Christopher has been living with my for less than two years but he is now officially onto his fifth therapist.
The upside to having a kid on MassHealth is that you get free health insurance. The downside is that you often get what you pay for.
For the record, Christopher still gets MassHealth because he was a very hard to place child (six foster homes two of which were intensive foster care placements and one disrupted pre-adoptive placement). He has behavioral issues that are difficult to manage and that require extensive and ongoing care. The state sweetened the pot, so to speak, by allowing me to keep him on MassHealth until his 18th birthday. As a single mom seeing my own healthcare costs going through the roof, this has been very helpful to me. And it also allows me to get services for Christopher that I might not have been able to afford otherwise.
However as I mentioned above, sometimes you get what you pay for and these therapists do not make a lot, so they move on to make more money elsewhere within (on average) two years. I can't say I blame them. Everyone deserves to make a decent salary. And this is not an easy job.
Christopher's first therapist was the most difficult for him to lose. We'll call her Kate (Not her real name as I don't like to use any identifiers without their permission.). Kate helped Christopher through his transition to me and through his adoption. He became very close to her and I leaned pretty heavily on her for support as well. When she left after just under a year, Christopher was devastated and I was depressed. She was great for him and a big help to me. Lots of acting out and way too many tears came out of that loss.
Next up, Kate's supervisor Jane became Christopher's therapist. I didn't love hear nearly as much as Kate but Christopher became quite attached to her so I kept my mouth shut and stuck this one out. After eight months, she also left her job. She did eventually email me to say she'd landed in her new role and that she'd take Christopher back as a patient but he'd already suffered the trauma of another loss and was with another therapist so I stayed where we were.
Third and Fourth Therapists
All through this, Christopher has also received in-home therapy. He started off with a pair of therapists named Marla and Diane. Marla has been consistently there for over a year now but Diane left after only a month in. Next it was Marla and Elena but Elena has now also left. Marla's been partnered with a man named Matt and Christopher met him for the first time on Thursday. Christopher doesn't seem too affected by this change thankfully but I think that's because Marla is still consistently there. We'll see what happens when she moves on though. Apparently they all do eventually.
Was this list of therapists confusing? Yeah, for us too.
MassHealth or Private Health Insurance?
People tell me that I should consider putting Christopher on my health plan and getting him therapy using my insurance. Life is just so expensive right now though with the summer nanny and increased grocery costs (due to Christopher's new diet) that I can't afford to do that right now. I think having therapists work as a team is working for now though and I might just try sticking with that for a bit. If one therapist leaves, he still has the consistency of the other on the team. He seems okay with Marla and Matt and in my opinion, let's stick with what works for now. I don't know if others have the luxury of having a therapy team working with their kids but if you can do it, I recommend it.