Got a call from DHS Case Management...Updated Post #22 - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 26 Old 03-18-2010, 08:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi everyone, I'm wondering... (xposting this in vax)

I got a call from Illinois DHS Case Management today. I called back (she left a voicemail). The recording prompts were in spanish, so luckily I understand spanish :.

I dialed the lady who called's extention, and she answered and told me that she's from case management and how important it is to vaccinate out children because babies will get very very very sick (zomg!) if they don't have vaccines ASAP. I told her that we don't vaccinate, that our family doctor is on board with us and is fully aware of this.

She told me that I had to go down to 1710 S. Loomis and have a visit with my caseworker so that they could check on my baby (approaching 3mos) and make a note that we "don't believe in shots".

Um... nobody ever called me about my 1st DD. She was fully vaxed until 18ish mos- so perhaps that is why? She's 2 now and we don't vaccinate anymore so... maybe I'll get another call? Anyways, anyone ever dealt with this before? Who are they? Why do they want to see the baby? I asked three times but she was very, very vague. Should I prepare a big antivax speech? Help!!!!

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#2 of 26 Old 03-18-2010, 08:08 PM
 
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Not from Illinois but I didn't want to read and not respond. Something sounds really, really really off. I'd call back and ask to speak to a supervisor, in English, and find out exactly what is going on. Is DHS just the health department? If I understand correctly that it is not related to CPS? If not, then I would call and speak to a supervisor or fax over your exemption form and leave it at that. They can't force you to vax your kids.

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#3 of 26 Old 03-18-2010, 08:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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also... when i called, it said, "Thank you for calling el lugar de ninos, healthy families". So I googled, and it gave me this:
http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=31780

This says they target first time teen parents. I'm 19 but this is my second child.
It also says that

"The Healthy Families Illinois (HFI) program is a voluntary home visitation program that works with expectant and new parents who may be at risk for problems in parenting, including child abuse/neglect."


eta and here is the case management site
http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=30517

WHAT?!

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#4 of 26 Old 03-18-2010, 08:36 PM
 
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I bet it's because of your age. I somehow got referred to a similar program because of my personal history (abuse survivor) -- they seem to target "at risk" mothers (the one in my state was mostly for teen mothers as well). They never asked me about vax but DS was only 6wks old when they visited, and when they called to schedule a second visit I told them we were all set & wouldn't be needing any more visits. ANYWAY... I would say just tell them you aren't interested, you are a second-time mom and you have a great relationship with your doc, etc. If they really push it, ask them to send you something in writing with more specifics.

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#5 of 26 Old 03-18-2010, 08:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I found their site
http://elhogardelnino.org/

I called back and the woman told me that it was mandatory. She also told me that it is just to check out the baby and see if we need assistance in parenting or something.

I mentioned that the recording was in spanish and we don't speak spanish in our household and that we don't live in the neighborhood that this is geared towards, and she said "well, we speak english, and Springfield sent me the list of names to call. It is mandatory and the government wants us to collect your information". She then told me to call my caseworker (the lady she assigned to me, who is a social worker), dialed her ext and she was out of office . She said that she's the one who's in charge of calling people, and she doesn't know specifics.

Errgh. What do I do? I don't live in Pilsen or Little Village, I live all the way on the other side of the city in Irving Park.

ETA: They also said on the phone that they were from DHS. Now- they are not from DHS, are they? Or am I wrong?

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#6 of 26 Old 03-18-2010, 08:54 PM
 
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Do you have an open case with your state's child protective services? Have you ever had a case with your state's child protective services?

I would ask them to provide (in writing) the law that states that your compliance with their request is required.

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#7 of 26 Old 03-18-2010, 08:57 PM
 
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OK it's just getting weirder the more I hear... Try calling the case worker assigned to you & let her know you think they got your name in error. And again, ask for something in writing that explains why this is mandatory, what info they will collect & who'll they'll share it with & why...

