Sunday, November 18, 2007

Getting to Moderate

If you remember, we've been trying to get Huckle's level of care reviewed for a long time. When he came to live with us, our SW (at the time) asked Huck's CW (at the time) if she could have it adjusted (but she moved a few weeks later and it never got done), then I know we brought it up again in March the first time we met Olsen (no state CW from mid December to March), were told it would be looked at, then never heard from Olsen about it again, then in May our SW (another one from the first) started working on it, but Olsen was not cooperative sumbitting his part, which is one sheet of paper with Huckle's name, SSN, DOB, case number, time in care, diagnoses, and a three line narrative. Without that piece of paper, it didn't matter if we and our SW submitted one page of information or 1000, Olsen's summary and reccommendation was what mattered.

The three times we were able to get Olsen on the phone between his visit in March and when he stopped being available to us in June, he told us he'd get to it soon. And as you know, he (still) hasn't returned a phonecall or email since July. Our SW was finally able to get ahold of him in September, probably because she was new (again) and he didn't know who she was.

So Olsen got it together in the first week of October, and it went to review. Hooray!

But then the LOC came back at basic. Hubs and I decided to let it go, since we could appeal with new information, but we didn't have any new information to add. We'd already given psych, developmental, and six medical assessments -- there wasn't much more we could cover.

And then Olsen admitted to our SW that the reason for the basic result was because he hadn't done his piece of paper. Instead, he'd printed out a onesheet from 15 months ago, sent the paperwork off, and prayed for rain (just guessing on that last part).

With that little tidbit out there, we decided that, yes, in fact, we'd like to reapply for a LOC change, since the onesheet has to be updated every few months, and without a current one, Huckle's application was denied without being reviewed.

I went apeshit. The same night, Olsen assured everyone -- his boss (we got his boss involved around this time), Huckle's attorney, us, our SW, our lawyer, and the adoption worker -- that the onesheet was now updated and the application was already resubmitted as of 4:40 that afternoon. That was the 23rd of October. We started waiting again, since it takes about ten days for an answer.

On November 8th, we still hadn't heard anything, so we went back-channel (again) and had someone inside CPS check on the status of the application.

Guess what? Hadn't been submitted. No record found. Nada.

Not a shock, of course, considering Olsen's record. Dismaying, though, that his supervisor and her supervisor hadn't been any assistance, even though they'd personally assured us our difficulties were over.

This time, we called more people. Since Olsen couldn't be bothered, and his supervisor also wouldn't help, and the next supervisor was now out on maternity leave, we went higher. Hubs talked to the right person (we hoped! so far we'd always thought we were talking to the right person, and yet nothing), and all he mentioned was the difficulty with the LOC and that Olsen hadn't been here in "five or so" months. She promised that she would call back the next morning by 10 AM (it was around 6 PM when she returned our call) after she knew what was going on, since she'd never heard of us or Huckle before, nor had she heard of any problems in that unit.

By 9:30 the next morning, 4th-up supervisor (Program Director? I think that may be her title.) called Hubs back. She said that everything, even things we hadn't mentioned, would be taken care of by her deadline of 11 AM that day. That afternoon, our agency SW called me while I was at Kid n Ewe and said, "Maerlowe, you won't believe this, but I've gotten about twenty emails today from Olsen, the adoption worker, the unit ADA, Huck's attorney, and it looks like everything is taken care of! I don't know what happened, but I guess Olsen finally came around! Huckle's LOC paperwork is in and will be back in a week, he's been approved for adoption assistance, his file will be redacted and a copy will be available when you adopt him instead of April to September, and the adoption worker wants to schedule the adoptive placement for the end of the month!"

I did disabuse her of the idea that this was all a spontaneous act of responsibility on Olsen's part.

On November 15th, one year and five days after Huckle came to live with us, 15 days before he becomes our adoptive placement, and about 40 days before we (think we'll be able to) adopt him, Huckle was classified as LOC Moderate.

About damn time.

Does it have to be that hard?


Maggie said...

No. It shouldn't be that hard. But -- whew -- thank goodness it's done.

Yondalla said...

It shouldn't have to be.

When Frankie came here the supervisor at the private agency told me that she was applying for him to have a difficulty of care payment added. I said cool. Then I got a form I had to fill out -- simple really just my social security number so they could show they were paying a real person. I misplaced it. The state worker called me to remind me and sent another. I filled it out and faxed it, but it got misplaced. Someone else called, apologized, said she would look for it, but it might be faster if I faxed it again. I did. She called to say it arrived. THEN she emailed me to apologize for loosing the first first one and for thanking me for faxing it again.

THAT is how it SHOULD be.

And, by the way, it is not that the state is so much better here, it is that my agency is such an 300 pound gorilla. I never suggested that I might complain to them, but Frankie might have been the first of that region's kids who have got into this agency, and they wanted the agency to be happy with them.

Tudu said...

It took us a year to have our kids LOC changed, too. Their county had a freeze and didn't assess anyone for a LOC. It was terribly difficult but we were finally granted a higher rate for 3 of them. Funny enough, our dd with CP is basic.