Update re. Mentor

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Mar 27, 2010.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Well, I was really getting on board with the idea that maybe a therapeutic mentor could help difficult child, especially after realizing he's having strong tendencies for certain things and struggling with temptations vs staying out of trouble. I had a list of goals that difficult child and I had developed ready for yesterday's meeting. I didn't think they'd be able to help with all of them, but thought this would show them our intent and they could tell us which things they could address.

    The lady who had called me before and set this up was the director/super and she had said this first meeting had to be between all of us and the mentor himself so we could discuss our goals, fill out paperwork, and set a schedule up, and difficult child and the mentor could get introduced. She said it would take about 1 1/2 hours.

    What really happened?

    A guy showed up at the scheduled time and said he was the super. He seemed very awkward with the whole thing- difficult child later said the guy seemed high. Anyway, then a guy showed up and said he was the mentor but he wouldn't stay the mentor, difficult child would be getting another one. Then difficult child got home from school and this is what they explained- The first guy is just moving into a position of being a super. The mentor really is a mentor but they are bringing a new guy into their office as a mentor who will be assigned to work with difficult child. They can't start him yet because they haven't gotten the guy's paperwork or background check in yet. They asked our goals, I showed them my list, they said we were at least 2 steps ahead because it normally takes weeks to get families that far. (I thought this was an individual thing for difficult child- not family stuff.) They didn't write one thing down, set up no schedule, or anything else. They were trying to stress with difficult child the importance of a trusting relationship between them and difficult child and I did interject at that point that they were also helping the PO monitor difficult child so I didn't want difficult child mislead into thinking this was a trusting relationship like he would get with a therapist- if he had done something wrong and tells his mentor, it does get reported to the PO and it's only fair to let difficult child know that- otherwise it appears to be a conflict of interest on their part to me. They got defensive at that point, I told them that it wan't that I didn't understand- I don't cover for difficult child's wrong-doings either- I just don't want him mislead about what to expect.

    Then, these two 20 something young men said they wouldn't be doing any scheduling or paperwork today (yesterday), they were just there to keep the appointment and answer any questions I might have since we already had made the appointment but they were having some administrative issues in their office so they just came by to introduce themselves. (Why, if they aren't the ones that are going to be working with difficult child?) Someone will call me next week to discuss more.

    I told difficult child that I need to let PO know he wasted the county's money on this one- at best difficult child will end up with someone who is just starting out and has never done anything like this before. difficult child said not to tell PO because he'd end up with someone who demands too much and has to have everything perfect and by the book. Honestly I think difficult child would be better off just seeing the PO more often after this meeting yesterday. The PO is a big, intimidating-looking man but he doesn't come across as real mean. difficult child likes him and would listen to him.

    What irks me about this most is that the lady (director/super) made big issue about me not being willing to meet 2 hours after after difficult child's release and told PO that I wasn't working things out with her. Then, after I got that straight and arranged an appointment with her that worked with difficult child's school schedule and her schedule because she said she HAD to be here for this first appointment and it HAD to be in normal working hours, she didn't even come and sent some clueless guy. Also, she said she would be calling me sometime this week prior to the appointment and aksed if that was ok and I said yes, but she never called.

    difficult child told me this looks like a situation where a company gets paid by the county and when they doon't do what they're supposed to, they tell the PO and courts that it was the family's fault for some reason (whatever they can come up with), so the county will still pay them. Well, difficult child just might have explained why so many times we parents end up getting blamed for stuff that doesn't quite fit what really transpired.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2010
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Ugh, sounds like bureaucracy at its best.
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Doesnt sound very organized.

    I wonder if what is happening up there is the same thing that has happened down here. Before the big jump to send all state/county run mental health services to "public for profit community based" entities, NC had a county mental health dept in the county seat. Now if someone such as your therapist or caseworker or even a PO, suggested that you needed what for us was known as a Hi Risk Technician or Community Based Interventionist, then we had 2, count them 2, private firms that medicaid paid for these services...or juvenile justice funds. Now that it has all gone public for profit community based...we have dozens upon dozens of these pop up doctor in a boxes places all over the place that claim they are mental health behavioral places and want to provide these techs. BS! The techs are money money money! They actually get funded at a greater rate than therapists! Well...almost.

