Widgets Magazine

Apr 24, 2015

Guest blog: Changes by Bossy

Change is hard, especially when we try to control everything.  After limping along, burnout out at work I left my position at DCFS in the beginning of March.  It was scary and unplanned, but an overwhelming sense of peace and comfort have helped me realize this was the plan.

About five years ago, when our secondary infertility became obvious, Gamer and I had discussed becoming foster parents.  I had just finished my internship with the foster care foundation and I felt strongly that foster care was something we were supposed to do eventually. We knew there was no way to do it without jobs and a bigger apartment.  I had never intended to work for DCFS, but Utah privatized disability care the year I graduated from UVU and suddenly there were thousands of caseworkers looking for work.  I was lucky to get hired by the state four years ago.  My caseload immediately became “my kids” and for the first three years that was enough.  My job enabled us to buy our house and eventually our house led to custody of Fajita.

Then last year, after successfully settling Fajita into our family, I just wanted to adopt every single child in my office.  With escalating urgency I felt I should look for different employment.  As a caseworker it was impossible for me to work for DCFS and provide foster care.  In other words, the people who understood foster care and the issues that stem from it the most are the least able to help in providing permanent homes. 

Foster child coming soon!
But change is scary.  So job postings would be researched, but application deadlines were missed and I continued to dislike my job more and more.  And then everyone in my office was pregnant.  Okay, not everyone, but in the space of three weeks the arrival of four babies on our team of twelve were announced, including my supervisor.  I had already been through one supervisor’s retirement and with planning, the transition was seamless.  The window to get a supervisor hired was less than a month.  I didn’t realize how three months of maternity leave would change that.  My supervisor didn’t even need to tell HR she wasn’t coming back until she had maxed out her leave. And then, the social worker job market stabilized and private companies began hiring again. Everything boiled into a chain reaction of people leaving.  Caseloads soared, documentation was lost, clients were traumatized.  Finally our build supervisor publicly plead no one else would leave until we could hire some new people.  And then six months later, I had a new supervisor. 

To say my new supervisor disliked me from the start would be an understatement.  As my blog name dictates I have a somewhat strong personality and things didn’t work out from the beginning.  Unfortunately, DCFS only allows transfers quarterly and it would be four months before I could put in to transfer to a different location.  When transfer requests opened at the beginning of the year they had added that your current supervisor had to approve the reason for the transfer request.  And I couldn’t bring myself to tactfully submitting my request before the deadline.  Each day at work was dreaded.  Instead of proactively looking for other employment, knowing my supervisor was trying to get me to leave, I dug my heels in and discussed a life-long career in my current position.  I threw myself into being the perfect caseworker.  I was miserable.

Fajita's new digs.
Fortunately God had a plan for me that was not being miserable for the rest of my life.  My supervisor discovered an error I had made during the chaos and used it to build a strong enough argument that I should quit.  So I did, to the shock of many of my friends.  I left without notice.  I cleaned out my office and went home.  On the way I called the agency who promised to hired me if I ever left and I called the agency I had decided would be the best 3rd party to do foster care.  And for the first time in two years I could breathe.

Changes.  Our license has taken a little longer than expected.  Our first placement will arrive when the high school gets out.  We requested they figure out a way for him to continue at his current school to the end of the year.  We will be having weekend visits soon though, so we wanted to get ready. We had to make some changes to our house. Burrito and Taco moved downstairs to share the biggest bedroom with Bean Dip.  Fajita was given the bed we had in storage in the garage so we could give her bed to our placement.  We could be licensed for three children, but we don’t have enough bedrooms.  Until we get another set of bunk beds, we can only have one. 

I have spend the week rearranging and cleaning and setting up bedrooms.  My siblings are off track and we very helpful in taking apart the bunk beds so we could move them downstairs.  Babydoll was so cute learning how to use a socket and unscrewing the bolts for me.  What about you readers?  Any major change coming this summer? 

Burrito's cool new fort.
Mom and I were discussing how to handle foster children on her blog.  We can with permission post photos, but obviously we can’t use their names.  We can’t identify them in a way that indicates they are in foster care either.  We want you all to be able to keep track, but they could be coming and going. We thought about allowing them to pick their blog name, but I don’t think we will have approval to formally introduce them in a post like we have in the past when new members have joined our family.  What do you think readers? 


Anonymous said...

I was a foster child and so was my brother and sister, it was a living hell on this earth & the state of Oregon could have cared less, the only saving grace was a wonderful family we lived with but we could not live there because they were not of our religion if you can imagine that, my only prayer for you and your family is to treat the kids right and not with hold food, hydration and the money that was rightly ours!!! I could have sued but then I would have had to live in God-Forsaken Oregon, even the judge I contacted agreed with me and my brother and siste but the statue of limitations was gone, juveniles and wees ones and people who lose their parents are not treated well in God-forsaken Oregon so that is what happened, you are not at all like the devils we had to live with, you want the kids and want to love and care about them, obviously you know about the system and would never harm any of them but many take kids in for just the money and nothing more, you will grow to love them and probably adopt thus giving them a life and a real family & home, kudos to you and kudos for quitting, some people are toxic to work for and God has great plans in your life congratulations upon taking the next step in your journey to have a larger family tooo, you are to be greatly admired, I have always thought it doesn't matter where the kiddos come from once they are adopted they are yours and that is a very very very good thing! Gods' continued blessings to you and yours, you are wonderful for your attitude and love and also your faith!!!!!!!!!!!

Marci said...

I'm not sure how the best way to have them on the blog is, but I'm sure you guys will figure something out, and as a follower I'm pretty sure it won't be too confusing to keep things straight. Good luck, can't wait to hear how things goe!

As for us, big changes... we close on a house on Monday (so technically not summer, but spring) and move into it in 2 weeks. My husbands little sister is coming to help us move and then she is living with us indefinitely as she works through some mental/physical health issues. We'll have all sorts of crazy changes to figure out!

Dog-Walker said...

Well, Bossy, I don't know about foster children being put on the blog, but I'm sure you can always tell the followers that the children are great for you. :)

LeAnn said...

I think it is awesome that you are going to be doing foster care. I am sure you will be perfect for it. I have a son and daughter in law that were foster parents for a number of years. They recently adopted over a three year period two of their foster children. One is four years old and one is 16 months old and they are both brother and sister. They are now my youngest grandchildren. I love them so much. Good luck on your new endeavors; it will open up a new world for you.
Blessings and hugs for this one!

Anonymous said...

If you blog about the children you foster please don't show their faces or their names, anonymously would be the way to go..What are you trying to accomplish by blogging about foster kids, trying to get others interested or your day to day activities, if you decide to adopt any of those children I would not put their likeness anywhere one just doesn't know how some people act these day, perhaps you could just mention what you are doing but no likeness and no names, because if you decide to adopt these will be your family & you don't want anything to compromise your love and affection for your own kin. Please reconsider blogging about your foster kids, I know God will give you an even better life than the one you endured at the place you formerly worked, he certainly will and who knows you will probably adopt and have even more children to love and raise and adore!


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