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  1. #1
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    VA - Justice for Jenny - Woman with Down syndrome forced to live in group home




    This is a case happening in VIRGINIA. If anyone has anything that could be of help, PLEASE let me know.
    It appears that Dr Phil may be airing Jenny's story... but any other national media contacts would be wonderful.

    PLEASE watch the videos of Jenny before forming ANY opinion.
    Don't just assume she is another person with Down syndrome that isn't capable of making her own decisions.
    She KNOWS what she wants. She is 100% capable of deciding where to live and who to live with.

    Here is one of the videos:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YTQvWaIzoQ


    28 year old Jenny Hatch is a very smart, articulate and confident young lady with Down syndrome.
    (High functioning is the term.)

    She rode her bike to work, worked 20 hours a week (since 2008) and mostly cared for herself.
    Her family kicked her out in January of 2012. She was living with someone else still working.
    Until March 2012 when she was hit by a car while riding her bike to work.
    Requiring surgery and a week long hospital stay.

    Her mother would not care for her after that accident and her employers took her in.
    After a few months of Jenny happily living with them they decided they would make it a more permanent solution.





    In their effort to get the services Jenny was entitled to... it all became a huge mess.
    Jenny has now been forced into a group home, against her will, no work, no church, no contact with her loved ones...
    Jenny was not given the opportunity to speak in court
    and Jenny's MOTHER has been appointed her guardian.
    The same woman who kicked her out and refused to care for her injured daughter.

    Jenny has made it VERY clear to anyone who will listen that she wants to go HOME to live with Jim and Kelly.
    There is NO reason why Jenny should be forced to live in a group home, when she has an actual home to live in.
    There is no reason Jenny should be taken away from those she loves, when she has so many people who love her.




    Justice for Jenny

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Justic...675685?sk=info


    This news station has done a fabulous job of covering Jenny's story... and letting Jenny herself speak.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=jenn...w=1280&bih=707

    https://www.youtube.com/user/wavy/videos?query=jenny


    Jenny needs to go HOME.

    Last edited by MsFacetious; 02-20-2013 at 05:25 PM.

  2. #2
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    Not that I advocate the current situation, but the people she wants to live with should have gotten some sort of legal standing in her life when she was with them.

    In investigating this further, I've seen the mother accused of abandoning Jenny, but I've also seen some information indicating that the mother had back surgery and was unable to care for Jenny during her recuperation.

    I will have to look later, but it seems there are a number of issues (legal) happening here and I feel like there is something else going on here. Jenny isn't coming into money or something, is she?

    She does need a guardian, though--whoever that may end up being. In nothing I've read do I see where she was able to live independently--meaning paying rent and utilities in her own apartment, etc.
    All posts from me are MY OPINION ONLY

  3. #3
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    Maybe the couple can become foster caregivers for adults. My ex husband had a group foster home for years and one woman who is special needs was allowed to stay with them as an adult.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by michmi View Post
    Not that I advocate the current situation, but the people she wants to live with should have gotten some sort of legal standing in her life when she was with them.

    In investigating this further, I've seen the mother accused of abandoning Jenny, but I've also seen some information indicating that the mother had back surgery and was unable to care for Jenny during her recuperation.

    I will have to look later, but it seems there are a number of issues (legal) happening here and I feel like there is something else going on here. Jenny isn't coming into money or something, is she?

    She does need a guardian, though--whoever that may end up being. In nothing I've read do I see where she was able to live independently--meaning paying rent and utilities in her own apartment, etc.
    No.... things are getting mixed up here.

    1. JENNY is the one who had back surgery.

    She was hit by a car riding her bike to work, in March 2012.
    2 months AFTER her parents kicked her out of the house in January 2012.

    When Jenny was going to be discharged her mother refused to take her home. That is when Jim and Kelly took her in.
    Jenny lived with Jim and Kelly until May 2012... and her mother still never wanted her back.

    There is video of Jenny's mother walking out of court. She is perfectly healthy but she STILL doesn't want Jenny.
    She just doesn't want Jenny to live with Jim and Kelly. It makes no sense to prefer a group home setting to a family one.


    2. It was when Jim and Kelly WENT to get legal standing that this all happened.

    They were trying to get Jenny the services she needed, but she had to be homeless to get them.

    That is all explained on the info page of the facebook.

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Justic...675685?sk=info


    3. I do not know if Jenny is coming into any other money.
    However, I am guessing Jenny DOES get Social Security and starting to think that might play a role in this.


    4. Jenny isn't disputing the having a guardian... just WHO it is.

    She'd be fine with Jim and Kelly being her guardians and living there.
    She isn't asking to live alone in an apartment. She simply wants to go back HOME. Back to work, church and friends.

