Need help with residential treatment facilities ... how to get started ...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by burntfingers, Sep 16, 2012.

  1. burntfingers

    burntfingers Guest

    My son is 14, currently being held in a hospital under a baker act. He does not want to come home, and I do not want him to come home. He threatened to kill me, and his younger brother (who is 4) in our sleep. He is currently taking medications as prescribed, attends counseling, and has an IEP in place at school. This episode came about Friday when I got home from work and asked him why he hadn't completed his chores ... flew off the handle and started punching walls/furniture. Took him to the ER and that's when he threatened to kill us - the pediatrician decided to baker act him.

    I wish I could say that this is the first time, but sadly, he's been baker acted at least a dozen times over the last 8 years. He has always threatened to kill me, but this time he involved his brother and that scares me. It is just the three of us at home, he's starting to get bigger than me, and the fear that he once had about me is going away ... I am afraid of him (I try not to show him that) and I'm afraid that one of these days he will follow through with his threats.

    I just attended a family counseling session where he told the counselor that if they sent him home, he will hurt me or his brother, or both. He was sent back to his room and the counselor informed me that she will not let him come home until something is resolved, but she recommended looking into residential treatment facilities. I've been googling since I got home, and sweet baby Jesus! I can't afford this!! It's my income alone, I'm barely making ends meet now and that's with the help of food stamps and my son's disability from SSI. I don't know what to do and a friend suggested that I should look into a foster home for him ... I don't know how that would help ... I would just fear that he was terrorizing some other family, and the guilt of that would be too much for me to take on.

    We live in FL, but I am open to other states if anyone knows of a facility that would work for someone like him and is income-based (or even free). I looked in the sheriff youth ranches, but one of the requirements is that the child cannot be a danger to himself or others, and considering his lengthy background of baker acts, that's probably out of the question. I am desperate!! I feel as though I'm putting my youngest child in danger because I have no option for the oldest - I feel like I'm being torn between my two children and I'm feeling helpless!! I'm so sad!
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Hi burnt... Welcome! I am glad you found us, though intensely sorry you needed to.

    You should be able to contact Children & Family Services for help (though I don't know what they are called in FL). I'm actually shocked that you haven't been referred to them yet with that many Baker Acts. A foot in the door would be through your caseworker for food stamps. Your oldest is a danger, clearly - at the very least to himself. And you're right, you cannot bring him home if he has threatened you and your youngest.

    What medications is he on? And what diagnoses has he been given? What happened to his father? I know that's a bunch of questions, but we're going to get to know you... And your sons. It will also help us give you an idea of a direction... We can't diagnose, of course, but we can brainstorm and point out things you might not know.

    :hugs: It's a long road. More people will be along, and they will all have different viewpoints and think of LOTS of things I have forgotten.
  3. burntfingers

    burntfingers Guest

    Thank you for welcoming me ... I actually found this site when difficult child was six and we were just starting our journey and it was a Godsend back then. This site is what got the ball rolling for our IEP and the help that we received in counseling, etc., etc. It's been a long road, and I wish I had kept a diary at this point because of how long it's been (medications, names of doctors, etc., etc.).

    difficult child is currently taking Zyprexa (5mg 2x per day). He hasn't officially been diagnosed with anything other than ADHD and a general mood disorder, although they believe it to be bipolar disorder given my family history (my brother and grandma both have it). It was just him and me in the beginning, until he was about 4 years old, then I met husband, who I obviously married, and husband adopted him in 2008. husband committed a white-collar crime and was sentenced to 5 years in prison a little over 2 years ago. So - we struggle with that. I am in counseling myself over that one, but we attend family counseling as well, and difficult child has his own individual counseling too.

    I thought we were doing okay, I assumed his anger was just stemming from being a moody teen, he sleeps all the time, eats like a beast, and nothing ever makes him happy - I figured it was a combo of being a teen, adjusting to the changes that we've faced since his dad has been gone, but now I don't know. He's been taking his current medications for about 4 years, maybe it's time for an adjustment there too ... I don't know. All I know is that considering what happened Friday night, I'm terrified of him.
  4. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Hi burnt, and welcome.

    One of the very best resources for Residential Treatment Center (RTC) info/funding I ran into was the social worker at the hospital where my son was a frequent flier. I think DCFS is also a valid resource, but certainly the staff at the hospital should be hooked into Residential Treatment Center (RTC) funding/placement system (or you would think so, anyway).

    It does not sound like a foster family would be a good placement, for exactly the reason you stated.

    I'm so sorry you're going thru this. I know you must be beside yourself, but also remember that placement in an appropriate Residential Treatment Center (RTC) also protects your oldest son. He obviously needs to be in an environment that has trained staff to deal with his behaviors and help *him* learn how to deal with his issues. Not saying that you're not equipped to deal with his challenges - just that very few (if any) families have enough supports in place to be able to deal with violent/dangerous kids 24/7/365, especially when there are sibs involved.

    Gentle hugs to you, and again, welcome.
  5. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Adding my welcome and wondering "sleeps all the time and eats like a beast" makes me wonder if he is secretly into drugs. Many of us have found that thirteen and fourteen are often entry ages. Mostly I just want to wish you luck in your quest for help. Although I have never faced danger with my difficult children I am a lifelong Floridian and I know a very few people have gotten Residential Treatment Center (RTC) placement thru the Courts. on the other hand, I'm glad you are not involved with the Juvie system. Just wanted to send you a caring hug. DDD
  6. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    Hi, I'm in another state, but this is how we got difficult child 1 into an Residential Treatment Center (RTC). We are also poor and on food stamps, ssi, and medicaid. Here there is a county mental health provider and a 'state hospital' (really an Residential Treatment Center (RTC)). difficult child 1 was seeing the medicaid county mental health provider and they referred him to the state hospital. He was put on a waiting list and when his name came up to the top he was admitted. While on the waiting list we had people from county mental health in our home every day. We did have to pay a few hundred a month in child support to the state. Without medicaid paying for it there would have been no way we could've afforded it either.

    If you are on food stamps and get SSI you can probably get medicaid. You can get medicaid and be on other insurance at the same time. The providers just bill the other insurance first and then bill medicaid.

    I hope this information applies to your state as well. I don't know the FL medicaid system.