Background takes too long. My son, (atypical autism, frontal lobe damage, developmental crisis,) is in special needs foster care. Basically, the only way we could have more than 2 days a year break. The last time we were in court I told the judge we wanted him home. For what we pay in child support we can provide everything he gets now except the particular school. Judge & I argued that until he learned that a staff member had been beating my son up. Then he told the caseworker to do what it takes to get my son home.
He's been in foster care 28 months. For the last 6-10 months, we've been asking about bringing him home again. Every time I mention it to the DCFS caseworker, she would say "When he's 18 he'll be in a group home & have roommates & it will be so much fun!" OR "he'll lose all his benefits if he comes home".
We think that's wrong on many levels: No one told us before he went into custody that he would lose disability benefits if he came home after being in foster care; It costs the state less to provide 20 hrs/mo respite to us than it costs to keep him in foster care; He wasn't getting the intense therapy we wanted for him, being told that he's doing fine, we don't need to add anything that will help him more; If he's getting the therapy he needs, it won't matter if he loses benefits when he comes home...if he hasn't made enough progress that life without respite isn't easier than it was BEFORE foster care, without respite, the state hasn't done their job in treating him (1 of 2 reasons we placed him). Still angry there were no providers & asking why the intercept service (manages foster care) can't provide respite for families if they can provide it for foster parents. Told by DCFS it's licensing & they can only do it for foster parents.
SO, the DCFS caseworker quits to go back to school & we get a new caseworker. New guy says,"you don't lose your benefits. Ask DSPD caseworker, but I think you still get respite". DSPD caseworker says "You still get 10 hours a month, & SSI." (Yay....no $300/mo co-pay for meds!)
So hubby & I start looking for someone in our neighborhood to do respite. The person we thought of can't do it. So we start thinking of other people, but before we can call them, DSPD caseworker calls.
Instead of us finding our own respite & DSPD paying 10 hrs/mo, we can use the intercept service. We will get respite babysitting, & possibly overnight respite, & possibly keep some hours in the after-school program they run. Our DSPD worker wants to get it in place before he comes home in December.
Just thought I'd share the good news. I've shared enough frustrations.