Monday, August 29, 2011

System Shock

The thing that never happens HAPPENED. The system saved the day!

Allow me to explain.

My client is on long-term disability from his job due to his mental illness. His wife works full-time at a fast food restaurant. They have had subsidized daycare for their 6 year old daughter for the past two years.

They received notice recently that their subsidy would end as of September, as their daughter will begin attending full day school. They asked me to call Children’s Services to advocate keeping the subsidy, as they can’t afford the full rates. Children’s Services explained to me that once a child is past the preschool age, and in full day school it is presumed that they do not require the same level of care, and the parent should be able to manage this. Apparently, this is policy. She said she had never heard of any exceptions being made. I kinda see their point, but have these people never heard of P.D. days? Winter and spring break? Summer vacation???? There are many days when the little one will not be in school.

My client is doing well in his recovery, but is not yet able to take care of his daughter by himself for extended periods. He has appointments with various therapists, doctors, clinics pretty much daily, and has difficulty staying awake for long periods of time and handling stressful situations.

So today, 3 days before they are to be cut off the Children’s Services worker calls me back. Apparently the department has just finished approving a new policy which states that approved disability leaves will continue to qualify for supports beyond preschool age, and this already applies to this family.

Hallelujah! We must have saved up some good karma or something. I was all set to do battle with the higher-ups if need be, but they pre-empted me! Any of you readers who work in or receive social services will know just how rare an event this is indeed.

Not bad for a Monday morning.


  1. That's great that things have worked out for your client. More often than not, I have truly begun to feel that the people who work in such bureacracies as you describe will purposely make things complicated so clients and even their social workers will give up on pursuing supports they are probably right-fully entitled to.

  2. You're on a roll - enjoy it while it lasts!