Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Just how much can Family Homes housing thousands of people w/ mental health issues get away with?

RE: Family Homes and Civil Rights, where 90,000 NC disabled citizens live: see:

March 3, 2009

Today, March 3, 2009, the following events took place as re: three different clients living in a Family Home in Western NC administered by WNC Homes with administrative offices in Asheville, NC.

Related to this matter, on an early Sunday evening 2.22.09 @ 1900, WNC Homes administration called the Buncombe County sheriff's department in order to have me escorted off of 'their' property while I was in the middle of a therapy session with a client, thus circumventing any further therapy or contact w/ clients who have signed 'Consent for Treatment' forms with me and whom I have been seeing for a year. The case number for that event, as per Buncombe County Sheriff's Department is: 2009-001831. I believe that indicates a public involvement and certainly it was as per the clients that saw the therapist being 'apprehended' by the sheriff's department as pertaining to rendering therapy.

Why was I escorted off 'their' property? Because, I believe, I had asked a lot of questions about the finances of WNC Homes in terms of the clients' personal monies and together w/ clients, written letters of concern pertaining to their 'Personal Financial Statements' in their WNC charts which were perused by myself and the client----letters which WNC Homes refused to answer.

What does the Family Homes law state about the finances of the clients?
"SECTION .1100 – management of resident's funds and refunds
10A NCAC 13G .1101 management of RESIDENT'S FUNDS
(a) Residents shall manage their own funds if possible. "
What else does the Familiy Homes law state about residents' funds:
......(d) A resident's personal funds shall not be commingled with facility funds. The facility shall not commingle the personal funds of residents in an interest-bearing account.
(e) All or any portion of a resident's personal funds shall be available to the resident or his legal representative or payee upon request during regular office hours, except as provided in Rule .1105 of this Subchapter."
On that Sunday evening, the sheriff's department stated that if I came back onto the property to see my clients that I would be arrested as per publicly identified Jeff Clifton, administrator for WNC Homes, Asheville, NC. He stated: "This is MY property."

It did not matter that people w/ mental and physical illnesses were paying their disability checks and that DSS Buncombe was paying the remainder of the approximately $1280/ month for room and board and occasional transportation to medical appointments.

And it did not matter that NC Mental Health Reform proposed a service definition, specifically Community Support Services which has an intention of moving out into the community rather than the client/ patient coming to the provider.

And it did not matter that the Licensed Psychologist was seeing her clients in their homes in order to also move mental health services into the community, in keeping w/ mental health reform as well as the intention of Community Support Services in terms of wrap around to therapy rendered by the Licensed Psychologist.

Since that time, I understand, that Buncombe DSS, Adult Protective Services,who oversees Family Homes for Buncombe County, has perused WNC Homes financial records as associated w/ my concerns that client's 'spending money'---which is essentialy to their mental health and their ability to interface w/ the larger world----was not being advanced to them as is required by the Family Homes law (see here for more details re: that matter which led to being escorted from the property as I was rendering therapy to clients:

When Family Care Homes go bad: citizens w/ mental health issues live in PRISON, are HOMELESS. or in FAMILY CARE HOMES LIKE THIS

1. Today, March 3, 2009, at 1500 hours, I called a WNC Home and was told by the Supervisor in Charge, hired by WNC Homes, that I could not speak w/ my client when I identified myself as 'Dr. Hammond' , something I always do when I call clients in these homes. I know that the 'Consent to Treatment' is in the client's WNC Homes chart as I gave it by hand to the Supervisor in Charge of the home. This client, a Mild Mentally Retarded person will have no idea how to get in touch with me. My next step will be to send a certified return letter to the resident to see if it is received. DSS Buncombe's Adult Protective Services Cheryl Simcox was informed of this matter and I filed a formal complaint.

2. Another WNC Home Supervisor in Charge referred me to the WNC administrative office in order to obtain transportation for another client to my office in Asheville (30 min away; I had been willing to see clients at their rural home). WNC Homes administration advised me that they would need a week to 10 days in order to schedule transportation for a client to an appointment when I had been willing to meet w/ clients in their homes in Leicester, NC. I called DSS Buncombe's Cheryl Simcox and made a formal complaint regarding the length of time to set up transportation to a medical event, particularly as associated with having been forcibly removed form the property of the Familiy Homes where the residents live and which they pay for.

3. Another client of WNC Homes indicated to me that he had located a Dual Diagnosis Group Therapy meeting but that he had been informed by WNC administration that all residents have to be 'inside' by 6 pm, something which appears to me to be a blatant violation of their civil rights. The meeting is in the early evening. Community Support Services have, as an agenda, to move clients into such services as a support meeting and are willing to do so. I informed DSS Buncombe County, Cheryl Simcox, Adult Protective Services and made a formal complaint.
Tomorrow, clients associated w/ WNC Homes will be speaking w/ an Intake worker for Disability Rights NC.

Cheryl Simcox, Adult Protective Services Buncombe County, has indicated that she believes a 'meeting' between myself and WNC Homes would be useful in terms of making clear what 'the rules are.' The Family Homes law states the following:

The administrator shall cooperate with and assure the cooperation of facility staff with case managers in their provision of case management services to the appropriate residents."
subchapter 13G – licensing of family care homes

I do not believe that cooperation has taken place. I have asked Buncombe DSS to make a ruling, if possible, on whether the Clinical Psychologist is deemed to be a 'case manager' as per this law.

I have not received any information back on that matter.

I have asked Cheryl Simcox to to clarify for me if DSS Buncombe protecol will allow the presence of an attorney that would possibly represent WNC Homes. If so, I will ask Disability Rights NC if they can represent the interest of clients living at WNC Homes as associated w/ any such meeting.


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