Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Castle

Okay. It’s not that bad!! But over the past couple of months I’ve often wondered whether I am on the outskirts. The logic of the world I’ve confronted trying to find a place for Bevin has often left me mystified.

The immediate incident that has sent me along this path of contemplation:

I found a good day program for Bevin. Her soon-to-be roommate at the group home she will move to on Monday goes to the same program. The roommate travels to the day program with a transportation service called Hope Link--three days a week. Bevin will be going to the same program five days a week. So it seems that it should be a no brainer to have Bevin travel on the same bus, the Hope-Link bus, too. But. . . . . . The rules have changed. The center in Bellevue (this center is in Issaquah) is a few miles closer. Hopelink will only take her there. (Though they will compensate me for the cost to have her use a different service, that won’t be available for 4 to six weeks). No matter that the trip to Issaquah takes 10 minutes along i_90 and the trip to Bellevue takes 30-45 minutes along the 405/520 corridor (hell holes of the Seattle area commute).

(Though there is footnote to this narrative. The director at the Issaquah program talked Hope Link into taking Bevin to the program until June--by which time I should have the other program, subsidized by Hope Link, available.)

I’m sure there is a logic that I am missing.

Certainly getting to the point I could actually call real people who run group homes and day programs was rather indirect. Like going through a series of entries, with a warrant for entry (paperwork that made it through the system):
        1.        I couldn’t apply for services until Bevin was living in Washington. That meant that I filled out the paperwork and waited until I was told that once I apply she would qualify. (This took a couple of weeks.)
        2.        Once I had Bevin in Washington, I called. Then they put her paperwork into the system. After 10-14 days, I was assigned a DDD (Developmental Disabilities Division) caseworker.
        3.        In the meantime, I went to the Social Security Administration, assured them that Bevin had moved to Washington, had me assigned as her SSI Payee--and was told to wait for the paperwork to go through (and her SSI to begin coming to me)
        4.        I called the DDD caseworker; we played phone tag and then she finally got back to me and made an appointment--in approximately a week to ten days.
        5.        This was the “intake” caseworker. She did the intake discussion (the short one, less than an hour). Then she warranted that I could go on to the next step.
        6.        We waited until another week until Bev’s SSI information went into the system (another week). Then she assigned me the caseworker of the next level.
        7.        So I called him, played phone tag, finally made an appointment--for 7-10 days hence.
        8.        He came to our house and did the “long” interview--this one took two hours. Then he had enough information to present Bevin’s case to the group family home crowd.
        9.        So a week later he gave me the names of family homes. He also gave me the names of some day programs.
        10.        So then I made the calls and made the appointments to meet the family home directors. (Another week.)
        11.        Then I went to visit the homes, identified two that might be possibilities.
        12.        Then we had to have all the paperwork sent to them (took another few days).
        13.        And finally I identified a home--waited the best part of another week until I was accepted.
        14.        And so at this point we begin talking about the day program, the group home.
        15.        But my caseworker knows nothing about how things are paid for, what my next steps are.
        16.        You guessed it!! I have yet another case worker. The family home caseworker. He is the one who seems to hold the secret information on how things are paid for, what I need to do next.
        17.        So now I’m playing phone tag with him. I’m hoping this doesn’t take too long.
        18.        At least Bevin is supposed to move into her home next Monday. . . . . .

And I’m exhausted. . . . . . .

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