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#8 of 26 Old 03-18-2010, 09:48 PM
 
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Tell them that you are happy to comply with any appointments that you are legally bound to make, but that you need the request to come in writing with the following information included: the purpose of the visit, whether the meeting is optional or mandatory, if it is mandatory to list the law that they are operating under, exactly what you should expect at the meeting, what agency they are working with, who they received your name from, and why your name was given to them.

If you have an email address to someone or a mailing address, I do not think it would hurt to write this down and document your willingness to cooperate, just in case they decide to make things difficult. They can always say that you were being uncooperative on the phone, but if they get a nice letter (proof of delivery is a good thing) asking them to make requests in writing answering some simple questions, that will make them less inclined to push the issue.
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#9 of 26 Old 03-18-2010, 09:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WindyCityMom View Post
I found their site
http://elhogardelnino.org/

I called back and the woman told me that it was mandatory. She also told me that it is just to check out the baby and see if we need assistance in parenting or something.

I mentioned that the recording was in spanish and we don't speak spanish in our household and that we don't live in the neighborhood that this is geared towards, and she said "well, we speak english, and Springfield sent me the list of names to call. It is mandatory and the government wants us to collect your information". She then told me to call my caseworker (the lady she assigned to me, who is a social worker), dialed her ext and she was out of office . She said that she's the one who's in charge of calling people, and she doesn't know specifics.

Errgh. What do I do? I don't live in Pilsen or Little Village, I live all the way on the other side of the city in Irving Park.

ETA: They also said on the phone that they were from DHS. Now- they are not from DHS, are they? Or am I wrong?
I just looked at their website... if you are sure that is the organization you are speaking with, I would tell them that you looked at their website and are not interested in their services. Thank them kindly for reaching out to you and tell them that you will contact them in the future if you feel they could be of service to you.

They are not a government agency and do not operate with any legal control. However, that does not mean that they might not make you crazy by reporting you to DHS if they think you are endangering your children. But, they could jump to that conclusion if you go down there and tell them that you don't vaccinate your children just as easily as if you decline their "mandatory" meeting. If they do not take kindly to telling them that you aren't interested in their services, I would then ask for the written request that I talked about in my other post.
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#10 of 26 Old 03-18-2010, 09:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WindyCityMom View Post
I found their site
ETA: They also said on the phone that they were from DHS. Now- they are not from DHS, are they? Or am I wrong?
You're probably actually going to wind up at 1718 S. Loomis, which definitely is a DHS Family Case Management office. There are closer FCM offices to you, but Cook County bureaucracies are not known for their flexibility. If the issue is maintaining benefits (such as a Link card), you may be stuck making this trip.

[ETA.--I'm guessing you've been filed as presumptively Hispanic by virtue of the Old Irving ZIP code. I had a similar issue with IDES last year, which sent me far south for "orientation" despite my being much closer to downtown and my protestations.]
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#11 of 26 Old 03-18-2010, 10:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ammiga View Post
Tell them that you are happy to comply with any appointments that you are legally bound to make, but that you need the request to come in writing with the following information included: the purpose of the visit, whether the meeting is optional or mandatory, if it is mandatory to list the law that they are operating under, exactly what you should expect at the meeting, what agency they are working with, who they received your name from, and why your name was given to them.

If you have an email address to someone or a mailing address, I do not think it would hurt to write this down and document your willingness to cooperate, just in case they decide to make things difficult. They can always say that you were being uncooperative on the phone, but if they get a nice letter (proof of delivery is a good thing) asking them to make requests in writing answering some simple questions, that will make them less inclined to push the issue.
I agree with her!

Most likely, it was a mix up. While I was still in the hospital with my newest baby, a social worker came by to make sure I had support since I was a single mom and am on meds for depression. Only problem was I'm NOT a single mom, have been married 7 years. She apologized, gave me a card for resources if I felt the depression was getting worse and left.

