Reco remains placed in the foster home of Ms. W. with his brother Yeshua. Ms. W. related that although Reco continues to have episodic difficulties with regulating his emotions and managing his apparent low tolerance for frustration, she has seen improvement over the past year, both in his behavior and his ability to modify his behavior. Ms. W. also reports that Reco continues to have bad weeks on occasion, but she feels that his coping skills have improved markedly over the six months with the resources available to her now.
There have been and continue to be minor irregular incidents involving his behavior, but Ms. W. explained she makes sure that each of these are addressed immediately with Reco after they occur. Ms. W. explained that her skills at managing and correcting Reco’s behavior, as well as setting expectations regarding his behavior, continue to improve with the help of the behavioral counselor that works with her and the boys. Ms. W. remarked that Reco is very pleasant, funny and possesses a comical sense of humor. She explained that she has observed Reco’s caring manner and behavior with his siblings to be like that of a gentle big brother.
She emphasized that he regularly demonstrates courtesy in her presence, opening doors for her and assisting with removing groceries from the car to the house without being asked to. Ms. W. also stated that Reco can also become upset when he is not told of changes that might affect him. Ms. W. related that Reco is not usually aggressive, but that he has begun to defend himself, when physically provoked or bullied by his brother. Ms. W. related that Reco is less defiant with her when given instructions compared to the past.
Ms. W. tated that she continues to takes Reco and his younger brother to church every Sunday to participate in organized activities with other boys and girls of similar age. DHHS social worker, Lori Weinstein, has reported that the children continue to thrive and are well taken care of in their placement with Ms. W. Reco attends the 4th grade at Pine Crest Elementary School in Silver Spring, Maryland. Reco’s teacher, Ms. Giles, reports that Reco is a very intelligent student and enjoys sharing his ideas and participating in class discussions and class activities.
For the first Marking Period (MP) of 2016, Reco earned P scores (meaning he met the grade-level standard by demonstrating proficiency of the content or process of the topic) in the following subjects: Reading, Writing, Social Studies, Science, Art, Music and Physical Education. In Mathematics-Compacted 4/5, Reco received “I” scores demonstrating that he is in progress toward meeting the grade-level standard. In Learning Skills, Reco earned a code of demonstrating for the topic of collaboration, and a code of progressing in task completion.
Finally, in the areas of Rules and Procedures and Synthesis, he earned a code of demonstrating. Ms. Giles noted that Reco’s strengths lie in the creative ideas he brings to all of the subjects he studies. She stated he can easily think “outside the box”, and has observed that Reco is an auditory learner. She noted that he participates in class consistently, always raising his hand and attempting to participate in class discussions. Reco is currently reading at a level of “Q” which is not bad, but Ms. Giles would prefer to see him reading at an “R” levels going forward to the 2nd Quarter.
Ms. Guiles reported that Reco’s areas for growth include task completion, specifically buckling down and not stopping to talk to other students. Ms. Giles speaks to Reco frequently about using his time wisely. He enjoys finding a partner to work with, and Ms. Giles often invites him to work with her. Ms. Guiles explained that Reco was one of her students she did have to keep in from recess to make sure he completed all of his assignments before marking period one because she wants to make sure that her students can get the best grade they can get.
She explained that Reco fought her on it and was upset, but she hopes that he can learn from it and next quarter finish his work in class. Jen- I like to keep the language from the prior report in my draft until I’ve updated the grades and education reports to the current period, then I delete the language of the prior report. But…I keep a copy for myself that includes the language and reports from both periods together in one document just for my reference. Retaining verbatim language from a prior report in a new report would just be…sad? ) INSERT PARA RE HIS BEHAVIOR IN MS GUILES CLASSESS This school year, Reco was recommended to be placed in the accelerated Grade 4/5 Math Curriculum because he has repeatedly expressed a clear interest in the subject to this CASA as well as Ms. W. during the past year. Reco’s math teacher, Mr. Snyder, reports that Reco is an enthusiastic participant in class and is unafraid to raise his hand and attempt to answer difficult problems. Mr. Snyder mentioned that Reco is often a bit quiet and apprehensive at the beginning of each class.
He noted that Reco excels in small group work, especially when he works with Reco one-on-one on problem sets that Reco is unable to completely grasp on the first try. Mr. Snyder explained that the class moves at a quick pace, and in order for Reco to retain what he learns, he quite often requires a close eye to be kept on his progress as Reco works through his assigned classwork. Ms. W. mentioned that Reco verbally expresses a great deal of pride at being placed in Mr. Snyder’s class and enjoys the time he gets to spend there each day.
Ms. Parent, Reco’s school counselor, reports that she meets with Reco approximately one time a week individually for 30-minutes and 1-2 times a month in an informal lunch group. Ms. Parent states that she continues to work on enabling Reco to advocate for himself and respond appropriately to peers and adults. Think we need to put something about Linkages to Learning in here too. Ms. Fernanda Jaramillo, a behavioral counselor with Applied Behavioral Services, has been working with Ms. W. and the children on managing problem behaviors with the boys.
Ms. Jaramillo reports that she began her work with the family in November 2015. According to Ms. Jaramillo, she sees Reco, his brother Yeshua and Ms. W. on a weekly basis. Think we need to be clear on how often she’s seeing them- and indicate that she wants to see them both individually on a weekly basis…if that’s the case. At the last review hearing in July 2016, it was ordered that Ms. Cavin, the children’s mother, have weekly, supervised visits with the children.
