Updated: Mar 2, 2021
It was determined Matthew had no interest in returning to his home. Larry and Ann knew he was not a safe family member so they had to seek a Therapeutic Foster Care placement. They were utterly devastated to see their wanted and beloved 14-year-old son going to foster care. They were instructed to “co-parent” by the care agency but were absolutely blocked from doing so. Their first concern was that Matthew, who had been treated for porn addiction at the RTC, was immediately provided with a phone with unrestricted internet access. They asked for help, expressing their concerns and the social worker questioned them even asking, “You don’t think he can handle porn?” They continued to plead with multiple staff from multiple agencies for supervision and/or safeguards on his internet access. No action was ever taken.
Matthew managed to maintain a honeymoon period in foster care for nearly a year. Larry and Ann were deemed to be at fault for his behaviors and his security level of care was dropped. This was done despite Ann’s years of carefully documented paperwork, which had been provided that included his history of abusive behaviors, diagnoses, legal issues, observations by the RTC and by multiple other professionals. Despite all the documentation, they were treated as if they were making up or greatly exaggerating his issues. His new therapist actually refused to even accept, let alone read, any of the documentation. All of this, resulted in Larry and Ann losing the insurance coverage so they were forced to go to the Department of Social Services to ask for help. They discovered that they must be investigated by CPS in order to receive assistance. The family endured that process as well as appear in court regularly.
Sadly, just four months after the foster agency dropped his level of care, they realized their mistake. Matthew actually did need more secure care. Unfortunately, for Larry and Ann, it was too late. The insurance coverage was gone. Matthew started to have severe anxiety and his school let us know that they were not always aware of where he was many days. He was hiding in the bathrooms, the woods...or...they really didn't know. They reported that he was shaking and said he “felt like an animal”. Ann asked if he had received any medical care and was laughed at by the social worker. She told her that they “didn’t want him to think there was something wrong with him”.
In the midst of all these mind-boggling events, they became aware of RAD Advocates Larry and Ann were overwhelmed to have found help from professionals who understood the issues. RAD Advocates came alongside the family as they continued to advocate for Matthew to receive adequate care and intervention. As well as, helping to fight to protect the siblings from forced visitation with their abusive brother. Heartbreakingly, Larry and Ann’s efforts continued to be met with blame, accusations, and ridicule from the Foster Care agency. However, the bullying was greatly reduced once RAD Advocates began taking part in the meetings via conference call. While they were nowhere near “out of the water”, RAD Advocates gave the family renewed courage to keep advocating for Matthew.