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Message ID: 9048
Date: 2011-11-30

Author:D F MCMAHON

Subject:RE: relinquishment of custody

I can comment on North Dakota, where a non-relinquishment program was instituted in 2005. The official demand exceeded resources by 300% the first year. Later appropriations were increased but official demand has always been at least twice the supply. To fund the program, unfortunately, funds were pulled from the state's Mental Health Block Grant by decreasing an appropriation from the same grant which funds family support networks. I think the Family support network in ND was a great example of the problems of creating sustainable resources in a politically unfriendly environment. The state's wraparound program was created using federal grant money in the late 1990's. This was a 5 year grant, which included a requirement to create family support networks. FFCMH--which had previously not had a state chapter--was used as the vehicle for creating a state chapter with regional satellites and some regional chapters. Re-allocating the majority of those funds to non-relinquishment was fine for legislators, but devastating for an organization which had definitely not reached sustainability statewide (or even, it appears after a few more years, in any region, with possible exceptions of reservations, whose programs were separate from the rest of the state). As to who gets to access the program it's hit and miss. One parent was denied access for her seriously mentally ill year old daughter. The program restricts access to any family with a pending deprivation or delinquency case. Almost a decade before, the mother (who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and had also had a child fathered by her own father as a teen) asked the county to take temporary custody of her infant daughter while she underwent several months inpatient treatment in the state hospital. She had never been re-hospitalized and lived a quiet life, receiving disability benefits and actively involved in her church and her daughter's IEP and mental health services as well as what (by then) passed for family support). On the basis of the past deprivation (unable to care for her daughter while she received treatment) she was denied use of the non-relinquishment program. She never saw a written record of the disapproval (and she diligently sought records) or was any formal appeal process ever disclosed to her. (The only appeals processes the state provides in human services are those which are federally mandated). Her daughter never did come home to stay, went through multiple placements and received questionable care (there were issues with cognitive function or at least learning disabilities, possible sexual assault by another resident at one facility). Mom stayed actively involved. It's likely lack of legal custody did not make a huge difference in placement decisions (if she'd had custody and rejected recommendations, she might be in the same boat)--but too often she was simply left out of the loop, sometimes serious consequences. If the case is first "touched" as a CPS or juvenile justice situation, I would not say there is zero chance of extricating it from those contexts but it is not very likely. Anyway, in terms of resources or political will, it was a matter of providing bread at supper by forgoing breakfast. Sheri McMahon Date: Tue, 29 Nov 2011 21:05:02 -0800 From: mauigoddess7@yahoo.com Subject: Re: relinquishment of custody To: child-maltreatment-research-l@list.cornell.edu Missouri has created SB1003. http://www.senate.mo.gov/04info/billtext/tat/sb1003.htm In a nutshell, parents retain custody and the Dept of Mental Health funds the treatment. If child was previously receiving services from the Children's Division, they will continue to fund those services. http://dss.mo.gov/cd/info/cwmanual/section4/ch24/sec4ch24sub4.htm http://dss.mo.gov/cd/info/cwmanual/section4/ch24/sec4ch24.pdf HOWEVER...the Children's Division, at least in St Charles county, does not inform parents about SB1003 and does everything to disqualify parents from receiving services. A supervisor stated that the purpose of the bill was to help the Children's Division clear some old cases off their books!! Seems like they don't want to diminish the control they have over their budget for services. Oddly, our Senator Tom Dempsey's staff was even unfamiliar with the bill. It looks like the legislative branch did a reasonable job, but the executive branch could use a little motivation! Hope this helps! Best Wishes, Linda Leigh ________________________________ From: "katstar@fqstudio.net" To: child-maltreatment-research-l@list.cornell.edu Sent: Tuesday, November 29, 2011 1:34 PM Subject: relinquishment of custody Does anyone have information on what state child welfare systems are doing to effecitvely address cases where parents have to relinquish custody, or what we refer to in Texas as "refusal to accept parentl responsibility," due to the inability to obtain appropriate mental health services for a child? I'm especially interested in innovative approaches that don't involve substantiating maltreatment in cases where parents have exhausted all efforts to obtain mental health services for their child. Thank You, Katherine Barillas, Ph.D. Policy Fellow One Voice Texas

