Help, I just have a quick question

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Help, I just have a quick question

Postby deesand » Thu Jul 07, 2005 7:12 pm

Does a case worker have the authority to say who you should have to see for therapy or counseling? My case work says she and only she can pick one out? I have some disabilities and feel I would be better in choosing one simply by asking a few questions from them. I mean going to someone for 6 months would be horrible if the match were not good. Please advise. Thanks for all your help in advance!!!

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Postby Bob_Lynn » Thu Jul 07, 2005 8:02 pm

Your caseworker is lying to you. Only a court order can specify what you must do. It is a conflict of interest for a caseworker to force you to see a specific person. Furthermore, you don't have to do anything a caseworker orders you to do, only a court order can do that.

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Postby MsHeather » Thu Jul 07, 2005 9:32 pm

Yes, you do have a right to see a counselor you feel comfortable with. If CPS is requesting you participate in counseling-- they may ask you to sign a consent for release of information so that your progress/recommendations can be provided to CPS. Ideal is for you to set this up yourself. If you have private insurance--- all the better. However, many people do not have insurance coverage that covers counseling--- and counseling can be expensive.

The reality of the situation, however, can be quite different. Usually (here in Arizona), the individual FIRST must first seek counseling supports through the mental health authority which is contracted out privately through Value Options. Welcome to managed care nightmare! This is truly a terrible system. If you qualify for Title 19 (Medicaid) then counseling is provided to you at no cost. If you don't qualify for Medicaid-- then it is offered through a sliding scale. You are assigned to a network and can only work with counselors in that network. You have very limited choices-- because they frequently have very few counselors who stick around because of their high case loads and low pay. And it is extremely difficult to switch networks. This is a generalization-- but most of the time it is my opinion that the counseling provided through these contracted networks through Value Options is a waste of time. And I am saying this as a CPS caseworker! I had one mother try to get counseling for severe domestic violence--- and their goal for counseling listed one goal--- "to get a job". If all she needed was help "to get a job"--- I would have referred her to vocational rehabilitation or a jobs program.

SECOND--- if trying to get help through Value Options is unsuccesful-- CPS will set you up with counseling that they pay for. But-- again in Arizona-- this referral process takes forever. It took me three months to finally get a notifcation as to who a counselor would be for someone and by the time this came--- the mom was long gone. If she had had the counseling support closer to the time the referral was sent in (three months ago)-- she may have gotten the help she needed.

And while you can request a specific counselor-- the reality is that frequently the good ones are unable to take new clients. When you are dealing with CPS (the clock is ticking as far as time children spend in care) so the reality is you go with the first counselor that is available.

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