    I knew at one point...back when I worked in SS, a tech was only paid 10 bucks an hour but they charged Medicaid 45 bucks an hour! Now consider that Cory had his aide for 7 hours a day, 5 days a week. Or maybe it was 8 hours a day. So...lets say they billed Medicaid 1800 bucks a week for just Cory alone and he had an aide since he was 9 until he was 15! now there were a few breaks in there when he was out of the home...but still. Thats a ton of money! And he is only one kid. You can see why all these little places are popping up trying to get a piece of the pie.

    Now it is stopping. They are shutting them down.

    Im telling you what. If they had given us that 1800 bucks we could have babysat Cory ourselves and probably done a better job!
  4. Farmwife

    Farmwife Member

    Nice! (I said that with every bit of sarcasm I could muster)

    I have dealt with .gov paid contractors before. difficult child's neuropsychologist took 5 1/2 months to get the results because the psychiatric kept calling in due to an illness. I called her and she said his was almost next, she quit a couple days later with many cases left undone. I'm sure she took her pay for 6 months and ran though...........made a mess in our lives.

    Yeah, I get the irritation. Wonder if we should all start some business to get .gov contracts?? I hear the work is easy and the pay is good. lol (not really an lol)
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well...there really are some good people in government jobs. Some who do it because they love it. Some who work in those jobs not just for the money but because they really care. Maybe not the ones at the very top but those in the trenches. I know my son had some terrific Techs. Some were idiots but some were godsends. There was one woman I would have adopted if I could have. There were a couple I really wondered how they made it out of bed each day...lol. One Cory almost swindled out of her car! He was 10 at the time. Can you imagine if he was old enough to drive? I imagine he would be driving a van right now...lol.

    My therapist works for one of these public community based places. I have little love lost for this place but she is a rare gem. If it wasnt for the fact that she has to have money to live off of, she would provide her services for free. It is killing her that my insurance has simply run out. It wont pay for her anymore and I have to keep my chart active with her to ensure that I somehow keep therapy connected. She is very worried about me. She has managed to get them to cut her fee for me and she is going to pay my SO to work on her house so I can afford to go see her monthly. She is a true friend. I adore her.

    Not to mention...I used to work for county government...lol. My son works for county government...lol. I dont think we are all bad!
  6. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    We just got back from errands. So far difficult child is being pretty good the past few days. (PLEASE- no board jinx! LOL!)

    The only therapist I've seen who was worth a lot worked for the military. Another I know of worked for the VA. I do agree there are some good ones, and other types of profs who work for the government. But I tend to think it's those that get into it for more personal reasons- Like when a warrior mom gets involved as a person helping kids or families- there is more to it than "just a job" and they also have a special insight that will never be conveyed in a textbook or by learning from someone else who's never been there done that. This "mentor" that showed up yesterday looked like he had never even been late to a class in school- much less break the law. difficult child talked openly with some staff at Department of Juvenile Justice who had backgrounds of delinquency, then going into the military or otherwise doing something to get their head on straight, then getting a job for Department of Juvenile Justice. Someone like that could do him a lot of good. I'm not so sure a preppy kid who just got his first job can- but I'll try not to exhibit that pessimism to difficult child or PO. I am going to tell PO that difficult child would listen to him better though- difficult child respects him and PO isn't preppy at all. He stuck by what he told me about backing me up to difficult child and I like the way he handled it and what he suggested when I talked to him about difficult child drinking that night, so I'm more open to working with him in a positive way now. I had forewarned him last year that I had a LOT of excess baggage and negativity that came from difficult child's last PO and not to take it personal, but I didn't have a lot of faith in them over there- and they need to quit blaming the judge- it was them in court services who were clueless. I think he's starting to see that I really wasn't making this stuff up just to try to bail my kid out or cover some big issue. Hopefully, he'll figure out what's going on (or should I say, what isn't going on) with this mentoring company as soon as he gets his first report from them.

    Okee-doke- off to grill some chicken to eat with difficult child's infamous potato casserole and fresh asparagus with left-over fondue sprinkled over it. Yum! Then I'll check in before our family night movie tonight. I have to say- the family nights and devoting some time to just talking does seem to help. Of course, when a kid has it in his/her head that he/she doesn't want to make any effort and doesn't care about any rule, nothing helps except suffering the consequences.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2010
  7. ML

    ML Guest

    Just adding a short note to say I'm praying for you and keeping my fingers crossed that difficult child can muster the impulse control to resist temptations.
  8. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    k, it takes a great deal to set up services of this nature. Generally, a company will not hire someone until there is a need (i.e. contract in the office), then it takes time to train that person. While this service is for your difficult child you will be a big part - the head of the team when it comes to your difficult child. If you are not the head of the team directing the needs, wishes, whatever, said team will go off on their own tangent convincing themselves they can "cure" the situation.

