State Agency Frustrations

I know that in today’s world States have a tough job of balancing budgets and determining who gets what money. Historically Department of Human Services, along with School departments usually get the short end of the stick. Due to this there is a small and limited amount of money for the countless programs and services that need funds. One way that the state of Maine could save money would be to eliminate the agency, Child Development Services, also known as CDS. This is an agency that is supposed to help children and families of those with any number of disabilities. In my experience with them they have not done much to “help”.

My daughter Madilynne was born with Down syndrome, and in the state of Maine this qualifies her for therapeutic services under Maine Care. She needs Occupational, Physical, and Speech therapies. These services were first handled by the wonderful people at Home Health Visiting Nurses, due to her being what is referred to as homebound. Once she no longer was “homebound” she had to get her services through CDS. Now let me say that I don’t have a problem with the service providers on a whole, my complaint is with the agency itself. We have had numerous problems with case managers. These problems ranged from miscommunication to a case manager trying to conduct an IEP meeting from my bathroom floor after becoming ill. The agency is divided into districts and who you deal with is determined by where you live. We live in Cumberland County but because we live in a town that is closer to another county we don’t deal with Cumberland County. All of the different districts are all supposed to follow the same rules and offer the same programs but in all reality they don’t. We requested therapeutic swimming from our CDS caseworker at the suggestion of our OT. We were told that CDS doesn’t offer it, but yet we could get it from the Cumberland County CDS office. This does not make any sense to me, how can one office offer something but another doesn’t. Don’t they follow the same policies? I guess not.

  I have not had many if any good experiences with CDS. In talking with people on Facebook I have found that every person or group that I have talked with have had similar experiences with CDS. I have not come across anyone who has had anything nice to say about the agency. The agency as a whole seems useless to me. What is their actual job, if they are just facilitators then why don’t the therapists just bill Maine Care or insurance companies on their own? If I am being ignorant or just plain wrong then I welcome anyone to educate me. I do not claim to know everything about CDS, I can only talk about my experiences with them.

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