Frustrating meeting this afternoon

timer lady

Queen of Hearts
I attended a school meeting for wm this afternoon. In attendance were therapist from day treatment, teacher, foster home SW, mental health case manager, guardian ad litem, foster mum, wm & myself.

After we had addressed all the goals & progress wm left the room to go play gameboy.

At that point, wm's court appointed guardian ad litem (it's a law, though unnecessary in our case), asked me what the time frame was for wm's reunification.

I kind of stood there gaping at the woman. :nonono: Before I could answer, mental health case manager replied that there is no time line.

wm's guardian insisted that there must be a reunification plan. The court insisted on it. Again, mental health case manager answered & said, in our case, things were flexible. Guardian continued to insist that I answer with a definitive time line.

Each time, CM answered for me.

I finally asked guardian if she had a clue what had happened between the tweedles & just how complex my children are & left the meeting.

Mental health case manager caught up with me. He explained that guardian didn't care for the case management in wm's case; she didn't like the open ended family of different addresses concept. Her plan is to take this to court & insist on a reunification date from the judge.

He also explained that guardian hadn't read all the paperwork on kt & wm; the complexity of the situation. That her mind was set as this is the law. Children are not to linger in foster care.

I asked CM if there were families out there clamoring to adopt wm. No......

So the problem is?????? The problem, in guardian's mind, is that wm isn't with his family - is separated from his twin. And that is wrong. She's gone above CM's head to his supervisor & complained of the lack of reunification plans for wm.

Thanks for listening. I doubt that guardian will get far. Then again you never know.


Going Green
I would think that in her role as a guardian, her FIRST priority before doing a thing would be to READ THE ENTIRE FILE. Just out of curiosity, is she new? I would hope that HER supervisor would reinforce that she read the whole file, get the whole picture and THEN rethink her stance in this particular case. Yes there are reunification laws in place for good reason. But you can't always follow that concept in every single case. There are way too many factors in different cases to take into consideration and it sure sounds like she's not doing it. Is there someone above her that you could speak to or have the CM or CM supervisor speak to?

Sorry it didn't go so well. Sending hugs.


Well-Known Member
This sort of garbage just makes me want to spit fire! :nonono: Does she think she's impressed anyone with the hard line of questioning you? Thank goodness the CM had the presence of mind to step in.


Isn't a guardian ad litem just a regular attorney and they all have to pull duty at some time or another?

Well, if she takes it to the judge without having read all of the file, she's going to come out looking horrible and hopefully will be chastised by the judge. I would hope the judge would consider the CM's report to have more weight than what the guardian, with no medical or mental health degree, thinks.

I really hope, for your sake, that it doesn't go that far.

Has the guardian ad litem talked to you or husband at all? Or to kt? Aren't they supposed to do that as part of their duties? Seems like she should know way more than she does about your situation if she's to be in a position to protect the child's interests.

I'm sorry things were so frustrating today. I like the way you handled it, honestly. You got your point across.


Active Member
'But they're twins! Twins are so cute... and they have this mystic bond from before birth which means that they shouldn't be separated... nothing else really matters, does it?'

Wyntersgrace2 is spot on. I'd love to see what a judge makes of someone like this who doesn't think or inform herself before she fixes her opinions.

I think you handled her well - by letting CM deal with it. And why bring it up at the school meeting? Surely the agenda was to deal with wm's schooling needs? What has reunification got to do with issues at school?

If she can't work out what her job is and where it begins and leaves off, you may need to hunt around for a new guardian for wm - I believe Janna's got some spares left over from difficult child 2...



New Member
I think any Judge will be amazed that she neglected to read the file. I think this may land her in a mess she won't like. It's just what she deserves, in my humble opinion. I'm sorry you had to endure this.

Wiped Out

Well-Known Member
Staff member
:grrr:How frustrating. You handled it well. How dare she not read the full report! How dare she come in new to a team and start handling things that way!


New Member
<span style="color: #990000">first of all she's not going to go into court & announce to the judge that she hasn't completely familiarized herself with-wm's case. her job is to represent wm's best interests & one would think hopefully, by extension, his twin's (tho that's not necessarily the case).

CM is a wonderful advocate for your family, linda. what were his suggestions to head her off at the pass? obviously she has no use for his his supervisor upholding the current state of things?

i also wouldn't count on the judge seein reason ~~~~ IOW's agree with-the current plan. i wouldn't wait until she files with-the court. i think i'd start looking for a lawyer to represent the rest of the family & their needs & safety. reunification is a HUGE deal with-these people in most cases. forwarned is forearmed....time to arm.

bloody he*l*l! :mad: :mad: :mad: </span>


New Member
Well, Linda, this was the problem I had with difficult child 2 that sent him home a couple of years ago. HIS attorney (probably as useful as wm's) didn't want him lingering. The goal was reunification. Ideally, they like to have the child reunified after 6 months. difficult child 2 has been in care for 3 years THIS time.

So, we go to court every 6 months to update. Is reunification ready yet? No.

This is why they were thinking permanent placement. Because I was not willing to reunify with him in his current state.

However, I have nobody on my side, other than my own counsel. Everyone else states this is the law, this is the way it is, and I have to deal.

I hope you make out better with this than I have. Keep us posted.


timer lady

Queen of Hearts
I was reassured this morning by 2 of the team that GAL hasn't a chance of pushing this issue.

The judge is looking to the team for a treatment plan & is taking into account the entire hx plus the family "issues", if you will.

GAL is there to make sure the treatment plan is being implemented - in other words, she has no say in this at all. She can disagree with the plan, but has no input.

