We've got a new plan of action for our foster care endeavor since our first attempt fell apart and we pushed an imaginary pause button on the whole thing.
Some people told us we should NOT work directly with DFPS and we MUST have an agency.
Some other people told us we should NOT work with an agency and we MUST work directly with DFPS.
We heard good and bad stories about working only with DFPS.
We heard good and bad stories about working through an agency.
We kind of wondered what the big hullaballoo was for because all kids brought into foster care start with DFPS and have DFPS social workers as players in their case the whole time. DFPS vs. Agency does not imply two separate systems. The agency recruits, trains and supports foster parents with their own social workers, alongside the DFPS social workers. Meanwhile DFPS also recruits, trains and supports foster parents. Agencies have no role in CPS calls, pulling children from dangerous home and finding initial foster placements. DFPS, or more specifically CPS, does all that and then calls on either their own system's foster parents or an agency to find a placement.
We ended up pretty muddled and decided we just needed to make our own decision. So we did.
What's the plan?
After some praying, thinking, discussing, talking to a very nice social worker named Lori and generally sitting on all this, we have decided to work directly with the Department Of Family Protective Services. We don't really have a concrete list of reasons why, but this is what we have landed on and we feel very comfortable with it.
We are going to attend an info/intro meeting at the local DFPS office on April 8th. Yes, that is before tax season ends, and is indeed in the thick of things right before the deadline, but it is just one evening so I'll make up work hours elsewhere and it'll be ok. This meeting will fill us in on how the process works specifically with DFPS, what paperwork is needed, timeline, people involved, training etc. This will get the ball rolling again. Then there is an initial application and interview, over 35 hours of training and the home study. All of this would begin after tax season and take a few months.
So here we go! We're tired of being on pause and are ready to move forward again with this. We're ready. We're excited. We're confident that we are supposed to be doing this. We're still in great need of your prayers.