Sunday, September 19, 2010

Toni Hoy's Update: Suing Illinois for Help for Adopted Son

Toni Hoy was our guest blogger on April 14, 2010. To follow the thread of thought and experience, it's best to review her her blog and slideshow at http://scopeandcircumstance.wordpress.com/hes-my-son-3/ and then see her guest post.

If you are moved to comment, kindly consider your words before you type.


"Hello friends,

I decided to send this as a group email.

I wanted to let you all know of our recent decision to sue the state of Illinois.

My husband, me, and another parent, will be joint filing a federal lawsuit against IL HFS for injunctive relief from the state of IL for obtaining residential treatment for our children under the EPSDT provision of Medicaid, and return to us, custody of our children. This is a case that has been won in mulitple other states and is slated to be a landmark case here.

We are represented by class action law firm, Collins Law, in Naperville, IL. Of consult is Professor Mark Heyrman, UIC Clinical Law Professor, who is the major mental health influence in our state.

Since June, I have been working with a large group of people, which includes county mental health board presidents, IL mental health stakeholders, state departments, and senatorial staff. In our state, the only kids that get residential are the ones who have drug/alcohol problems. Kids with mental health issues alone, are subject to the ICG grant, which awards residential to 6%-18% of applicants. The rest can sue the school district, or request help from another state dept, CRSA. However few people know it exists and they will not accept cases when another state dept. has taken responsibility. For those forced into relinquishment, the process is futile.

In June, HFS agreed to license RTCs as PRTFs so they can accept Medicaid. Chaddock, where our son Dan resides, is one seeking to be licensed this way. One week later, another family was forced to relinquish, and another may relinquish in October. The other parent relinquished in the spring. She has two adoptive sons. The states attorney is threatening to terminate her parental rights. He does not think that a single parent can manage a boy with schizophrenia and bipolar. Currently she visits her son twice weekly.

A few weeks ago, I met with Michael Gelder from our Governor's office. While he and HFS Director were mortified at what is happening to us, HFS continues to move at a snail's pace. First meeting, they agreed to license the RTCs as PRTF. Second meeting, they are talking a year or so to make it happen, and acknowledged that they have talked about it for 10 years and done nothing. Simultaneously, Michael Gelder agreed to ask Governor Quinn for an Executive Order for an official task force to resolve this issue.

I'd like to ask for support and encouragement from all of you. Many of our allies and support systems have deserted us as a result of taking this step. I have been a little "email lonely" this weekend, but it gave me time to redirect and refocus.

I have no idea what is going to happen moving forward. I only know that my son deserves treatment and his parents.

I received two emails regarding an Oprah show on this topic last week. One from Darcy Gruttadaro, senior attorney from the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, and one from Mental Health America in Virginia. I don't know who they will select to be on the show. This is a risky venture as it places families in a vulnerable situation subject to be under attack by those who are unfamiliar with the seriousness of this situation. We can all pray that whoever is selected will focus on the issues and approach it in a sensitive and knowledgeable manner.

I'll keep you all posted. Jim, me, and the rest of the kids appreciate your support.

Toni Hoy"

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post a Comment