FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

ABOUT DFS  


What Are The Basic Services You Provide and Where Do You Provide Them?

We provide interventional medical or psychiatric care planning and coaching services for families needing a qualified navigator in the mental healthcare world. Our goal is simply:  practically apply our 25+ year experience as experts in psychiatric recovery to retool or stabilize the life of a loved one with a primary psychiatric or complex disability picture. Over time, we teach parents and families how to be competent caregivers AND manage their own wellness. 

We also perform financial life care planning and special needs trust planning for families and fiduciaries, as well as for a family’s loved one or beneficiary needing ongoing financial case management, bill pay, vendor/payee management, and fiduciary services.  

We are “on the ground” in DC but perform video consults and follow-along services for parents and families nationwide. 


Do You Provide Direct Case Management To a Loved One, or Just Help The Parent/Family Managing That Life?

Due to the potential conflict of interest, we do not provide interventional psychiatric case management and financial oversight concurrently to a family member or beneficiary. If we are asked to provide one, we will help locate a vendor for the other for the client. If we provide the interventional case management and then later asked to provide the financial service, we will replace ourselves as the case management provider with an another qualified vendor. In almost all cases, the family or a trust is our client and we are their qualified surrogates managing the life of a loved one or beneficiary.  Our primary outcomes achieved across all client work is quality of life for that loved one or beneficiary and long term fiscal health for the family or trust managing assets for the long run. All parents want to practice constructive separation from a disabled adult child to ready all parties (psychologically and otherwise) for a future when the parents are gone.


What If The Adult Child with Disability or Beneficiary Is Not Capable or Competent to Choose to Work with You, but They Need Your Help?

We regularly work on behalf of persons who have guardians or conservators. In some cases, a guardian or conservator may be warranted, but legal action has not been formally taken. Here we advise families to follow a "least restrictive" path (i.e. seek direct informed consent or request permission that a power of attorney be named) to legally and ethically guide a person to have their affairs managed, up to the point of pursuing a formal Court action.  For the adult child who has behavioral or psychological challenges to working with us, we utilize rehabilitation counseling ( one of our professional core competencies) to help that individual participate in ways that they can understand or accept. 


How Does DFS Charge For Its Services?

We are fee-for-service. We can restructure service delivery for clients whose support needs become costly or who demonstrate an inability to constructively utilize the services provided.  


My Family Member Can’t Seem to Live on a Budget or Manage Money. What Kind of Change Can You Create That My Family Has Not Been Able to Do?

As counselors and administrators outside of the emotional history that affects families, we find that de-constructing well worn family/money dynamics can help establish boundaries and structure. Our 25+ years of experience brings a different approach and skills to the table which families find refreshing and helpful.


Why Would Someone Use DFS Instead of Their Family For Financial Case Management of a Loved One?

In some cases, the realities of money, dependence, and disability can be contaminants to a parent/child relationship. In these instances, the adult child wants autonomy and the parent wants respite from being both parent and  "banker" for that adult child.  Also, families understand the necessary exercise readying him or her for a future when the parent(s) are gone. This process involves the adult child practicing cooperation and collaboration with a third party professional managing their funds.


I am a Trustee; Can You Help Me?

We work on behalf of trusts as special advisors to trustees who require assistance with managing medical expenses, financial life care planning, and/or preserving quality of daily living for the beneficiary with disability. In essence, you manage the assets and we manage the beneficiary. For trusts, we perform as agents to hire and pay vendors and perform cash management and bill pay for the beneficiary. Lastly, we are active trustees ourselves for a handful of clients currently and named trustees or successors in our clients’ future testimentary planning.


CONFIDENTIAL CONSULTATION

Call (301) 795-3293 or contact us to explore how we can meet your current or long term needs.