So what’s the BIG DEAL about Preparation?. Why Preparation, with a Purpose, can Make or Break your FTM!!!. “If I had 8 hours to chop down a tree, I would spend 6 hours sharpening the ax.” - Abraham Lincoln
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Why Preparation, with a Purpose,
can Make or Break your FTM!!!
“If I had 8 hours to chop down a tree, I would spend 6 hours sharpening the ax.”
- Abraham Lincoln
Archbishop Michael Ramsey: “One minute. But I spend 59 minutes preparing to pray.”
Ms Thomas is a single mother of 2 children, Bobby, age 5 and Sarah, age 3. Ms Thomas’ has been involved with the Agency one previous time, on an unsubstantiated case of neglect due to lack of supervision. Ms Thomas came to the attention of the local DFCS office when Bobby came to kindergarten on 3 successive days dressed in shorts and a t-shirt, on days when the high temperature did not reach 45 degrees. The local DFCS assigned the case with a Differential Response. Upon meeting with Ms Thomas, DFCS learned that she has been allowing Bobby to dress himself for school, as a way to give him more responsibility. Ms Thomas states that Bobby is a bright boy, and if he was cold 1 day, he should learn to grab a coat for the next. Ms Thomas states that her mother is a big support for her, as well as the children’s father, although they are no longer “together.” Ms Thomas receives Food Stamps and the children are on Medicaid.
The DFCS CM has referred this family for a FTM, in hopes of helping Ms Thomas develop a plan to better meet the children’s needs and to learn better ways of helping Bobby to be more responsible. The DFCS CM wants to complete the FTM before the end of the D.R. Case, and will determine at the conclusion of the FTM whether the case can be closed or whether the case will need more intensive services.
DFCS opened an investigation on Ms Smith, mother of Timmy, age 7 and Kim, age 9, after allegations of lack of supervision. DFCS substantiated the case after learning that, on the weekends, Ms Smith would leave the children all night, while going out to with her friends. Ms Smith stated that she would drink occasionally, and has used drugs, but would never consider herself as an addict. She stated that she left the children at home because, she didn’t have any one that she could leave the children with and that she was under the impression that children were old enough to care for themselves. She stated that she would leave them plenty of food and would be in communication with the children by cell phone constantly throughout the night.
Ms Smith stated that the children’s father, Mr. Smith, is a “good guy,” but lives in another state from her, but he does pay child support. Ms Smith states that her sister is a support, but can’t watch the children regularly. Ms Smith works hard during the week, wants to “blow off steam,” but considers herself a very good mother.
DFCS substantiated the case for Lack of Supervision and sent the case for FPS. The CM has referred Ms Smith for a Family Team Meeting, with the purpose of creating a Family Plan.
The on-call DFCS CM responded to an emergency call received at 2:30 am. Police were called to the Hotel Room of Ms Jones, with suspicion of an active Meth Lab being run from the room. Although there was no evidence that a Meth Lab was active in the room, there was significant drug paraphernalia and Ms Jones appeared to be under the influence of an illegal substance. Ms Jones refused to give the name of any family members, especially the father, and the police took emergency custody of the children, Trae, age 2 and Sydne, age 1, and Ms Jones was arrested.
The CM visited with Ms Jones at the hotel and learned that Ms Jones was not cooperative with the police due to her fear. She stated that the children’s father, Mr. Simmons, has a lengthy criminal past and has done nothing to support the children during the last 2 years. She stated that her mother is a support and will be very upset due to her behavior and putting the children in danger. She stated that her aunt would also be a possible resource for her children. Ms Jones admits that she has used cocaine and Meth on and off for the last year and does want to be better for her children, she is just afraid that she won’t have the opportunity.
During the 72 hr hearing, on the following Monday, DFCS was given custody of the children and an initial FTM was scheduled for Friday. The Purpose of the FTM is to determine potential placement resources and to begin planning for reunification.
The Gilbert children, Ben, age 2, Sally, 4, Tiffany, 6 and Andrew, 8, have been in the custody of DFCS for 5 months. The parents, Jim and Mary, have made some progress on their reunification goals. Jim has been taking his anxiety medication regularly and making some progress as to his goal of maintaining employment. Mary, who has who a victim of extreme sexual abuse as a child, has been attending therapy sessions regularly and has been making some progress as how to meet her children’s emotional needs.
