Traveling as a foster family! We went to Rocky Point, Mexico for Fall Break (something that happens here in Arizona. We get 2 weeks off in October, and it’s the best!) We opted not to travel with our 5 month old, because – it’s the beach. Not the best place for a fair skinned sand eater. So, we left him with two friends of ours – neither of whom are licensed foster parents. Although one of them is in the process. But this goes to show that you can leave your foster babies with people that you deem to be safe, and good care providers.
If you don’t have people who can watch your foster kids while you travel, you can tell your licensing worker, and they will find a respite provider (someone who is licensed to provide respite, usually another foster family) for you. The main difference here is that a licensed respite provider will get paid HANDSOMELY for watching your kid – about $1 an hour. Which is about $24 a day. Don’t do this for the money people!
So, the main thing that you need to leave with your respite provider is the Notice to Provider. This is a slip of paper that your foster child shows up to your house with. I lost my first one, and nearly threw up. I looked EVERYWHERE for it, for days. Finally I just emailed my child’s case worker, and she emailed me another one – no problem. What a waste of my time and emotions! So, if you ever lose yours, don’t lose your mind over it. Just ask for another.
Anyhow, this Notice to Provider has your child’s insurance number on it. Your child needs this so they can get medical attention while you are away. Which our baby needed since he got sick the morning we left! Of course. So, your respite provider cannot take your foster child to Urgent Care, because apparently they have a rule about that. But our friends had no problem making an appointment, and taking our boy to our pediatrician. Then our other friend created an account for our baby at Walgreens, and got his medicine. For free. Cause State Insurance takes care of all of that. No copays for visits or medicine.
NOW, apparently you can travel out of country, if you get special permission from the judge of your child’s case. You just need to give your child’s case worker a lot of advanced warning. You cannot get your foster child a passport, but you can still travel with them. Traveling within country is even easier. If your child is going to miss visits while gone, then those just need to be made up at some point when they get back. But otherwise, the state/system encourages foster families to travel with their foster babes, and give them fun new experiences.
We added a new member to our family! Our friend Catelin, check out episode 23 to hear her story, just moved in with us! And it’s been a delight so far.
If someone over the age of 18 moves into your home, and you are a licensed foster family, your case worker will just email you 3 forms for them to fill out. They will need to get finger printed, have their background checked, and do a medical evaluation (which means they get the form signed by their doctor saying they aren’t going to die in the next month or two.)
Catelin is showing up at just the right time for us, as Lily is a preteen and needs someone other than her parents to talk to. And she has been calling Catelin her ‘big sister’, so this is basically ordained by God himself.
Catelin said something so nice when I was watching her unpack. I was sitting on the floor in her room with the baby, and she just said: “People probably think foster care is this big scary thing, but look at this! The baby is so happy, and you are so happy!”
The (Good) Word of the Day:
“Anxiety weighs down the heart,
but a kind word cheers it up.”
So, Catelin’s words were just that – kind words that cheered me up. Because that is one of the goals of this podcast – to show that foster care is not a giant scary beast to avoid! Yes, there are hard times for sure, but they are all worthwhile times.
We hope you enjoy this week’s casual episode, and we will be back next week with an interview with a foster mom.
Until then – have a great week!
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