Some interesting comments have been posted here by some knowledgeable insiders (who I very much wish had been on our legal team!). While obviously not warm and fuzzy, I do appreciate the feedback.
Yes, I think Jacket would be better off with me. Hands down. However, ethically, I don’t think I could be the judge who stripped Jacket’s mom of her parental rights- yet. It’s my understanding that what’s best for Jacket isn’t even a question on the table in parental rights termination cases. The legal question is only “Is Jacket in imminent danger”. I think that question is much, much harder to answer.
Don’t get me wrong, I blab everything to ACS when they come around. The good, the bad, everything. As does the police detective. I also admit that I’m bias. Do I have any reason to believe that Jacket is being starved, beaten or medically neglected? Nope. Not at all. Is her head getting fucked? Absolutely.
I give everyone an OPWDD packet of print out eligibility criteria and services that I have hand selected for Jacket’s mom. As a clinical supervisor at work told me, I would be remiss not to. Also, I hand over my phone and show our text messages. I contact previous case workers and get their permission to connect them to new case workers. I provide concrete reasons to require play therapy (the kind of therapy kids can get at this age). I interpret test scores for non-clinician case workers and explain diagnoses. My mantra is “I continue to be concerned. Jacket’s mom requires a very high level of support to parent successfully”.
Nonetheless, for better or worse, what I’ve shared hasn’t met criteria to go to court and require services. The ACS workers I’ve encountered have been very consistent, which is reassuring. I’m guessing it’s a lot like the involuntary psychiatric commitments I used to do. The decision is formulaic. Sure, I used my clinical judgment, but my decision was usually always made in the first 10 minutes of talking to someone. I didn’t need to meet with their families and I often struggled to stay engaged for hours on end. There are laws so that people aren’t institutionalized unless medically necessary, or reciprocally they are kept in-patient against their (and their families preference) for safety reasons. Even then, most states only let a hospital keep someone for 72 hours before presenting a case in court.
So, putting my defensiveness aside, what I would really love is advice on terminology. What exactly should I be saying besides my concerns, my experiences and an unsolicited case plan?
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- electrickitten said: You’re dong a good job being open and honest. This isn’t just parenting. It is life skills. Mom needs a different situation where family can’t take advantage of her. Are their social workers for adults w/ disabilities? A different type of agency.
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