Need ideas for changes to system

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Liahona, May 7, 2013.

  1. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    I'm one of a few families invited to discuss changes that need to be made to the programs in our county that are supposed to help mental health patients. These programs include, but are not limited to, cps, juvenile justice, police, schools, medicaid county mental health, judges, legislature representatives, early intervention, insurance, doctors, Unitied Way, and the one respite provider. The focus is on how to communicate between agencies, prevention, and making care giving for mentally ill youth easier on the family. I know this might be a can if worms, but do you have any suggestions? Or does your county/state do something really well that you can tell me about so we can copy it. Let me stress there is no funding for new programs here. I need common sense, realistic ideas like the judge sentencing a kid to the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) instead of juvie.

    The leaders of this group realize that the biggest hurdle is going to be changing peoples attitudes toward mental illness.
  2. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Congratulations on being chosen for this hugely important group. I don't know what is already in place for your community so all I can do is share about activities that I've participated in that I believe were very valuable. You can pick and choose!

    The GAL or CASA program is in most states and I'm a firm believer. I served in the "best interests of the child" for a number of years" and only met one volunteer who seemed not to be seriously motivated. I had newborn babies as well as teenagers who needed a buffer and expediter for placing them in the healthiest environment. Awesome program.

    My favorite activity was Human Rights District and State work. People with various areas of education and talent were selected (by the Governor following background checks) to oversee childrens issues, elderly abuse issues, developmental delay issues as well as juvenile justice facilities. Sadly the State has cut back the empowerment but we had a private separate line in the District to accept complaints and questions and the Board members could actually go unannounced to inspect nursing homes, detentions centers. CPS records and homes for special needs children.

    The toll free "We Care" system also helps alot of teens and kids who need to vent and sometimes want or need more than an interested ear.. Big Brothers/Big Sisters program does awesome work in helping kids supplement their family unit.

    Yikes..........can you tell I'm interested? I won't go on and on but those are the favorites that came to mind. I am thrilled that you will be able to contribute. Hugs DDD
  3. Dixies_fire

    Dixies_fire Member

    All I can say as far as Cps goes.... It's a joke. My husband's wife is a meth addict has had the kids taken away for having a nasty house, they didn't notify the father. Two years goes by and she is arrested for making a meth lab in her basement kids are removed she didn't go to jail they didn't notify the father. We found out and showed up 2000 miles away at court before hubs break down. Hubs has break down and we are disqualified from custody hearing which we dropped it because of the drama here and in the best interest of the kids because we didn't want to bring them into bad situation which even saying is better then living with a meth addict. There are still 2 other family members who want custody of the children and they were going to give her custody back. She's been picked up for prostitution TWICE and now we are going to see if se gets custody back my point is they have known she was a drug user for 3 years since the kids were picked up the first time they never considered placing them permanently away at that time. They keep trying to put her back with them when all the children our two plus her two others have developmental delays from not being parented.

    I have dealt with Cps twice now once when boyo was 3 months old and once when hubs had break down. Boyo was hospitalized for his extreme emaciation after a month of calling nurse line and saying he was spitting up and the doctor office calling and canceling appointments which I had the paperwork for they tried to say we weren't feeding him and they sent Cps after us. I filed a claim of malpractice with my insurance company and would of gone further then that had I had the financial ability to. Long story short my mother had to come stay with us for a month so they would not remove him, even though we had proof he was sick and his doctor was refusing to see him and we took him to the hospital! Was a 6 month long fiasco.

    Hubs has break down and Cps gets involved because of the police paramedics and god and everyone else they opened investigation and it was closed 30 days later. They never spoke with hubs docs he could very well be dangerous but they wouldn't know, but they had the power to say if he could stay with us or not.

    Point being seems like they get it wrong all the time and they aren't thorough all the cases were in different states. The folks who are drug addicts get to keep their kids and the ones who have issues don't get support and the ones who are genuinely good people get treated like criminals and threatened for 6 months.

    I have no idea how you would word that or what you take out of this mess but something should be said. They may not have resources but actually giving a **** what happens might be a good idea.
  4. Dixies_fire

    Dixies_fire Member

    Now that I got that thousand word screed out of the way. We had a baby nurse that came through Montgomery county of Tennessee that was instrumental in making sure boyo was weighed and reviewing our charts on his feeding and gerd issues. I don't know how it was paid for but she came into our home 3 times a week at first and if she had not seen is and gotten to know us and spoke for us to Cps then we never would of have gotten shut of Cps and the threats.

    I think referring children that are involved in Cps cases to community outreach programs like boys and girls club or a sports program for our of home activity would be great many of those places already function it is a way for them to interact with adults outside of the home and others to know what is going on with them.

    I think family therapy should be mandatory for people going through Cps investigations not a mere suggestions and many communities have family advocacy programs that don't actually reach the people who need them.
  5. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    Well, to make care giving easier on the family, to start with you need to get the insurance companies to stop denying care, especially in those cases where above and beyond care (i.e. Residential Treatment Center (RTC) and whatnot) is needed. Respite is hard to come by in many areas, too. It's certainly not available in my area, though if I lived one county over it would be available to me.

    A statewide computer network to let police know to "handle gently" due to mental health would be nice. I would think they could use the same or similar software as offender network, but make it voluntary (so people or their family, like worried parents, could add them to the network, with their diagnosis's and useful advice like "Engage in talk about trains" or "Avoid talk about dogs" "Do not approach until calm and talking" etc.) unless the person is already a violent offender or police have reason to add the person to the network themselves. Then if a parent or sibling, etc., has to call an emergency in, they can say this person is in the network and all the info is right there for the responding officers. Perhaps there could even be something similar to a medication Alert bracelet (but obviously different) to signal to emergency personnel in case they show up and are unaware, with a number engraved that corresponds to them in the system (which could also prevent bad medication reactions in emergencies, if their medications are kept up to date in the system).
  6. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    Thank you for responding. GAL are people who should be invited to these meetings. I bet they will have some very good input. An anonymous complaint/ suggestion system would be good. The big brother/sister program is here but very weak. Maybe there are things we could do to support that program more.

    The focus with both cps and juvenile justice is prevention. We're trying to get them to service people before things escalate and kids are taken into custody. They have programs that could be beneficial to others but the problem will be some of the attitudes toward mentally ill people the long term staff has. (Old dinosaurs ) Of course, if they don't co-operate there is always the possibility the program (and the funding for it) could be shunted sideways into a more user friendly program.

    Community outreach programs for families under stress is a great idea. As is family therapist for cps families. I could see that one getting politically messy though. Tdocs are supposed to be safe. having to go to one because the program that is trying to take your kids away says you have to, and then they could take anything you say to the therapist and use it for or against you just doesn't sound like it would be a good therapist experience.

    Voluntary computer network with medications and practical advice for police. I will pass these very good ideas along. Thank you.