Decision Time - Two Lousy Choices and No Options Left...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by DaisyFace, Sep 5, 2011.

  1. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    I guess I was naive for thinking there were options out there for families with difficult children...

    I've done everything I've been asked to do...

    Kept all the records...

    Filled out all the forms...

    Gotten on the waiting lists...

    Followed all the rules...

    And it comes down to this:


    When Ms Ally quit her job, she did a little CYA and reported to her superiors that she had "completed" my family's case. difficult child was now stable - exhibiting absolutely no signs of aggression in any form (neither physical, nor verbal) and parents are now fully "trained" as to how to handle any troubling behaviors.

    This report from the MST program was forwarded to Medicaid.

    Medicaid is now questioning why a "stable, well-adjusted and non-aggressive child" would need any more services. Medicaid wants to stop funding any more programs for difficult child.

    Meanwhile, Idiot Caseworker finally found a "Behavior Modification" specialist to work with difficult child. It was explained to me that the Behavior Spec will take difficult child out several times a week and do fun things with her. We (the parents) are expected to send cash every time Behavior Spec comes over....which is several times a week.

    This didn't sound right to me....especially as this could add up to serious $$$ in a very short period of time. (And hey, if I had that kind of money to send difficult child to baseball games and county fairs three nights a week - we wouldn't have qualified for this Medicaid-funded program in the first place.)

    I tried to talk to Idiot Caseworker about my concerns...but she had no information about anything. I ended up speaking to someone else in her office who finally transferred me to the Regional Supervisor (FINALLY!)

    Spoke to Regional Supervisor for over an hour. Found out that because MST reported such progress, it's going to be a problem trying to justify any more services for difficult child.

    As far as Behavior Specialist goes? No - she is NOT supposed to be acting like a mentor from a Big Brother-Big Sister type program...she is supposed to be doing intensive therapy with difficult child. However, because funding has been slashed across the board....the Behavior Specs are no longer the therapists they used to be....and there really is nothing that can be done about that. If I want...we can have Idiot Caseworker try and find a different person and see if she might be less "Big Sisterish"....but there is nothing more that difficult child can be referred programs, no RTCs, no therapies, nothing.

    So Idiot Caseworker's Supervisor wants us to make a decision:

    Do we want to try the Behavior Spec and see whether a lot of social activities will make a big difference for difficult child?

    Or do we want to withdraw from the program?

    IOW - do we want to try something else that doesn't sound like it has a snowball's chance in h*ll of working?

    or just quit altogether?

    So that's it.

    Frankly, I don't feel as though it's a choice at all...
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    That is a therapuetic mentor- well, at least what people in the system call a therapuetic mentor. That's the ONLY "service" provided my difficult child when he was released from Department of Juvenile Justice last year. It's a wonderful thing...for PCs who need a little peer advice. It didn't seem to do much to help my difficult child. Plus, the "mentors" were no more dependable than most mentoring programs I've heard about. And why they call it therapuetic is beyond me- they didn't do anything different than any other mentoring program. It's lip service- like most of this BS.

    I don't want to squelch any real hope or possibility but DF, you know how I feel about this- there just isn't much out there for our kids. And they seem to provide that little amount to the kids who are very unlikely to ever be ever to benefit from it. Just like people who need drug/alcohol treatment- they wait until a person has been a heroin addict living under a bridge for ten years, then court order it so there are no openings left for others and the odds of success for that person are slim to none. Our system has been working that way for many, many years. It never ceases to amaze me that they can't and don't wise up.

    I'm sorry- I hope you can find some loophole that gives you something. ((HUGS))
  3. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I have no hope left to squelch....

    I'm just disgusted.

    And yes, it seems the whole system is set up this way from top to bottom. It makes no sense.
  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I wish I could offer you something positive but for me and my son, I'm compiling my complaints (aka vents) into a better developed list of concerns, then plan to see an attny or two and decide where to go from here- whether that means the press, moving away, becoming a serious activist about all this, I don't know yet. But I'm tired of it all and can't stick my head in the sand about it any longer. Federal funding is given to states to help with at-risk youth and kids who have been incarcerated- something underlying this has to be illegal in the sense that all the money seems to be disappearing with nothing to show for it except more people to "monitor" the kids (aka tell the parents what to do). It makes me crazy the more I look into it- it's all about politicians trying to get votes, in my humble opinion.
  5. keista

    keista New Member


    in my opinion it's simple. If you have to pay extra for this "therapy" then it's not an option. That same money could be put to "fun social activities" you could do as a family, with no strings attached, just because. Because the reality is, that those "therapeutic" outings should happen wheter she behaves on a daily basis or not.

