Toni Hoy has written a poignant book called “Second Time Foster Child”, that I think is a must read for every parent with a child in need of mental health services, as well as every therapist, social worker, member of the legislature, the juvenile justice system, and the departments of health and human services.
Mrs. Hoy and her husband adopted two brothers out of the foster care system promising to give them a forever home. Because one boy developed severe mental health needs, and the family ran out of insurance benefits and the boy was once again became a ward of the state. The results were exactly the same issues that other parents are facing today: If you can’t afford treatment, then do you give your child away in order that he might receive treatment? If you don’t trade your child for treatment, could his illness become so violent that someone will be hurt? If you choose to trade away your child in exchange for treatment, you will be charged for neglect and your name placed as a child abuser? Or, if you choose not to trade your child away, and bring him home, you risk being charged with child endangerment for failure to protect your other kids.
Medicaid mandated care under EPSDT, this is an entitlement for children, as is public education; however, many states design their own Medicaid laws to circumvent this opportunity for early intervention and healing for children. Isn’t it time for an honest look at how the system operates?
To learn more about Mrs. Hoy’s experiences with mental health insurance benefits and her book “Second Time Foster Child” listen to the May 15 Not Alone podcast by clicking on the play button below or downloading the file and listening later. To listen to any of the past Not Alone broadcasts, visit The Kim Foundation Not Alone podcast page.
May 15, 2012 – Toni Hoy, Author
Airing every Tuesday from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. (CST on station KCRO, channel 660 AM based out of Omaha, Neb.), Not Alone is a live talk radio program focused on behavioral health and recovery. Developed by The Kim Foundation through the support of C&A Industries, Inc., Not Alone works to reduce the stigma often associated with mental illness. The show seeks to assure individuals, families, and communities that they are not alone, mental illness affects us all, hosting a variety of guest from across the country.