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Friday, January 4, 2013

MS in Our Lives

So MS has been with us for a little while and although we are happy to have him, it has been a little more than 3 weeks and we have learned a lot and are a little wore out.

From doctor visits, court dates, time off school, due to being suspended, (he was in a fight that another student started but MS faught back to 'defend' himself), the holiday break and lastly - minor surgery for his broken nose (due to the fight) we are a little frazeled from our experience.

What we didn't know:
Who will take our kids for their 5 day screening?
Who will take them for their 30 day physical?
What do we do when we can't find someone to be with him at home?
How quickly can background checks be done?
Is he allowed to spend time alone?
Can he talk to his mom on the phone?
Can he go to grandma's house for Xmas?
How do visits with Mom and sisters work?
Where do we go for his Behavior Therapist?
How does permission work for minor surgery?
What do I do when I can't sign for finanacial responsibility?

What we know now:
Not all Case Workers(CW) know the correct answer the first time. We went to the Children's Urgent Care that they told us to go to and were informed that it was not permited. So after 20 phone calls to other doctor offices, our CW told us to document our efforts. She then called later to tell us to go to a particular office, who worked with us to get him in, which they did but only after much stress. This doctor's office also worked with us to get his physical prior to his surgery. Thank goodness.

We were told to look into latch key kid programs at the schools so that we can have someone with him at all times. I was also suggested to contact local colleges and senior citizen centers to find someone willing to be with him at our home for a few extra bucks, since clearly he is too old for day care. Between our family and friends, we worked it out for someone to be with him at all times. We were lucky but we hope to be better prepared in the future. My dad and Matt's mother will be sort of free most of the time, as long as there is some notice. My dad is the kind of guy who will tote them around with him while he works on the houses and goes to auctions. My mother-in-law will likely bake with them, as she did with MS. This worked out because he got to take fudge with him to his families' Xmas party.

My CW will run background checks fairly quickly if needed. Filling out a form is better.

Depends on the CW if the child can be left alone. Some older children can be or they can work up to it. Depends on why they were removed.

MS can talk to his mom, dad and sisters on the phone. The ICCA and the CW will let you know if there is special rules related to contact via phone, online and by letter. Most of this depends on why they were removed.

In this case we were allowed. Not every case is this amicable. In some cases they don't know of any other family besides the parents and usually they have supervised visits.
Visitation is usually at a specific building, sometimes at Child Services, sometimes at a different building altogether. For Butler County Ohio, it is the Family Connections building, which is further into the city. It isn't too hard to get to but just a bit farther away.

We thought we had this one taken care of but Matt actually went to the one for adults who have drug problems. The one for minor's was part of the Hamilton Satalite school of Miami. They got there, a bit late, but they found the right theripist. But we were unaware that these meetings were supposed to be with Mom. So they spoke for a bit and the therapist offered to be there for whenever MS needed it but said that they were not necessary unless his Mom was present.

All of the permission is obtained by the CW. But making sure she has all the information is very important.

As for financial resposibility, I will say this: DO NOT SIGN. Even my own CW told us if we couldn't get his screening in, that we should NEVER go to a local Urgent Care and pay for it ourselves. NOT because of the money but because our names get attached to his personal health file and the county then has to fight to have it removed. It is better to not do it and document why, then pay for it out of pocket. If the physical that is required within a month is just outside of it specify why and when it was actually done. DO NOT go somewhere that we have to pay for out of pocket. EVER.
ALSO DO NOT SIGN FOR LIABILITY. There is a form in the file you receive from the CW that will give permission to have the child treated. You CAN sign for your address and phone number info and rules and basic perscriptions. But NOT for anything else. It is always better to refuse to sign than to sign and learn that you are liable later when you shouldn't be.

I have more that I have learned that I am not allowed to talk about due to privacy issues for the child. But it amazes me just how much you can learn about a child in such a short time. I do hope for the best when it comes to placing him with his aunt. But unfortunately for him, it may be a longer wait than he had intended.


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