Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Social Worker Visit & Update on Frankie

We had our monthly drop-in from the social worker. She likes us because we never need her. Of course I reminded her that in the past I have sometimes had a lot of needs. I didn't specifically point out that at the end with Frankie I was calling her quite a bit.

We had a nice visit. I told her when we were leaving for vacation. She asked if we had told the state worker. I responded that we hadn't and she said she would take care of that for us. I gave her a copy of Gary's grades and she gave him a gentle lecture about the D's. She told me that she doubted that the PO would violate his probation over it, although agreed that his chances of getting off supervised probation* were certainly less.

We talked about whether he was up to date on all his medical stuff, and we told her stories about what was going on. We talked about his girlfriend and her very protective mother. I told her that I was tempted to tell the mother not to worry, that Gary was very responsible and that we made sure he had access to condoms. She thought that was hilarious and told her own story that begins, "I always had a drawer where I kept condoms. I told my girls that they could always take them for themselves or for friends..." It was an interesting story.

I remembered to ask her about Frankie. I told her that I knew there was a limit, but what could she tell me? She said he was doing really well. He was living in a emancipation home. It is a staffed facility that is helps boys to develop the skills to live independently. He is studying for his GED and has a summer job. She says he is doing really well. She will send me the facility's phone number so I can call if I like.

When she left she asked if we were driving or flying on our vacation. I said that we were driving and that I needed to so that I could drive away if necessary -- there is a certain amount of anxiety when I am with my father.

"Your father will be there?"

"Well. They are his cottages, so yeah."

"Ugg. Family vacations."

"It's okay. He's mellowed in his old age."

"Well the pot helps," says Gary.

"What?" asks the worker.

"He said that the pot helps keep my dad mellow."

"Your father smokes pot?"

"Yes. But it's [state] and it's medical so it is legal."

"Uh huh."

"No. Really. I'm sure he has a card."

"It's okay. I grew up in California. Have a good trip!"

And then she was gone.

I can't remember if it is his county or his judge, but Gary has been informed that he will not just let out of probation. At some point he will go to unsupervised probation. That means all the conditions of the probation, including regular contact with his PO, go away. The only one that stays is the requirement that he not violate any laws. If he gets so much as a traffic ticket he will have violated his probation, which is a felony, and can get him 180 days in detention. He would only be released from unsupervised probation when he turns 21.


  1. He would have to say that to the SW. Ah well. Sounds like he got away with a gentle reminder.

  2. I've been thinking about the Frankie information. How well can you read between the lines of what she's saying? Is this emancipation program something he's doing because he's doing really well and is going to end up emancipating and with help he may be ready for it? Or, was he struggling with things again and this is a form of grouphome/treatment program that is a last ditch effort to help him before he emancipates and ends up on his own. Do my fears make sense?

  3. Frankie was, when I knew him well, very determined to emancipate at 18. He has an unrealistic view of his own abilities, but it is not possible to keep him in care or in any sort of assisted environment if he doesn't want to be. I think that this probably the best place for him GIVEN THAT he is determined to live on his own at 18.

  4. I hope he learns what he needs then so that he survives on his own. (I left home at 18, but, I had a better safety net to fall back on than he probably will.)


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