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“Most psychiatric drugs can cause withdrawal reactions, sometimes including life-threatening emotional and physical withdrawal problems… Withdrawal from psychiatric drugs should be done carefully under experienced clinical supervision.” Dr. Peter Breggin

Dec 19, 2012

A story about a background check

I’ve been going through some stuff that I had hoped to have resolved by now, but it is not.  In October I applied to be a care provider for a woman who needs help 29 hours a month.  I needed to have more income to make up for the hours that were taken away with the budget cuts, to keep paying our bills. I was hoping be able to afford to get Isaac back into the Y again...  I was turned down, and I was terminated as my son’s care provider, effective immediately.

I was first made aware that there was a problem when the client that I had hoped to become a provider for called me to say that Dirk Bush at the Home and Community Care office had called her to tell her I could not be her care provider. He told her that my license was revoked for being convicted of a crime and harming a client. I knew this wasn’t true; and I am horrified that such a thing was told to a client.  

I turned in a background authorization to the ALTC office due to it being time to recertify my contract for my son’s care, and another identical one to the HCS office on the 24th of October. The ALTC BCCU report is dated the 25th, and there is a handwritten notation on it that says, "11/17/2006 Wapato HCS" next to the highlighted sentence that reports  I answered "yes" to question 13 which is highlighted.  I  had finally become Isaac's formal care provider in 2008; the BCCU report dated 11/25/2008 makes no mention of question 13.  The BCCU report for HCS is dated 11-26-2012.  It is more than a strange that in the 4 and 5 day interim between these reports being printed and Dirk Bush slandering me to a client, that neither agency made any effort to contact me whatsoever.

After hearing there was an issue, I immediately went to the HCS office to speak to Dirk Bush, who was less happy to see me; and who was less than civil. He proceeded to tell me three different stories as to why I was not going to be allowed to be a care provider for a the client. When I refuted the first one, he gave another excuse and as soon as he  spoke, I knew for sure he was lying to me. This  realization was immediately followed by the impression that Dirk Bush seemed very angry that I even questioned him, and he appeared to be exerting a great deal of effort to remain calm.

I was not.  I was angry, for good damned reason. He had not introduced himself, so I pointedly asked him, “who are you? and why didn’t you introduce yourself to me?” I had been told that Dirk Bush was not in the office by the receptionist when I had arrived and asked to speak with him.  I had insisted that I needed to speak to his supervisor  if he was unavailable.  So I didn’t know if it was the man in front of me was Bush, or his supervisor.  When I asked why he had not introduced himself, it made him angrier. He was rude and condescending; it was entirely obvious that although we had never met, he had no respect for me whatsoever.  He also felt no need to hide his contempt.  

Bush seemed to become be even more upset when I pointed out that because he had not bothered to do any fact checking; he had told a client that I had a criminal record I in fact do not have.  And that he had denied me a job for the same reason.  I pointed out that what he had done is unethical, and illegal. I asked if he believed there is anything wrong with telling a client that I had lost my license, due to a criminal conviction, if  it was not actually true. He said he had done nothing wrong.  It was  at this point that Bush told the third story.  He spat out some twisted spurious allegations with a sneer.  If there were any truth to what he had said, the department  would have been required by Law to file a criminal complaint with Law Enforcement. There was no criminal complaint filed. If what Bush had said to me with his twisted up face and hate-filled voice were true, I would have went to prison. Not only were the allegations not true, telling someone that I had been convicted for felony abandonment of a vulnerable adult is slander.  

What I do know is that when I initially applied to be my son’s care provider, I was told I was disqualified and NO ONE could (or would?) tell me why. I was told only that I was Status 4; but never given any information what a Status 4 is, I was only told that a Status 4 meant that I was being told that it made me ineligible to be a care provider.

Finally, I don’t remember how, I found out that the department had placed me on this list when I brought my son home  from CSTC and his dependency was dismissed.  I was informed that the Region 2 Children’s Administration Administrator, Ken Nichols, had the authority to fix it, so I met with him.  Nichols  acknowledged I shouldn’t have been placed on the status 4 list, admitted he could fix it, and then told me he wouldn’t; refusing to say why.   I had to get a legislator involved and within a couple of weeks it was resolved after more than two and a half years of being denied any answers, including not being told what a Status 4 is.   

The fact is, the department had been was ordered by the Yakima County Superior Court to assist me in the process of becoming Isaac’s formal care provider upon his 18th birthday. Not only did the department not comply with the Court’s Order, it went out of the way to prevent me from becoming his care provider without their assistance. The department was in Contempt of Court, and remained in Contempt of Court for well over two years until the winter of 2008. The Department has failed to comply with another of the Court's Orders issued at the same time n 2005, and remains in Contempt of Court to this day; but that’s another story.  

The reasons one can be disqualified from being a care provider via the DSHS Procedure Manual:

a. Has been convicted of a disqualifying crime. Disqualifying crimes (this link downloads a Word file) are in statute and are listed in the Disqualifying Crimes FAQs.

b. Has been found by a court, state licensing board, disciplinary board, or dependency board to have neglected, sexually abused or exploited a minor or vulnerable adult.

c. Has abused, neglected, abandoned, or exploited a minor or vulnerable adult.

d. Has a court-issued order of protection against him/her for abuse or exploitation of a minor or a vulnerable adult.

e. Has been determined by a state agency or department to have abused, neglected, abandoned, or exploited anyone.

f. Has had a license to care for minors or vulnerable adults denied, revoked, or suspended.

g. Will be unable to appropriately meet the client’s needs, as determined by the department or AAA, who has a reasonable good faith belief (RCW 74.39A.095 (8) and WAC 388-71-0546).

