Thursday, June 05, 2008

Our Day & Why I LOVE My Agency

So...I got the boys up so that we could leave the house by 9:00. I know, I had been up for three hours, but we are talking about teenage boys here. Anyway, we got into the car and...

...went to a store for a laundry hamper, shampoo, body wash, a plastic basket to hold toiletries, and a lock box. Gary was very pleased that I said that he could have his OWN shampoo and stuff.

...went to the cell phone place so they could assign Gary a new phone number so that he won't get any more calls from Frankie's family. (He shouldn't have to deal with that and I'm not authorized to give them information anyway.)

Then we went to the agency. It is a really friendly place. All of the workers were in the conference room for the Thursday morning staff meeting. The office manager said we could wait in the lobby and I said, "Brian's been telling Gary about the sodas, can we go to the kitchen?" She laughed and said yes. We settled down there. Brian got a soda from the frig, and Gary poured himself a cup of coffee. I just had water. We read the paper at the big kitchen table.

Then was Gary's "interview." It is really just a chance to meet all the staff and for them to meet him. They asked him some questions. He told them that he thought he was going to turn down the summer landscaping job he had lined up because it was 30 miles from the house and the amount he would have to pay me for gas would pretty much eat up what he would make. The family developer said that she knew someone in Our Small Town that also ran a landscaping business and she would call to see if he needed any help. A while later he told them that he wanted to try out for the football team but wasn't sure how to do that since school was out. The woman who does the kinship care support said that her husband knew the coach at another high school and he could find out; she would get the information and give us a call. The guy who sets up activities told us about what was going on this summer. Tomorrow they are taking all the kids who are free to explore some caves. They asked him when he was moving in and we said last night.

Then we went back to the social worker's office. She got out the paper work he had to sign and explained that the agency is a high service program and they expect the kids to take advantage of it. She explained that she would meet with him every month and talk with him about how he was progressing on his goals, that she had to see him in the home and talk to him privately -- usually they would just go out for a shake or something. She explained some of the other program rules, including how to go about filing a complaint. He thought it was all fine, and signed the papers. Then he was officially in, and she gave him her office and cell phone numbers. If he has a problem on the evenings or weekends it is best to call the office and leave a message with the service. Whoever is on call will call him back. However, if he really wants to call her, he can.

They talked about what he needed right now. He said he wanted to get in shape for football. She told him that the Y gave memberships to foster youth, and then asked me if we wanted them to buy us a family membership so that we could go with him. (I'll let you guess what I said). At my prompting he showed her a scar on his arm. It is a gang sign he carved into his arm when he first went into detention, "Because I was little and I didn't want to get beat up." He said he would like it removed. She asked me to make an appointment for him with our physician (who doesn't normally take Medicaid, but will for my kids) and ask for a referral to someone who can do that and to let her know so she can set up payment. She also reminded him to talk to the doctor about his migraines because she knew there was a medicine that had been recommended that Medicaid didn't pay for and they would.

Then we went to the bike shop, and Gary got to pick out a brand new bike. His eyes popped with amazement when he was told the budget. It is not a place that sells cheap bikes though so there were only a few in that range to choose from. He actually picked one that was significantly under budget, so much so that I told Brian, who has outgrown his bike, that he could have one too. The bikes needed to have lights mounted so the social worker, who is coming to the house tomorrow morning to finish the paper work, said that she would pick them up for us and bring them out so that we don't have to make another trip to The City.

Then we got fast food lunch and headed back to home.

Gary sent someone a text message, told me that Andrew had promised to help him with the (used) ipod we had bought him and then said, "Man! I am like TOTALLY spoiled now."

But we went to Roland's classroom and spent a couple of hours moving furniture and boxes and that helped.

1 comment:

  1. He will never want to leave you! That is a great agency!! WOW!!!


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