What Did I Do With That Sticky Note?
Praises to the woman who invented sticky notes. If it wasn't a woman, it was a man who had short term memory loss, PMS, foster
children, or any combination thereof! What did we do before sticky note? Well, we wrote things down on regular pieces of paper and promptly lost them. This works well for appointments, running errands and picking kids up from assorted sporting practices, but what about those really important things like:
Medication side-effect charts
Eating/sleeping schedule charts
Safety check lists
Therapist, medical doctor, hospital name and phone numbers
Child's social security #
These are items you might need at a moments notice like when the ambulance shows up after an overdose, or when the child has been found after running away and is in a hospital, going to court, or even when they are ready to move. All the documentation you provide, will help whomever parents this child next. It is your responsibility to give them as much information as possible in order for the child to progress, rather than digress. We suggest a 3-ring binder for each child with all the information and charts listed above, and then the individual ones tailored to your individual situation. Use dividers to categorize each subject for easy location. Label front and side of binder with child's name and therapist or placing agency. Document all medical events, or events which you consider pertinent to decision making related to this child's health
. Include your monthly reports and evaluations. Include a current picture of the child which can be used by the police if the child is a runaway.
Remember, this is not a life book. A life book contains positive things and should be fun, colorful, exciting and positive This is a portable filing system on the child and will move along with the life book as the child moves. Chances are, that each child you foster will not arrive with this book, so it is your responsibility to create it. In doing so, you will help not only the next parent, should there be one, but you will help the child and their progress towards healing and being whole. Sure, it's a lot of work. Sure, it's an extra expense. But, if you help just one foster parent, who in turn helps just one child, who in turn receives the help they need because of you, isn't it worth it?
Credits: Sharon Davis