From now one she will be known as Emilia.
Emilia didn't take too kindly to me referring to her as "The System". She handled it well. She empathized. But seriously - I do not give a damn if she likes being a part of The System or not. She decided to work for CPS. And CPS is the governmental entity that is SUPPOSED to be helping Ricky but appears to be trying to do their damnedest to mess with all the good stuff in his life!
We spoke on the phone for about half an hour. Emilia did a good job of agreeing with me enough that I didn't totally blow my cool. But seriously...I was fuming mad the whole time.
It seems that Emilia is totally bound by anything her supervisor tells her she has to do in this case. I get that. I really do. But let's keep in mind that this supervisor does not know Ricky. He does not know Ricky's story. He only chooses to pay attention to the details he wants to and I think that's where the problem lies. But this is how the supervisor sees things:
- The judge said Ricky can't live with Rebecca.
- Therefore visits must be wrong too because the judge didn't specifically say they could have visits.
- Therefore all contact must be bad.
- Therefore we need to take Ricky's cell phone away from him.
Emilia assured me that she fought for Ricky to keep his cell phone. But she also indicated that this particular fight isn't over.
As far as I'm concerned Ricky will not surrender his cell phone under ANY circumstances!!! CPS did not buy his phone. CPS does not pay for his cell phone. CPS is required to give Ricky the most "normal, family-based" setting possible. He is not a criminal. I'm OK with how he handles himself around his electronics. It is perfectly ridiculous to think that Ricky should have to function without ANY contact at all with his friends and family. Ricky gets to keep his cell phone.
Ricky is going to practice saying the phrase, "I'm sorry. I don't understand that. I'm going to have to speak with my lawyer."
And when Ricky is around anyone from CPS, Ricky will keep his phone tucked securely away.
Correct me if I'm wrong. Do any of my readers have experience with anything like this? Can CPS meddle this way in Ricky's life? The child has not broken a single rule. He is complying with everything. The worst thing I'm doing is advocating and double checking to make sure we are in compliance. For example, I asked about the visits. Is Ricky required to go? My agency says no. However, CPS says that if the visits are court ordered Ricky HAS to attend them whether he wants to or not. Otherwise, the bio family could sue CPS claiming they are keeping them from their child. (We ALL know this will NEVER happen in Ricky's case. Ricky's bio mom has seriously checked out. But it did happen for real down here so that's why I'm being told I HAVE to drag Ricky to each and every visit even if his mom lets him know she's not going to be there.) (Note: Ricky doesn't have any contact with his mom outside of the sanctioned visits. However, he is allowed contact with his older brother Peter and Peter transports mom so he keeps Ricky in the know of whether or not mom is coming to visits.) But we are complying. Now that we've been told by CPS that visits are absolutely required, he will be there.
But Ricky doesn't have to lose his cell phone. I'll fight that one. A call to the lawyer will be made tomorrow. (I'm also going to check in with Ms. Colorado. I'll tell her I now have the names of Ricky's AAL and GAL. I'll simply ask for her advice. It'll cost me I'm sure. But I'm not going to fight CPS blindly either.)