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Comment Archives: stories: News + Opinion: News

Re: “Longtime Guardian Calls Child Welfare System 'Broken'

Oh yeah, my daughter had another child which has been diagnosed with the same things that her first one was diagnosed with due to her poor parenting ability. And they closed the case on the 2nd one. I had to call on that one as well.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Kim Tardie on 12/13/2014 at 12:46 AM

Re: “Longtime Guardian Calls Child Welfare System 'Broken'

Social Security Title IV provides funds to strengthen families and possibly reunite them if possible. There's no profit for the States. If this were the case then my Grandchild would have been removed the first time.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Kim Tardie on 12/13/2014 at 12:45 AM

Re: “Longtime Guardian Calls Child Welfare System 'Broken'

Oh, and by the way, the Guardian ad Litum on the first case with the case worker that retired, resigned from the case because she could see through my daughter. There was no getting the case manager to see the truth. When the second case was opened and there were new case workers the Guardian ad Litum took it.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Kim Tardie on 12/13/2014 at 12:43 AM

Re: “Longtime Guardian Calls Child Welfare System 'Broken'

I believe that they should not allow any DCF employee to take on cases until they retire. There should be a point in which their job duties change a couple of years prior to retirement. The reason I say this is because back in 2009 I had to call DCF to report my own daughter's neglect and abuse of my Grandson. She was assigned a case manager that was going to retire within the year. My daughter can sell snow to an Eskimo and was telling an entirely different story than what I was saying. The case mgr. chose to believe her.

Then an incident happened where 3 of us called in and reported it. The other 2 chose to remain anonymous because they were afraid of the backlash from my daughter. It was atrocious how my Grandbaby was being neglected. They chose not to open a case. I called the office supervisor and was told, "you were the one that made all 3 calls, you chose to be anonymous on the other 2 calls and we refuse to open a case on any information you provide to us. It must come from a hospital or medical professional before we would consider to investigate". I told the lady that if this child suffered ill affects because of this they were going to be sued.

To make a long story short a hospital did call on her and a case was opened. and was not given to the same case manager because she was retired. Because my daughter was telling them that her son was the son I always wanted and I was just trying to get him for myself he was placed in Foster Care. Mind you this child was born 16 weeks early, weighing only 1 lb. and 16 oz. and was very fragile. I got an attorney and now I have adopted my Grandson. Sad to say that he has MAJOR psychological issues as a result of the neglect and abuse he suffered as an infant.

I'm sorry folks but us Grandparents really want to just be Grandparents. I had no desire to raise another child. We have no rights in the State of VT and it is because they are afraid that we are after our children's children for our own keeping. BSSSS is all I can say. If a Grandparent has to report their own child you bet it is the hardest thing they've ever had to do and they do it for the welfare of the child because the child does not have a voice. I wasn't looking to parent him, but we stepped forward because there was no way that our kin would be taken by another family so long as we could help it. I've seen COUNTLESS Grandparent's hearts shattered over their Grandchildren being treated poorly or they've taken care of them since they were tiny and the parent wants them back for the subsidy check. WAKE UP VERMONT is all I have to say.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Kim Tardie on 12/13/2014 at 12:41 AM

Re: “Longtime Guardian Calls Child Welfare System 'Broken'

First off, thank you Mr. Stransky for your many years of fighting for the children and speaking out against the problems with the agencies. As a retired DCF human services caseworker, I can relate to many of his findings. I, for one, loved my job, returned my calls promptly, managed a large caseload, and really cared about the welfare of my clients. But I also witnessed many frustrations with the Supervisors (too many needless meetings) with their unequal caseload distribution, constantly changing client contacts within the office just as you were working the case, not getting rid of "dead weight" in the office. Some caseworkers were overloaded, and some were on numerous cigarette breaks and socializing, etc. On the other hand, there are many dedicated employees who really try to make a difference but are hampered by huge caseloads, changing laws by the legislatures just as you were getting familiar with the current ones, low pay, burnout, non-support, and the clients themselves, scamming the system and not being truthful on what is going on. Needless to say, it is not an easy job. The whole dept. needs more people, better training, using more experienced caseworkers to mentor newer caseworkers BEFORE they are assigned caseloads, higher pay so they will stay, better equipment to do their jobs AND open communication between depts. and the courts. Shumlin needs to loosen the purse strings when it comes to DCF...adding 17 caseworkers is not enough as the training alone is detailed and they expect you to hit the ground running, thus clients fall through the cracks, errors get made and frustration develops on all levels. These basic changes are just common sense and aren't the children worth it?

