Jacket’s mom’s ACS case is still open but it sounds as though it won’t be substantiated. It breaks down like this:
1. Child- healthy, unharmed
2. Home- no concerns
3. Mother- history of mental problems, showed certificates of completion, still investigating but there’s not much hard evidence
So, here’s the bombshell I’ve wanted to shout on this blog for almost two years now- the only mental health (not to mention developmental disability) services that Jacket’s mom has ever had is from an ART THERAPIST*. Mind you, I know some amaaaaazing art therapists who do life-changing work. In fact, I asked them about their experience in ruling out diagnoses that psychologists have brought into question. They all quickly and unabashedly said they were no more qualified to do that than a school teacher would be.
Now, before your panties get into a wad bigger than a StormKing sculpture, let me say that no one referred Jacket’s mom to an art therapist. The foster agency referred her to what I assume is Neutral, Legit Anonymous Agency for an evaluation and a comprehensive package of mental health services. Instead Jacket’s mom found the art therapist either through her sister (as she claims) or her attorney. This puts the foster agency in a sticky situation because duplicating services is a big no-no (ethics, tax dollars, etc). A bachelor’s level case worker was on the phone with a person who stated they were “a licensed therapist” seeing Jacket’s mom weekly (i.e. for the bare minimum of 30 min sessions). Who are they to say “We doubt your clinical opinion because we didn’t select you ourselves”? And yay for a mom who is being proactive and resourceful to get her own mental health services, right?
No one knew, not even the very involved law guardian social worker, that Jacket’s mom’s therapist was exclusively an art therapist until I told them 8+ months into the case (now do you see why Jacket’s mom’s attorney despises me?). The therapist’s full name was on a court paper I received in the mail for the permanency hearing (everyone gets one). And I was all “She IS seeing a counselor? And he/she HASN’T referred her to a psychiatrist? What the?!” so I googled. The clinic she is at came up with articles of Medicaid Fraud again and again. I took a closer look at the credentials after his/her name and I was all “Hmm, I’m not familiar with an LCAT” - so of course, I looked that crap up and started going bat shit crazy on folks asses.
So, again, Yay for art therapy. I LOVE art therapists, I really truly do. I swear I’m not being sarcastic here. BUT, I don’t know any legit ones that are willing to single handedly write a letter to court essentially certifying someone’s sanity. That’s all. Oh, and Jacket’s mom reports that they don’t even do art together. Maybe sometimes? No. A colored pencil drawing? Some magazine clippings at least? No and no.
Fast forward to now. A bachelor’s level ACS investigator has reasons, but not mom’s-running-in-the-street-naked reasons to be concerned about mental health issues. But the mom whips out certificates* and letters. Court loves those. So this takes me back to what I call Rebecca-now-solves-the-social-woes-of-the-universe-gag-me-with-a-spoon, but I’ll just say it anyway. The biggest problem I see is having bachelor level case workers instead of licensed social workers do this kind of consequential decision making. An LMSW on the case beginning to end would not be bulldozed over by attorneys, art therapists or even me.
YET, I must remind myself, this whole abuse investigation was started by two sisters fighting and calling in false allegations out of revenge. Ultimately, I’m simply grateful that another set of eyes has reviewed Jacket’s case (and life) with a fine-toothed comb.
*I’m not even going to count those standardized slapped-on anger management and parenting courses that meet for a couple of hours once a week for a couple of weeks. Everyone says they are a crock and imagining myself trying to teach a big group of maybe-sober, court ordered parents who are feeding off of each others’ anger, well, I can’t. I struggle enough as is to get engaged college students to “Break up in groups of 3 and make a list of strategies to address….” I can feel the angry glares of the parents just thinking about it.
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- berezina said: So, probably not even art therapy… just a license to commit fraud - which they’re likely to get away with given overworked, underqualified staffing etc. Well, I hope everyone’s OK - you, too.
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