Monday, August 18, 2008

Busy yesterday. The camera is all ready, and the sun is out for pictures. First, I'm trying to get up a bunch of pictures for the web that I took yesterday at the Olson reunion in Ulen, MN. It was a nice little park, and the kids, I can't call them short people anymore, they behaved terrifically. There was a bit of testosterone stupidity, fake kung-fu and chin up contests, but it was all in fun. I'll probably put a picture essay on the main site, but for now, this is my favorite picture of a nice, long day. For a short picnic, I think it was supposed to be 11-1, we didn't get home until almost midnight.
This is Miss Emily on the bridge at Ulen city park. I think she was actually singing to the fish that had been traumatized by the rock skipping and ker-plunk-ing, so they'd just fed them pizza and determined that they were trout and there weren't any fishing poles in the caravan.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

New email - and I have permission from Sheri, the cool advocate, to put it all online this time.

M called, Marlene set up an appointment for M with Craig Sinclair, the P and A guy who is assigned to assistive technology issues and can write an appeal for the MA denial. But here's the kicker--if Marlene was going to do no more than that, M and I could have taken care of it way back in June when I first understood the issue. But it was agreed at the meeting that I would find a resource for resolving the AT issue and give Marlene that information to act on.
Besides the issue of providing a service D (nephew) has been assessed as needing, this is an example of a good way to test the caseworker's professionalism on the job. A simple request, good documentation, all she had to do was follow through timely and gather the records she has or has easy access to for the P and A lawyer to go forward with. Supposing the parent was unable or unwilling to follow through, Marlene would not have (since she also said C was going to take care of the MA appeal but didn't follow through--meaning Marlene did not follow through to make sure it got done). It was an easy assignment for Marlene and she blew it. As supervisor, Beth should have also monitored for outcomes since this was done as a staffing with her and Chip and Melanie. So Beth blew it too. As new Social Services Director (hey, they changed the contract so Chip is allowed to keep his hockey store in Moorhead--the previous head was not allowed any outside employment or self-employment) and (at the time) Child and Family Services director, Chip is ultimately responsible.

{{LIE ALERT}} C said outright that she's done enough and has to concentrate on her children. No, she never said she'd check with MA (Medical Assistance).}}

M said she signed the release for you. DBGR also wanted a release from M to get a copy of her parental capacity, she said no way. After talking to her, I called SEHSC to find out the easiest way for her to get a copy.
Hey, if you want to throw this on the blog, I have no problem.

Yay! Progress is good!! I think that Beth finally realizes that I'm not random, crazy ranting person from the street who just wants to yell and moan for the sake of drama. NO, been trying to fix drama for TWO YEARS thru the usual channels, so now I'm ranting. It's working. I cleaned my whole kitchen happily with Lime and Violet on the ipod. And, now I'm cuddling a bright alpaca smoke ring and working on the articles. Pictures will be coming since with my mind clear - I remembered to put the batteries on the charger. Sun is out, coffee is good - there will be *PEACEFUL* knitting.
Teaser - I was informed that it could probably be a very good day for "news on foster care". Yay!

Update - I tracked down the "cottage number" and was able to talk to nephew last night. He still seemed rather drugged down and depressed. But, he got to ask after everyone, and even asked for news of our dog (fine and fat, and has a girlfriend - 8 mo old "Sophie"). So, progress is good.

As I was typing this, Tim E returned my call. I think that he intended to be officious and "We cannot speak to you without a release." But, we talked for quite awhile about program specifics and got into mentoring programs. I even had the nerve to I suggested that they bring in the geek friendly entertainment to help kids with social skills, math skills and the like. YES, DBGR now know the words LARP, Cos-play, Magic and card based games. Whoo HOO!

It sounds like DBGR is trying to move from the residential model of medical treatment into the community based, family guidance model. And, they have some help from the Red River Asperger's community group. So, there's hope, maybe.

