First Monday

May 5, 2008

This morning I returned to court and was anxious to see how a motion that was filed was going to play out. A mother filed a motion of contempt against the Dept./social worker because she had not gotten all of her visits. A mother should have her visits, except that many of the missed visits were due to the mother and most were circumstances out of the social worker’s control. Fortunately they were able to talk about it and resolve it without going before the judge. But it seems that the mom could have handled it better and easier for all by just talking with the social worker.

I then joined my supervisor and another worker as we headed far north to visit a kid who autistic and nonverbal in a new placement. The two heads of the home met with us and talked about how the kid (15 yo) was doing, how they ran their program, and showed us around the house. I did an internship at a small group home like this, only for short-term kids entering foster care, in MA. And there were some similarities, but this place felt a little dingier. But it was adequate and the people seemed to know what they were doing. And then at the end I come to find out that they charged a very large sum of money for this kid’s first month there – more than 10 grand – and I am still in shock about that. I have no idea where that came from.

But it also got me thinking about the need for the state to take care of kids like this. His father killed his mother and is now in jail and has no other family to care for him. Aside his being 15, he has significant delays and needs lots of help. It is necessary for the state to be looking out for him. And I worry about budget cuts and where kids like him would land. Yes, the huge price tag needs to be examined, and is/will by my supervisor. But bigger than that, this case further cements for me the need for the state to protect its most vulnerable citizens.