More than one person has replied to the post about the fifteen-year-old asking what would happen if the agency said yes. So though I still regard it as HIGHLY unlikely, and I am writing about it mostly to get it out of my mind and NOT keep thinking about it (that part is not working), here is what would happen. At any one of these stages a negative decision could be reached:
- The intake committee, a group of state and agency social workers, will have to agree that it is worth pursuing.
- Someone from the agency would contact his social worker and see if they wanted to pursue it. Whatever process that needs to happen on their end would happen.
- Someone would talk to the young man and ask him if he wanted an application submitted to the program. He would be told a little bit about us, and anything he wanted to know about the area and the program.
- A file would be submitted to the intake committee, and though this is not usual, we would probably be asked to review some or all of it to make certain we were comfortable with proceding.
- Someone from the agency would fly to where he is to visit him, or he would be flown to here. It would be presented to him as a possibility to think about which he could reject.
- We would learn as much about him as we could. We would have to be able to reassure Brian that there are no major scary psychiatric diagnoses or other scary issues. I would ask as many questions of as many people as I could. We would try to take this part as slowly as we could, but it would be difficult since he is so far away. If he were living at the shelter we could take him out to lunch, have him over for the day. Invite him for the weekend. Since I can't do that and would not want to break his heart or have the placement disrupt, I would really try to be fully informed before meeting him.
- If we felt that this was a kid we could commit to, he would be flown here to visit with us and meet with the social workers from the program. He would know that it was still possible that he would not be admitted into the program but would NOT know that the only things hoops that were in the way would be him changing his mind or us deciding that his needs were not compatible with our skills or with Brian's needs. I would of course be very, very committed to not letting it get this far unless I was as confident as I could be.
- On that visit or the next, he would be officially interviewed by the staff committee. No kid has ever "failed" the interview, although they do try to impress upon the youth that they have a lot of services to offer and they only want to admit youth who are committed to taking advantage of them, working closely with the social worker, etc.
- Then he would move in.
In the unlikely event the agency is willing to consider it.