Family Assessment & Planning Team

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Dec 5, 2008.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I'm trying to pursue a little more through links that you ladies have been kind enough to provide and wanted to post what I've found so far to see if anyone has experience along these lines that they can share and advise me on. I will call the parent advocacy place after I'm a little more comfortable about what to ask and verify with a list of questions.

    In Virginia, they have the Community services Act (CSA) which allows funding to be used for respite, family services to help a kid with delinquency issues, mental health issues, etc, Residential Treatment Center (RTC)'s, etc. Now, through that, the family works with the Family Assessment & Planning Team (FAPT), which consistes of people from 8 different agencies (education, juv. justice, mental health, social services, community board, etc). Unless difficult child is committed to state dept of juv justice and does some time in their juvy, this is the ONLY access to public funding for help that I can find.

    According to what I am reading, it sounds like the family is part of the team and has to agree and sign off on the "plan", which encompassess all these agency involvements in the kid's/family's life- somewhat like an iep has to have the approval and signature of the parent. (With one exception explained below.) But I'm wondering if there is a lot of pressure to either comply with whatever they offer/propose/demand, or be considered non-compliant?? It says on their website that they give you time at the end of the meeting to review the written plan before signing it, but you (the parent) have to sign it. It doesn't say anything about taking it home to look over- like we do with iep's.

    If it is as good as it sounds, they can provide whatever is needed- transportation, child care, respite, therapeutic foster family, etc.

    There are 3 ways to get access to the CSA/FAPT.

    1) School recommendation. I'm not sure what "catches" come with this one. At first, it would not have been a possibility for difficult child, but now that he's missed so much school, I might be able to get them to do this even though they are happy with his behavior this year and he has no serious learning disablity, in the traditional sense.

    2) Through mental health. The catch with this one is that I would have to pull difficult child out of private therapist/psychiatrist, get him on medicaid, start at lowest end of county mental health clinic (and I took difficult child there before- they are INCOMPETENT at our clinic- in many ways), have him evaluation'd by them while he sees a therapist there (who might be an intern), then, IF at some point, that therapist decides that difficult child needs more, they can recommend it.

    3) Through PO/court order. NOT GOOD. First, not only does that mean I'd have to get PO on board (and she's never been on board with anything I want to pursue), but if it becomes a court order or probation requirement (if they order or recommend it, it becomes a requirement), then the parent does NOT have to agree to the team's decisions. The rest of the team decides what they think (which I'm sure has a lot to do with what the judge and po think), and the family is required to comply- period. Obviously, I don't want this.

    Even though this is a state specific approach/team/act, I thought other states might have similar things that maybe some parents here have gone through. Does anyone have experience with anything like this?

    Is it really as good as it sounds or does it just open up the door to add more people in your life making more demands on you? I can tell you, I COULD NOT handle the MST guy. Would this be like jumping out of the frying pan into the fire?

    If I only needed part of their services, would I be required to accept services from all agencies- ie, if I only needed respite and transportation and crisis intervention, would I be required to change difficult child's therapist/psychiatrist to the local county clinic? Ok, that one I'd probably have to ask the advocacy group.

    This is frightening- do you think I'd be better off just letting the consequences play out for difficult child?

    Two points I need to keep in mind- last year when the gal had social services "assess" our family, the lady from soc services ended up telling me that this state could not do any more for difficult child than I was already doing. Fine, but I can't afford to do it anymore. 2) due to difficult child's setting a brush fire (guilty of arson & tresspassing by fire), I was told that NO Residential Treatment Center (RTC) in this state would take difficult child- that he'd either have to be placed out of state or go to the state psychiatric hospital for violent mentally ill kids (much worse than difficult child). I don't know that a therapeutic foster family would be an option for difficult child if the more secure Residential Treatment Center (RTC) won't even accept him. Although, maybe some leeway could be given because difficult child is classified as "non-violent" and the brush fire was over 18 mos ago.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2008
  2. missyk33

    missyk33 New Member

    Here in Mississippi we have a program similar to that from what it sounds like. This is called mypac here in MS. It is funded by Medicaid. I was told by my difficult children therapist in the hospital that she could actually get more help with her being on medicaid and I was lucky to get her on it. This program helps her with anything she needs, intensive in home therapy. They will work with the school, youth court, and anything else we need. They will also provide transportation if we need it to get to counseling outside of theirs. If she needs clothes, they will get it for her. The same with tutoring. I also get respite care which I desperately need. cant tell you how long it has been since I have actually had anytime by myself.