I have no crimes  on my background report that disqualify me for being a care provider; If I did, I would have never been allowed to become a care provider in the first place.  If it is the Status 4 that disqualifies me, it would be listed on the BCCU repost as a “negative action.” There is no negative action listed. Had the department ever entered such a finding in it's records, to be valid, Iwould need to be informed, and be informed of my Due Process Rights specifically, be informed of “the opportunity to request an administrative hearing to contest the finding.” As I stated, the existence of a negative action would have been on the BCCU report, with a contact number for Sue McDonough.

I was ultimately informed by Dirk Bush after he spat out his third story, “I just now decided you’re not qualified based on your character, competence and suitability;” he then said, “I can do that, I don’t need a reason.”  

The following day, the 31st,  I receive a call from my son’s case manager at ALTC, who told me that I had been terminated from my contract as Isaac’s care provider, effective immediately.  The reason he said, is because the BCCU report had a disqualifying crime/negative action on it . I explained to him it was not accurate, due to a mistake filling out the form in 2006, that I had already contacted the BCCU unit, and had faxed them the information they requested. I told him the BCCU unit would be issuing an amended report; to which he replied, that it didn’t matter, there was nothing he could do.  Isaac and I each received a notice from ALTC that day in the mail stating that I had been terminated due to a disqualifying crime/negative action effective immediately, dated 10-31-2012.    

Two days later, we  each received a second notice in the mail stating my already terminated contract, was terminated (again?!) effective immediately these second letters are dated 11-02-2012, and state that the reason for my termination is my character, competence and suitability. This second termination after I  had already been terminated was sent after ALTC and HCS had received the amended BCCU report; which had nothing on it that justified termination, immediate or otherwise.

Instructions when terminating a care provider:

e. Send a Provider Notification (16-198)letter to the provider when you are informing them of a denial and reason. You must terminate the provider with a ten-day notice, unless you believe the client is in imminent jeopardy, in which case termination is immediate, or the IP has a conviction for a disqualifying crime or negative action.

There  were no disqualifying crimes on the first BCCU report. What was on it is an artifact from a background authorization request I had filled out in 2006; I had made a mistake in filling it out.  The allegation that I had committed crimes against a vulnerable person, and was a convicted felon caused me harm, it is slander.  It is, I believe, an effort to discredit me. A state employee purposely maligned me and terminated my contract without valid cause; and without following  any of the department’s procedural guidelines.  I have once again been denied  any effective remedy, and any truthful answers.  But what utterly pisses me off  is once again, people who are public servants have been punitive and refused to give me any reason that would explain why.  In fact, I was told by Aging and Long Term care staff, Jackie Klingel when I asked her, that I had no right to be informed of the reason the department terminated my contract.  I have no right to know what information was relied upon to determine  my “character, competence and suitability” necessitated an immediate termination.  

It has been over a month and a half. Day before yesterday, I called David Reed with Aging and Disability Services Administration, I asked if this whole situation wasn’t perhaps retaliation...He said there is no way  that it is.  I told him I didn’t believe him, and I told him why. He hung up on me. The fact is, I’ve heard nothing since November 21st.  I wonder will we end up homeless? I am serious... I sent Mr. Reed an email on December 13th saying I would like this to be resolved before we lose our home. I called him day before yesterday because he had not responded.   

I do not have to any of the following which would cause my termination.

via the DSHS Procedure Manual convictions and negative actions:

When there is a negative action against an IP, you will receive a “Convictions and/or Other Negative Action Against the Applicant are on the Secretary’s List of Disqualifying Crimes and Negative Actions” letter from BCCU, with the term Source by Document. You will not receive any specific information because of laws that prohibit dissemination of this information. However, you must take the following action and deny or terminate an IP who has a/an:

Child Protective Services finding: CPS findings that follow due process are
sent to BCCU. Pre-due process findings are not. If you receive information that
a provider has a CPS finding before due process, contact Sue McDonough. She
will work with the Children’s Administration to obtain the information necessary to take action on the provider.

Dependency Action: This is a court proceeding and there are, potentially, a
number of people that can be a part of a dependency. Therefore, only the AAG
can obtain this information. Contact Sue McDonough so that she can enlist the
AAG to obtain, review, and inform her about whether the dependency resulted in a finding against the IP.

APS finding: Fair hearing rights were established for alleged perpetrators on October 1, 2003. APS sends final findings to BCCU and these findings are part of the background check. If you learn that there was an APS finding that was previous to October 1, 2003, contact Sue McDonough. She will work with APS to obtain the information necessary to take action on the provider.

Protection Order: This is a court proceeding. You need to have the IP provide
you with a copy of the protection order so that you can determine whether the
order involves a minor or vulnerable adult. If the order does not involve a minor
or vulnerable adult, the IP can complete an affidavit swearing that the protection order did not involve a minor or vulnerable adult. Once it has been completed, send it to BCCU, and keep a copy in the IP’s file. You also need to complete a character, competence, and suitability determination.

Department of Health (DOH) finding: DOH sends all findings to BCCU, and
BCCU sends you a “Convictions and/or Other Negative Action Against the
Applicant are on the Secretary’s List of Disqualifying Crimes and Negative
Actions” letter. You need to go onto the DOH web site and
view the findings. If the finding is for abuse, neglect, abandonment, or financial
exploitations, the IP is disqualified. If not, you need to complete a character,
competence, and suitability determination on the IP.

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