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#12 of 26 Old 03-18-2010, 11:52 PM
 
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I am not a lawyer, and I am in Texas, and I do not have experience with dealing with vaccination issues, BUT...

In Texas there have been many cases of overbearing social workers or school employees insisting that parents follow non-existent "laws" with regards to "being allowed" to homeschool. We belong to a legal association to protect us from things like that, and their big thing is to get EVERYTHING IN WRITING. Send a certified letter (this way you can prove it, in case they claim you never sent anything) requesting specific information, including what law they are operating under, and request that it be sent in writing, preferably by certified letter. INSIST on this. Document ALL communications with them in this way.

This may not be a government organization, or they may be quasi-governmental, but they may have sway to get you in trouble with DHS. However, I sincerely doubt that they have the authority they are claiming, and you should NOT allow them to bully you. When they see that you know your rights and are not going to just roll over, they will probably back down. If not, seriously consider a lawyer.

I do not suggest co-operating in hopes that they will leave you alone, as this will only put you at risk of being bullied further. (At least, with non-legal requests. As PP mentioned, be clear that you are absolutely willing to co-operate with any LEGAL requirements.)

That's just my opinion.

Michelle, Christian , sahm, homeschooling , breastfeeding , no vax, blogging , photographer mom with ADD and Social Anxiety Disorder Mom to 4 boys, 3 girls.
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#13 of 26 Old 03-19-2010, 12:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Otto View Post
You're probably actually going to wind up at 1718 S. Loomis, which definitely is a DHS Family Case Management office.
nak

thanks everyone!

She told me 1710 s loomis, and the number says 'el hogar del nino'.

i'm calling tomorrow and will request everything in writing.

what bugs me is that they claim to be dhs (on the phone).

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#14 of 26 Old 03-19-2010, 02:02 AM
 
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Have you googled "el hogar del nino"? Check it out: elhogardelnino.org. Whatever is going on, it's not straightforward.

(And the address on the website is 1710-1718 Loomis.)
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#15 of 26 Old 03-19-2010, 11:37 AM
 
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I am from Illinois, FWIW, but I don't think anything involving DHS is Mandatory (as in you must legally comply), but it may be that it is mandatory for them that they request you to come. I would just call and cancel your appointment if you are not interested in their services.

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#16 of 26 Old 03-19-2010, 12:07 PM
 
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I'm in IL and this is certainly not mandatory. Tell them that you want proof in writing from a supervisor that this is mandatory and ask if there is an open case against you. Then tell them you'll consult your attorney uncle to see what to do next. I've never heard of them doing this. AFAIK, it's not legal.

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#17 of 26 Old 03-19-2010, 02:12 PM
 
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Yeah, I looked at their website too, and this does NOT look like it's something you need to comply with at all. I have no idea why a community organization dedicated to "helping" neighborhood families would be trying to bully people into coming in, but I'd definitely get everything in writing and even let the Dept of Human Services know how they're operating (anonymously, if necessary). Geez, these people on their power trips... I just don't get it. Like there aren't more pressing issues in IL than strong-arming parents into vaxing...

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I got referred to them too because of a history of domestic abuse (from my ex husband). I was supposed to have a home visit yesterday which I didn't really care about, I know both of the ladies in our local office so I don't feel pressured, but I did have to cancel the home visit because of work. Anyways I don't think they'll even bother to call back & reschedule. What I have found is if you just ignore them they'll stop bothering you.

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#19 of 26 Old 03-19-2010, 09:27 PM
 
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I delivered 2 babies in IL and lived there for 2 years with the first baby. I never got a call from them. Sounds like they're -almost- trying some sort of telemarketing type thing with you. Like, and I'm not saying you are on medicaid, but they do say they service medicaid moms. Maybe they get the list from Springfield and cold call hoping to bully people into using them.

If they were government associated, wouldn't their website likely be a .gov and not a .org?

