I’ve had two visits this month from my licensing social worker. The first was very brief. She talked to me for about 30 minutes, asking me questions and having me sign a whole bunch more papers, then I showed her around the house. We looked at the bedrooms and talked about how many children could be “on” my license. I’ve said before how very small my home is but she said I could have two in the small bedroom and 3-4 if I switched bedrooms and let the kids have the larger one. And that was about it. She said we were waiting on background clearance from the state and then she’d schedule the final walk through. We all know how slooowww the government can be so I didn’t expect to hear from her for at least a few weeks.
That was a Tuesday, the following Monday she calls and leaves a message about doing the final walk through and a possible placement. What the what??? I agreed to having her come the next day, and then rushed around the house doing a bunch of little things I thought I was going to have more time to do.
When she came, she had me sign even more papers about fire drills and evacuation plans and then she asked me to show her a few things: where I keep the cleaning supplies, prescription and OTC medication and power tools. She checked the water temperature and tested the smoke/carbon monoxide alarm.
We talked about this possible placement as well but that ended up being futile. An 8 year old girl who had been in a foster home and was pulled out when a relative popped up who wanted her and her siblings but now it had surfaced that the relative’s home was questionable. Although, she hadn’t had the greatest life so far it sounded like she had relatively few behavior issues, was good at school, etc. It was possible they would pull her from the home the following Monday, less than a week away! I spent the day imagining my life and my home with an 8 year old Shelly in it. Should I take a part the crib in there? Rush out and get a bunch of girly toys and posters? Could I get her into any summer sports or camps this late in the season? It was certainly a different train of thought than I’d had in a very long time.
Licensing Worker called later in the day to tell me it had been decided that she would stay in the relative’s home with her siblings. Buckle up folks…here we go…..