    The requirements is
    Axis 1 diagnosis
    recommendation for Residential Treatment Center (RTC)
    being on medicaid
    and there are a couple more but I cant exactly remember off the top of my head. missyk33
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Do you tell them what you and she need, or do they tell you what you both need?
  4. Jena

    Jena New Member

    that sounds exactly what i'll be working for and exactly how it's funded. this sounds good.

    The one I"ll be in, the parent has to sign off on the plan and at anytime they can remove themselves from the program and it's also a 9 - 12 mos. plan.

    ok she's bouncing again. i wish you luck, you calling today?
  5. Jena

    Jena New Member

    I think you tell them what you both need. I just looked on the website for the one here in new york. i hope this is an answer for you, wow that would be great.
  6. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Oh, JEN!!!! Could you help me make sure we get full advantage (instead of more demands) if we went this route and got it?? :D

    I guess I'm not used to get any help from any agency around here- I keep thinking there must be a catch? If the school recommended it, would I have to put difficult child on medicaid? My issue with that is the necessaity to switch his therapist/psychiatrist to the local clinic.

    HA HA!! I just found that difficult child's judge is on the local advisory committe for this.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2008
  7. mom_to_3

    mom_to_3 Active Member

    Again, I don't know all of your particulars,nor do I know anything about this program except for what is on the webpage. I'm not meaning to be rude, so please don't take it that way. But, what you are doing is not working and your son and you need help, right? I say go for it. This program sounds positive and I think you would be very fortunate to access this help. If you can keep your son out of the legal side (by taking action now) I would think you and he would have much better success.

    I would just give the program a call and ask all of your questions. They don't *have* to know who you are, and you can get the info you need. Ask if they have any literature to supplement what they are telling you.

    When my difficult child was living at home and we were dealing with her, we had private insurance and chose and paid for whoever we wanted her to see. We never pursued medicaid for her and I wish we would have now, it could have possibly opened even more services for her. I also have heard the horror stories about medicaid doctors.

    Currently, our difficult child's 5 yr. old son is living with us. He has issue's. He see's a psychiatrist and a therapist and of course a pediatrician and he see's an endocrinologist, dentist, etc. He is on medicaid and I have to say that he is getting EXCELLENT care! It has been a real eye opener for me. I am not thrilled with his dentist particularly, but that is it. This is MY first experience with medicaid and my experience has been much better than what I've heard others report. I thought I'd throw in a positive so you know they are out there.

    I say go for it!
  8. Jena

    Jena New Member

    That's great! I think you should go for it, really. You deserve some assistance and help now. You are a great Mom and a great fighter for difficult child, yet everyone needs some help now and again.

    I think me doing this job, and the training and things i'll learn will help me with difficult child, and i can share whatever they teach me here as well. Why not, right??

    I'd always do anything I possibly could, im going to pm you i want to see if it's the same agency, this one's not only in new york.
  9. jal

    jal Member

    husband and I went through Voluntary Services, it is a branch of Department of Children and Families in CT. We had to fill out a bunch of paperwork and submit any testing/observations that have been done and also a copy of last years tax return and an Axis I. Once we were accepted (which was very quick) we were teamed up with a local branch of IICAPS which is intensive home therapy services. This is at no cost to us - their normal rate is $128/hr and they come 2x a week for an hour. You have a 24hr crisis intervention hotline too. We have also been offered respite. I have private, commercial insurance, but since we were accepted the state pays for this. We are in the process of writing a treatment plan. We are putting this together with the team. They are asking us what we want to accomplish not telling us what we have to accomplish. Then they will come up with different ideas, suggestions to help us accomplish our goals. Our team also is participating in our difficult child's IEP meetings (at our request - not mandatory). Our child currently has out of district placement at a therapeutic school. The team also has contact with his school and psychiatrist. They have gone to school to observe too.