DFCS placed the children with the paternal grandparents 3 months ago, but paternal grandfather has become very ill and paternal grandmother could not care for the children by herself. DFCS desires to keep the children placed with their family, but no other options have been readily available. The PLC CM has referred the family for a FTM, with the expected Outcome to be a Decision about Placement.
Stephanie, age 16, has been in the custody of DFCS for 15 months. She has had several charges with the Juvenile Justice System and sees her probation officer 2x a month. DFCS has just learned the identity of Stephanie’s father, and the CM has submitted a referral for a FTM to engage Mr. Black in the Case Planning process. Stephanie was removed from her mother’s care due to constant neglect and the Judge has ordered for a non-reunification case plan and DFCS has initiated a TPR.
Mr. Black is apprehensive, as he has not had contact with Stephanie in more than 5 years. He states that his mother and wife a very supportive of him and give him good encouragement. He states that his sister, Stephanie’s aunt, has 2 children and is willing to provide mentoring to Stephanie.
Stephanie is involved with a therapist, Dr Green. Stephanie has made some good progress with Dr Green and considers Dr Green a positive role model. Stephanie’s Foster Parents, the Young’s, have been her most consistent placement and she is very attached to them.
The expected outcome of the FTM is for Mr. Black to develop a plan for reunification with Stephanie.
Ms Carter came to the attention of the local DFCS when her child tested positive for THC at birth. Ms Carter stated to the CM that she has another child, age 3, whom she voluntarily gave Temporary Custody to a family friend, due to past substance abuse. She states that she has always smoked marijuana and has occasionally used other drugs. Ms Carter stated that the custodians of her other child would be a good resource placement for her child. Ms Carter wants to work a plan that will give her both of her children long-term. Upon the completion of a home evaluation, DFCS and Ms Carter agreed to safety-place the infant into the custodian’s home. During the home evaluation, the CM learned that the custodian had hired an attorney and was seeking to make the custody agreement of the 1st child permanent.
Ms Carter stated that her mother and father are divorced, and that her father would want to come to the FTM, but there would be a lot of conflict if he came to the meeting. He, too, has had substance abuse issues and wants her to do her recovery the way he did his recovery. Ms Carter stated that the father of the baby, Mr. Jones, works hard and has good support from his mother and his employer.
The case has been referred for a FTM, with the expected outcome to create a Family Plan with Ms Carter and Mr. Jones.
Ms Wright has been working with DFCS for 5 months and has progressed to the point where the CM has staffed the Wright case with the SSS for closure. Ms Wright, who was a victim of family violence for 7 years, has left her husband and moved into the Crisis Center with her children, Amanda, age 7 and Sam, age 5. While in the Crisis Center, she has attended group sessions 3 times a week and also received individual counseling 1 time a week. Ms Wright has worked with the Crisis Center to secure safe and affordable housing for the children. The children are attending school regularly and have a commitment from the School Counselor to give extra support this year.
At the initial FTM, Ms Wright’s mother, Sue, attended and has been a big support to Ms Wright during the FPS case. Also, Ms Wright’s sister, Cindy, has been a support throughout.
The CM has referred Ms Wright for a Closure FTM, with an expected Outcome of developing an After-Care Plan for Ms Wright and the children.
Ms Allen’s child, Lucas, has been in the care of DFCS since birth, as he tested positive for Cocaine. At the initial FTM, DFCS created a plan with Ms Allen for reunification. During the life of the case, DFCS did a diligent search and learned the name of the father. The father was contacted and did not wish to have anything to do with the child.
DFCS pursued to place the child with Ms Allen’s mother, brother and sister, but each home was denied after being evaluated. As of this time, Lucas is still placed with his Foster Parents, the Gray’s.
Ms Allen has not made any progress in 11 months, and is still using Cocaine weekly. Ms Allen has been inconsistent in her visitation with the CM and has been inconsistent with attending her visitations with Lucas.
The CM has referred the case for a FTM, as DFCS will be seeking to change the permanency option to Non-Reunification for Lucas.