I thought I had posted about this before, but maybe not as a lot of long-time readers have asked. I was probably trying to avoid scaring professional foster parents away lest they fear having a similar occurrence. I’m confident my experience is rare. If you haven’t read about Jacket, her mom’s attorney and the insanity that ensued several years ago, you might want to skip this- it’s old news.
When Jacket his the 17 month mark in foster care, her mom’s attorney went into overdrive- and directly after me. It was effective. I strongly believe that Jacket was returned so abruptly because the ACS attorney was trying to protect me. Here’s what Jacket’s mom’s attorney did:
1. subpoenaed all of my emails with the law guardian’s social worker assigned to the case (I always knew this was a possibility but it’s extremely rare)
2. after reading the emails she filed a complaint with the ny licensing board (the one attached to my LMHC) arguing that my work email signature falsely indicated I was a psychologist. Actually, she filed 4 pages of complaints, but this was the only one the licensing board accepted and questioned me on.
3. The next day she told the court (I wasn’t there) something about my testimony not being reliable because my clinical license “was under investigation”- an investigation she started. So smart and so shady! I was effectively bullied out of testifying. I guess that makes her a good attorney for Jacket’s mom.
In the end, my LMHC wasn’t affected at all and it was an open and shut case that left me with a clean record. My work signature was correctly written as
"Rebecca ________, PhD, LMHC
"LMHC" is a master’s level license of "licensed mental health counselor". "Psychologist" was my actually job title- as it was the job title given for everyone with my job across the state of NY in OPWDD contracted agencies. The licensed psychologist had the title "Licensed Psychologist" and the extra salary to go with it. I didn’t make up my job title so I was in the clear. I was also in the clear because not all psychologists are clinical psychologists, I was/am a cognitive psychologist. There are developmental psychologists, school psychologists, social psychologists, industrial psychologists, and so on. Lastly, I found out I was in the super-duper clear because my place of employment fell under the state’s “Exempt status” of needing me to be a licensed psychologist in order to have the title psychologist. This only expired this year as the state and Medicaid restructure things.
So, when I was called in by the licensing board I handed them a copy of my job description with the title “Psychologist” and that was that. They said it was the shortest interview they’ve ever done. Nonetheless, I was completely freaked-out by the experience and in constant communication with my clinical supervisors about it at work. They were fantastic and out of the experience they suggested that I get licensed specifically as a clinical psychologist. At the time, I didn’t realize that I qualified but it turned out that I had all of the classes, clinical hours, etc. I just had to take the exam.
As you can see, I can quite literally thank Jacket’s mom’s attorney for motivating me to get licensed at the doctoral level. :)
Also, lesson learned- I don’t use my work email anymore to communicate with foster care players.
Again, don’t be scared off. Jacket’s mom’s attorney is infamous in her family courthouse for being wacko. I was told she does this kind of thing on all of her cases and to not take it personally (impossible for me). I could almost guarantee that this would never happen to you as a foster parent.
which were $7 a carton, I got them using the WIC Farmer’s Market checks. I LOVE the farmer’s market WIC checks. We get around $60 worth for the season. I posted about them years ago with Jacket and how the program has a really hard time getting participants to use them. They were so desperate to get folks to try them out that they were telling us we could use the checks to get a pumpkin for Halloween. I’m glad the program has lasted.
It was the weekend of plums. We got a big carton of them at the farmers market and the girls have already eaten them all. So delicious.
I can’t believe how quickly 6 weeks have gone by. I go back to work August 1st and I’m already sad. Every day is taken up with something such as foster care appointments, visits, pink-eye pediatrician appointments, etc etc. While I enjoy spending time with the girls regardless, I was hoping for more of the “Disney Dad” experience. There just hasn’t been time.
The first 3 weeks were used studying for the EPPP, the exam to become a licensed psychologist. This thanks to Jacket’s mom’s attorney of course. I didn’t want to blog about it because I didn’t know if I’d pass, but I did so I’m quite pleased. The last 3 nights before the exam I actually slept in my office to get quality sleep away from the girls and to keep my study pattern going. Asia stayed with Clementine and Sandy and I’d come home twice a day to play and eat dinner with them.
This past week I’ve been consumed with considering a job change (one that’s more family friendly and with flexible hours) and with a new job might come a new neighborhood which has me thinking about schools for the girls which turns into an ocean of thoughts and considerations.
On the fun side, I’m cooking a lot more for the Sandy and Clementine. I’ve started to let Sandy ‘help’ me because I have the time to clean up the extra mess. I’m not too exhausted to read the girls’ favorite books to them as many times as they’d like.
I bought the girls matching toddler beds (have to wait for a nap to put them together) and had several photos of them blown up to poster size and framed. There’s one of the first week Clementine came and she’s snuggled up and asleep on Sandy’s chest while Sandy is laying stiffly in shock. Hopefully I’m not jinxing Sandy’s adoption goal by putting giant photos of her up around the apartment.
- Me: Someone on the blog just asked if there's anything that Clementine doesn't like. I'm drawing a blank.
- Asia: It used to be cold milk but she even likes that. LoL
- Me: LoL
- Asia: That's seriously a hard questions.
It’s no surprise that Clementine also got pink-eye. Try telling 1-year-olds to not put their fingers in each other’s eyes, not to lick one another’s eyes, or not to rub their faces against each other. Hint: it doesn’t work.
But here’s what I want to write about, Clementine LOVES EYE DROPS. She is the craziest. After she’s received her dosage she grunts and reaches for more. When the eye drop bottle comes out she claps her hands and throws her head back in anticipation- who does that? Sandy on the other hand, when I so much as say “eye drops” she starts throwing chairs.
Meghan found a lovely lady to babysit Snap’s brother for $125 a week. She’s ACS approved and whatnot and keeps another little boy. The lady babysat for her neighbors for 10 years and only lives 1 block away.
Little things pop-up in my feed like “I got Anna! Which Disney Hero Are You?” I like collecting these little nuggets of Clementine’s birth mom’s personality to share with her when she’s older.
Okay, last Asia quote for a while- she really should have her own blog or twitter feed of these.
This morning she was giving the girls a bath and I overheard her say to one who was trying to leap out of the tub
"Nah ah, sit down right now, your little booty needs to marinate for a while".
I used the spa gift certificates today that Asia gave me. 2 hours of massage. I feel like jello. Asia’s doing Sandy’s visit today so that it’s not immediately undone.
What?! You don’t say ‘no’ to me. You say no to drugs and no to strangers, but not ‘no’ to me, little girl.
Wow, I had no idea that this is where the big bucks are at:
Deputy Commissioner, Early Care and Education at ACS
Salary110,000.00 - 175,000.00 $ /year