Foster mother fights system to get over $1K in plumbing bills paid – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports
(WSVN) – Foster parents give their love, time and attention to children they bring into their homes, but a foster mom in South Florida says she didn’t get that in return. Kevin Ozebek from the Nightteam has tonight’s 7 Investigates.
Carol Ferrer: “This is where joy is.”
Carol Ferrer loves cooking and taking care of children. She has been a foster mother since 2018.
Carol Ferrer, foster mother: “I love children, and I really wanted to help a few unfortunate people.”
But last July, her goodwill and patience were tested.
Carol Ferrer: “One of the girls, she kept going to my mom to tell my mom that water was coming out of the floor.”
For a week, Carol found water everywhere on this floor.
Some days it went from the kitchen all the way through the living room to the bathroom.
Carol Ferrer: “Three to four times in one day we have this flood.”
Three different plumbers came out, but none of them found a leak.
One even cut open the wall under the counter to check the pipes.
Carol Ferrer: “They were confused themselves. They couldn’t figure out where this leak came from.”
As the plumber’s bills mounted and no answer was in sight, Carol began to think the water problem came from someone or something else.
She began to suspect one of her foster daughters.
Carol Ferrer: “Her interest was too much in this, so I started looking at her, and then I found out. I saw her throw water on the floor.”
Carol confronted the girl. The child eventually confessed to dumping water on the floor while no one was looking.
Carol Ferrer: “When I called the case manager and explained everything to her, she spoke to her on the phone. The child admitted to telling the lies and causing the trouble.”
Problems that cost Carol over $1,000.
Carol Ferrer: “I called right away and the case manager responded, and we talked about it that weekend.”
Carol complained to all agencies working with the Children and Families Department that supervise this foster child.
They include Citrus Family Care Network and South Florida Family Resource Center, but Carol says she got no answers.
Carol Ferrer: “I gave them enough time, but I was busy with my weekly follow-up. ‘What is happening? What is happening?'”
She later got these emails forwarded. In it, she discovered that her case manager had left and “never filled out an incident report.”
Carol Ferrer: “I need my money because during the pandemic I went on my savings to take care of the foster children.”
We have reached out to the agencies for answers.
We were given this statement which read: “Citrus Family Care Network and Family Resource Center will refund Ms. Ferrer. … After further investigation … we discovered that the original denial … was based on an incorrect timeline … … and “we are taking this opportunity to … improve communication on foster parent compensation to avoid incorrect denials in the future.”
Carol Ferrer: “I couldn’t be happier.”
A few days after we got the statement, Carol got this check for over $1,700.
Carol Ferrer: “I am very pleased that they not only decided to pay me, but also looked at the policy. Thanks to Citrus, but especially thanks to the news team for helping me with this.”
Carol says this one incident won’t stop her from caring for other foster children because of the dire need in South Florida.
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