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How My Foster Kids’ Medical Needs Could Fall Through The Cracks

iStock_000026124271SmallWe hear stories of foster kids’ medical needs falling through the cracks, but I always assumed that I would be such a kick-ass advocate, I wouldn’t have a problem. Ah, my naiveté.

I was able to imagine a lot of situations that would lead to failure by the foster parents to follow up on medical concerns, lack of records sharing, and information getting mixed up in general. What I didn’t imagine was how insurmountable of a struggle it can be to get permission from the government to get consent to follow doctors’ orders. The one extra step of getting a consent form signed can become a full-time job.

I already have to take my foster daughters to the pediatrician to document every scratch, bruise, and cough. Yet when the doctor actually requests a test, everyone drags their feet to consent?

I didn’t know what advocacy was until now. In an effort to get recent consent, I called the child’s attorney, asked my foster daughter’s doctor to call the foster agency, asked another doctor to call the foster agency, and asked a third doctor treating my daughter to call — all to advocate and question why there is a hold-up. As time passed, I also called the foster agency medical director, a second foster agency nurse, my foster daughter’s early intervention providers, and a few other people on her team. I think we’re getting somewhere — at least her case worker says so — but it’s soooo much work. I’ve gotten nothing done at my actual job the past two days.

What would have happened if I was overwhelmed and didn’t have the time or energy to advocate with such intensity? What if I had more than one daughter needing medical testing? If I had taken on as many foster children as the agency wanted, I see how easily medical needs could fall through the cracks.

Other posts from Rebecca this month include:

13 Weird Baby Teeth Stock Photos (‘Cause Baby Teeth Can Be Hilarious)

I Bailed On The 1st Birthday Cake Smash- And You Can Too

9 Adorable Must-Haves From The Land of Nod

12 Science, History and Other Smart Toys From The Land of Nod

The Status of Clementine’s Adoption (For National Adoption Month)

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