestudy with the Dept. in October we were asked if we had any issues that we wanted to discuss and how the Dept. was doing from our perspective.

I told them I didn’t have any problems in regards to our case. At that time I felt Workers listened to what we said, and were doing what they could. (Most decisions made in our case have to do with following the law, and sadly laws need to be changed.) But, I did tell them that I saw some changes being made in the Dept. that I didn’t like. I was seeing children go back to bio parents that shouldn’t be. I saw reorganization beginning to take place. The Dept. tried to take one of Jeremiah’s (foster son) Supervisors off the case, and I feel very strongly that it had to do with budget cuts.

Now, I had some answers. Maybe most of it had to do with the fact that their statistics weren’t looking so good. But they only look bad if you are BLIND! I do want the Dept. to be fair. I want biological parents to have a chance at getting their children back. The buck stops when the Workers are working harder to reunite than the bio parents are. It stops when Treatment Plans are overlooked and children are reunited when they clearly shouldn’t be. It stops when bio parents are the priority, not the children whom they abused and neglected.

In our county it is honestly very difficult to have a child removed from your home. It has to be REALLY bad. I know of a case where the Dept. checked on two kids eleven times before they were removed. What makes them go back eleven times and not realize that this is most likely not a good situation???
You can see the next post which is about one of the little girls who was finally removed from the home which they checked ELEVEN times.

can you hear me now?

Normally I feel like people in the Dept. listen to my thoughts on what is happening with our Foster cases. Recently it hasn’t been that way. I feel like I am being given blank stares and that they’re coming back with excuses or reasons of why something may be a certain way.

For example, Jeremiah isn’t walking yet. He has taken a few steps here and there, but hasn’t taken off. I feel that he would be walking if he had more time in between visits. Now that Tam (bio mom) is back visiting him, he doesn’t have a week to recoup so he can make strides developmentally. When T (bio dad) has missed visits, Jeremiah has made leaps and bounds in the area of development.

I know Jeremiah as if he were my son. I’ve had him with me twelve months out of his fifteen months on earth. Every moment of my existence I think of him as my son. I know nothing different. So, being “his mother,” wouldn’t I know him and what he is capable of?

This isn’t the only situation where this has come up. One day I arrived one hour early for his visit with T (bio dad), we played in the car and were having a good time. We had been sitting in the car for one hour when T walked by Jeremiah’s window. Jeremiah started crying immediately. I was livid.

Some could definitely say that he wanted to see his bio dad, and cried because he was walking away. However, those who have witnessed visits for the past twelve months know that Jeremiah has no connection with his bio dad. It’s even worse than how he reacts to a complete stranger. No eye contact, and stays away from him.

I was blown off on this account too. I am so frustrated. I feel like the Workers used to give ear to what I said, but now I feel like it goes in one ear and out the other.

termination proceedings begin

The process has begun for terminating Jeremiah’s bio parent’s rights. After the parent’s rights are terminated in a case, the child is available for adoption.

First the Dept. has to find reason that the biological parents are unable to care for the child. They give the parents more than adequate support in this process.

Second, the Case Worker decides whether to start the termination proceedings.

Third, once the Case Worker has decided there is adequate cause to terminate, they meet with a team of Workers at the Dept. This team looks at everything that has been done to reunite the parents and child. If they find that there are more than enough issues keeping the parents from being able to care for the child, they agree that their rights should be terminated. This then leaves the child available for adoption.

The Case Worker then submits a request for a Termination Trial to the county attorney’s office. It will take them an average of two weeks (or so I’ve heard) to then get a date set with the court. It takes a few months for the courts to have a spot for a termination trial.

We don’t know the date of the trial yet, but there will be one. It will most likely be in a few months.

Jeremiah might have visits until the day of the trial. This is usually what happens, but the whole case is not going as “usual.” I believe it’s because we have a God that doesn’t have to follow society’s rules.