I can comment on North Dakota, where a non-relinquishment program was instituted in 2005. The official demand exceeded resources by 300% the first year. Later appropriations were increased but official demand has always been at least twice the supply. To fund the program, unfortunately, funds were pulled from the state's Mental Health Block Grant by decreasing an appropriation from the same grant which funds family support networks. I think the Family support network in ND was a great example of the problems of creating sustainable resources in a politically unfriendly environment. The state's wraparound program was created using federal grant money in the late 1990's. This was a 5 year grant, which included a requirement to create family support networks. FFCMH--which had previously not had a state chapter--was used as the vehicle for creating a state chapter with regional satellites and some regional chapters. Re-allocating the majority of those funds to non-relinquishment was fine for legislators, but devastating for an organization which had definitely not reached sustainability statewide (or even, it appears after a few more years, in any region, with possible exceptions of reservations, whose programs were separate from the rest of the state). As to who gets to access the program it's hit and miss. One parent was denied access for her seriously mentally ill year old daughter. The program restricts access to any family with a pending deprivation or delinquency case. Almost a decade before, the mother (who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and had also had a child fathered by her own father as a teen) asked the county to take temporary custody of her infant daughter while she underwent several months inpatient treatment in the state hospital. She had never been re-hospitalized and lived a quiet life, receiving disability benefits and actively involved in her church and her daughter's IEP and mental health services as well as what (by then) passed for family support). On the basis of the past deprivation (unable to care for her daughter while she received treatment) she was denied use of the non-relinquishment program. She never saw a written record of the disapproval (and she diligently sought records) or was any formal appeal process ever disclosed to her. (The only appeals processes the state provides in human services are those which are federally mandated). Her daughter never did come home to stay, went through multiple placements and received questionable care (there were issues with cognitive function or at least learning disabilities, possible sexual assault by another resident at one facility). Mom stayed actively involved. It's likely lack of legal custody did not make a huge difference in placement decisions (if she'd had custody and rejected recommendations, she might be in the same boat)--but too often she was simply left out of the loop, sometimes serious consequences. If the case is first "touched" as a CPS or juvenile justice situation, I would not say there is zero chance of extricating it from those contexts but it is not very likely. Anyway, in terms of resources or political will, it was a matter of providing bread at supper by forgoing breakfast. Sheri McMahon Date: Tue, 29 Nov 2011 21:05:02 -0800 From: mauigoddess7yahoo.com Subject: Re: relinquishment of custody To: child-maltreatment-research-llist.cornell.edu Missouri has created SB1003. http://www.senate.mo.gov/04info/billtext/tat/sb1003.htm In a nutshell, parents retain custody and the Dept of Mental Health funds the treatment. If child was previously receiving services from the Children's Division, they will continue to fund those services. http://dss.mo.gov/cd/info/cwmanual/section4/ch24/sec4ch24sub4.htm http://dss.mo.gov/cd/info/cwmanual/section4/ch24/sec4ch24.pdf HOWEVER...the Children's Division, at least in St Charles county, does not inform parents about SB1003 and does everything to disqualify parents from receiving services. A supervisor stated that the purpose of the bill was to help the Children's Division clear some old cases off their books!! Seems like they don't want to diminish the control they have over their budget for services. Oddly, our Senator Tom Dempsey's staff was even unfamiliar with the bill. It looks like the legislative branch did a reasonable job, but the executive branch could use a little motivation! Hope this helps! Best Wishes, Linda Leigh ________________________________ From: "katstarfqstudio.net" To: child-maltreatment-research-llist.cornell.edu Sent: Tuesday, November 29, 2011 1:34 PM Subject: relinquishment of custody Does anyone have information on what state child welfare systems are doing to effecitvely address cases where parents have to relinquish custody, or what we refer to in Texas as "refusal to accept parentl responsibility," due to the inability to obtain appropriate mental health services for a child? I'm especially interested in innovative approaches that don't involve substantiating maltreatment in cases where parents have exhausted all efforts to obtain mental health services for their child. Thank You, Katherine Barillas, Ph.D. Policy Fellow One Voice Texas