    THis route was recommended to me originally by difficult child's mainstream school social worker, but I felt I didn't want to get DCF involved, but upon the recommendation of the SW at difficult child's psychiatric hospital and husband and my own therapist, I am glad we did. Everyone has been very supportive and very easy to work with. I love the team that comes to our home. Once a month we go to the main office for a meeting. Our treatment plan will then go to probate court, as the court acts as a neutral party to make sure all people involved agree on and work towards the goals of the plan we all have written.

    These services are provided typically 6 months to 1 year. You can stop them at any time because you a voluntarily asking for them.

    Good luck.
  10. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thanks Mom to 3- it's your link I started with!! Actually, I don't know that I can call them directly, but I'm finding a lot of info online and developing a list of questions.

    Regarding the medicaid- I don't mind it (it would save me almost $1000/mo- which is one of the big problems). It is the fact that if difficult child HAS to go to our local- county- mental health clinic, it causes more problems than it solves. I had him going there for a while a couple of years ago and it was a disaster for more than a couple of reasons. I think a few other providers around say they accept medicaid, but then they have signs posted saying "accepting no new medicaid patients".

    the horror stories I've heard (read actually) are about foster care placements- but they are not local- just what we see on the news, like everyone sees and hears about.

    I was following these links online and think I might have run across a recent change in our state law that would really help us get difficult child this funding. I am getting ready to pursue that a little more. It says that before, a parent had to sign over custody to get their kid help in situations like this, but a law was passed in the state senate allowing this funding to be used to help families in order to PREVENT a kid from having to be placed out of the home. I need to see if this was passed in the 2008 general assembly.

    Edited to clarify: The law changed to clarify that relinquishing custody was not the intent: apparently local agencies within the state had been requiring that of families and the state is making them change to comply with the intent of the law.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2008
  11. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    jal- this sounds very similar. We wouldn't have to go to court- this gets approved by the "higher team" which I think is what difficult child's judge happens to be on anyway. She would want this, I think. Anyway, your story makes me a lot more comfortable. I think I'll discuss it with the principal at school. I'd rather she request it (the parent can't, I don't think-I'll find out first). I'm finding all these forms that the agency people use- one indicates that if the parent goes this route, without it being a court order, and an out of home placement ends up being required, the parent still is a decision maker, must agree to the placement, and can revoke their consent and get custody back at any time. If the parent moves out of state, the agency automatically returns the child to the parent (this is not for cases of child removal from home due to abuse, of course- this is placement through this funding).

    But, one of the biggest motivators for me is that they offer services to the family while the child is at home (unless emergency removal is warranted) in order to try to keep the child at home. But, the same people can get a placement if it comes to that.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2008
  12. jal

    jal Member


    We were allowed to request it because they are voluntary, just as we can stop it. Only the treatment plan goes to probate court so that they can make sure the agency does what it says it will so that they get reimbursed by the state. If we agree with-the final treatment program we do not even have to show up. I am sure there are differences in the way things go state to state and what kind of programs are available vary too. I hope you find something like this for your difficult child. We are in the beginning stages right now as treatment team has been gathering info from husband and I, observing difficult child in home and at school. We just started last night to create the treatment program. It started with asking us what we wanted to achieve for difficult child in certain areas. It will cover the home, school and community once it is all done.

    I was very hesitant to go thru DCF as you mentioned all of the horror stories you hear, but this branch Voluntary Services, as in I NEED HELP, has been really wonderful so far and I almost kick myself for not starting a year before. We have tried everything with-difficult child, I even paid out of pocket an in home behaviorist when he was younger to come in several times a month.

    Best of luck in finding what you need. You may want to ask difficult child's school SW if they know of a program like this.
  13. Woofens

    Woofens New Member

    Where can I find out if Ohio has a program like this??

  14. jal

    jal Member

    Start by checking on your state's website or check out the Department of Children and Family Services for OH.