Thanks, Tim E!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

First - Received a phone call this morning from Marlene Sorum's boss, Beth. She tried to tell me that everything was fine, but I trotted out the "lost release of information" and the "two visits in 20 months" and the "No Communication Assistant Technology." So, she brought out the good lipstick and asked me to put the issues in writing.

My brief overview ran to 5 pages, and yes, I will post them here after I make sure that the rules are followed, and I haven't missed any major issues.

Secondly, for "Are Human Services actually meeting Child's Needs?" and real stories of Human Services, I looked for candidate platforms and statements about how North Dakota's Human Services are working, and I didn't find Squanto. I'll keep looking.

I did find one of the people I'm recommended to talk to. Glory Kramlich was defeated in a bid for state legislature. I don't understand why - the other guy must have shown a superman cape - because she really knows her stuff! The state of North Dakota has a surplus, so she's interested in fixing roads, restoring student funding back to 65%, and extending a program that looks like Companions for Children or Big Brother/Big Sister to help kids have more support to be successful. We talked for far too long about the different things that do work to help children, and places to go for good services, like the Ann Carlson Center in Jamestown. (Web at ) I hope that she stays active in making positive change!

Hopefully, I'll have the letter edited and polished to post tomorrow, and I'll continue to speak with the leaders to see what is proposed and what is being addressed to help all of the children of North Dakota.

Details of Ear Aerobics, Auditory Integration Training, Dr Bernard Rimland, Dr Stanley (?) Greenstrand or any of the proven or disproven methods are still over at The "Autism" tab has information on IEP, Books, Support groups and services, protocols and eventually it might become organized.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Knitting is really good for thinking. I'm finishing my coffee, elsewhere I had to admit that I needed to walk away from the caffeine, and knitting - what chores need to be done, what I'll do tomorrow, how I need to get away from this drama and get myself ready for work.

And, I realize that this is bigger than my feelings for my nephew. This is even bigger than the racism, class-ism, and discrimination against the disabled/different. This is how the government is spending my money.

I've been pretty lucky. This family got it together enough to help others. I was able to stay home and actually raise my kids to be nice, if wierd, people who aren't afraid to speak out at a Clean Air Meeting with the EPA and Potlatch, "It's great that the air will be cleaner, but what are you going to do about the people that are already sick?". Or, speaking out against yet another liquor store near the reservation.

This is our government when no one cares enough to stand up for a low-IQ woman. This is how one black/Indian child is being treated by Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch - told how much he deserves to be there and isn't leaving, then "Child is depressed and unmotivated."

Each of us touches the government in some way, and each of us can tell a story or relate some facts. Minnesota tries and has a good complaint system, but still have improvements to make. I'm not letting anyone off the hook, I want to know what needs to be fixed and how it can be done better. By contrast, North Dakota looks like a Nazi camp, but eventually (hopefully) I'll finally find someone who was helped by this billion dollar con game. I've seen a few in MN. Is it actually worth all of this money to put uneducated, drugged out kids right back on the street without help?

Forget Iraq and Obama/McCain a moment and look at our daily lives instead of just the newcast and Jon Stewart - is this what it means to be an American?
Someone has read this and wants to leave feedback - only about NY. Apparently, NY decided that an entire class of volunteers is unacceptable to be foster parents. That's why taxpayers are being socked for extra money to keep these kids in "custody" and out of family situations. It seems that you have to be blonde and wear khakis to be fit to parent. I invited her to write as she pleased, but it's rather cool that I have readers and feedback already about how it's not just North Dakota that's sucking money for moronic policy decisions..

This woman is still angry that she had a Muslim kid from a war torn country who was taken from her care because she wasn't black enough then - but now "Is she black?" Duh. This kid was dragged away from a war by a stranger relative and placed with her - but is now in "custody" with urban black kids as if that's more appropriate by NY standards.
The Vulnerable Adult people are WONDERFUL!

First good suggestion is that we can start the process from here by becoming licensed for foster care.

