Thursday, October 20, 2011

a dilemma... looking for advice

It's been awhile since I've posted... I'd like to say I've been too busy doing something incredibly worthwhile to be spending time on the computer... but the reality is I've been kind of flitting from project to project and haven't had much energy for any of them.

We did have our pumpkin give-away this past week, and gave away probably 25 pumpkins... I still have a few left so if you know me IRL and would like a pumpkin (or another pumpkin!) let me know!

I mostly posting now because I have a dilemma, a situation has come up that I've never had to deal with before...

Here's the background:

M receives SLS (supported living services) through our county CCB (community center board). He's very lucky to get it... because of huge funding issues, when people become eligible for SLS (upon turning 18) they generally go on a VERY long wait list. It is years, decades, before they reach the top of the list and start receiving services. Because of the severity of M's disabilities though, he was moved to the top of the list when he turned 18. SLS doesn't really get us a whole lot, we don't use the day program they'd pay for, for example... we're pretty used to doing things ourselves. It's an important safety net though for M... if something happened to me, SLS is already in place to provide some of the support I would no longer be able to provide.

To keep M's SLS we have to use at least one SLS service each month. M's plan includes hippotherapy, respite, and even a few hours of housecleaning (of the areas M uses) each month. M hasn't been able to do hippotherapy lately because of his hip, and he's been having trouble with the respite provider, so to keep his SLS I've been having a local agency (that works with the CCB) do a cleaning each month.

Honestly, I hate having someone in to clean... but I can't chance losing M's SLS. Once it was gone it could be years before he'd get it back.

So... on Tuesday a girl from RT (the agency that contracts with the CCB to provide this service) came to clean. I told and showed her what I needed done and let her go. R was gone shopping with E (dd#1), and M and I did school up in the classroom while the cleaner worked in the main part of the house. She was in the kitchen dusting up high at one point when I came out, and her big cleaning supply bin was sitting on the kitchen counter under the east window. I went back into the classroom and shortly after she came in and said she was done. She still had 90 minutes left of the time she was contracted to be here, but she insisted that she's "a fast cleaner" and everything was done. So I thanked her and she left.

I came out later and found that some of the things I'd asked her to do, hadn't been done... but I didn't think much of it because the last girl who had cleaned had also "missed" a lot.

The next day (yesterday) I was doing laundry and found some change in the washer... I brought it upstairs and went out to the kitchen to put it in the change jar the kids and I keep on the kitchen counter. It's a cool little thing I got to be a learning tool with the kids (especially R). It's a plastic jar with an electronic slotted lid that keeps track of how much change is in the jar, and each time you put a coin in a readout on the lid tells the value of the coin and the current total for the entire jar. Anyway... I went to put the coin in and the jar was gone.

I asked Joe if he'd moved the jar (something that's hugely unlikely because it's been just the kids and my little project) and he said of course not. It always sat on the kitchen countertop in the corner under the east window... but I looked in the kitchen cabinets, on the frig, IN the frig, anywhere in the kitchen I thought the girl who cleaned might have put it.

It's not here, and nothing else on the counter was moved or put away.

And the only non-family person who has been in the house was the girl who cleaned.

I called the agency who sent her and said the jar was missing and if she put it someplace she needed to let me know where it was. They finally called me back at 9:15 last night and said they hadn't been able to reach her yet but would keep trying. I told them if the jar was not somewhere in my home, if there wasn't a reasonable explanation for where it ended up, I would be calling the police this morning. There wasn't a lot of money in the jar ($60.+) but I'm wondering now, if she took the jar what else she might have taken? (Luckily, we don't have much that worth anything! ;)

Another worry is that a paper I'd received in the mail that day, about M's benefits, was laying on the kitchen table and it had both his social security number and full name on it. Had she written down that information down and taken them too? M's legally an adult now, now much trouble could someone cause misusing his SS#?

On the other hand though... it doesn't make sense. Why steal a jar of change... It's sure to be missed. Why jeopardize your job and your life for a plastic jar of change?

But there is no where else it could be. It sat on the counter because it was just a little too tall to fit anywhere else... And I wouldn't have moved it anywhere without thinking because it had gotten SO heavy, and I got a nasty cut on the back of my hand on Monday and was primarily one-handed for the early part of the week. I couldn't physically have moved it one-handed. I know M and R didn't take it... they don't steal. I know stealing often seems to go with FASD, but neither M and R EVER steal. (If M wants something that's not his, he just asks for it! :) And because of M's need for close supervision, we spend most of our time in the main part of the house... so even if one of them did suddenly try something completely out of character... there just wasn't the opportunity.

We've been gone to town a couple of times this week, but the dogs have been in the house and I can't imagine anyone going past three wildly barking dogs (with Emmaon top of them "smiling" and sneezing), through the house to the kitchen, and taking only a jar of change.

None of this makes sense.

It's almost morning and I'm trying to decide what to do... Call the police? Let it go? (The agency has already said they would repay anything missing) The girl who cleaned was young, probably early 20's and has a young child... If she took it, how much must she need the money? If she took it she must need it more than we do...

Maybe I should skip calling the police and let the only consequence to her be the problems she will have at work... Sixty dollars isn't enough to possibly mess up some one's life for...

But if there are problems later in terms of M's SS#, maybe I need to have the documentation of a police report that his personal information might have been compromised?

Aghhhhh! What to do...

I'd welcome opinions... What would you do?

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