Day in the Life of Kimberly Clough, PCHAS Foster Family Consultant

Day in the Life of Kimberly Clough, PCHAS Foster Family Consultant

Kimberly Clough, PCHAS Foster Family Consultant

Kimberly Clough, PCHAS Foster Family Consultant in Longview, Texas, helps foster parents care for the children placed in their homes by the agency. She works closely with individual case workers from the child protective custody division of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

7:45 a.m. A foster parent calls to confirm a scheduled home visit set for later this evening.

8:15 a.m. Telephone call to Child Protective Services (CPS) to confirm my attendance later today at a   conference on behalf of two children that are placed in one of the foster homes I’m responsible for. The purpose of the conference is to discuss the family’s goals and objectives and to ensure that all aspects of the child’s long-term needs are being met. The team consists of the CPS Social Worker, CPS Supervisor, Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) Program Director, Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), Attorney ad Litem, a PCHAS Family Consultant and the foster parents.

9:00 a.m. Weekly staff meeting. During the meeting, I make a special prayer request for a sibling group of three that are the subject of an “adoption selection” meeting the following day. The meeting will be coordinated by DFPS representatives who have invited potential adoptive families to present their case; they want to persuade DFPS that they are will provide the best possible home for the children.
We pray that the sibling group will be placed in a loving home.

11:15 a.m. I receive psychological evaluations for two children and schedule a home visit with the foster parents to review this information.

12:30 p.m. Meeting with a provider of therapeutic services. The agency provides occupational, speech and physical therapy to children.

2:00 p.m. I contact foster parents by phone regarding three siblings that are seeking an adoptive placement. To ensure that the foster parents are prepared to provide insight about the children when they speak with DFPS personnel and staff members of other child placing agencies, we review the history of the children which includes the cause of removal from the biological parents as well as their educational, emotional, medical, and psychological well-being.

3:00 p.m. I attend a conference at the local DFPS office for a sibling group of two. The conference is unusually confrontational, as the biological grandparents of the children are petitioning for custody of the children. DFPS advises that there are safety issues with the home environment that prevented the department from placing with the children with the grandparents following the termination of parental rights. Each side—the grandparents and the foster parents who are seeking to adopt the children—agrees to allow the judge to make a determination on behalf of the children, as no alternative agreement can be reached at this time.

4:30 p.m. I make a home visit to one of my foster family group homes. In addition to issues related to the facility, such as health and fire inspections, we discuss meeting the needs of children—the children’s medical appointments, counseling and educational needs. I address the foster parent’s concern with the delay in the legal process that may prevent two of the children in the home from being adopted.

5:30 p.m. I conduct the first of five interviews with the foster children in the group home. The goal is to ensure that there are no concerns with their overall health, safety or well-being. Two of the children had birthdays this month. As a part of the interview process, I present them with a number of birthday cards provided by local church groups. The children are excited to receive the birthday cards and make plans to carefully spend the $1 cash gifts received in each. The children make thank-you cards to send back to the church congregations.

6:45 p.m. I interview the last of the foster children in the home, a girl who tells me that she had an “awesome” Thanksgiving and is so happy to be a part of a big family. With the permission of DFPS, the foster parents opened their home and invited the girl’s biological grandparents to have Thanksgiving dinner with the family. It is very satisfying to see the joy in the eyes of this child as she relives this joyous Thanksgiving holiday.

7:30 p.m. I stop by the office to pick up a set of weekly progress logs submitted by foster parents that I will review later tonight. I make a few notes, review my calendar for the next day, and make a to-do list.  I lock up the building, set the alarm, and head home.