NCWLIFE Exclusive | East Wenatchee mother fights to restore state caregiver contract

5688

Cindy Flowers and her two daughters Heather and Heidi are well-known in the Wenatchee Valley. They regularly attend Wenatchee Wild hockey games and are frequently seen volunteering at community and charitable events.

Heidi and Heather are accustomed to facing obstacles. Both girls suffer from a combination of medical and physical disorders including Spina Bifeda that restrict the 37-and 36-year-old women to wheelchairs.

Heidi and Heather’s Mother, Cindy has provided her daughters with a lifetime of love and support. It’s a full time job in which she is compensated by the State as a contract caregiver. The girls’ physical disabilities and medical needs require round-the-clock care. But it’s a shared labor of love.

“I’m a paid in-home parent provider, I have been for 16 years,” Flowers said. She received compensation for 304 hours a month for Heidi’s care, and 141 hours a month for Heather. “It is a full time job, I do get sleep. I don’t get a straight 8-hour but it is a lot of hard work.”

Flowers claims false accusations put the family in a financial nightmare

Cindy says she’s never had any complaints relating to the care she provides her daughters. But last April Heather was diagnosed with a spinal problem that required hospitalization. That was the beginning of a nightmare that continues today.

“To be falsely accused of neglect does take you from hell and back,” Flowers said. “I have felt like I’ve been in prison, and trying to get out of prison for something I never did.”

Heather’s case manager and supervisor filed the claims with Adult Protective Services, Flowers said. After an investigation Flowers said she learned APS substantiated neglect and appealed the claim through the Northwest Justice Project, successfully dismissing the case.

Flowers said because of the claims against her, she had an emotional breakdown that led to her being put on anti-depressants.

“I’m getting stronger, but to have someone falsely accuse you, it destroys you,” she said.

The complaints led to the suspension of Cindy’s contract with the State and halting her monthly stipend. The suspended contract put the family in a financial hole, taking away Flowers’ only source of income.

“I was denied unemployment, we have done without financially since July,” Flowers said, adding that a GoFundMe campaign helped with bills in the Fall. “I’ve missed a house payment for the first time in my adult life this month. I’d like to have my job back.”

How did this happen? NCWLIFE is attempting to find out. Tune in throughout the week for more on this developing story.