Family Team B.S. Again


So yesterday we had another FT meeting. Two things initially caught my attention: one, our lovely caseworker mentioned a promotion. I’m still wondering why and for what, but I don’t really care.

Two, she actually asked us to introduce ourselves. For the umpteenth time. We’ve only been meeting for SIX months. Holy cow. Seriously.

And of course, the subject of today’s post: follow-up visits.

I said something about being glad to be done with this and she said, “Oh, no – I’ll be coming every week to visit.” Oh, heck no! I told her that was fine, but I wouldn’t be home when she came. No way. Nope.

Now here’s the deal: my son was taken into custody because he was being a butthead. No two ways about it, but that’s the short version. He was taken away in handcuffs, for crying out loud. Both officers who answered that call agreed that this was the proper procedure, because he was the problem.

He declined medical care. Until he was booked into detention. Then he called me to come pick him up. I said no. By the next morning, he was taken into “protective” custody because of 1) the stories he told and 2) his DJO was out-of-town and her supervisor took charge. Now, his DJO has stated that this would NOT have happened if she had been available. She gets him, she’s not stupid.

After a quick hearing a few days later, the judge ordered him to remain in foster care and set another hearing to determine the outcome of the case.

At that second hearing, the judge said that “these parents have done nothing wrong” but ordered my son to stay in foster care, undergo counseling, obtain an education, and so forth; he also ordered that he remain on probation.

Does this sound like a typical foster care situation? Seems to me that the judge gave us, the family, an opportunity to regroup; it has nothing whatsoever to do with my son being “abused” or “neglected” because he simple wasn’t and isn’t.

Yet, merely because he’s in the foster system, by his own actions, the rest of the family must continuously deal with the state’s ludicrous rules and procedures.

The foster system is in place to protect children. This is a child, and I use that term loosely, who needs no protection, although he has certainly caused turmoil and upset for his family. So why continue this farce? I’m quite sure the answer is “because those are the guidelines.”

What are “guidelines”, exactly? By definition, a guideline is a general roadmap to help a person make decisions. It’s not a hard-and-fast rule, it’s certainly not law.

Apparently, no bureaucracy can function at all without rigidly following the “guidelines” and interpreting them as law.

Now, since this child does not need protection, and this should have been ascertained and incorporated into the order, why in the world should the Children’s Division need to continue to interfere? I’m sure I don’t know.

And I’m quite sure no one will be able to give a coherent answer. We can only hope that the judge continues to exhibit wisdom, rather than following the guidelines like all the other sheep.

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