Q: I am not happy in my current placement and want to move to a SILP, but my county social worker is telling me that I can’t move. Is there anything that I can do?
A: State regulations require that “the decisions regarding continuation of current placements or moves to new placements shall be made in consultation with the NMDs” (ACL 11-77) and therefore you should have an active role in the decision making process. With SILPs in particular, however, there is an expectation that the non-minor dependent will pass a readiness assessment and that the NMD will identify their own housing. You can ask your social worker to conduct a SILP readiness assessment with you to help you to determine if you qualify and to identify areas that you can work on to ensure that you will be successful in a SILP (such as budgeting, money management, understanding tenant responsibilities, etc.). If you don’t qualify at this time, the areas that you need to work on should be incorporated into your Transitional Independent Living Plan. You may also want to talk with a case manager at the Independent Living Services Program about how to go about looking for housing and developing a budget. The “Young Adult’s Guide to Housing” can also provide some valuable tips for finding and securing housing.
If you are unable to come to a mutually agreeable resolution with your social worker, placement disputes can also be addressed through your county’s informal grievance process or you can ask to have the dispute resolved in court by a judge. You can talk with your attorney to find out how to do this.