Who is our Web Master Crappypants?

Postby [SOFW]BanG » Tue Dec 29, 2015 11:06 am

WAYNESBURG — Even though Dean and Michelle Robinson of Carmichaels have four children of their own, they also decided to become foster (resource) parents and share their lives and large, six-bedroom colonial house with children less fortunate than their own.

“We’ve been foster parents for 14 years now for over 40 children, a few of which have been repeats,” Michelle said. “This doesn’t even count the children we’ve taken in as respites for other foster parents who go on vacation, enter the hospital or want to take a little break from their responsibilities.”

Of course, it would have been impossible for all 40 foster children to have stayed with the Robinsons at the same time. Rather, they come and go as needed, some for six months, others for as long as a year-and-a-half. But however long they stay, they’ve shared their lives with the Robinson family, which includes Ariel, 22, Kaysee, 19, Alex, 17, and an adopted daughter, Katelyn, 9.

While Ariel and Kaysee have since moved out of the house, three foster children – one boy and two girls between the ages of birth and seven – now share the family home with both Alex and Katelyn.

“Something I’ve always wanted to do was help children,” said Michelle, a native of Carmichaels. “After spending four years in Texas while Dean was in the Air Force, we moved back to Greene County in 1994 with my two oldest children.” (Alex and Katelyn were born after the Robinsons moved back to Pennsylvania).

Dean, a native of Greensboro, now works as environment services director at the Sundale Nursing Home in Morgantown. In 2000, the couple decided to become foster parents and made an application with Children and Youth Services of Greene County.

“While being a foster parent has its ups and downs, we find it rewarding,” Michelle said. “It can be heartbreaking to see how much hurt these children have been through, but it’s also heartwarming to see them change for the better. Some come in sad and depressed, but after a while they start smiling when they get used to a normal family life and know they’ll be safe and adequately fed. I enjoy watching the children grow happier and healthier.”

Since the Robinsons took in their first foster child in 2000, they’ve opened their home to children between the ages of three days to 13 years. One baby girl was born with an addiction to drugs because of her mother’s use during pregnancy, and Michelle spent a lot of time swaddling and cuddling her.

“Drug withdrawal can take one to six months for an addicted baby, depending on what drug the mother used,” Michelle said.

Over the years, quite a few of the foster children have come back to visit the Robinsons, and Michelle said it’s been quite a positive experience for everyone involved. Some foster children are eventually reunited with their biological parents. One of the Robinson’s foster children entered their home at a year-and-a-half old, but was later returned to her natural parents who brought the child back for a visit as a seven year old.

“It was wonderful to see how she’d grown,” Michelle said. “All of my own children have looked forward to having the foster children in our home and enjoyed everyone of them.”

Foster care gives children a temporary home when their parents can no longer take care of them.

While in foster care, the child lives in a safe and stable home while their parents focus on getting the assistance they need.

To become a foster parent, an applicant need not be married, own their own home or have a high income. They do need to be patient, caring and able to offer a safe and nurturing home environment. Depending on the size of the home, foster parents can care for more than one child.

“At the moment, we can use as many foster parents as we can get,” said Karen Bennett, Greene County Human Services administrator.

To help financially assist the foster parent, a $25 per-day stipend per child is paid monthly. Medical assistance for the child may also be available at the local welfare office.

Currently, Children and Youth Services have a total of 55 children in placement; 37 of these are in Greene County placement and 18 are placed out of county.

“We would rather keep the children under our care in the county because our staff of 15 caseworkers works with them on an ongoing basis,” said Stacey Courtwright, Children and Youth Services administrator.

“The situation is difficult for everyone involved, so keeping (foster children) in-county where resources are readily available just makes sense,” Bennett said.

Some foster parents might want to get involved for only respite visits, usually lasting a weekend or a couple of days. They can also be foster parents for years, but with different children coming in and out of the home. Foster children can be anywhere between the ages of birth and 18, and the foster parents can express preferences as to age and sex of the child. Courtwright said the agency will try to comply with their request as much as possible.

To become a foster parent an applicant must get an FBI, State Police and Childline clearance, paid for by Children and Youth Services.

They must also pass a physical exam, provide the child with transportation and adequate housing and space, and attend training.

They also have to work hand-in-hand with the child’s caseworker and maintain confidentiality.

Most clearances can take a month or more, but Bennett said that the agency needs resource parents so it tries to expedite matters to get things processed as soon as possible.

“Our children come from dysfunctional families and may suffer from physical and/or sexual abuse,” Courtwright said. “Their parents may also be addicted to drugs. The bottom line is we need more foster parents and would like the residents of Greene County to engage in the program, which can be a very rewarding experience.”

For more information about becoming a foster parent, call Greene County CYS at 724-852-5217.

Dean and Michelle Robinson of Carmichaels have been foster parents for over 40 children for 14 years. They say their experiences of being foster parents have been rewarding. Greene County Children and Youth Services is encouraging local residents to serve as foster parents.
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Re: Who is our Web Master Crappypants?

Postby [SOFW]BanG » Tue Dec 29, 2015 11:07 am

AWESOME JOB Dean aka Crappypants! Wishing you and family all the best and at some point you RETIRE fool! lolol
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Re: Who is our Web Master Crappypants?

Postby [SOFW]VaderOnIce » Tue Dec 29, 2015 4:48 pm

Crappypants had mentioned to me that they fostered kids but it's amazing to see how many children's lives they have bettered over the years. I imagine it must be rough to see the pain some of these kids come in with and it can't be easy to get them to trust you, but it must be hella rewarding.

You guys are an inspiration.
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