You have an adoption court date. You met the requirements for your home study to be a licensed foster parent. You have filled out paperwork, answered questions and the foster licensing dept has done a preliminary walk through of your apartment. Just one last thing, the home lead inspection; the results come back, and your rental apartment has failed to meet the threshold for a lead safe healthy home.

Now what?
Since you are renting, you naturally inform your landlord of the situation and they promise to fix the issue immediately. You are scheduled re-inspection and you think it’s going to be OK.

In the meantime, the landlord suggests that they make the repairs on their own with you in the residence; which you later find out requires the landlord to follow guidelines such as hiring certified lead abatement professionals per the Rhode Island Department of Health. Additionally, state law requires landlords to provide (the renter)  a Certificate of Lead Conformance and a lead safety booklet prior to moving into a rental unit.

[A high percentage of Rhode Islanders experience lead poisoning in comparison to other states. According to the Rhode Island Department of Health, 80 percent of homes in the state were built before 1978 and therefore contain high levels of lead paint.]

Then it happens…
A certified letter arrives, and there it is a “30-Day Notice To Vacate”. Your lease is not being renewed. Hmmmm how odd, you’ve always paid your rent on-time, never had any issues and suddenly your lease is not being renewed. I wonder why?

Now within 30-days you must find an apartment that meets the HUD Federal Lead Safety Guidelines and the repack all your belongings, get your kiddo to school, work, move, stay in contact with DCFY in addition to coping with your adult child’s struggles with substance use disorder. Or face the heartbreak of having your grandchild removed from your care.

It happens more than you think, it happened to me! The foster-parent licensing process had to start from scratch; my adoption was delayed for more than a year. It was a very difficult time, but we eventually found a lead safe apartment that we now share with 3 very happy goldfish.