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by GeishaGirl on 12/12/2014 at 11:48 AM

Re: “Longtime Guardian Calls Child Welfare System 'Broken'

Congress must stop the federal funding from Social Security Title IV which gives the incentive to remove children for profit to the states.

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by Sally Borghese on 12/12/2014 at 12:30 AM

Re: “Longtime Guardian Calls Child Welfare System 'Broken'

This " broken " system needs fixed all over the world, we should start by taking away profits off of children.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Karen Vanreenan on 12/11/2014 at 2:41 PM

Re: “Striking FairPoint Workers Aren't Giving Up

Wow Jamie - I'll have whatever you are smoking . I think you should look up Pollyanna .

Good well balanced article.

3 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Rich ard on 11/28/2014 at 4:46 PM

Re: “Striking FairPoint Workers Aren't Giving Up

Stay Strong Brothers & Sisters! Good ALWAYS wins out over evil! You shall overcome.

3 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Jamie Longtin on 11/28/2014 at 2:57 PM

Re: “Drawing From Life: Cartooning in the Medical Arts

Awesome. I never knew about medical graphic novels. Because of this story, I learned about it. Thanks so much!

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Amanda Gautreaux on 11/20/2014 at 9:37 PM

Re: “Independent Docs Struggle to Compete With Hospitals

Thanks to Ms. Flagg for a balanced and readable approach to this important issue. Pay inequity must be addressed on the road to health care reform. I don't think we want unregulated monopolies to control health care delivery, or to unilaterally decide willy-nilly how much to pay practitioners on your behalf. patients need to know that if they choose hospital employed physicians for their care they will be subject to much higher fees when paying their deductibles.
A few clarifications are needed:
1) MVP has been supportive of independent physicians, recognizing their value to patients and to the healthcare system, and we have a strong positive working relationship with that healthcare insurer.
2) "Single payer" concepts have merit, but a de-facto single (commercial) payer system such as that developing in Vermont, where that payer dictates and defends unfair and unjustified pay inequities, and unnecessarily inflated health insurance rates, portends trouble.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Paul Reiss on 10/17/2014 at 1:30 PM

Re: “Vanpooling in Vermont: Why and How

Sure do love Vermont. It's a beautiful state with people who are always pushing for progressive legal changes. We visit every year and check out Lake Champlain. In the fall, too, we'll usually do some leaf peeping! lol!!! But seriously, in the summer, you should check out The Spirit of Ethan Allen. Totally worth your time.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Sarah Murchison on 10/15/2014 at 12:53 PM

Re: “Vermont's Gun-Control Dodge Leaves Burlington in the Crosshairs

It isn't just the SECOND AMENDMENT of our U.S. Bill of Rights it is also our 16th Article of our Vermont Constitution and here is what it says;

" Article 16.

That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State--and as standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; and that the military should be kept under strict subordination to and governed by the civil power."

So being in BOTH the state and the Federal Bill of Rights, it is not up to any two-bit Mayor or anyone else for that matter who wants to see if they can feed their own egos and attack or rights. Maybe FREEDOM OF THE PRESS wasn't meant to include the INTERNET, PHONES, COMPUTERS, TELEVISION, RADIO, or any other means invented after 1791.

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by wingwiper on 10/14/2014 at 6:28 AM

Re: “Independent Docs Struggle to Compete With Hospitals

I, too,was a former FAHC/UVM physician who is now in private practice. For more than 14 years I taught medical students,residents and fellows while maintaining a busy medical and surgical practice. Over the years I watched in frustration as Executive Officers,Vice Presidents,CEO's, CFO's,COO's, Marketing Directors, Chief Nursing Officers, Administrators, HR directors, Chief Medical Officers etc. grew in numbers and salaries-many bringing home high 6 figure and low 7 figure salaries. Silly expensive marketing strategies telling us to "become one" and changing the name of the medical group were somehow supposed to make us forget that our salaries were stagnant,our patients were paying more, our staff was doing without continuing medical education and the bloated administration was going on retreats to learn how to buy up private practices and charge more facility fees. I continue to be surprised that we do not hear more about this.

