The following is a portion of a letter written to several State Senators by an adoptive family that is struggling. Politicians today many times forget the effects of their decisions on the very people they are called to protect.
In spite of neglect, physically abuse, sexual abuse and abandonment, CPS assured us that with love and support they would be able to succeed. They also contractually promised us adequate medical care for them. Our boys have health conditions; one has a serious heart condition. Most of them have chronic asthma, bi-polar disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Reactive Attachment and Pervasive Development Disorder at the ages eight through thirteen years of age.
We depend on Medicaid to give us the medical care we require. The town closest to us is Tomball. The only pediatrician that will take Medicaid will not take children with existing medical problems. We have found an adequate pediatric group in Magnolia. Many times we have to go to clinics to receive care from a specialist. I have been in several that look like third world countries. Counseling for emotional damage, trauma and possible sexual abuse is limited, once again due to Medicaid. Traditional Medicaid does not pay for long term Residential Treatment. We have had to give CPS Managing Care of our 13 year old so that he can have the much needed treatment required. This is the biggest heart break of lives. These are children and now we only have a partial say in his treatment plan.
Providers have had their rates reduced in Texas three times in the past four years. We have difficulty finding therapists that will take the individual therapy rate $41 a session and group is $12 a session. Pediatricians receive $36.89 to see my children when they are sick. They cannot charge Medicaid for a no-show due to Medicaid policies. Providers are fewer and fewer are less qualified. These amounts and policies of the State of Texas would appear to be trying to force Universal Healthcare on our Nation.
My family has registered for Post Adopt Services provided for families that have adopted through CPS. We are able to receive referrals, assistance for respite care, even special camps. Each year the assistance is reduced. The post adoption contract through the state has NEVER raised the rate of pay to therapists since the beginning of the contract in 1990. Families depend on this support to survive. Respite care for my family is budgeted for $350.00 a year. That gives us specialized child care for approximately five nights out a year.
Post adoption contracts currently in the state of Texas have to come up with 25% of the matching funds to draw down the state amount. In other words the budget may say $400,000 but the two agencies that provide care have to raise $100,000 with matching funds. This might be helped by United Way but United Way just cut Spaulding for Children’s budget by 18%. Now the agencies spend time and staff monies to raise funds.
Spaulding has a case load of about 160 adopted families (Depelchin is similar) and that is approximately 450 children and their families. How does this affect my family? We have to depend on Medicaid approval for services which changes regularly. We have had such limited services that we have had to place one of our boys in a residential treatment center costing the state $4,000.00 per month. In home care could prevent this from happening again. Psychiatrists are already recommending we place a second child in residential care, away from our family. This would be unnecessary if we could get more training and support.
Our children were wards of the state. We adopted them and raised them in a loving home, counting on the state to remember its promises to give us assistance. Just as our boys were once abandoned by their mother, the State of Texas has reneged on its promises to us and abandoned our family.
*State Facts for 2011:
• 24,608 children were in the responsibility care of CPS
• 4,842 children were adopted from CPS in 2011
• 1,744 special needs children were adopted from CPS
• 17,183 remain in Foster or substitute care
How many families does this story represent?