These visits are scheduled to take place on Thursday afternoons. Ms. Cavin is also court ordered to call the Department by 4:30 p. m. the day before the visit to confirm her attendance. During this review period, Lori Weinstein, the new DHHS social worker for Reco, Yeshua and Jadiel Rivers, reported that Ms. Cavin has been inconsistent with confirming and attending her weekly visits with the children. Consequently, the parenting coach, Kerrie LaRosa, who had discontinued her work with Ms. Cavin prior to the last hearing due to noncompliance, has not resumed working with Ms. Cavin.
During this review period, Ms. Cavin did show up in the community on two occasions to see the children. The first incident occurred in September when she came to the boys’ football game. According to Ms. W. , Ms. Cavin was disruptive and following the incident, the boys’ football coach asked that she not come to anymore games. A second incident occurred when Ms. Cavin came to the church the boys attend with Ms. W. Ms. W reported that….??? I’d include in here what she said about this- that she felt uncomfortable with her showing up or with having to supervise the contact- whatever the situation was.
Think this is important to address since Lori said at the meeting they’d request an order controlling conduct and you’re the only one who knew this. According to Ms. Weinstein, Ms. Cavin is currently residing in a shelter and she does not have stable housing, and she is not currently employed. It is my understanding that Ms. Cavin has not complied with the court ordered substance abuse evaluation, and she has not submitted for ransom urinalysis.
During a meeting at the Department on November 14, 2016, with Ms. Weinstein; Ms. Morten-Warren, the social worker for Hezikiah and Elohim Rivers; Cheryl Hess-Hightower, DHHS supervisor, and all of the CASA volunteers, Ms. Weintein indicated that she has reason to believe that Ms. Cavin has not been consistently taking her prescribed psychotropic medications. However, Ms. Weinstein indicated that it was her understanging that Ms. Cavin has been participating in individual therapy, though she was due to check in with Ms. Cavin’s therapist. Mr. Reco Rivers, Sr. , the children’s father, remains incarcerated at the Patuxent______.
According to the last court order, Mr. Rivers is allowed to have monthly visits with all of the children. Reco and his brother, Yeshua, visit together once a month, and their younger siblings visit together once a month on a separate visit. Reco’s visit with his father has occurred consistently once a month during this review period. However, the November visit was cancelled because Mr. Rivers had been hospitalized after telling staff that he swallowed a razor blade. Didn’t Lori say Reco didn’t want to attend this visit anyway?
We should probably include that because he normally wanted to see his dad- do we know why he refused to go? It was reported later that no evidence of this was found when Mr. Rivers was examined. According to Ms. W. , Reco is fine after the visits he has had with his father. Anything more to say here? I attempted to visit with Mr. Rivers at Patuxent _____ on date? , with Holly Buchanan, the CASA volunteer for Jadiel Rivers. Mr. Rivers refused to meet with us after we arrived. However, we were able to meet with Ann Strangman, who is a social worker at Patuxent.
She indicated that Mr. Rivers’ incarceration has been very hard on him. She stated an application has been submitted for Mr. Rivers to the early release center in Montogmery County, but she did know if he was accepted, at that time. Ms. Strangman reported that Mr. Rivers does see a psychiatrist as needed. Ms. Strangman also reported that she does not have a weekly therapy session with Mr. Rivers, and as Mr. Rivers is currently in protective custody, he is not able to participate in weekly group therapy or in other services, such as substance abuse counseling.??
Bronson- I think you told me this. Please make sure it’s accurate! According to Ms. Weinstein, the Department has recently submitted the paperwork needed to initiate an ICPC to explore the children’s paternal grandmother as a potential placement resource for the children. Mr. River’s mother was explored as a resource almost a year ago but was denied primarily because her home was not big enough to accommodate the children living with her. Since then, the Department reports that she has moved several times, which has delayed the second ICPC being completed.
According to Ms. Weinstein, the Department hopes to have the results of the ICPC in the next 60 days. Ms. W. reported that Reco is up to date with his well-child examinations on July 7, 2016, at the office of Medpeds. Ms. W. stated that Reco has been diagnosed with asthma and eczema and has been prescribed Ventolin, Hydrocortisone and Loratadine as needed. Ms. W. states that Reco is currently using a cedar wood soap for his eczema. Is this still current? We said this exactly in the last report and I don’t know if you left this in as an oversight or if it’s still current information.
Ms. W. reported that Reco has his last dental appointment for a checkup scheduled on July 30, 2016, and a subsequent appointment scheduled on August 4, 2016 to have four cavities filled at the Maryland Dental Center. Bronson- I got this info in red from what we reported in the last report. Can you verify that this happened? Assessment: Based on my conversations with the parties interviewed above as well as my personal observations, I believe it is in Reco’s best interests to remain in his current placement with Ms. W. Reco has repeatedly stated to Ms. W. and to me that he is happy living with Ms. W. and would like to remain with her and continue to have access to the recreational and other resources Ms. W. is able to provides him with. Reco continues to express that misses his father. Is this still true? Do we know why he didn’t want to go to the last visit? I believe that the history and circumstances surrounding Reco in particular, point to a need for ongoing individual therapy.
While Reco has made progress, I have personally witnessed Reco express sudden outbursts as describe by Ms. W. and believe it to be a serious issue that needs to be addressed if Reco is to fulfill his potential. Consequently, I would recommend that Ms. Jaramillo continue to work with Ms. W. , Reco and Yeshua on a weekly basis, and that each boy have an individual weekly session with her to work on behavioral issues. I would also recommend that Reco continue to work with Ms. Parent and to receive individual therapy from the therapist from Linkages to Learning at his elementary school