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Question about special needs and foster care

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

My sister is 19 and has Aspergers/ OCD/ ODD. She's very difficult and on top of that she has also been both sexually and physically/emotionally/verbally abused. Her mother, an alcoholic and drug addict was sent to prison 2 years ago. She will be in there at least 4 more years.


My sister has become a ward of the state. No one in my family will take her in because she is so difficult. I have a 4 year old with Aspergers and even though I would have liked to help, I knew it was not possible.


So my sister is in a facility where there are lower functioning teens. She is the highest functioning teen, and while the social worker says that is not a good situation, its better than the alternative because when she is put in the other part of the facility, she is constantly getting into fights and getting into trouble.


Now the social worker is telling me that they put her case in for foster care. They are looking for a family. I don't know much about foster care. And honestly, its quite overwhelming to me.


I just feel uneasy about sending her to a family after all the abuse shes been through. Her grades are now C and B (which is MUCH better). She has one more year left until she gets her GED. She has structure and is slowly gaining control over her sensory issues. I really think she needs to stay where she is.


Besides, if they can't keep her from getting into fights in the other part of the facility, then how do they expect a family to take care of her?


I don't understand. Can any one offer help or advice? I'm afraid my sister is being "pushed off" because she's legal age to be on her own.

post #2 of 7
Thread Starter 

Oh and I forgot to mention, our father passed away when she was only 3. She is really my half sister, we share the same father.

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
post #4 of 7
There are lots of foster families that are able to deal with the needs of children/teens with bigger issues. She may do well in a home with no other children. Or not. But I think it's worth a shot.
post #5 of 7

Generally, the goal is for everyone to be in the "least restrictive environment". A foster home style placement is generally less restrictive than a group home, and that would be less than the facility she is in. It could be that the current facility has an age limit. It sounds like the placement they are talking about would be through the Developmental Disabilities department - I am guessing that because she is over 18 - legally an adult. That is different than foster homes through the child welfare system. Different states use different terms. In my state, an "adult foster home" is a home-like building, with no more than 5 residents. It is a business, with paid, live-in caregivers. It does not typically have children, not even children of the caregivers. It is quite different than the children's type of foster home, that is intended to be a family-type situation. I could be wrong because of the unclear terminology between different areas. I think it would a good idea for you to ask the caseworker to clarify the terms.


I am familiar with the field of transition age youth with special needs. I would be happy to try to answer other questions if I can, but a friendly, supportive caseworker will be a better information source for specific resources of your area.

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks mamrhu for the info. And I do feel like maybe my sister would be happier in the least restrictive environment. But I just worry that her grades are going to slip and she is going to start sneaking out at night. She is only 19 and she has slept with at least 20 men that I know of. I feel like she is safe right now, and Im afraid that she will not benefit from less restriction. Also when they move her I'm wondering if she can just sign herself out at any time. She has threatened this on many occasions, but she has no where to go.


We are in NY, and I should recheck with the case worker but I was under the impression that she was going to be with a family. But I might have just assumed that.


As far as why she is being moved this is what I was told "We can't put her in the cottage because she fights with all the girls there, and we don't want to keep her here because she is the highest functioning". To me that sounds like they are pushing her off because they cant deal with her. So why put her in a less restrictive environment if she obviously can't handle it? Why not work with her so she CAN stay in the cottage. That is something I will have to ask the case worker as well.


Thank you again for the info, I would like to talk to her caseworker again, but it's in my nature to be mistrusting of state and govt. workers. I got burned a few times. And seeing as I know nothing of the process I don't want to be taken advantage of. Or for my sister to be. kwim? So I'm just trying to figure out if I'm overreacting or they really are trying to help her and this is the best thing for her.

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

Also wondering, what if it doesnt work out with the foster care? Will they then tell her she has to leave? Or will she be able to go back into the facility she came from.

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