Yesterday I met with the group home staff to review the amended behavior plan. To their credit they had definately looked at my concerns and addressed some of them. The most outrageous things were eliminated or modified. For instance the clause that she ride in the extreme back of the 15 passenger van was removed. They had based this "need" on an incident that happened in 2006. Oy. They removed the phone restrictions. I will be notified of incidents. There were several other changes from my rather lengthy notes on the original form.
They did not revise the extended time frames that they have for behavioral changes. (i.e. Fiona should exhibit a 12 month period with no instances of self harm or assaultive behavioir.) Uh huh. and the tooth fairy is going to drop a $20 on my pillow tonight! It.will.not.happen. Pollyanna i may be, but I have known Fi since she was 9 and the scope of her mental health issues make that impossible.
But the director said that these goals are primarily for the staff. So that they have a blueprint on how to handle Fiona and that they will be revised frequently. I am not really sure I buy this, but I am willing to give it a go and see. They have assured me that the plan and her ability to acheive the goals is not going to prohibit making other things happen for her, like getting involved in clubs or within the wider community. If they are truthful about that, then I am okay with it.
I asked about who her payee was and was informed that the director was planning to apply for this. I said that I was more than willing to do this and would prefer it. Surprisingly (or perhaps not) the tone of the meeting got chillier then. I was told that this could "hold up" Fiona getting to take a class she is interested in, because they wouldn't know if the funds were there. I asked how much the class in question might be. $60.00 I said if they sign her up, they'll get a check, even if it is my money till her checks are squared away. Seriously??? I think it far better that family manage the funds. Sorry folks. They also were not happy that I grilled them on healthy eating. PB and fluff for a pre-diabetic?? Give me a break! They argued with me over Fiona going to spend the night at her cousin's house so that she can get her hair done. I know her cousin N quite well. We are good friends and she has a child KC's age. Our two kids are friends as well. N would not do anything unsafe with or around Fiona or her own daughter. She is a hard worker and an amazing parent. I finally found out that guardianship trumps what the home staff want and that if I sign off on it they can object but can not stop unless they have empirical proof that this is not in Fiona's best interest. Since cousin N is going to do Lissa's hair this spring, ob
I went directly to the Social Security office after the meeting. Filled out the necessary paperwork for that but have to wait about 14 days for the confirmation letter to arrive so that I can set up her bank account. The fellow who took the application was nice but had cubicle brain. (my term for not having people skills) He was the sort that asked what felt like intrusive questions to me. Or made statements that i assume he thought were supportive but weren't. i.e. "so you are basically her guardian because DCF wanted you to be." NO! I just smiled and said that was far from true but it was too complex to tie up his day. A good friend of mine actually works at that office but he could not do the application with me because we are friends. (I also work with his father.)
Still, much was accomplished and I am relieved at that. I feel that I am juggling many balls in the air right now. This weekend is crazy with 3 of the kids going to 2 different birthday parties tomorrow. Sunday I teach church school and Fiona comes for my wife's birthday party.
However this weekend pales to the weekend of the 21-23rd. Stay tuned!