Saturday, November 12, 2011

When Your Foster Child is Injured

When you have a foster child in your care everything is everyone.  Everyone looks at the child's clothing, hair, cleanliness, bumps and bruises.  If you walk out of the house with a clean kid and somehow end up with a dirty one by the end of your excursion it must be because you aren't taking care of the child like you should.  Social workers are in your home on a monthly basis. Not everyone is willing to open up their lives and homes to the scrutiny.

When you have a foster child every injury has to be reported and documented.  When they have an injury that is more serious then you have the worry of the child and the worry of a possible investigation.  I understand the need.  Children have been hurt while in foster care.  Not every foster parent provides the level of care that they should.  Some are even neglectful or abusive.

Friday was such a day.  It started out a great day but quickly became one with multiple medical issues.  First our teens school called saying that she was complaining of chest pain.  A quick visit to the doctors resolved that issue and it was minor so I will call her SW on Monday to tell her what is happening.

Then we received a call from Lily's school saying that she had fallen and hurt her eye.  John went to go pick her up and we requested an incident report.  That incident report clears us of any wrong doing.  Little did we know what this fall would entail.  Shortly after bringing her home she starting vomiting.  John went to the emergency room and I followed after picking the other kids up from school.  In the end we ended up being transferred by ambulance to the children's hospital in the big city and John got to spend another night in the hospital.  Thankfully she was released this afternoon after she kept her breakfast down.

Friday I couldn't reach anyone in the DSS office because they had the day off.  I emailed all workers who would need to know.  Then this morning I called the counties sheriff office to see if they could get a message to the DSS worker on call.  They did and she called me back.  So I have reported as I should and I will give them a copy of the incident report from the school.  It was actually a relief that this happened at school.  There should not be any investigation. 

We have never had an investigation.  However, we know that there is always the chance that something will happen in our home.  We are very open with our social workers about any issues that we have.  We have even told them about our little screamer in case one of our neighbors calls.  Actually I am thinking about going and talking to each one of them about our little one.  They are familiar with our kids coming and going but we have never had a screamer to the extent that this child is.  She has some very good lungs.

Sometimes I find that I am quicker to take a foster child to the doctor then I do my own children.  I don't think that a child needs to be seen for a typical virus or minor illnesses.  However, if a foster child gets sick I take them in just in case.  I wonder how many other foster parents do the same.  Actually I hear that some have the social worker take the child.  Seems strange to me since the foster parent should know best what is going on.

Sometimes I do wonder how different each state is in the foster care rules and regulations.  Each state has their own rules and subsidies.  South Carolina is among one of the lower paying states, starting at $332/month.  If you are a foster parent in another state and have noticed that something is different in your area please comment and let me know.  I know that some prospective foster parents read this blog.  They may find the information useful.....and I am curious.

It has been a long 2 days and I am once again going to bed before midnight.  This night owl is suffering.  Hope everyone has a great evening.


  1. It sounds about the same as FL and GA. GA would tell its prospective parents that it cost more to kennel a dog for a day than foster parents get for a child and its true.

  2. For fostering in Pennsylvania (at least in our county) we get around $500 a month subsidy. It is actually a daily rate (I can't remember exactly what it is...something like $17.90/day) - so if they go to respite or something, then you lose those days of course.

  3. In OK, the subsidy is $365/mo (based on a daily rate which is about $0.50/hour). We too, take our foster kids to the doctor for everything.

  4. In Utah we get reimbursed $14 a day (about $500 a month) for each foster child. And YES, I take my foster children to the doctor for anything- no matter how minor- just to be safe.

  5. I really can do math- $14 a day in Utah equates to $420-$434 a month, but when I include mileage reimbursement for doctor's appointments, visits, court, etc. it can average about $500 a month.

  6. Foster care in Oregon is determined by age but for our three year old it is $625 per month