  5. #5
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    Like I said, I don't really have time now to go here and there, I was just stating my opinion.

    I know where she wants to be---but generally people who need guardians are placed temporarily somewhere if necessary while other issues are worked out. Is this not what's happening now or did I misunderstand that? She is placed temporarily in a group home, correct?

    "Temporary" in the court system is far longer than temporary is to you and me, unfortunately.

    Also, just like the children who are placed back with bad parents, the court system does favor the wishes of the biological parent even for an adult child, sorry to say.
    All posts from me are MY OPINION ONLY

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by michmi View Post
    Like I said, I don't really have time now to go here and there, I was just stating my opinion.

    I know where she wants to be---but generally people who need guardians are placed temporarily somewhere if necessary while other issues are worked out. Is this not what's happening now or did I misunderstand that? She is placed temporarily in a group home, correct?

    "Temporary" in the court system is far longer than temporary is to you and me, unfortunately.

    Also, just like the children who are placed back with bad parents, the court system does favor the wishes of the biological parent, sorry to say.
    I'm simply clarifying the things that you mentioned, which were incorrect.
    I GREATLY appreciate you taking ANY time to read Jenny's story!

    It's been since May 2012.
    She was placed "temporarily" there, moved to another group home and now her mother has been given guardianship.

    Instead of doing that, they could have simply given guardianship to Jim and Kelly and this would all be over.

    The only "issue" to work out here is why her mother wants to control where she lives, despite not allowing her to live with her.
    If I kick my child out of the house, I no longer get to dictate who they live with!

    It would be 100% different if Jenny ran away and her mother wanted her back.
    But she doesn't want Jenny back, she just wants Jenny to live in a group home.

    I cannot have my kids taken away/given away and then demand they live in an orphanage instead of a foster home.
    I see this as much the same thing and it isn't supposed to work that way.

  7. #7
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    I would be a little more cautious before assuming that if people who look healthy and walk out of court do not take on the full time care of their disabled family member after surgery they "kicked" the family member out simply because they don't want to bother with it. Things are not always how they seem and there may be things going on in their health, living situation, other responsibilities that make it impossible to assume new responsibilities care for someone who needs a lot of assistance, and sometimes it may be the best, the wisest and the most responsible choice for everybody concerned if the person does not go home but another living situation is found for her. Sometimes it leads to friction between the family members if the person in need of assistance does not fully comprehend the reasons why the family is unable to provide all she needs.

    We deal with this quite frequently on our ward and sometimes have to work pretty hard in persuading the family members to accept more help if they insist on taking on a responsibility that we feel they won't be able to cope with.

    However it may be in this particular case, I hope Jenny eventually ends up in a good living situation in which she feels happy and in control of her own destiny.

  8. #8
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    I also don't understand how she lived with her family all of those years & they now say enough? I don't have time to pick thru stuff to get the answer.

  9. #9
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    Ive' been following Jenny's case somewhat (I live in the area). I haven't heard or seen anything to indicate that her mom isn't physically able to care for her. I wouldn't think as someone who is high functioning that she would need too much daily care. I don't know what it is with this mom. Just from my point of view she just has some reason that she doesn't want her child to be happy. Plain and simple. Even if Jenny does get a social security check I would think that most of it goes to the group home so her mom can't really be benefiting from that can she?

  10. #10
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    Before I would choose for one side over the other, I would need the full story. I have a feeling there is more going on here than is being told.

    We have a group home right here where I live(in the backwards south) . The residents work, attend many social activities, go places, are taken shopping, out to eat, and they also attend church. It's far from a prison. I can't imagine the gvmt would let a group home operate where the residents are just there and aren't allowed to go anywhere or do anything.


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roselvr View Post
    I also don't understand how she lived with her family all of those years & they now say enough? I don't have time to pick thru stuff to get the answer.
    I don't know about Jenny and her family but many people feel that becoming more independent of your parents and eventually moving on from your childhood home is a desirable developmental milestone for developmentally disabled people as well as any other young people.

    Kicking someone out of their home sounds bad but I think parents may sometimes do their adult child a disservice if they don't encourage more independent living within the child's capabilities.

    Group homes may help in that process if they know what they're doing and have the resources.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donjeta View Post
    I don't know about Jenny and her family but many people feel that becoming more independent of your parents and eventually moving on from your childhood home is a desirable developmental milestone for developmentally disabled people as well as any other young people.

    Kicking someone out of their home sounds bad but I think parents may sometimes do their adult child a disservice if they don't encourage more independent living within the child's capabilities.

    Group homes may help in that process if they know what they're doing and have the resources.
    This could very well be what is going on here. The parents might want her to live in the group home setting to encourage her independence, knowing that one day, they will not be able to care for her at home- so they want her independant as possible, now, while they are still here and able. That is just part of their job as parents.