Secondly - "The county is required to assist families in filing a complaint." and we have been told several times that "There is no complaint procedure" for either Marlene or the public defender, Doug. There still isn't a way to fire Doug N, but I will still be formulating a hate letter to the North Dakota Bar Association. Ick!
Brainstorm -- In Minnesota, they actually have a pretty good program for the protection of Vulnerable Adults. A Vulnerable Adult is someone that is has an impairment, mental or functional. Although SIL does pretty well, and can do things - I do believe that she has several reasons do be considered a Vulnerable Adult, regardless of if she wants to admit it or not.

Isn't it neglect that Fargo (Cass County) social services have allowed her to live in a trailer with no running water and try to handle a bad divorce on her own? Isn't it abuse that they then punish her for making bad decisions when they know that qualifies for help?

Hmm. The contact that just voicemailed me is The Human Services Center from We'll just see what they say about investigating if this case is handled correctly and if M should have been getting help all along instead of being treated worse than a drug addict.

(No, not being rhetorical. If a mother abuses drugs, she can get her kids back after completing rehab, so in a month or two. SIL has been separated from her children, not allowed but a couple of visits and no private phone calls for almost 2 years. Fact - not rhetoric.)
Posting up here is already getting something done. I wish that I'd done it earlier. A note this morning from a great advocate says, "Tim Eissinger who oversees the DBGRs and he's just not sure how the breakdowns happened with communication because truly what's happening the DBGR in Bismarck or Western Plains is going to be serving youth who don't have the dual diagnosis per se, they are moving those children to the Minot campus to be served because of referrals and the need for having more youth to serve in the community locally, so what they've been doing is talking to parents and custodians one on one by phone or during staffing their direct meetings with the case managers, so they have been accommodating parents and custodians on time frames and the moves and the comfort levels and also you know how they're wanting to not mix the populations so the youth who have the dual diagnosis can get more specialized treatment up in Minot. They've been also meeting with custodians and providers either direct or by phone too and they've have been giving presentations to the field they targeted about 55% of the state by talking with county directors, PATH, DJS, human service directors and other providers who have children under their care, so I talked to Tim this morning cell phone..."

That is a big, fat, racist lie. To begin with, we were told point blank by the social worker, Marlene Sorum, that our nephew was going to placed with us. Period. I wrote an injunction and told Marlene that nephew should not get bounced around again, and I told the lawyers that I had an injunction that needed to filed before the deadline to stop him moving to Minot. He's now in Minot. The grandparent's also objected strenuously to moving this child even further away. Especially when there are services and homes in the Fargo area where members of the family do live, and where more family members travel to the VA, and visit.

It also bothers me "wanting to not mix the populations;" I want to know the racial and religious demographics of Minot. They aren't wanting to mix WHOM? And further, " the need for having more youth to serve in the community locally;" Serve in the community? Like inmate cleanups? Lock up your own d^mn black population and leave my nephew out of your "need for youth to serve." My nephew needs speech and language HELP!, not to be picking up trash by the side of a ND road.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Ok, new post. I didn't want to conversate about the crap that hit the fan, but now I really don't care. North Dakota can't really do much worse to us than they already have.

Firstly, SIL (call her M) had a bad divorce. She was living in a trailer without running water, switching schools, so she had her kids taken away for dirty, not in school, blah, blah, blah. There were reasons, but nothing worse than usual and the kids were "not in immenate danger" (That's spelled wrong, but blogger isn't helping.) So, MN would only help her do better, and ND actually took them away.

Ok, nephew (the one on the main website's banner on the far left) was in foster care with the other SIL (call her K). Ok, fine. Well, the poor child reported a bomb threat and was dragged to juvie. (Being BLACK in North Dakota?) He has a major speech issue, so that was probably enough of it. But, he was evaluated when he first went into care as not depressed, not bi-polar, not ADHD - no need of meds. I have the paper.