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by georgedoc on 10/06/2014 at 8:59 PM

Re: “Independent Docs Struggle to Compete With Hospitals

fletcher Allan are crooks. I used to go to a private practice to get my skin cancer removed when I was a self pay. He used to charge me around 240.00 to remove 2 tumors (cut and burn) and freeze around 18-20 pre-cancers all at one appointment. Then labs would cost me about 300.00 after words Now I have BCBS and they make me go to fletcher Allan. First I have to go for a checkup and they freeze a few and take a couple of biopsies from tumors I know and they know are cancer. send them off for labs. Make another appointment to consult with a surgeon on the removal then go back and get them removed. Send them off for more labs. The insurance company now pays a them over 3500.00 (visits and labs). my co pay is around 1200.00. This is where we need healthcare reform. Don't let them fool you that they have more expenses then others. Have you seen how inefficient hospitals are run. If they were private a business they would not last a year.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Tom Feerick on 10/05/2014 at 10:48 AM

Re: “Independent Docs Struggle to Compete With Hospitals

A good story. As a former FAHC/UVM physician who has recently started a community practice, I am particularly sensitive to these issues. It needs to be pointed out that FAHC is compensated for being a tertiary care center not only with extra facility fees and higher renumeration from the major private health care plans, but it also receives considerable supplementary funding from CMS for resident education. I am sensitive to the argument these higher revenues are used to cross subsidize important services to the region that would otherwise not be available, but unfortunately in many cases the reason these services are not solvent in the first place is they are too large for the catchment area and frankly, need to be right-sized and made more efficient. The sad truth is that much of the extra revenue FAHC generates goes not to providing patient care, cross subsidized or otherwise, but to support a bloated and self serving administration. What FAHC needs to remain an excellent health care system is healthy competition. I'm not sure they see it that way right now.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by VTdoc on 10/04/2014 at 4:25 PM

Re: “Mental Health Crisis Team Failed to Assist Cops

Not everyone is bound by HIPPA. Confidentiality laws do not mean no one may speak about a person's health. It just means that no one professionally involved in providing health care for an individual may share any information without their permission. Everyone else, including the press, is free from these restrictions.

0 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Heather Bella on 10/02/2014 at 11:41 PM

Re: “Mental Health Crisis Team Failed to Assist Cops

I am wondering if you are concerned that you may be violating any HIPPA laws? Mr. Hartmann in the article stated he could not answer questions being posed (which I took as the interviewer asking more about how calls are handled not specifics about the case) citing HIPPA and yet you are sharing information specifically related to this young man's death. I can only assume you have first hand knowledge and therefore are affiliated with the agency, how are you able to speak about this case and the director of the mobile unit isn't?

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Tressa Westbrook on 10/02/2014 at 10:02 PM

Re: “What Stops a Suicidal Vermonter From Buying a Gun? Not Much

Hmm. Should we prevent people with a history of self-harm from buying cars as well? After all, there was probably an instance last week of someone, somewhere in the country crashing one into a guard rail on the highway in an attempt to end their life. Does that justify declaring all people that are or have been thinking about hurting themselves completely incompetent to drive due to the potential danger cars pose? Frankly, unless you place them on constant observation in FAHC indefinitely someone who is truly suicidal will find a means to accomplish the task. Developing sweeping policies like this that necessarily mark people as 'defective' for life simply because they have been self-injurious or hospitalized is fallacious. And further the fact that this is most often justified with what appears to be very shaky, anecdotal evidence seems absolutely absurd to me. People change and get better, and despite what you might think about practitioners being receptive the reality is that once you check that box you often can't uncheck it (ask any ER practitioner at FAHC how hesitant they are to declare someone as drug seeking.....they almost never do because of how real the possibility of them not being able to get pain meds is when they need them)

Putting suicidal people in a bubble as a quick fix is not the answer. We need to TREAT them...this means destigmatizing treatment such that we won't need to worry about 'catching' them as the BJ's employee describes, they will feel like they can come to us to get better and not be ostracized for it for years afterwards.

Posted by Austin Bass on 10/02/2014 at 8:46 PM

Re: “Independent Docs Struggle to Compete With Hospitals

In response to Vermonter 2014:

Both DSH payments and the Medicare supplement to teaching hospitals mitigate some, but of course not all of the costs of these programs, and I did not want to make an already long post even longer. There has been no significant increase in the teaching program supplement nor any increase in the toal number of training positions since 1997. But we can differ. This is precisely the reason why I opened my comment with support for Tim Ashe's program to investigate the causes of the differential costs between hospitals and private practice.

0 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by LetsBeReasonable on 10/02/2014 at 5:38 PM

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