Tuesday, October 07, 2008

They call it a catch-22, right?

If you have been reading for a while you know that Gary is on probation and that I am respecting his privacy regarding the reasons he is on probation.

Here's the deal:

1. All junveniles on probation in my county (state? country?) are prohibited from being with children more than 2 years younger they are unless they are supervised.
2. Gary cannot be off probation, because he has not had a permanent living arrangement.
3. He has not had a permanent living arrangement because they could not find him a foster home that did not have children more than two years younger than he is.

The arts charter school is a K-12 school. His probation officer has no problem with him being there because 1) it is a supervised environment and 2) she doesn't believe that he needs to be supervised. HOWEVER, it is possible that the principal would decide that Gary needs a level of supervision that she cannot provide. (When he was in public school and newly on probation he had a "supervisor" at all times. He was not allowed to go to the restroom alone and had to spend recesses in a room with an adult.) Since the school registration forms typically ask if a kid is on probation, we can't ignore this.

I called his probation officer and she is trying right now to get him moved to unsupervised probation* but can't until the group home sends a letter saying he was a very good boy while he was there. And of course the only reason he was at the group home is because they couldn't find him a foster home, which they couldn't do because he was on probation.

I am very frustrated about this right now, although I am very happy that Gary's probation officer thinks so highly of him and is working so hard for him. We hope to get a letter by the end of the week from the probation officer has lifted all restrictions. I really want to have that letter in hand before I go to the school.

But sometimes, the whole system really bites the big one.

*My county has a policy of not taking juveniles off probation every, at all, under any circumstances. What they do is move them to "unsupervised probation" which is just like being off probation except that if you get arrested or even a parking ticket it is really bad.

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