Fostering - Birth mom moves out of state

We have our third placement, other two placements were pretty short term. This one came to us about 3.5 weeks ago. He was surrendered by mom and she wanted to meet us, so we met with her. At that time she alluded to the fact that she wouldn't be around long. In the world of placements he wasn't too bad off but he certainly wasn't taken care of. He seems to be thriving with us. Which is great. After taking him, mom went MIA until yesterday. Then I was told she would have one visit at the rehab/mental facility she was at. I was told only one visit because she is moving back to AZ today. I'm a bit confused as to how you work a reunification plan when you are 6 states away. Her SW says she is not relinquishing and that our county will make sure her county provides her with the resources she needs to be able to reunite. I just don't get it though...a sw friend of mine (actually the MAPP licensing worker for our county) says these things rarely work out. If mom is several states away she would have to do a stellar job to be given visits and to move him to AZ with her. She said once they move out of state it usually doesn't end with reunification. Does anyone out there have any experience with this type of situation? I feel awful for this child. We would certainly adopt him if he needed a family but this is a odd situation to me. Any thoughts or help would be greatly appreciated!
DH, Jared 7/28/01; DD, Isabella Grace 11/28/06; said good-bye to baby 2 5/09 (11.5 weeks); said good-bye to Dakota Blu 11/09 (11.5 weeks); DS, Benjamin Cruz 12/6/10; said good-bye to babies 5 and 6 09/12 (8 weeks); baby "K" our foster son 11/28/12 came to us 1/7/14

Re: Fostering - Birth mom moves out of state

  • It does seem a bit odd. I don't have experience, all I can do is pray for the child. At least he has you guys looking out for him. Best of Luck
    TTC since June 2010
    5 Angels

    Lilypie - (hlC0)
  • A reunification plan would include regular visits that would at the very least be supervised to begin With plus casework counseling. Don't see how this is possible when the bm is out of state. I've seen it that if you don't come on too strong, the bm eventually fades away. Sometimes they stick in there just for the fight but they are not truly motivated for the child's sake.
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  • I used to be a foster care worker for a private agency.  The paperwork to do an out of state placement is crazy and involves multiple offices.  I have seen kids reunified with family who were out of state but it was not the parent who lost custody.  They did not do much in the way of visitation, it's just too difficult/expensive.  It is a complicated process and the receiving state often drags their heels doing the paperwork because they have enough kids of their own who need homes without dealing with an out of state child who is in a perfectly good foster home.  

    I agree with your friend that the odds of reunification are pretty slim.  But I have seen crazier things happen so try to keep yourself in the mindset of reunification unless there is goal change.  

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