This may seem a bit scrambled - so let me fill in a few details you may have missed.... More than one year ago....difficult child was last discharged from psychiatric hospital suicidal and out of control. We pleaded with them to refer her to Residential Treatment Center (RTC) - but because of new Medicaid funding rules, the psychiatric hospital no longer does Residential Treatment Center (RTC) placements. So after difficult child maxed out her stay, we were told to take her home and do the best we could. Our state has a program to provide funding to get assistance for emotionally disturbed children - so we applied. difficult child qualified for the program....but there was a waiting list. A very looooooooooonnnnngggg waiting list. Meanwhile, we began applying for RTCs that would accept parent referrals. We found and applied to two. difficult child was rejected by both (one felt difficult child needed more security than they could provide, the other felt she didn't need as much security as they provided.) We began working with a psychiatrist who diagnosed difficult child with a personality disorder and began working with our family on strategies basically to survive living with difficult child - since there didn't seem to be any other services available. And that's how we have been living for the better part of a year now - as though we are in some bizarre "hostage crisis". The family walks around on eggshells trying not to set difficult child off. Meanwhile, difficult child is sullen and lazy, refuses to cooperate with medications or therapy or anything else - and always has explosive anger waiting just under the surface to be unleashed at the slightest provocation. Then, a miracle! difficult child's hair-pulling got so bad that she managed to pull out all of her eyelashes...which bothered her enough to ask her psychiatrist if she could go back on medication again. Huzzah! A breakthrough!!! THEN - (o and you all know that the gods have a sense of humor!) we get a call that difficult child is off the waiting list. The state is ready to make services available. But at that moment....the report is that difficult child is taking her medications, she is not failing school, and because we have done our best not to provoke her - she has had no full-blown angry outbursts in the past 90 days. So, maybe she really doesn't need services after all.... O YES SHE DOES!!! I told them. So they agreed to do an intake and see whether there was anything that could be done.... So what happens next? Well now that the state agency is watching (although difficult child doesn't know they are watching) - difficult child stops taking her medications - AGAIN. difficult child didn't come home on the bus the way she was supposed to on Tuesday afternoon....and then finally shows up with a fishy story about missing the bus and not thinking to call and walking home without a coat in freezing weather. And where last I left off - difficult child has been having an on-going conflict with a girl on her bus....and wrote the principal a six-page letter arguing her side of the story. On Wednesday, the state caseworker met with difficult child at school. difficult child told her all about how her parents refuse to pick her up if she misses the bus...all about this horrible fat girl who has been giving her a hard time on the bus....all about how she is a great student with no problems at school....yadda, yadda yadda.... On Thursday, difficult child met with the principal regarding the bus situation. According to difficult child - the principal praised her up one side and down the other about what a wonderful letter she had written and how he was going to take care of everything for her....and life on the bus would now be just grand. Um, what? I know this can't be right, so I figure that I am going to get that call from the school that I have been dreading... Well, we DO hear from the school - but it has nothing to do with the bus. It seems that difficult child is failing math because she is not doing the homework. Hmmm.... On Friday, the caseworker comes out to the house to meet with husband and I. We compare notes about difficult child's stories...and are able to demonstrate to the caseworker that difficult child is lying. Here's the email from the math teacher. Here is her current grades - C, D, F, C, C, B. The caseworker makes notes of all of this. Seems that difficult child is in definite need of services and we will be helped after all. WHOO-HOO!!!!!!!! And then difficult child does not come home - AGAIN. Seems she missed the bus - AGAIN. And didn't think to call - AGAIN. And would have had to walk - AGAIN. But at the last minute found somebody to give her a ride - AGAIN. I, of course, do not believe any of this bull-oney for a minute....but this time, she is pulling this stuff right as the caseworker is doing intake. The timing could not be better.... Do I hear angels?