Intake Process for Children

Implementation of U.S. Public Law 96-272 :

We have first to verify for a prospective child that ces placement with us will not be an unnecessary removal from ces current home : either ces parents are deceased, missing, have lost custody, or are unable to provide therapeutic conditions for their child to cure.
We have to check that "reasonable efforts" were made to enable the child to remain safely at home before considering placement.

The specific harm that placing a child at our therapeutic milieu is trying to prevent is life-long sufferings of remaining chronically sick or disturbed.

In any case the child is interviewed to try to know ces preference, then decisions are made accordingly.

Children's informed consent :

"The process of providing clients with the information they need to become active participants in the therapeutic relationship begins with the intake interview and continues throughout counseling. It is the responsibility of professionals to assess clients' level of understanding and to protect their  free choice, as they are free to withdraw their consent at any time for any reason".
"Regardless of their capacity to understand, all clients have the right to have
treatment explained to them" (Corey, Corey & Callanan).

If the child is "unable to give voluntary, informed consent, psychologists take special care to protect the person's best interests" (American Psychological Association).

Intake process :

With every case we have to consider the child carefully and make a particular
decision because once a child is admitted this can lead to any duration, as  we plan that only the child decides about ces length of stay and that no time limit be set from the very beginning.
If the child is familyless, we consider all the more carefully because we might become ces surrogate family, and as such we will never ask a child to leave, so that each child can be convinced ce has good reasons to feel secure and take advantage of this firm ground to recover and spend as much time as necessary to reach the best condition possible.

When we receive an application for a child, we need to be able to be acquainted to ce in a non-committing manner, for not paining ce with a  feeling of having been rejected if we deem we cannot take ce.
We need to see ce in order to experience what we feel for this new little person and at the same time we need to be cautious to not disappoint ce with a false hope. We can consider to take only children to whom we feel  able to be personally committed : we have to feel interested by the little person and experience love and desire to care sincerely for ce and try the best to make a change in ces unhappy fate. There has to be a genuine person-to-person link.

We try to fulfill these conditions by proceeding step by step :

1°) we need first to be allowed to read ces file if any : social, school, medical
records, and see photo(s) of the person. At this step is implemented PL 96-272 as mentioned above.

2°) if we experience positive feelings for the child, we need next to meet the person having custody and ask questions, then see the child from a distance without being formerly introduced to ce, we need just to have a chance to see directly how the little person looks like, as a casual contact.
   Ideally at that time the child should be medications free in order to make the best assessment possible, frequently pharmaceutical chemicals add more troubles in the patient and blurs further the way the child looks.

3°) if the first encounter is encouraging for both parties, we can come closer to the child, let ce know who we are and what we are up to, and propose the child to come visit our place.

4°) after the child visited, if we feel our commitment to the child confirms, we can propose the child if ce wants to give it a try at ces convenience, and this after ce was informed in a way matched to ces level of understanding about
- other possibilities of placement if any
- what treatment and life are with us.

Children inclined to be violent if admitted are informed that assaulting other children is not allowed and if we could not manage them efficiently enough we would have regretfully to come to the decision of terminating their stay with us to keep the place safe for everybody.
Nevertheless, we let them know that while the prohibition stands for physical aggressions, expressing anger by words or non-verbal ways is possible, because it is not feeling angry which is prohibited but only actually hurting physically or emotionally other children.

When admittance is decided, on their first day children are informed about their rights in a manner suited to their age and condition. Their rights are explained to them at the general level of society (laws) and at the particular level of our project.

Then they are explained what is expected of them :
- let us know if we do something that goes against their feelings
- let us know about anything that would help them better
- let us know about anything they would like to do or to have
- they are encouraged to act on the basis of what they think and of what they feel, i. e. they can choose what fits them best
- they can make their own schedule for each day
- they can choose someone in particular among our team to be their preferred assistant
- they can ask to end their stay at any time and move somewhere else.

In case of emergency for protecting a child, we might admit a child on shortened intake process, especially if this is wanted by the child.

Cases of adopted children :
   In addition to regular checks above, if an adopted child seems eligible for intake at our program, we will verify that
1- the child was legally adopted and not abducted, and
2- the child was not a victim of an adoption agency fraud as frequently adoption agencies charge very high fees for each child processed.

   If from these checks we have suspicion of any wrong doings, we will refuse accepting the child and will report the suspected fraud to the relevant government agencies in human trafficking.

Case of a child with migraines (headaches) : we need first to check if
- the child is not sleeping near a furnace or a woodstove leaking carbon monoxide (CO) which is a highly toxic gas, can be detected by placing a CO detector where the appliance is, and
- the child is not sleeping with head of bed near a big appliance made of metal like a cast iron radiator which can make a magnetic field detrimental to be near all night thru : just moving the bed away might cure the migraines.

rev. 2015