Thursday, March 20, 2014

Red tape hassles

Please keep in mind as you read this text conversation between Emilia and I that Ricky is 17 years old and the goal in his case is now Independent Living. In 9 months the State of Texas will be OK with letting him be fully independent. They will owe him nothing unless he learns how to work the system himself by then. (Thankfully Ricky has a support system that is deep and he won't end up homeless and alone.) But until those 9 months pass...these are the types of hoops we are forced to jump through just to handle normal daily life.

I sent the first text Tuesday afternoon following court:

My husband is taking our three boys to volunteer on Saturday in Beeville at an event called The Texas Mile. We would like Ricky to be able to go as well if he can have permission to miss his visit. It's only going to be a day trip - but they will be gone all day long. Ricky would be supervised by my husband the entire time.
Yeah. Let me ask. This Saturday?
Yes. It's a four day event. They're only going up on Saturday tho. It's totally awesome BTW. I went last time in October. It's a standing mile race that brings drivers in from all over the country. My family volunteers with the Christian Motorcyclists Association. They help run the event at the front gate, parking and at the finish line.

On Tuesday at 6:20PM I asked if Emilia was able to get an answer. She responded that everyone was at court all day and she'd get me an answer by Wednesday.

At 1:30PM yesterday I asked if there was any word on permission. I got the same response. Her boss was in court all day. She did say that she messaged the attorneys. (Keep in mind he's 17 and this is a simple day trip!)

So today I sent a new text:

Any word on whether or not Ricky can go with us on Saturday? We are supposed to give him as normal of a life as is possible. The minimum standards state that we don't "have" to have permission for day trips. Having to wait this long for an answer continues to cause stress because it proves Ricky isn't able to lead a "normal" life while in foster care.
So far it's a no. Usually I need 10 days to make a request. His child plan does state that.
But it's just a day trip within the state.
I know but that's county policy. Is there any way this can count toward volunteer hours with school? That's the only loophole I see.
It's not thru school at all. It is volunteer work though.
I have one more day to hear back.
WHO is saying no? Your supervisor? Or is the no just because people haven't answered the question? Could I call someone to advocate for Ricky? This is really so unfair to him.
I can't submit a formal request to the judge so I asked his attorneys via email and my supervisor. My supervisor says it's not within the 10 days and his attorneys haven't responded for me to persuade him and have the judge approve it. I need their response in writing first.
That's our tax dollars at work my friends. We have to ask a judge for permission for a 17yo to go on a day trip three hours away from home. Fully supervised.

Ricky is supposed to be preparing for Independent Living. Ricky's mother isn't working her case plan. Ricky should be old enough to decide if he wants to sit in a Burger King for two hours with his mom and two brothers on a Saturday night or not.

But no. He's not valued that much.

And that my friends is another reason why teens in foster care run.

1 comment:

Buzy Bee said...

This is so frustrating, I pray something happens that allows Ricky to go and have a awesome time. Keeping you all in prayer