Monday, October 27, 2008

Red-Tape and Real Life

It's Monday and already my datebook is filled for the week. The unfinished business of the past few weeks likely to remain unfinished until the current crisis and red-tape is completed.

Life is "on-hold" here as we follow the "safety plan" and the whole family lives life under the terms set by one member of our family. We are eyebrow deep in the "system" needing to "qualify" again for the government services promised to help us parent a child who needed us.

It doesn't matter we were home studied and have worked side-by-side with the system for the entire nearly 6-years since our children were placed. We were told we would be our child's "Best Advocate" and naively assumed this would mean the same system giving us this title might treat us with the same respect offered when the title was bestowed on us.

The system has at no time since the day we were told we were our children's Best Advocates treated us as such. If this title meant anything when offered it would seem that our having earned it might imply we would be respected on this side of placement.

Instead we have accessed the services offered to any family in our place. We complete the piles of papers, sign medical releases, and make it to all of the appointments... All for the File that will only remain open long enough to be sure that the Child is Safe... No concern about the other family members, no concern about the community around us.

We see the same social workers who are accustom to entering families and homes "At Risk" and they look for all the standard ways to make the situation a result of our failures. We Are Asked about routines, bedtimes and if we fight in front of our children?

Do we have a regular dinner time? Bed Time? Does Daddy come home every night?

Our daughter is diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders and the implications of MY DRINKING PROBLEM made note of--and then corrected later when I once again remind whomever the note taker is of the fact that we adopted our daughter when she was five-years-old... and some side not reiterates that fact again--only for my self defense of being a drinker because this is such an important part of the Needs I am the Best Advocate...

We are provided with "In Home" therapy and find ourselves waiting for Hours to see the in home therapists who never once showed up on time during the whole year and a half we had these Excellent Services.

The therapists -- case manager has few tools other then those designed to make it our responsibility. When there is no drug problems and we could show no better routine or crisis safety plan the ideas offered are FUNNY and not worth further consideration. Last year at about this time we were simply told to build a "time out" box in our garage and that "mom" could use some counseling in order to cope with the overwhelming issues... That way later if mom didn't add yet another appointment to drive to yet another place to talk about the issues with yet another person... The problems will be all because Mom didn't follow through on the recommendations!

Thank God we don't need to add Substance Abuse Support Group meetings and pee in a bottle every other day on top of all the other things on the "To-Do" list.

This is often a forgotten fact when the providers of these services are working with our family--with parents who were given the title "Best Advocates." Eventually, someone is able to offer one more thing and suggest "Family Therapy" where we are asked if we have read such and such book?

When we answer that we have read such and such book already and this or that was effective the "family therapist" has no other script except to say okay--turn to page one and lets get started (with what you just told me you have tried before and offered specific details not only indicating that you read this book but actually understand it and can specifically explain how it did or didn't help)

...and Family Therapy is all about what we have already tried.

Each service, each public school and all the workers at county mental health and DHS have the script to cover their own Obligations. When they have gotten to the bottom of the script they believe they have fulfilled their duty and can record in their file that the "service" was delivered.

When there is Nothing left on the script these people have no idea what to do or say. They cannot come to terms with the idea that "Some Children" need more then just adequate parents and a safe family to destroy. There is no clue as to what to do when everything done has been by the book... The only thing they know how to do is read the book again.

And time passes and the situation only becomes ever more risky for everyone involved.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous3:39 PM

    Hi Anna, once again I am here going through the same crap... at this point I do wish I'd never adopted my son as I cannot play the games with the systems (school and social services)

    today I find out it was actually his Mental Retardation worker who STOPPED a referal to a RTC....

    I hate the system...

    sadly, I don't think our stories are rare at all



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