How can keeping notes on contacts help a foster child?
Under everyday circumstances, memory may be all a person needs to recall pieces of information. Recollections of speaking with a doctor or doctor’s office and what information was communicated generally provides enough information to move to the next step in the process. In Court, though, one would need to know a date, the name of the person spoken to (say a nurse, not the doctor) and what specifically was said.
This behavior has two benefits.
(1) Being a witness in court is intimidating. The stress can cause one’s memory to freeze up which in turn causes more stress. Creating a written record provides an easy reference for the specific details.
(2) A record of the day to day interactions with school personnel, medical contacts, therapists, case managers, CASAs, you name it, can provide more details that could even show a pattern in a child’s life. In some instances, smaller details that may be unimportant to the foster parent might shift the tide in a dependency case for Child Protective Services or for a Guardian ad litem.
Tracking the details brings greater clarity to the bigger picture of a foster child’s life. Raising a foster child provides many day to day challenges that could over shadow the larger picture. The details do matter as well.
© 2015 Nancee Tomlinson