Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Training is needed

Most children that come in to Care require extra help. Most children that come in to Care have some sort of a special need. I've personally dealt with physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy (for several of my cherubs), counseling (talk or play therapy) and in Daisy's case, vision therapy. Other children need special education accommodations. This is because children from the hurt places have rarely had a healthy childhood with all the emotional and educational experiences necessary for healthy development.

I have decided that a huge training deficiency is a lack of understanding, amongst the decision makers, about how all these special needs can be met.

When Daisy left, I typed up three very detailed documents for CPS to use. I even cc'd a copy of each one to Kori. The first was a list that included every single specialist, doctor, and therapist that Daisy was seeing. I had names, addresses, phone numbers and emails for everyone. The second document was a general medical history. I knew Kori wouldn't know off the top of her head when different procedures had happened so I listed everything out with dates. She needs to be able to tell future doctors when Daisy had her last EEG, for example. The third document was a detailed list of all of Daisy's future medical needs. I spelled out all her upcoming medical appointments and several things that CPS needed to follow up on. One paragraph of that paper said this:
Daisy needs to be receiving vision impairment services through the public school system. As of now, Daisy has had the initial appointment and the full vision test. She does qualify for both VI services and Mobility/Orientation services. The next step in this process is for (my school district) to schedule the ARD meeting. The paperwork is going to have to be transferred to (the school district Kori resides in). ECI (Early Childhood Intervention) can help with this but someone is going to have to make sure the ball gets rolling. Daisy desperately needs the vision therapy. The longer she goes without, the more her vision can be stunted.
I just got a message from Martin, Daisy's (old) CPS worker. He said that the new supervisor in Daisy's case needed clarification on that above statement as Daisy is not of school age yet.

I'm sorry - but CPS staff members should have a basic idea of how special education works! I can promise you that Daisy is not the only child under 3 that is in the public school special education system. I have run in to it time and time again. The decision makers in these cases have no idea how to go about getting services for the kids. And since many, many foster parents aren't trained on this either, I'm betting way too many foster kids just simply don't receive services. (I received NO training on special services prior - or after - becoming a foster parent. Everything I know I've learned through direct personal experience.)

That just kills me!

Because really - what needs to be explained in that paragraph up there? I said exactly where Daisy is at in the process and what needs to happen next. They can either call ECI or the appropriate school district. But no...they needed to contact me to have me explain that children under school age, even infants, can be a part of the special education process. What did they think I meant? Did they think I just made all that up?!

My biggest fear is that all of Daisy's early interventions will just stop. I know that I had to learn the hard way about absolutely everything! My agency is unaware of the processes to receive therapies. And now it's perfectly clear that CPS is as well. And since I feel that Kori truly doesn't believe her daughter needs all these therapies, Kori won't do the hard work of staying on top of things to make sure they happen. What motivation is she going to have to keep calling people if she doesn't think Daisy needs them anyway?!

Sometimes it's really hard to let go. I've got no control over any of this now. In fact, Martin just told me that the State is NOT the medical consentor in this case. They said they'd do that in court, but the paperwork says otherwise. Kori is free to decide, or not decide, anything at this point in time. I was very disappointed to hear that. No one is going to accompany Kori to any of the medical appointments.

I fear for Daisy's future.


Jessica Miller Kelley said...

I was fortunate to have a close friend with a special needs child tell me how to activate early intervention services for my foster daughter. So many times with the social workers, I have said "it's like this is the first time they've ever dealt with ___" fill in the blank!

Foster Mom - R said...

Illinois requires an Educational Advocacy Training in order to renew your license. They advocate that foster parents take it right after finishing PRIDE training but its not required until 4 years in. It was a great class that discussed the special education piece in detail but needed to happen sooner. We had already been through the IEP process with Jelly Bean.

grkanga said...

Here or on FBk please write about the reasons why YOU would or would not home school a child. NOT specific to your children but generically. Does the local school district available make a difference? What was your school background? What do YOU most like about home schooling your children and what have you found is harder than you expected?
When will your Mr. Amazing know if he will be transferring job locations? And, how does that work ~ is it like military where he would have an idea of where he might go and have preferences he can express or is it just arbitrary and out of the blue?
Will you, assuming new location, look at fostering again or just CASA.
You are doing amazing and impressive posting on FB...but I cannot ever post there as I have personal safety reasons for maintaining as low a public profile as possible.
THANK YOU for what you have done and all you do for children. You are making a difference in many lives!

Cherub Mamma said...

@grkanga - I will answer all your questions in the next few posts that I write. :)

I've been struggling with content for the blog itself as I haven't started anything with B.A.C.A. really and my personal fostering experience is at a standstill. You asked some good questions that will be fun to answer.

BTW...I love answering reader questions. If anyone else has any questions just fire away!

grkanga said...

Thank you.
Your knowledge of and experience in foster care and raising children with an awareness of their individual differences goes beyond just those fosterees in your house at one minute in time.
You are very effective in word choice and teach teach teach all the time by word and example.
Do you or any of your readers know how many children in each state have not had the 15 months out of 22 laws applied? We, where I am, just had to vote on judges...and there is no record of their activities on the bench easily publicly available. I could not even tell if the judge has been showing up for court, or what percent of their cases are overturned when appealed or even the area of their specialty... where I am, a probate judge is not usually in family court issues or criminal court but who knows which court a judge on the ballot is active in. I tried to find out and could not.
Happy days, much laughter in your home, and glorious peace in your lives.
Glory your robot preventer is tough to read!

Cherub Mamma said...

I didn't realize there was a "robot preventer" on my blog. I want to make it as easy as possible to leave comments. I'll see if I can find where that setting is.