Outstanding Caseworker: Lindsey Cox
Lindsey Cox is an adoption specialist in Oklahoma. She’s also a foster mom who is in the process of adopting two children from care.
A mother Lindsey works with suggested that we feature her as an Outstanding Caseworker, writing:
“My family would love to nominate Lindsey Cox because she always gives 100 percent. She is precise, diligent, honest, and thorough when doing her job. Lindsey is always available to answer our questions and never fails to help ease our anxieties and worries along the way… We are proud to call Lindsey our caseworker!”
You are in the process of adopting two children from foster care. Has that changed your approach to your work?
Being a foster mom has helped me relate to my families and better understand the struggles they have. It’s one thing to be trained, and it’s another thing to live your job.
Sometimes new parents ask me: What’s the most awkward part of becoming a foster parent? And now I know the answer! It’s that very first day when all of the workers leave and it’s just you and the kiddo. But you’ll get through it, and then you’ll experience the best part of being a foster parent: knowing that you are providing a moment of safety and stability in a child’s life.
How has COVID affected your work?
Our offices are closed, but of course, the job never stops.
What’s been interesting is seeing the progression in practices as we continually adapt to this new normal. Adoptions stopped for a bit, then went to phone, and now to video. One cool thing that’s happening now is that some of our judges are doing adoptions outside, on the courthouse steps. I’m hoping mine will be done that way.
Overall, I just think it’s inspiring to see people thinking outside of the box. I’ve been doing Zoom calls with my 94-year-old grandma! Whoever would have thought?
What is your advice to people who are thinking about fostering and adopting?
Oh, that’s an easy question. I have a lot of advice!
- Foster first! Even if your goal is to adopt, being a foster parent give you firsthand knowledge of the many steps involved in getting to adoption. I think having that understanding helps to make people more patient with the process.
- As a foster parent, open yourself up to the possibility of reunification. That’s scary. And heartbreaking. But as a foster parent, you get a chance to be part of a really beautiful thing: helping a family come back together and heal.
- Be very intentional when you are completing your family profile and checking those boxes about what you can and can’t handle. Ask questions, and be sure you understand what you are committing to. When I was being licensed, I consulted with my alternate caregivers—the people who would be helping me with childcare—and asked them what behaviors they were comfortable with. That helped to inform my decision of what I could and couldn’t manage.
- Consider older kids! A lot of people want babies. But babies aren’t waiting for homes. We need parents for teens. People think teens are scary. But I can tell you, as a parent of young children that toddlers are terrifying! They can’t talk and they are completely reliant on you.
Foster care is now your life—both at home and at work! What keeps you going?
I worked for DHS for four years and then left. I came back to take this position two years ago because I realized that this is where I’m supposed to be. DHS is in my blood. My team is like my family. God put it on my heart to serve others, and this is how I am going to do it.
Is the job perfect? No. Nothing is. It’s stressful, it can be frustrating. But I’m proud of the work that we do for families. And it is a privilege to help children achieve stability and safety and ultimately have a permanent, loving home.
I’m very blessed and thankful for the life that I’ve been given.
Wondering if foster parenting is right for you? Read about the types of foster care and the qualities of a successful parents.