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#20 of 26 Old 03-19-2010, 10:17 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ammiga View Post
Tell them that you are happy to comply with any appointments that you are legally bound to make, but that you need the request to come in writing with the following information included: the purpose of the visit, whether the meeting is optional or mandatory, if it is mandatory to list the law that they are operating under, exactly what you should expect at the meeting, what agency they are working with, who they received your name from, and why your name was given to them.

If you have an email address to someone or a mailing address, I do not think it would hurt to write this down and document your willingness to cooperate, just in case they decide to make things difficult. They can always say that you were being uncooperative on the phone, but if they get a nice letter (proof of delivery is a good thing) asking them to make requests in writing answering some simple questions, that will make them less inclined to push the issue.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sioleabha View Post
I am not a lawyer, and I am in Texas, and I do not have experience with dealing with vaccination issues, BUT...

In Texas there have been many cases of overbearing social workers or school employees insisting that parents follow non-existent "laws" with regards to "being allowed" to homeschool. We belong to a legal association to protect us from things like that, and their big thing is to get EVERYTHING IN WRITING. Send a certified letter (this way you can prove it, in case they claim you never sent anything) requesting specific information, including what law they are operating under, and request that it be sent in writing, preferably by certified letter. INSIST on this. Document ALL communications with them in this way.

This may not be a government organization, or they may be quasi-governmental, but they may have sway to get you in trouble with DHS. However, I sincerely doubt that they have the authority they are claiming, and you should NOT allow them to bully you. When they see that you know your rights and are not going to just roll over, they will probably back down. If not, seriously consider a lawyer.

I do not suggest co-operating in hopes that they will leave you alone, as this will only put you at risk of being bullied further. (At least, with non-legal requests. As PP mentioned, be clear that you are absolutely willing to co-operate with any LEGAL requirements.)

That's just my opinion.
ITA that you should document and certify. And consider reporting them after you are done with your documented communication.

Mama to expecting Babe 2
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#21 of 26 Old 03-22-2010, 12:51 AM
 
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I have no idea why a community organization dedicated to "helping" neighborhood families would be trying to bully people into coming in,
Because it's easier to bully in person, believe it or not. It's also easier for them to manipulate you into having your kid vaxed before you even realize what's going on.

You've got great advice here. But let us know what happens...

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#22 of 26 Old 03-22-2010, 07:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, well... strangely enough, I spoke with the same woman I spoke to before and she told me that she'd put in her computer and let the social/caseworker know that I wouldn't be coming in because I didn't need their services.

She still claimed to be with DHS and the "Medical Card" but answered the phone saying "El Hogar del Nino".. so should I report them to DHS so that they don't pester more people about things? I'm a bit confused about that.

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#23 of 26 Old 04-06-2010, 11:26 AM
 
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I'm in IL and never heard of this! I would be furious and demand to know how they got my info! Personally, I would find out the name of my state representative and call their office and ask to speak to them personally. I would explain what happened and have them look in to how your information was released. This seems to me that it would violate HIPPA laws!! No one should know your child's vax status like that. I would make a big stink about privacy laws and say they are violating your rights.

(But I am a hot head.)

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#24 of 26 Old 04-06-2010, 11:35 AM
 
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I would contact DHS and tell them. It just seems off.

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#25 of 26 Old 04-06-2010, 09:05 PM
 
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personal question that you dont have to answer - just food for thought - are you on medicaid or family care/all kids? i am, and my EOB states that i have the right to deny any care i do not wish to recieve. call your doctor, they cant do this to you, you dont have to vax, we dont.

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#26 of 26 Old 04-06-2010, 09:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, on medicaid. we see dr mariela cano who is content with us not vaccinating, but I wonder if the vax happy office she works at sent out info. doesn't seem likely but... eh..

haven't had problems with them, i got a call from my assigned "case worker" and I told her i wouldnt be needing her services and she hung up on me. the message they left me is saved in my vmail andwhen i have time i plan on reporting them. ive been pretty busy.

thanks everyone!

btw, i'm nak..

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