PDA

View Full Version : Trying to untangle some stuff (Intellectual disabilities/group homes/ government support)



Anonymouse
06-08-2016, 10:11 PM
I have a character who ran away from a group home for adults years ago.

She's been living in a city that's an 8 hour train ride from her "home." She's homeless, but relatively capable for someone who can't really talk that well. The mechanics of her escape don't really need to be a part of the story, except that it has to be plausible that she slipped out and made it to the city undetected.

In order to advance the plot, however, she needs to reveal to the local police where she lived (or at least point to the person who was her love interest at the time, which would definitely reveal her true identity with a trivial amount of digging).

A) If she's in a group home, and her mother is essentially distant/uncaring when she disappears, would she be considered a ward of the state or something equivalent for adults?
B) If she were to reveal her identity, and she was essentially a ward of the state, what would happen to her?
C) Is there a way of extracting the information from her without perturbing her status quo of living on the street (or without her permission)?

Much of the information I've come across either deals with children, or doesn't quite answer my questions.

ironmikezero
06-08-2016, 11:14 PM
What is the jurisdiction of origin? What was the nature of her placement in the adult group home (voluntary, involuntary mental health commitment, civil/criminal court commitment, etc.)? It will matter, especially if it was anything other than voluntary placement. Different jurisdictions have different laws and relevant regulations. There could be outstanding civil/criminal process (warrant, writ of attachment, etc.) that would authorize apprehension and return to custody/confinement, pending further legal proceedings. If she's crossed state lines and is found elsewhere, there is a question of custody/extradition.

If you don't want her incarcerated, keep the adult group home placement voluntary, and her departure voluntary. Once on the streets, don't let her be arrested for any violations of law (e.g., vagrancy. etc.).

aygnm
06-22-2016, 02:58 AM
Just my .02 because I don't know what your situation is in terms of amount of time you can spare...

How about finding a local group home and volunteering? Or going to a fundraiser for one? Many of these adult group homes (Angel View in Palm Springs, California is amazing) have fundraisers where you may be able to interact with the clients/residents. You may make some new friends, learn more about the environment, and make the story more emotionally real. As well, if the organization agrees, maybe you could showcase what they do in a positive light and give them some free publicity in your community. I realize you have to respect privacy and privacy laws, so I may be way off base.

Catherine_Beyer
06-22-2016, 08:03 AM
A) If she's in a group home, and her mother is essentially distant/uncaring when she disappears, would she be considered a ward of the state or something equivalent for adults?
Depends how she got there. Did the state commit her? Then they have jurisdiction over her. But most people are not committed by the state. Did she commit herself? Does her mother have guardianship, allowing her to commit her?

Also understand that many people in group homes have to pay the bills to stay there (unless the state has committed them). Often that burden falls to relatives. You should decide how the bills are being paid.


B) If she were to reveal her identity, and she was essentially a ward of the state, what would happen to her?
She'd be returned to the proper custody.

C) Is there a way of extracting the information from her without perturbing her status quo of living on the street (or without her permission)? I am unclear of the question. Extract which information? What do you mean by extracting the info without her permission?

Fruitbat
06-22-2016, 09:36 AM
Yes, she'd be a ward of the state if her mother didn't take on guardianship of her. The mother may have let the state take over because then the state foots the bills. The mother could still visit and so on, so who actually has legal guardianship might not matter for your story.

If she ran off, she'd be reported as missing, by the group home.

If another police department found out she had a guardian, they'd probably arrange for her to be transferred back to where she came from.

But I think it's plausible for her to fall through the cracks, if that's what you need for your story. Maybe just show her slipping out the door of the police station after they get the information they want from her, as explanation for readers.

Nick Blaze
06-27-2016, 08:49 PM
I am a supervisor for a group home for the developmentally disabled, so hopefully I can answer these logically.

A) If she's in a group home, and her mother is essentially distant/uncaring when she disappears, would she be considered a ward of the state or something equivalent for adults?

Depends on if the mother has guardianship or not. They do be default, unless they pass that off to the state-- or another relative. Most individuals above the age of 40 have state-appointed guardians.

B) If she were to reveal her identity, and she was essentially a ward of the state, what would happen to her?

If she reveals her identity to somebody who reports it, the police would be looking for her. She would be returned to the group home's organization for re-immersion, assuming they still exist. When she ran away, there was likely a state investigation which may have done something to change the way the original organization worked, or they deemed it unrelated and let them be free of charge.

C) Is there a way of extracting the information from her without perturbing her status quo of living on the street (or without her permission)?

I don't think I can answer this one, as it seems related to the individual and street life. I think just about anything is possible after a good amount of time from running away. However, depending on her intellectual disability and the amount of care a person requires to be placed into a 24 hour group home, there's not likely a possibility of her surviving on her own.

M.Charles
07-11-2016, 05:33 AM
In Alberta, Canada, it's the Office of the Public Guardian that would be involved, if there isn't family able/willing/fit to be designated guardian.