    Like klmno indicated, the whole system seems to be set up for pcs with some problems, NOT for difficult children. I see it with my kids. After just a few weeks of therapy, son and DD2 are experiencing improvements. on the other hand DD1's behavior is escalating. During her "normal" times she may occasionally reach for her therapy tools, but when difficult child takes over, it doesn't make a lick of difference.

    I'm so sorry that Ms Ally lied in her report and it is now being taken as solid truth. Is there a grievance procedure? Anything that can be done to take that out of the files?

    Is difficult child still taking her medications? How is she doing? If she's moving forward, just forget this whole experience, and start a new chapter of "difficult child on medications" Re-asses what she, and you and the family need now, and then look in that direction.
  6. MuM_of_OCD_kiddo

    MuM_of_OCD_kiddo New Member

    File an official report [in writing with proper domumentation as proof] with Ms. Ally's supervisors, going all the way to the top, that she has done none of the required/suggested whatchamacallits [what ever you feel she did not do right, and write up a long list with her failings - if need dramatize a bit] and/or has done them in a lackluster performance that left you holding the ball.

    Reiterate that medicaid is considering dropping your difficult children' coverage for ongoing therapy and help, and that if they do, you will consider taking them [Ms. Ally personally, her supervisors in their supervisory position and whatever agency they are with] to court, in order to get proper services provided for your child. I'd also strongly hint that perhaps an investigation of them hiring insufficiently trained personnel, high turnover rates and mismanagement of accounts should be instigated and that you are considering going public with this via local newsmedia, so your attorney can get more of their clients for a class action suit.

    I would do a first letter kind of like a "thinking loud/mulling it over" warning, and see what response you are getting. If nothing happens - then get the local news media involved and perhaps consider seeing an attorney to see if you have a leg to stand on. If this agency has locally bungled the care for your kiddo, there are others that are experiencing the same issues. You need to find them and go from there, the more there are of you complaining and openly and publicly fussing about the mis=service you are receiving, the better it is. Chances are that after your initial "notification of intent" things will fall in place and improve for your family specifically. If they are truly that dense and feel that they have done nothing wrong, I would take the next step then...
  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I have no answers for you but I am sending caring supportive thoughts and hugs your way. It's honestly difficult for me to accept that our systems are so poor. Remember to vote carefully in your next election so we having caring and intelligent leaders...not big buck politicians who don't have a clue. Hugs. DDD
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    You need to appeal Ms. Ally's report - and I think Insane has the right way to go about it. Most of these people would have a cow if they were investigated because they KNOW they are not doing their jobs well.

    I am so sorry. Sadly, even as young as difficult child is, I think your only option is to start to call 911 every single time she is abusive physically or even threatens it. Yes, she won't get real helpin juvie, but your son will stand a chance at a more normal life. in my opinion there isn't much that you CAN do to help difficult child - even if you had money flowing like Bill Gates. I just don't think that she is ever going to change without quite a few years on the hard side of life (the side with prisons, homeless people, and really lousy hard jobs that don't pay much). She just is not going to improve until she finds some reason that makes it worthwhile. NOTHING you can do will do this.

    I DO think that if you can keep her on medications she may have a fighting chance - but it has to get to the point where SHE is fighting for that chance, NOT YOU.

    I would not spend $$ on this mentor person. No use tossing good money into a useless well. I would start spending it on special things with easy child so that HE has a chance at a more peaceful life.

    And I would certainly be shouting all the way up the system that Ms Ally is a big fat liar who did NOT do her job and that the system needs to change.
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    daisyface.....the only thing I can think of for u to do in the here and now to attempt to get help fast is to send an impassioned letter to Dr Phil. He does take on cases like yours. It will mean you have to give up some privacy but if it gets help for her, I would do that in a heart beat. People have forgotten what all those people and kids that have gone on the show looked like and what their names were but he has sent many of them to Residential Treatment Center (RTC)'s and got them families help. If you can do other them, but I would send the letter in the meantime.
  10. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I forget now - what was Ms. Ally's professional designation? Social worker? psychologist? she'll have something.

    1) Whatever her designation, I'd be hunting down their ombudsman REAL fast.
    This is totally unprofessional, and must be reported.
    But you probably won't get anywhere on that front without a lawyer behind you.

    2) If you have copies of all of the paper work, is there someone else who has been involved (fam doctor, for one) who will support the need for a "second opinion"? Even if you have to pay for the 2nd opinion, I'd get it... some other professional of equal or higher standing, who can say "there's no way this report is correct"
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    If Ms. ally is LICENSED as a sw or therapist or whatever, I would look into filing a formal complaint because she CLEARLY lied when she said difficult child was no longer abusive in any way. Sorry, it is just a plain old ordinary LIE, not a difference in professional opinion or whatever. I think they have to tell you her qualifications and I know they have to give you a copy of the file. So get one and use it.

