Foster Arizona Community Blog

Educating & Empowering Arizona's Families
05
Feb

Jacob’s Law: Bringing Hope to their Futures

The call can come in at all hours of the day, DCS phoning, my heart starts to break. Another child they say has come into care. Can I answer the call, can I be the one? To care for this child, their family cannot. So we open our homes and we open our hearts to another child that soon will become, just as our own, loved; an integral part of our lives. We wait for the call from Urgent Response, many times, days if not months go by. As we pleadingly ask, DCS one more time, for that timely referral, that has now long past. Our bill was proposed as a means and a way to ensure no more children fall through the cracks. With this bill we will now, be able to call, to ask for that assessment for the experts we are not. Through no fault of their own, the abuse, the neglect, that pain and rejection, must be desperately addressed. So we must say YES.

HB2442 was born out of love, to ensure an assessment for every new foster child is done. Allow us to call, take one more thing off your plate, we don’t ask you for much but this is a must! 72 hours is all we will wait.  We can now pick up the phone and call the RHBA direct. Hope, you see, is just a phone call away.

And yet here we are an assessment was made, therapy recommended for our child’s sake. Everyone’s in agreement but one problem remains. Our child must wait many months, many days. This child that has endured and lived through the pain, the trauma, abuse, forced to tend for themselves. Experienced or saw things a child should not, yet our system can tell them that now they must wait. While we patiently wait, our child declines, and the rages begin and the trauma’s re-lived. We hug them, we love them, and we do what we can, while we patiently wait for that call to come in, so the healing, forgiveness and trust can now start. Those nightmares and triggers, could soon subside, if only therapy would actually start.

HB2442 will ensure, no foster or adoptive child will have to endure. The pain of reliving the trauma each day as they battle the evils they’ve now been dealt. If put on a waiting list, after 21 days, A single Case Agreement will now come into play. An out of network provider will now be the light; at the end of the tunnel, we soon will arrive.

How Jacob’s Law came to be:

HB2442 was born out of the pure love of 3 foster and adoptive moms who wanted to work together to better the lives of all foster and adoptive children in the state of Arizona. Rather than complain, we came up with solutions and

Director Greg McKay and Representative Kate Brophy McGee

Director Greg McKay and Representative Kate Brophy McGee

we met with our district Representatives which include President Biggs and out of that meeting 2 out of the many proposals we walked in with, were taken into consideration.  We continued making appointments and we were able to meet with Senators, Representatives, AHCCCS, Mercy Maricopa, Attorney’s, Lobbyists, and Non Profit Agencies who were all more than willing to support our cause. We became educated and learned what our current policies were, we became advocates and emailed, called, posted and attended many meetings to help us in our quest and we were blessed to have two different Representatives agree to open bill folders on our behalf. We currently have bipartisan support and 35 out of 90 members are Sponsors, Cosponsors and Supporters of our bill. We encourage each one of you to reach out to your District Leaders, to inform them of the critical issues that you may be facing, but more than that, we encourage you to come up with solutions. Working together as a community can change the lives of generations to come.

Representative Eddie Farnsworth who is sponsoring our bill

Representative Eddie Farnsworth who is sponsoring our bill

Stake Holders Meeting with AHCCC's, Mercy Maricopa, President Biggs, etc.

Stake Holders Meeting with AHCCC’s, Mercy Maricopa, President Biggs, etc.

Representative John Allen who is the Chairman of the Children and Family Affairs Committee (the committee that was assigned to our bill)

Representative John Allen who is the Chairman of the Children and Family Affairs Committee (the committee that was assigned to our bill)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Proposal:

  • Allows foster families to call the RHBA to receive an assessment after 72 hours of a child coming into care
  • Allows foster and adoptive families to receive a single case agreement to go out of network if there is a waiting list longer than 21 days for approved therapy.

The More You Know:

ADHS & DBHS considers the removal of a child from his/her family home to the protective custody of DCS to be an Urgent Behavioral Health Situation.

Current Policy states that an urgent Response is required for all children who are taken into the custody of DCS.

Policy states that DCS must refer all children in out of home placement to the local RHBA’s for a Behavioral Health Assessment within 24 hours of removal.

The RHBA must respond within 24 hours of a referral from DCS unless an alternative time frame has been agreed upon.

Title XIX and Title XXI persons including dependent children in the legal custody of DCS or adoptive children who qualify for adoption subsidy as a special needs adoption, must never be placed on a “waiting list” for any Title XIX/XXI covered behavioral health service.

If the RHBA is unable to provide medically necessary covered behavioral health services for the title XIX or Title XXI person, it must ensure timely and adequate coverage of needed service.

The RBHA’s established standards for the Timeliness of Behavioral Health Services state that:

  • Initial evaluation must be done within 7 calendar days of referral or request for Title XIX services
  • The first behavioral health service appointment shall be provided within 23 days
  • Routine Psychiatric visit must be received within 30 days of determination of need for a psychiatric appointment

We have started the ground work but it will take all of us working together to ensure that this bill becomes a reality. Please participate in our Daily Call for Action and come down to the Capitol when our bill is introduced to the committee and when it comes before a vote through the House or Senate Floor.

Working Hard for Arizona’s Foster & Adoptive Children

Anika Robinson, Susan Woodruff, Angela Teachout

(Foster Moms)

 

Our Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/groups/1136516576366218

#iSupportJacobsLaw

#19000Reasons

Our Webpage: www.asanow.org

Feel Free to watch our interview here: www.abc15.com/news/region-southeast-valley/gilbert/gilbert-moms-fight-for-foster-care-changes

You can read our bill here (currently being amended for language): http://www.azleg.gov/DocumentsForBill.asp?Session_ID=115&Bill_Number=HB2442

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