Wednesday, June 09, 2010

june foster care update

i haven't had an update on our dss foster care application since april. so, while i'm sitting at home waiting for the fire marshal to come to our house, i thought i'd do a recap of what's happened over the past month and a half.

basically, nothing. well, not nothing. a bunch of waiting.

as i mentioned in april, we are required to have home inspections before we're cleared to attend the foster care classes, which are 2 full-day saturday classes. we were aiming to have our inspections done by may so we could attend the may classes. the dss case worker schedules the fire marshal's fire safety inspection and we schedule the dhec health and safety inspection, both of which require us to be at the house during the inspection. our case worker scheduled appointments with the fire marshal on two or three separate occasions. but because she doesn't check with us first to see our availability on any given day and because she couldn't get a time from them, the hubby and i were not able to be home for any of the appointments she scheduled so she had to cancel and reschedule. after several canceled appointments, we finally found out that the fire marshal will only do inspections in our area on wednesdays. but unfortunately neither of us had a wednesday available until june. so we tried to have the case worker schedule a june appointment (it was mid-may by this point) but the fire marshal doesn't schedule appointments until the current month (?). so basically, we had to wait a month to schedule a june appointment for the fire inspection (meanwhile attempting to keep wednesdays in june open on our work calendars, which is a very difficult task for both me and baldman's busy offices).

the dhec inspection seemed to be a bit more logical. we could easily contact dhec ourselves and schedule the appointment based on our own schedule. however, when i contacted them, he informed me that our animals (cats) have to be up to date on their rabies vaccines, which, they were not. so i had to get them vaccinated before i could schedule that inspection. it took me several weeks to get that taken care of and i didn't really see the rush anyway since we couldn't schedule the other inspection until june anyway. so, i finally got the cats vaccinated at the cheapy mobile cat clinic in late may. and was able to schedule our dhec sanitation and safety inspection for yesterday.

i wasn't too worried about the dhec visit. however, there were a few things i was a bit concerned about. namely, our bees, the fact that we have a water heater sitting in the middle of our kitchen (sort of), and a few other things. I was also concerned about lead-based paint, which i'm certain we have under layers and layers of newer paint. so we cleaned and cleaned and purged stuff, rearranged dangerous items onto higher shelve, put locks on our kitchen cabinets and outlet covers on our plugs throughout the house, and sanded and painted the 3 outside doors. the guy visited yesterday and his inspection lasted less than 10 minutes. i'm not even kidding. he checked our outlet covers. he made sure our medicines and chemicals were on locked or high shelves. he checked the cat's vaccination records and the temperature of our water. but he barely looked around the house. he did, however, say that our house was "very cute" and "very clean." so perhaps if we had a dirtier house or a house that wasn't as aesthetically pleasing he would have looked a little harder. but it just seemed so easy. the hardest part about it was getting it scheduled.

but, like everything else with the foster care certification process, once you check off one box, another box is unveiled. he didn't check for lead-based paint. he has to fax the information to another person at dhec and they have to come out and check for lead-based paint. i told him on the phone that our house was built in 1941, so you think he could've scheduled both visits at the same time. but no, apparently not.

and, yesterday (june 8) at 9:15 am our dss case worker emailed to say that our fire inspection would be on june 9 and she would let me know when she knew the time. so, thanks for the notice on that one, ms. dss case worker. by some miracle, however, june 9 happened to be the only wednesday of the month where i had no work appointments on my calendar. go figure. so i'm at work today and doing my thing, wondering when i would hear the time of today's inspection, when at 10:06 am i get an email from the dss case worker saying that the fire inspection would be between 11:00 and 12:00. so i had about 20 minutes to finish what i was doing and high-tail it home. to sit and wait. for 45 minutes now. until the fire marshal shows up. probably for will be a 10 minute inspection.

wonder if whenever he gets here he'll have to schedule another person to come out for some random thing that he won't be able to do. i'll keep you posted.

**UPDATE: the fire marshal just left. he arrived about 10 minutes late and apologized several times. apparently he's been having computer problems, which continued during his visit. his was a bit more of a thorough inspection:measure windows, check smoke alarms and fire extinguisher, check the lint trap on the dryer. we *almost* had a violation and i could feel my face getting red from frustration. even though we have smoke alarms in both bedrooms and the kitchen, we also have to have a smoke alarm in the hallway (less than 3 feet from the bedroom detectors!). and, of course, we didn't have one. well, actually, we had one but i thought it was defunct. i could've sworn i bought an extra detector but i couldn't find it anywhere in the house. so he was going to cite me with a minor violation and have to come back again. but, we decided to check the detector in the hallway again and it worked! it is too old for their specifications and it ultimately has to be replaced, but he let us slide. the only issue was that his computer wasn't working properly so he couldn't print out the record and have me sign it. so he said he would call our case worker to see if she will allow him to sign on behalf of us. let's hope that works...


Erica said...

Thanks for the update, Katie. What a daunting task this must be.
Love y'all.

St. Elizabeth of Cayce said...

Gracious, Pete!
I know I'l;l feel much safer the next time I'm in your hallway.