    Janet's advice about the ombudsman is also good, as is the advice to get a second opinion. I believe medicaid has to pay for the second opinion - it is in their paperwork just like any other ins co must pay for one if you ask for it.
  12. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I know it's an ideal, and a good one, but frankly, most boards overseeing MH profs don't really look into any complaint unless it's about a MH prof having sex with a client. That is one of my big beefs with them- it makes all of them look bad. If you think I'm just blowing a vent here, look online at various licensed profs and complaints investigated by their boards- then look on the one for MH profs and see if you can find any valid complaints that were looked into other than "inappropriate relationship".
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2011
  13. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    No advice just sending gentle hugs your way.
  14. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    HUGE hugs.

    I know the feeling. Only too well.

    If my parents could not help us financially with O... We (and she) would be up a creek - without even a raft.

    I agree about filing complaints. Go up the chain. If you're not ready to sacrifice privacy to the media - contact your state rep. Keep going up.

    No, neither choice is good. But there is a third choice... Look the supervisor in the eye (metaphorically, you probably should do this in writing) and tell them - I will not give up on my child, and I do not have the money for multiple-times-a-week outings, and I want you to get someone who can help difficult child. NOW.

    Might not get you anywhere... But if it's calm, and civil, and you're clear about what you ask for... Maybe... Maybe.
  15. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Take the offered "mentor". It will give you and DS a break from her and give you at least a few hours of safety.

    Make a list of 'approved' activities that mentor can do with difficult child

    1. Take her to the library to study.
    2. Take her to apply for jobs.
    3. Take her to free community events or to watch children's sports games (usually free).
    4. Take her to volunteer at homeless shelters, animal shelters, etc.
    5. Take her to church or church events (your church or others in your town, many allow visitors at their events).
    6. Take her jogging or bike riding.
  16. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    What kind of resources does your son have? For example, a therapist? That person would be aware of the impact on your son from the things that happen at home, and might be able to help with getting the "real picture" back on the table.
  17. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Thank you all for your input and advice...


    Yes, I agree. The system is broken. I don't know whether individuals have the power to do anything to change it...


    That was my feeling, too. If all it takes to "cure" a difficult child is going out for ice cream - well, heck! I can take the kid out for ice cream myself!


    I'm trying to start by getting copies of difficult child's treatment records from Ms Ally. Ms Ally was supposed to have kept regular therapist "in the loop", but never sent or filed anything. And as far as 'reporting her failings' - Ms Ally was supposed to have been with us for a minimum of five months. Instead, she quit after only 2 1/2. During that 2 1/2 months, I had already sploken to someone in their office and communicated that things didn't seem to be going they way it had been explained to me....but I didn't get much of a response. I was just told that I had to give it time and to work the program. Next thing I know, it's over and we apparantly did GREAT! Ugh!


    Thanks! Is there even anyone running for office who has a clue how to fix something this broken?


    Yes, I agree. If we can keep difficult child on medications it will make all the difference.


    Gulp! I'll have to think carefully about that one....


    I'm working on getting copies of what records I can. So far, seems that Ms Ally has not left much of a paper trail. She did not send reports to therapist as she was supposed to...
  18. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Wiped Out--

    Thanks for your support!


    How I envy the support you have! I would LOVE to send my difficult child to stay at the foster home you sounds like a great solution. Funny, isn't it, how folks can come out with "private" solutions but "public" solutions seem to be in short supply?


    I really, REALLY like that idea.

    In fact, after thinking it over....I think that's the direction we are going to try. Yes - a mentor. No - fistfulls of dollars for "activities".
  19. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    LACK of paper trail still works to your advantage. Professionally, they are required to keep a detailed paper trail to support every decision. Full paper trail = review for 2nd opinion. Lack of paper trail means the "second opinion" has much more leeway to do more investigation in forming the opinion. Just takes longer.
  20. seriously

    seriously New Member

    You may want to also consider finding out if there is a County Grand Jury (or equivalent) and go to them with your concerns about the way your child's case was handled and the fact that it appears to be a systemic problem.

    Generally speaking, Grand Juries operate outside of the system and have the power to investigate anything they want to investigate. They have the power to subpoena records and people.

    Here in our area, when the Grand Jury speaks - head role and changes happen.

    You could also consider contacting Medicaid Fraud Division and accuse the agency of mishandling Medicaid funds in the provision of services.

    Neither of these options are likely to get your kid better services.

    And I second all the suggestions about documenting the worker's misrepresentations about your child's case and threatening them with legal action as well as filing a grievance/appeal with medicaid. That might get your child better services.

    I assume you have already looked into the process to legally make her a ward of the court?