New here and need help with Bipolar child

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by guinnessgirl, Nov 3, 2011.

  1. guinnessgirl

    guinnessgirl New Member

    I have a daughter who is just 16, bipolar, ODD, cognitive disabilities. She has been out of the home since January 2011, when she assaulted me and a sib. Previously, she has stolen, including stealing and totaling our van. She has been in and out of treatment since she was 12, and has been in treatment now since May.

    The court is ordering her home. We would like to have her in a residential or specialized foster care until she is 18 but are being told "family reunification" is of the utmost importance. What are our rights? We are not trying to dump daughter off on the state, but she needs to live in an environment where there is supervision 24/7.

    We live in MI. Any help?
  2. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Welcome GG, Sorry for your struggles. There are many people here in your shoes. I am not (for now) but I know this supportive community will be along soon. I just wanted to say hello and send you supportive hugs as you go through this. I know many options are really out of reach financially for most of us, so I am suspecting therapeutic boarding schools are out of the question??? I am sure others will have more realistic information for you. Keep checking in and you will see, this is a great place to land.
  3. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    Hi and welcome!!

    There are RTCs that you can pay for, but as Step can testify, they are VERY expensive.

    Does she use drugs? Does she have a criminal history?

    Others will be along with much more input, but I wanted to say hello and welcome. I have an 18 year old daughter that has put us through hades just about her entire life...
  4. guinnessgirl

    guinnessgirl New Member

    Thanks for the welcome. The closest Residential Treatment Center (RTC) is $7000 a year :groan:. That ain't happenin'! We are trying desperately to balance her needs with the safety and well-being of our other kids, along with the idea that if she commits another crime (she is currently a ward of the court), we'll be held liable. If nothing else, I think I can use the support here. Thanks so much, and again, if anyone has bright ideas, send 'em my way!
  5. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Well, support you have. I will never understand how a parent can be held responsible with documentation that their child is truly ill and evidence that you have done so much to try to get her help. I hear this over and over and it amazes me. Our systems are so screwed up. Safety of the other kids is a really important point. I have read here (and they can/will surely speak for themselves) of folks who have called cps to explain that there are kids in their home that are in danger from a difficult child and that helps get the difficult child out of the home. Not sure of the risks vs benefits of all of that so I am sure others will share their experiences.

    Do you have docs/therapists who are willing to testify for you if you ever need it? I have asked my docs (all of them) and our in home therapist, if they would be willing to testify to X, Y, Z under certain circumstances.
    What does the school district have to offer for kids who are unsafe/cant be controlled in school....will she even go to school?? Just curious, I am sure you have trudged thru this already.

    :hangin:Hang in there....Buddy
  6. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    $7,000 a year??? That is actually pretty cheap compared to some!!

    Step - are you reading this?? Maybe you could send Onyxx that way!
  7. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    UGH! The juvenile justice system just does not seem to realize that their goals for reunification, and/or letting the parents "handle" it, don't always work.

    Is she on medications for the bipolar? Does she take them?

    I've been up-and-down with my school district (my babygirl... Regardless of who gave birth to her) for several years. Found this place out of sheer desperation when she was 13 - vandalism, emotional/verbal abuse, promiscuity, drug use, theft, lying, violence... husband finally refused to bring her home in June; she went to a runaway shelter for 3 weeks and foster care (privately found since the court wouldn't help us) since. She was the final straw that made the foster mom retire, and at the end of this week she'll be going to juvie till the behavioral Residential Treatment Center (RTC) can get her in early next week.

    All too well I know the fear, the longing for treatment, the feeling that nothing you can do will ever be good enough because you have to sleep sometime. Having another child in the house who has been abused as well.

    No, I know you don't want to "dump" her on the state. We don't either - but we are just not equipped to handle her. And it sounds like you're in the same boat we are, there.

    One of the things we looked at was therapeutic Residential Treatment Center (RTC). The one we could afford (HA! With my parents' help) was around $55K/year - and no openings. The only other possibility we could find would run about $100K/year. Even with help, that's a no can do.

    You said she's been out of the house - where? Court ordered? Can you call CPS and beg? Pride is a nasty thing, and I've had to swallow mine whole. husband pitched a fit to Onyxx's PO... I begged... We got lucky in that we have a decent PO, but it was very close.

  8. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    PS - $7K a YEAR? OMG... We are paying the foster mom $250 a week - almost TWICE that! And without my parents' help - even that wouldn't be accessible!
  9. confuzzled

    confuzzled Member

    have you explored applying for SSI for her? i dont know all the specifics anymore, but being out of the home may change the requirements for a minor and take the family income/resource limits out of the picture. the monthly money may be insignificant, but in some states that qualifies her for medicaid, which might open up some additional placement ideas.

    also, have you contacted your school district to see what their responsibility may be? presumably she should still be receiving some kind of education--its conceivable that the LRE *is* out of district/home placement. i'd personally look around for an advocate and pick their brain on both district responsibility and additional placement ideas.

    since you mention congnitive disabilities, it would be worth seeing if she qualifies for your Division of Developmental Disabilities, and worth a phone call to your local ARC.

    all may be things you've done, things you've tried, or a big old shot in the dark...but i'd suggest that even if you've called umpteen places before, its time to revisit all of them.

    hope that helps some--welcome!
  10. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Have you asked the school about placing her in a residential school through her IEP? If she is also violent at school, that may help.

    (I think she meant $70,000/year -- at only $7K, medicaid would cover that)
  11. guinnessgirl

    guinnessgirl New Member

    DUH: $7k/MONTH!
  12. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Ohhhh. Owwwwwwww.