So, tell me why ND still has this child in juvie? He wasn't permitted to visit his mother or FAMILY at all until his great-grandmother's funeral. He finally got a visit after about 13 months. It's now at 20 months, and all the social worker does is spout crap about parenting classes, how to speak proper English classes and the like. SIL has done them and still isn't "fit." I've finally realized that she is just refusing to give this child back to his family no matter what happens. She says that he could come with us (Hello, I'm licensed to work with disabled people and help 30,000 people a month!), but no paperwork has ever been filed - NOTHING has been done. Even worse, I've been told that this social worker is one of the better ones in the system.

Does it get worse? Oh ya. The lawyer who canceled court so that the social worker could go on vacation and never told the family. (Take a 3 hour car ride to go to court - and how po'd would you be?) Tried to fire him, and apparently, he can't be fired and there is no way we can even make a complaint against his performance. (He also called SIL the wrong name in court - IN COURT! On the record!! DUH)

3 hours one way to try to help with the IDIOTIC Cass county, North Dakota court system isn't bad enough of a trip - the state wants to hold him in Bismark (5 hours) and threatened to move him to Minot. I wrote an injunction so these papers could get juggled for him to come with us, with uncle J, with auntie M, with any of the hundreds of clan around Dakota and MN. Nope - it was totally ignored by the lawyers, and he got moved to MINOT. The place for children with "serious problems" (see paper that I have above - not bi-polar, not ADHD - no need of meds.)

So, I've had to give up before I got postal. The scary part is that people have told me where this woman lives, where she trolls for men and gets plastered (no, not kidding), and then they laugh at my good impulse control. So, now the world knows why I've been quiet - why I'm mad, and the reasons that I'd rather hide in a corner and mumble to myself then do the stuff that I want to accomplish.

Does this get worse YES! I've been asking for the papers - with several privacy releases, and have *NOTHING*. The social worker actually lied to her boss, Chip - I'd watched M sign a release at a BS meeting, she said she didn't have it. So, we got another, "No, I can't send that to any of the agencies, you need a release for each agency, no copies." Nothing that I asked for from the officials. I dug thru the "files" of both SILs, and they don't have a treatment plan, they don't have a plan of what M needs to do to get her kids back (NOTHING!), there isn't even the federally required education plan. Nephew says that Dakota Boys and Girl's Ranch (DBGR) has bounced him ahead two grades, but the few papers say how disabled he is, how he needs strong meds, how horrible he is. By law, the parent is supposed to have all of these things. There was a meeting with the parents, aunts, grandparents where the family is supposed to say what all is supposed to happen - ya, none of that has been done.

Meanwhile - he is drugged to the freakin' gills. He's had two psychotic episodes from *DRUGS* that they've handed him. He's said that they tell him all the time how much he deserves to be there, and how his mother doesn't want him. DBGR has told his mother that she's not allowed to talk to him without speaker phone, and that she cannot discuss court with him. He's dragged to their church and pressured to "get baptized", and not allowed to do his reservation type stuff (tobacco offerings, blessings, sweats, songs).

So, now it's public that my SIL isn't Suzy perfect and had a rough patch. It's not a secret that my nephew has been locked up for 20 months for being a black kid that reported a bomb threat in the Enderland School district. It's not a secret that Cass County, North Dakota will not help families, steals children, and lies in their conversations and paperwork, and that Marlene Sorum is nothing but a bully with a cheesy degree and a bad power trip (and alcohol problem). Doug Nesheim is a f^cking moron, and the court personnel isn't much better. (Oh, and the "guardian ad litem" will go to a special circle of hell. I was asked to train for that program, and I know she's a waste of space, going to lunch with the prosecutor, classist pig.)

Did I mention that when I and hubby showed up, dressed very well, with three very well dressed children and briefcases how the entire team got extremely polite? And how I was requested to write a paper to "inform" the staff about the rare genetic disease? (Ya, ME!) The same thing that they were informed of since the beginning where these morons never bothered to even contact the University of Minnesota genetic program where nephew had been seen? (Thanks, UofM for checking on that for me!)

Ya - North Dakota is a third world country where children really do get seized for being black - we're not the only ones!