"There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things."

~ Niccolo Machiavelli, historian and writer

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The More Things Change...

I was having a conversation with another parent yesterday about the education system. And she relayed a comment from a friend of hers to the effect that we are still fighting about the same issues as we were 20 years ago.

I don't know about the 20 year part but I do know I first brought this story to you back in July, 2008 - nearly four years ago.
Subject: Family needs support

Importance: High

There is a young woman who lives in the community with another family. She has lived with this family for over 5 years and there are extra supports provided to meet her needs. Community Services agree that she has made progress. She wants to stay there. Her own family wants her to stay there. The family she lives with wants her to stay. Her doctor has written to Community Services to say she should stay.

Community Services are opening the new institution in Lower Sackville next month. They have told the Mom that the young woman must move to the institution when it opens. They have told her, and repeated it today, that they will withdraw funding if she refuses the move.
Ring a bell?

Well, the good news is that that situation was resolved. In 2008.

The bad news? It's back. Again.
Brenda Hardiman's 24 year old daughter is diagnosed with a organic brain disorder, conduct disorder, epilepsy and right sided cerebral palsy. This is her story:

Brenda Hardiman's daughter has lived with an alternative family, for 10 years, through the Persons With Disabilities Program, Nova Scotia Department of Community Services. Four years ago the Nova Scotia Department of Community Services tried to force her move to an institution in Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia. With the assistance of the Nova Scotia Association for Community Living we were able to stop this from happening.

We are at the same place, four years later. They are forcing her, once again, and this time I'm afraid they're winning. I don't know if I have the stanima to go through this yet again. To go head to head with the Province again. It's so stressful.

My daughter's alternative family wanted to provide some separation between their work and personal lives by continuing to care for my daughter in a home for special care rather than in their home as they have cared for people, in their home, for 18 years. The Nova Scotia Department of Community Services denied their request to license them in this capacity. Their justification was that they had to put submit a request for proposals. But since there is a mortitorium on this type of care, they couldn't. This is their underhanded way of institutionalizing my daughter.
As a side comment, I picked this situation up in 2008 from an email I received. I picked it up today via FaceBook. Perhaps that's a step forward, in that we now have social media to spread our message.

But back to Brenda's story. What are we going to do?

In the words of Laurie Lawson, President of CACL:
NS is the one province that openly endorses institutions and feels they are appropriate. They are forcing individuals into institutions rather than providing the supports to live in community. Brenda received word yesterday that her daughter will be institutionalized May 3rd. Enough!! Time to mobilize and stop this practice in NS!
I'm sad to say that at this point in my life, (or at least this week month),  I just report the news. [Yeah, yeah, I know. I've barely been doing that lately.] Do with it what you will.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't know the ins and outs of licensing in this regard. On the face of it though, it just seems that the current arrangement is a kind, gentle and unintrusive way to let a person live her life. Is the problem simply red tape? Is this a dollars and cents conversation? i.e., is it cheaper to put her in an institution? What is the rationale? Is there a rationale? Will it create a precedent that the Department doesn't want to create? If nothing else, I recommend to CACL and/or the Mom read the Braemore Operational Review on the Dept of Community Services website. It provides a damning view on the principles guiding the Braemore institution. This info may be able to be expanded upon to other institutions in NS. How very upsetting and seemingly unnecessary for the family. My heart goes out to them.
- Krista

Anonymous said...

If one ever knew what the other was truly doing in the system ...our family would be surprised!!!
We have a son who we have a legal guardianship for. We have tried to maintain his safety for three years while a particular family and certain shady people use and manipulate and take advantage of him .We continue to no avail with no assistance of the police or anyone. We have "two" standing orders for police to pick him up and bring him home but the orders have never been respected, he has been abused, and beaten while out on the streets and "no one" has helped! We have gone everywhere for the help to deaf ears and are left with no other alternative but to institutionalize him where he will be able to stay alive and get the help he needs now because he is in such a bad state because of what's happened to him over the last three yrs. The police all think this is ok,they don't have to do anything...it's their mind set and neither do gov't because it's theirs too! My son is severe but if they had followed the orders of the supreme court of NS he would have been ok today.
We feel for this family as no seems to care what family are going through as they know what their family person need more than anyone.I hope some is able to reach out to this family before it is too late like our"s.