    If she leaves her parents and moves in with another family, this defeats what the parents are trying to do.

    We do not need to judge without knowing the whole story.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donjeta View Post
    I don't know about Jenny and her family but many people feel that becoming more independent of your parents and eventually moving on from your childhood home is a desirable developmental milestone for developmentally disabled people as well as any other young people.

    Kicking someone out of their home sounds bad but I think parents may sometimes do their adult child a disservice if they don't encourage more independent living within the child's capabilities.

    Group homes may help in that process if they know what they're doing and have the resources.
    I honestly don't feel this applies here. What doesn't make sense is that she got hit by a car & had spine surgery; what parent would not take their disabled child back to recover? Something really smells with this story. Why would they allow her to live there all those years then all of a sudden abandon her when she really needed them? The only thing that would make sense is an insurance deductible or co-pay- whatever balance was left from the accident; surgery & hospital stay; especially if she was not getting state services.

    My ex-neighbor fell & broke 4 back ribs; punctured his lung when he was 87. IT was 3 weeks after he lost his lady friend. Things were looking really bad; that he'd require lots of help; would never live alone again then all of a sudden he recovered. His elderly niece (wife & only son were deceased) that he was comfortable with was going to take him; then when they said how bad it would be there was no way she could do it; so I offered. A few days before he was released; when they said he'd be ok; the niece decided he'd be better off with me. I wasn't a stranger as I knew him 10 yrs & his family was comfortable with me; they knew he was in good hands.

    I've also had spine surgery; I can't wrap my head around why her family would not take her in. Who does that?

    Wish I knew what spine surgery she had
    FB page - In March of 2012 she was hit by a car while riding her bicycle. While in the hospital she underwent back surgery which required a stay of more than a week.

  14. #14
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    I am just saying that caring for someone after surgery is not as simple as a matter of wanting to-refusing to, and there are reasons beyond mere orneriness. It might be a case of not being able to, depending on the level of assistance that is needed. There are legitimate physical, financial, social, psychological issues that may mean that some other solution is preferable. It may be financially impossible to afford taking the time off work, there might be back problems that prevent lifting. If a wheel chair is needed during recovery the apartment might not be suitable for one. It might be felt that once the adult child has finally succeeded in moving out moving back with the parents would be a step backwards. Etcetera. I feel uncomfortable inferring that the mother must be an evil person without hearing her side of it.

    I'm certain that if I had surgery my mother would love to help me any way she could but I know for a fact that she would not be able to care for me.

    I don't believe that parents usually earn any money placing their children in group homes.

  15. #15
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    I agree... I simply pointed out the fact that her active mother could easily have allowed her to remain living at home.
    But she kicked Jenny out and then did not object to Jenny living outside the home for a few months, until Jenny herself tried to make it official.

    I agree that sometimes the only option is a group home. However we strive to give our kids other options than that.
    However, what parent would prefer that their child go to a group home... rather than a regular family home?

    I totally understand that for some a group home is the only option.
    Jenny was going to and from work herself, earning money, visiting friends, going to church... she didn't need "a lot" of assistance.
    She HAS a regular family home to go to, where she can continue living semi independently.

    Nobody wants Jenny to go back to her mother. She was living the same way while living with her mother and with Jim and Kelly.
    I WOULD like to know WHY Jenny's mother insists on keeping her away from her life and in a group home.
    Jim and Kelly WERE having Jenny live mostly independently. More than the group homes I've seen.

    I don't see Jim and Kelly's as defeating the progress that was made at all. I almost see it as a one on one aide in a classroom.
    One person to teach Jenny how to cook, clean, take care of herself, etc. Instead of a group setting.

    Regardless... Jenny needs to be permitted to give her own opinion. Then look at the situation from there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Donjeta View Post
    I would be a little more cautious before assuming that if people who look healthy and walk out of court do not take on the full time care of their disabled family member after surgery they "kicked" the family member out simply because they don't want to bother with it. Things are not always how they seem and there may be things going on in their health, living situation, other responsibilities that make it impossible to assume new responsibilities care for someone who needs a lot of assistance, and sometimes it may be the best, the wisest and the most responsible choice for everybody concerned if the person does not go home but another living situation is found for her. Sometimes it leads to friction between the family members if the person in need of assistance does not fully comprehend the reasons why the family is unable to provide all she needs.

    We deal with this quite frequently on our ward and sometimes have to work pretty hard in persuading the family members to accept more help if they insist on taking on a responsibility that we feel they won't be able to cope with.

    However it may be in this particular case, I hope Jenny eventually ends up in a good living situation in which she feels happy and in control of her own destiny.

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