Adopted Children and Mental Health Services

Parenting through the tuff stuff? What does that mean? A few days ago as I was setting in the Capital in Washington DC waiting to speak about the need to make the Adoption Tax Credit refundable it was heavy on my heart that although this was a very important issue that are things that are closer to my heart. IT kept crossing my mind that I should be there talking about the need for mental health care for children that are adopted from the foster care system.

Many people don't understand how this works. When a child is in foster care they came with medicare. This covers all medical, prescriptions, psychiatry appointments, therapy visits, in patient treatment, out patient treatment day treatment and if these kids become a danger to them selves or others these kids can be placed in residential treatment centers where they can get even more help in a very structured environment.

Often families don't find out until a few years into the adoption that once adopted the Medicaid changes over to traditional Medicaid. What this means is the mental health coverage changes. IT still pays for psychiatric appointments, limited therapy appointments, limited inpatient psychiatric visits. No day treatment no out patient and no residential treatment services. So what do you do when you have a child that has severe behavior/mental health issues?

Even if the child has severe behaviors and a danger to others the family has two choices. Bring the child back into the home or put them back into care to get them placed in a residential treatment center. Often this means the families will have a failure to take responsibility on their name, and sometimes ordered to pay child support.

There are lots if info out there on the number of children in foster care, the number of children waiting for homes, what about getting help for the families that have stepped up and taken these children into their homes only to be asked to place them back into the system if they want help for them. The parents that sleep in shifts in order to keep everyone safe.

Parenting through the tough stuff does not begin to describe the lives of many families out there. We are committed to these children we need out State and Government to be committed to help us to help them.

This was weighing heavy on my heart as I sat in DC. Then while waiting at the airport for our plane back to DFW I get a phone call from Waco Center For Youth. My daughter has been there since November. To tell me that she is being released May 18th not due to her progress she has made in her behaviors but due to the fact that she has made zero progress and they can't work with her. This was confirmation for me that I needed to speak up not only for my family but for the hundreds of other families out there that deal with the same mental health issues and lack of help.