Foster Parenting Step Four: CPR and First Aid Certifications
So in order to be good foster parent, you have to keep the kid physically alive. An absurd amount of the foster care licensing process is dedicated to how to not kill or seriously maim the child; how not to have your house burn down; and how to rescue the child if and when he gravely injures himself.
Of all the things that we had to learn to become foster parents, I am incredibly relieved to report that the CPR certification has been the least useful. I would recommend every parent take a first aid class though! It’s come in handy a number of times.
However, this post would be incomplete without a special shout out to my best friend Jessica whose texted encouragement throughout our First Aid and CPR certification class is probably the only reason I didn’t throw-up during the section on eyeball injuries. Thanks, Jess. Now we both know what to do if one of our children stabs themselves in the eye with a pencil.
Foster Parent Licensing Step Five: The Home Inspection
Some notes on the foster care licensing home inspection.
- You have to lock up your liquor. My husband’s nightstand is now a lockable wine fridge. It’s one of the best decisions we ever made.
- You also have to have a dedicated, locked, medicine cabinet. Instead of locking a kitchen cabinet (and finding a new place for our spices), we bought a large tool box and made it our mobile medicine cabinet/first aid kit. My house isn’t going to make the pages of Southern Living anytime soon but, I’m telling you, if convenience is a priority – this is the way to go.
- Your hot water can only be so hot. This is a challenge if you live in a hot climate and your cold water has to run for a while before its scalding.
- You need a smoke detector in every room. Not kidding. Every room and hallway. You also need a carbon monoxide detector and fire extinguishers. They’re very concerned about fire.
- The egress rules are intense. A family in our foster parenting class had to bring in a contractor to re-do their pool fence so that a child could climb out their bedroom window without ending up within the fenced pool area. Which is a good segue way to my next point….
- When we told our licensing worker we didn’t have a pool or a gun, she actually said, “Thank God!” (I’ve heard these rules are even more intense than the egress rules).
- We actually drugged our dog with doggy valium for inspection day. We realized later that this was wildly unnecessary. For some reason we were concerned that our dog would do something like growl at the inspector and he would be like, “No children can live here that dog is scary!” It’s funny what you hyper focus on when you have un-channeled stress and anxiety – which, of course, is basically he theme of my entirely life….
We passed the inspection on the first go-round – which was a huge relief. The inspector immediately e-mailed our licensing worker after he left our house to say, “Great job prepping this family!” She forwarded it to us and laughed. According to her, its pretty unusual to pass in full compliance on the first try without anything to follow-up on. We are super-nerds – so give us a regulation and an instruction booklet, we are going to nail it every time.