    Take the lead, train the team & watch it work. This comes from having a team of 9 for kt & a team of 14 for wm (quarterly staffings are a bear); this also comes after years of watching the "system" work.

    It's not someone's fault - just the way things work.
  9. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    But don't they make you feel like you have no say in any of it Linda? It seems like that is how they have made K feel for a long time now. Like she is making things worse and just getting in the way.
    Maybe this is how it just is and as a warrior Mom we just need to push through it. With Juvy involved it seems like a lot more at stake this time.
    I don't know I truly hope things can work out as best as possible for you guys.
    Like Janet said, there are good people in every field, somewhere!
  10. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Toto, I had to advocate to heck & back. I never backed down from these people - still never back down. I held my head high & made the needs of the tweedles & the entire family known & what MY priorities for the tweedles were. No I was never, still am never ignored. I don't let them ignore me.

    As the years have gone by our psychiatrist has been my biggest backer - to the twins & to the service providers. He knows & believes in my parenting & common sense. If the team starts to question or step over the line I call psychiatrist & everyone gets back on the same page.

    When wm was removed (voluntarily) from the house it was the most heartbreaking thing that had to be done; the team found the right placement for him & we continue to be a family of different addresses. Foster mum & dad work with me & I back them up 100%. It comes down to mutual respect for one another. I acknowledge & respect the team's education & wisdom - they acknowledge & respect me as the mom.

    Saying that, because of my involvement & my unwillingness to back down the team works with me very willingly. They like to know that I don't bow to their "every whim". I question things & ask for reasons why this should work versus that. It's very infrequent that I question the team's treatment plan - it's been a work in progress. As the tweedles have grown so has the treatment plan. AND I've been able to relax knowing the team in place is working for the tweedles & the entire family's best interests.
  11. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Thanks Linda- I think so many of us give in or back down. I know KLMNO has been fighting so hard for so many years...
    We get lucky and have backing and then will hit a wall and have to push... it is so tiring and so hard to know how hard to push.
    Especially because we are all in different situations.
  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    TL....that is basically the way it worked for Cory and me. It wasnt so much the psychiatrist who was our biggest backer it was his case manager. We saw the psychiatrist only for medication management and that was a formality really. His case manager was a force to be reckoned with when it came to her "charges"...lol. She really grew to be strongly attached to at least some of her clients. Cory was one of those. She would go to bat for him against anyone and work for his best interest. Even long after he left the program they saw each other. Actually, she worked for the same place I go and he ran into her there and we took her pictures of Keyana for her office. LOL.
  13. horserider

    horserider New Member

    I'm catching up and was so glad to read your difficult child is also home now. I hope the mentor services are helpful in the long run, I know how much a good p.o. can help. My son hardly ever saw or communicated with his last one. His new one came to the house last week, will go to school and keeps him "on his toes". It's nice you have family movie night, we have been doing the same thing when I go to spend time with my difficult child. We take it one day at a time
    so true
    Take care,
  14. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    TL & Janet, I think that approach works a lot better when it is a mental health treatment team, or possibly even the sd. But when it's purely court ordered services to address juvenile delinquency, the parents in this state fall under the jurisdiction of the courts and their agents' orders as well. It's starting to appear that part of the reason this mentor was ordered was because they got it in their heads that I wouldn't let difficult child talk to anyone confidentially. I say that because I realized that this point kept coming up every time there were discussions about the mentor with the PO or mentor's super. Never mind that difficult child had seen therapist after therapist, privately (without me knowing most of what they discussed), but of course, the courts couldn't access all info difficult child discussed with them. This was n't done because I had something to hide or to try to cover for something difficult child did. It was done because this gave difficult child the best chance to be honest and open about what was going on with him without it later coming out in a way that could embaress him or violate his confidence, which many people had done in the past- including his GAL, extended family, and people from school who had claimed he could trust them then took what he told them and made it public knowledge.
  15. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I have a feeling mentors in those programs are hard to come by, aren't paid well, and that there tends to be turnover. That's the impression I got from the agency that worked with Youngest (contracted with the county). It sounds to me like that's part of the issue in this case, as well.
  16. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Well I hope the PO knows that- so far he's making them sound like the most wonderful thing in the world and of course, in theory they are if they do what they claim.