I Make a Difference Moment
Ms. Frank is a foster parent I worked with for the last 18 months. During that time, she has accepted multiple children into her licensed foster home. As I have continued to keep in touch with Ms. Frank I have observed the many ways she provides support to the children in her home.
Ms. Frank is a nurse at a local hospital in a role that does not typically involve direct patient care. Ms. Frank is in her late 50’s and has a frequent allergy related cough. In March of this year she received a call from her employer notifying her that all nurses could be called upon to provide direct patient care, which might include care to patients with COVID-19. She called me in tears at the thought of trying to prepare the child in her home for the risk that something might happen to her if she became exposed to the virus. She knew she needed to have someone in place to keep this child from entering foster care again. If the worst happened, she needed to have a plan, but was not sure where to begin.
I reached out to my direct supervisor, as well as the direct Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) supervisors. The guidance provided to me was to have Ms. Frank create the necessary documents to appoint a successor of guardianship. We divided up the tasks. Ms. Frank identified family members who could serve as a successor guardian if she were to become incapacitated. I gathered the documents Ms. Frank needed to complete to create the successor guardian and provided them to her. She completed them and staff from the MDHHS County office agreed to run the clearances on the family members she chose as successor guardians. And the pieces began to fall into place.
Once the above steps were completed, Ms. Frank was able to feel more at peace with the uncertainty of what is to come next knowing that the child she has become the guardian of will not re-enter foster care. Ms. Frank was extremely thankful and we shared a tearful moment regarding the uncertain times and the ability to provide for the child we both had worked with for so long.