Court Update: A Mother's Plea for Help

Posted May 22, 2013

An 8-year-old girl who ran away 32 times in 7 months last year is now getting the psychiatric treatment her mother had asked for a year ago.

"This is the stuff she would do because she missed everyone," said Crystal McLane, who doesn't see her daughter much anymore. She knew she had to push away -- in order to someday get closer. "We want to see my sweet little girl back."

Last July -- she called the sheriff after her daughter had run away again.

The insurance company rejected the family's request to authorize 24-hour psychiatric care.

McLane felt the state seemed to blame the parents -- for not being better parents.

Jasmine, who is bi-polar, became a ward of the state as a last gasp for a mom frustrated with the system.

She's now getting help at BoysTown. Since a judge ordered the move, taxpayers are paying for it -- not the insurance company.

"I feel like I lost a year -- and I'm angry with the insurance company."

The average stay for this therapy is 2-5 months. The family believes the wait will be worth it.

"All a parent wants is for their children to feel better -- and to be proud of themselves," said Crystal. "Jasmine will have a very hard life. We hope this will calm things enough at home so that she will trust us to help and we're not the enemies."

Days ago, the mom received a letter from the State of Nebraska who had investigated her for neglect. DHHS concluded the allegation was "unfounded."

Posted July 25, 2012

An 8-year-old girl who ran away again last week and was taken from her family by the State of Nebraska will remain in foster care. A juvenile court judge made that decision on Wednesday following a temporary custody hearing.

The girl's mother, Crystal McLane, was relieved by some of the comments the judge made because she felt he showed more support for her ultimate goal than the state does -- getting mental health care for her daughter.

Last week, the state calls it a case of neglect. The 8-year-old girl had run away 32 times in 7 months. The state said the girl lived in an unsafe home.

The judge ruled that the family visits will continue and can expand. The family is also to begin family therapy as soon as possible.

The girl will get another mental health assessment and if she needs 24-hour psychiatric care -- like the family has requested repeatedly -- the judge said the courts will step in -- even if Magellan, the company that administers medicaid, disagrees.

Crystal McLane: "I have tried numerous and countless things. I do miss - I miss her every night. That’s what I want for my daughter. I want her to have a chance at a life – that’s all a mother wants for her to have a chance at a happy life."

The judge also ordered an updated walk through of the McLane home and for professionals to come up with a safety plan.

The judge did not put a time-frame on his final recommendations.

Posted July 17, 2012

An 8-year-old girl who ran away again last week has been taken away from her family by the State of Nebraska. Child Protective Services showed up at the home Tuesday night with a judge’s order accusing the family of neglect.

The motion from the Department of Health and Human Services is for temporary custody.

The family believes it's retaliation for taking the case to the media five days earlier.

Jasmine's mom, Crystal McLane, is angry and upset. She says case workers are asking the family to start at square one again – ie: putting in alarms, locks on cupboards, sleeping in each other's rooms. The state argues the home is not safe enough.

The family has been asking for 24-hour care in a psychiatric residential treatment facility where doctors could monitor her behavior, adjust the medications and offer family therapy. The family says Jasmine is mentally ill and is currently on medication for her mood and behavior swings.

Jasmine’s mother says she will continue to fight for her daughter and does not want to lose her.

A hearing before a judge is set for July 25.

When asked before about the particulars of this case and the allegations that the state wasn’t offering enough help – a spokeswoman said she could not comment because of privacy laws.

Posted July 12, 2012

The disappearance of an 8-year-old girl on Thursday afternoon ended with the child found safely by a deputy and a mother's plea for help in dealing with her mentally ill daughter.

The girl has runaway from her home near 192nd and L -- 31 times in 7 months.

"If it happens again more than likely they'll rip her away from our home and we will never see her again," said Crystal McLane, who doesn't know where else to turn.

She says she can live through the embarrassment of airing the family problems on television if it gets her oldest help.

Jasmine is eight and is on medication for her dramatic mood swings.

"She has no boundaries," said her mother. "She has no fear of strangers. She has no care in the world about her safety. No care if she harms herself. She has even told us she doesn't want to live anymore."

The girl was gone for three hours -- crossing busy streets -- even being spotted along the way. Later she admitted to being bored as the reason she ran.

A Douglas County Sheriff investigator found the girl here about six blocks from home playing with some other children.

"She's harmed her sisters and we've been working on getting her help for a very, very, very long time...and just had an assessment done which suggested she have 24-hour monitoring care," said her mother.

Crystal McLane blames a system which waits to see if the problem will fix itself.

After another day of worry -- and desperation -- she says it clearly isn't working.

"We can't keep living this way."

Of those 32 runaway incidents, the Douglas County Sheriff has been called nine times.

We're digging deeper and have calls in to some of the agencies the mother has contacted. We'll let you know what we hear in the coming days.

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