Sunday, December 31, 2017

More Cardinal Failures

My 18 year daughter suffers from severe mental illness. She currently resides in a level 3 group home through Cardinal Innovations. A couple weeks ago I received a call from Tina Featherstone, her care coordinator stating that her supervisor needed to make sure I was aware that if a placement could not be found for my child, that she would be discharged to a homeless shelter. I contacted her again and asked for the name of the shelter and she returned my call with a CYA message stating that Cardinal was not discharging her to a homeless shelter, that because I would not allow her to come home, that was my decision. The following is my response. 


I received your voicemail yesterday stating that Cardinal was not discharging my 18 year old mentally ill and developmentally delayed daughter to a homeless shelter, as you said multiple times on the phone the previous day. On the voicemail you stated that that Cardinal was discharging her, and that if no Level 2 placements we're found, because she cannot come to my home, she would go to a homeless shelter (not a direct quote). ***I have kept this voicemail if needed. 

I would first ask that in this time of incredible stress and anxiety for my daughter's future that you not play semantics. The bottom line is that once again Cardinal is threatening to discharge my child to a lower level of care that is recommended, whether that is to me, or the homeless shelter. 

To prevent me from "misunderstanding" anything else, I will just keep everything in writing and request you do the same.

Please correct me if I am wrong on any of the following:

My child's time at the grouphome is coming to an end. 

There is currently a clinical recommendation for a Level 2 placement.

All team members are currently searching for Level 2 placements, but her age makes this difficult. All team members are also working on getting her on the Innovations Waiver.

There is a high possibility that a Level 2 placement will not be found due to her age and the seriousness of her recent behaviors.

Due to multiple issues that will be discussed shortly, her returning to my home is not an option. 

You stated multiple times, and said your supervisor needed to make sure I knew, that if a placement could not be found, and including the fact that she could not come here, my daughter would be discharged to a homeless shelter. You even mentioned that shelter's name.

Please let me know ASAP if any of the above is incorrect.

What I have asked for in my previous email is the name of the shelter you mentioned on the phone call so that I can find out more about them. I should have written the name down but was too upset to do so. 

In regards to her coming here, I'll start with the technical issues:

My daughter brutally assaulted me in July 2016. It was not the first time, but was the worst. At that time the Department of Children's Services became involved. I was told by them that to allow her back in the home would be negligence in reference to my other children. 

My child currently requires at least a Level 2 placement. With her recent runaway, suicidal threats, and stabbing incident within the last 3 months, I believe I have been very clear in my disagreement on that decision, but also realize the current recommendation is Level 2. 

The current search for a Level 2 includes homes with no children or pets due to my daughter's history of killing animals and violence (including putting a special needs child in the hospital in her last Therapeutic Foster Care placement). 

I have a home with 7 other children and multiple animals. 

I am not a licensed Level 2 placement. 

On multiple previous occasions, when a placement could not be found, and I allowed her to step down to my home, when the care I could provide was less than clinical recommendations, multiple tragic incidents have occurred. These include: thousands of dollars of damage to my home and vehicles, the family cat's head stomped in, multiple other pets injured or killed, multiple incidents of assault of both myself and other children, multiple incidents of her stabbing herself, beating her head into walls or other self harm/suicide attempts and multiple incidents of her running away. 

So, no, she can't come here. And yes, I know she will be discharged to a homeless shelter, where she will be at SIGNIFICANT risk of exploitation and abuse. I know that she will likely seriously harm herself or someone else. I know that she may not even survive that decision. As a Rape Crisis Companion with Safe Alliance I have met countless clients who are exactly where my daughter is. 

Sadly, I also know that I am a mama to other children and pets. I know that for many years she came first, to the detriment of those children. I know that recently she ran away and stabbed herself twice, so there has been no improvement in her mental state. I know, that for the first time, my other children are sleeping without alarms on their doors or fear of someone in our family being killed or seriously injured by her. I know that it has now been over a year since I have had holes in my walls, busted and broken household items, or cuts and bruises from being assaulted. I know that while I still have nightmares of seeing my precious cat's head smashed in, the new animals in my life are safe. I know that while my heart is devastated, this is bigger than my heart. I have to protect the others in ways that I failed to do for over 12 years. 

Cardinal Innovations continues to fail the children and people in their care while blowing money on lavish parties and bonuses. Moms like me have no choice, no help, no peace. The list of consequences of Cardinal's previous decisions are so much that I will need to come back another day and list them. My family has paid dearly while they had nice parties and bonuses that could have paid for another day's care in a proper placement. They should be ashamed of themselves.

Saying No

Right now is a time of self sacrifice, a time of stepping up and beyond your normal. I’m here right now to tell you, ITS OK NOT TO. Anyone...