About a month ago, I thought had found an answer to help my daughter and family. I thought I had found somewhere that was familiar with trauma and Attachment Disorders. I was so excited. However, they did not accept her. I went back to the drawing board. After calling about 45 facilities in the last two weeks, I thought I had found another place that would help her. However, they denied her admission to this facility as well. There are a few I have found like the Institute for Attachment and Child Development in Colorado or CALO in Missouri that specifically work with children with Attachment Disorders. They are on the forefront of trauma informed and attachment based therapy. However, insurance, public and private, will not pay for their facilities. Insurance companies do not understand the unique needs of children with Attachment Disorders. Due to insurance’s lack of coverage, many families face paying fees $10,000-$14,000 per month. Who can afford that other than Oprah, Warren Buffet, or Trump? Some states allocate Title IV-E federal funding for children who are adopted to help parents pay for residential facilities, therapeutic boarding schools, and wilderness camps that specialize in this type of care. Surprise, Surprise! South Carolina, the state we live in, is not one of those states. I have petitioned the Adoption Subsidy Board to raise my daughter’s monthly adoption subsidy. Due to the fact that her adoption was considered a special needs adoption, upon her adoption she was granted a small monthly subsidy to cover any out of pocket expenses we have for her care. If we have to seek specialized therapy for her outside of insurance, I know that will easily cost us thousands out of pocket. I fear they will not raise it and I will have to probably end up seeking legal representation, but it is worth the fight to get her what she needs.
It has been a frustrating struggle to get to this point. I have been trying to find out what information I needed to submit for months, but the person over the subsidy was very vague about what she needed. I ended up sending her close to 1,000 pages of medical documentation and she emailed me back within 10 minutes to tell me none of it was what she needed. How can you look through almost 1,000 pages in less than 10 minutes? I got mad. I emailed the SC Department of Social Services Director Permanency & Adoption Program and the Adoptions Manager to let them know of the situation. I got a phone call from the Subsidy Coordinator the next day saying she apologized, but the reason she could not forward the attachments I sent her was because she could not access some of the files and would I mind sending them again. So instead of saying that to me the first time, she decided not to forward my petition to the subsidy board because she could not open the attachments. I found it ironic that the same paperwork I submitted before was now perfectly acceptable to go before the board. She also said she would let me know if the board required any further documentation. It takes about 30 days to hear back about the board’s decision. I am hoping to get an increase to go towards the cost of trauma informed, attachment based therapy that she desperately needs. This has got to change. People always blame the parents in situations like this. We really need to stop and examine what help is available to the parents of children with Attachment Disorders. We need to pass legislation that children who have been adopted and experienced early childhood trauma have coverage of the therapies that address their very unique needs. We need to mandate that every state pay for residential care and attachment focused therapies for these children who are adopted. That is what the Title IV-E funding is there for, to help cover the long term needs of adopted children with special needs. We have to help these children process the horrendous things done to them in early childhood. It is our obligation as a society to help these children or society itself will suffer. These children, if not given access to appropriate and intensive therapy, can become violent and lead to lives of chronic criminality. If you don’t believe me, here is a direct quote from Dr. Terry Levy, in her article entitled, Kids who kill: Attachment disorder and violence:
For more than two decades, the pace of violence among certain children has increased steadily. A small percentage of disturbed youth are committing a larger percentage of violent crimes — and at younger ages. Between 1983 and 1992, the arrest rate for girls under the age of 18 increased 85 percent, while for boys, the rate increased 50 percent in the same time period. Between 1989 and 1999 the number of youth held in juvenile facilities increased 41 percent. Also note that in 1994, more than 110,000 children under age 13 were arrested for felonies; 12,000 of those crimes were against people and included murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault (Berman et al. 1996). The vast majority of those children suffer from undiagnosed attachment disorders, have histories of abuse and neglect, have lived in single-parent homes with young and highly stressed mothers and have had at least one parent with a criminal record (Levy and Orlans, 1998). These young offenders are at significant risk of going on to commit other serious offenses (2018).
Levy, Terry. (2018). Kids who kill: Attachment disorder and violence. Retrieved from https://www.evergreenpsychotherapycenter.com/kids-kill-attachment-disorder-violence/#:~:text=Because%20there%20are%201%20million,(Lyons%2DRuth%201996).