I'm not inclined to let her speak with kt at this, or any point. There is no need as the people in the know, are just that, in the know.

Thanks for letting me rant & for the support.


Well-Known Member
Obviously Linda, you have put together a wonderful team.

This GAL must be new. In a perfect world it would be wonderful if wm could be looking at coming home soon. Its not a perfect world. There are many other issues that have to be resolved and everyone knows this except her. She needs to realize that it is in his best interest to get with the program. Her throwing a monkey wrench into the works doesnt do him a bit of good.



Mom? What's a difficult child?
Well hopefully they will take it all into account for all of your sake... and not push the issue.

You sound like a true warrior mom!!!
hang in there!!!


New Member
I am not sure I understand these things.
you said
"At that point, wm's court appointed guardian ad litem (it's a law, though unnecessary in our case), asked me what the time frame was for wm's reunification."
So, the court appoints a guardian ad litem? You do not hire one or choose one? Do kt and wm have the same one or different ones? What is the role of a GAL? Why would one not be necessary? But, it is a law that he have one? (is that correct?)

Then- "wm's guardian insisted that there must be a reunification plan. The court insisted on it. Again, mental health case manager answered & said, in our case, things were flexible. Guardian continued to insist that I answer with a definitive time line"

So, is it the court insisting on a definitive time line? The GAL is just the messenger?

and "He also explained that guardian hadn't read all the paperwork on kt & wm; the complexity of the situation. That her mind was set as this is the law. Children are not to linger in foster care"

I understand that the GAL should read the entire file, but this stuff right here, it sounds clear.....if this is the law....The GAL did not create the law. The GAL does not need to read the files to say this is in violation of the laws.
If you set a timeline is it then set in stone and unchangeable no matter if goals are reached, and conditions for reunification met or not?
Sounds to me like the GAL is wanting to know that um....the treatment plan is working towards some ultimate goal eventually for reunification? It is one thing to have a plan and goals and they do not come to fruition, but it is another thing if nothing at all is being done and no goal in place at all.
To me it sounds like the GAL is taking his (her) role seriously in trying to make sure the law is followed, and that what is best for WM is done, which I thought thats what a GAL was for? Not what is best for anyone else, but for wm. Sure having a GAL for wm might throw a wrench into the works, but....sounds like the GAL is taking the role seriously.
Couldn't a tentaive timeline be drawn up, with goals to work towards. With conditions to be met before reunification can take place? Would that satisfy the technicalities of the law and the GAL and the court?

timer lady

Queen of Hearts

The law states that once a child is in placement 13 months a GAL is to be assigned. No, we do not get to choose this.

And yes, the law states that a child shouldn't be in the foster care system for more than a certain period of time .... however, the law allows for extenuating circumstances.

No, kt doesn't have a GAL. She isn't in the foster care system.

I've appeared before the judge assigned to wm's case. He is most understanding of the situation; the treatment plan is in place & has been approved by the court.

GAL, while an old hat in the business, hasn't a clue to the circumstances on wm's placement.

Reunification should be in the best interest of the child - however, the family must be taken into account. Therein, lies the rub.

Bringing wm back home, would bring in CPS because we wouldn't be "protecting" kt.

It's a mess! A mess that has been muddled through by the immediate treatment team.

There is no winning in this situation - we're just attempting to make the best of an ugly picture.


New Member
I do understand, being stuck between a rock and a hard place, Yes, we were in that spot for awhile with husband and oldest difficult child. husband was desperately ill and so was oldest difficult child and I considered leaving husband but his docs and the court said no I could not leave him, becuz he could not function on his own, I was his guardian.....but I had to be taking my oldest difficult child out of town to docs very often and could not find care for husband.....and our court told me I could not leave him as he was considered "helpless" and they would charge me with abandonment of him....but it was interferreing with how well I could care for our child. Then it got really ramped up again when son poked out his eye and I had to have him in surgery and I had to be theer, but oldest difficult child had needs and husband was in ICU elsewhere.....and yes, all the professionals were screaming about their patient and making demands on me, and I was like HEY wait a MINUTE! Yes, oldest difficult child needs me, yes, husband needs me, yes, son needs me, and truth was I was flaring wildly at the time, too and "I" needed me.
and none of each persons professionals gave a whit about anyone elses needs or what was best for each individual.
It was extremely complicated, outrageously frustrating.....and I had noone to help with any of it except the professionals. and husband pros did not care what was going on with son or why I had to be with my son at the OR and sons surgeon did not care that husband was close to death, and oldest difficult children psychiatrist did not care cuz she was concerned oldest difficult child was too unstable and suicidal.......and there I was in a massive RA-Lupus flare, running around like a chicken with my heaad cut off......well, not running cuz my arms and legs were affected by my flare...LOL-----and MY doctor was worried it was gonna make critical internal organs fail in me. And poor easy child was at home on her own.
No, we did not have GALS involved.......but each family members professionals were threatening to take it to that level. The needs of the family overall, as a unit were tossed to the wind. It was awful.

Years ago, dhs psychiatrist had suggested sending the kids to fosterhomes so husband could have a quiet environment for awhile. HUH? "scuse me, Another time oldest difficult children therapist suggested sending the other 2 kids to fosterhomes cuz she thought maybe oldest difficult child got PTSD by us having the other 2 children...and they wanted to see if oldest difficult child would do better being an only child? HUH? I beg your pardon, they are ALL our children.
Yeah, it does get hard, it gets complicated, it can get quite weird.


Bleep! Always, always, always something else to add to the frustrations. Someone meddling in something they have NO CLUE about makes smoke come out of my ears.