Opinions needed from those who know difficult child's hx!!!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, May 20, 2011.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I met the new PO today. They are still pushing for me to say if difficult child starts behaving in Department of Juvenile Justice, he can come straight home and PO can order in-home therapy. Nope- at least not today. He actually asked difficult child's hx in a way that made me think he really wanted to know- apparently difficult child's file is no where to be found. So I told hx and he looked shocked that last jurisdiction didn't send difficult child to Residential Treatment Center (RTC) or allow me to send him instead of committing him to Department of Juvenile Justice. I said if they were so right in this approach, then why didn't it work and why is difficult child getting worse. I don't know if he's just saying this to make me think he's making an effort when in reallity, there is no choice, but he said he might be able to put together a case for difficult child to go to Residential Treatment Center (RTC) after his release from Department of Juvenile Justice. He asked me for previous psychiatric evaluations, which I'll have to find then get him copies of.

    So here's the question I have for you- after 2 1/2 years (closer to 3 by the time difficult child is released) in Department of Juvenile Justice and he's been getting worse the entire time and identifying more and more with the rougher, criminal kids (which is exactly what psychiatrists said would happen and why he shouldn't get committed), would it do any good or cause difficult child to have even deeper issues/anger if he finally went to Residential Treatment Center (RTC)- after release from Department of Juvenile Justice?
  2. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Well, I'm not sure about difficult child - but how about you?

    If your only choices are Residential Treatment Center (RTC) or straight home...I think you've GOT to go with Residential Treatment Center (RTC) for your own peace of mind, don't you?

    If you weren't able to get him to follow rules and all two years ago, and difficult child has only gotten worse....what the heck makes them think it will be so much better at home this time?
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Well, here's what has been thrown out as possible things PO can shoot for - although he doesn't make final decision. Group home/halfway house which have waiting lists and get the worst of the worst kids (very big offenses and ususally no family/hope for better life), Residential Treatment Center (RTC), straight home with- intensive in-home therapy (aka more behavior contracts). I'm asking him to look for a transition to another facility/detention/ something where difficult child would gradually be introduced back into homelife. For instance, if he does well in that place for 3 mos, he would get a couple of hours "pass" with me, if that goes well, next month he gets a day pass, if that goes well, then an overnight pass. And in the course of that time, we get family therapy- real therapy, not just writing a behavior contract. He says there aren't any for kids that have already been committed to Department of Juvenile Justice, they only have programs like that for kids on probation while trying to prevent commitment to Department of Juvenile Justice. I think he's correct but I did express how I thought that was stupid- the kids who have been in Department of Juvenile Justice (which are the longer sentences) need that kind of transition a whole lot more. Oh well.
  4. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Residential Treatment Center (RTC) -- each Residential Treatment Center (RTC) targets a different 'type' of kid and there are some that will help him adjust to life on the outside.
  5. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    I think Residential Treatment Center (RTC) - one with a heavy emphasis on transitional life skills if you can find one so that the goal will be difficult child's independence, not his return to live permanently at your home.

    Just my sense of your kid, klmno, but I think he's going to be "angry" regardless of what placement you go for (home/group home/Residential Treatment Center (RTC)). There will be rules that he has to follow, and that's going to tick him off OR he's simply not going to follow them and dig himself yet a deeper hole. I do think some kids do comparatively better in settings where there's not an emotional attachment to housemates. thank you was one of them (I did say "comparatively better", LOL). And to be perfectly honest, it was a relief not to be blamed by him for every one of his bad choices... well, okay, I was still blamed for them ("If you'd just let me live at home, I wouldn't XYZ") but I didn't have to live with- the blame 24/7. My mantra to thank you for the last 2 years of his childhood was "Show me the money" - I don't want to hear about how things *will* be different, I want to see that they *are* different and *then* we can talk about him coming home. Never happened. Who knows if it was for the best for him - probably was because he's developed some ... well, I guess you could call them life skills, but they're about as goofy as they come, but he's not homeless so I guess that's a skill. It was probably for the best for the other kids. It was Hades on earth for husband and I.

    Do you think he's made some changes to his thinking? Do you think he's willing to accept limits now? Do you think he's getting the self-control to get on with creating a life for himself? Or is it going to be more of the same at home with- him? It goes against the grain of motherhood, but you have to think of yourself, too. You have the right to be safe in your own home.
  6. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    How about - Residential Treatment Center (RTC) first (there is a lot of damage to undo) and then some sort of transition program?

  7. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I would push for either an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) or some kind of transitional housing. Bringing him straight back home, I think, would be once again setting him up to fail. He needs help finding the tools he needs to build a life outside of Department of Juvenile Justice, and it doesn't sound like he's gotten too much help in that regard while he's been in.
  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I'm with you slsh- and no, he's worse now not better.

    I'm the one telling them that I am not comfortable with difficult child coming straight home. So right now that's only on the table because they are pushing it (court services unit- aka PO). Still, I have to tread lightly on that issue because they technically (and legally) could take me to court for abandment and even though i might "win" in that no one could fault me under the circumstances, they would turn difficult child over to dss which I definitely do NOT want. So, I'm treading lightly in saying that I can't even envision him coming straight home, no matter what his behavior is in Department of Juvenile Justice. That is what I told this PO today and what I told the last one.

    I think I will strive for the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) but I know it's a long shot. I would have no control whatsoever which one he got, if difficult child gets it at all. But I'm getting some fleeting thoughts about explaining to difficult child that this is what he should have gotten all along so try to hang in there, and that if this whole case was ever to hit bigger legal arenas, it proves something. But mostly- I think most rtcs offer the "gradual" transition home. I really can't see difficult child learning that this is not something to take for granted otherwise.

    on the other hand, I'm still not convinced that there is a real chance for Residential Treatment Center (RTC) and that PO isn't just using that as a means to lead to telling me he tried but this is all there is - he has to come home or go to dss. That ight sound paranoid but these CSU people are the most manipulative lying people I've ever seen.
  9. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911


    I think he needs to go straight from jail to job core or the military. The last time they sent him 'straight' home? It went so fast from bad to worse you didn't even have a chance to blink. THEN? There was a boatload of playing 'lets blame the Mom." and how much fun was that? Out of all the years I've known you I can't say I've ever seen you at your lowest save for then. You were about a banana peel slip from going off the deep end, and who could blame you? I was worried about BOTH of you. He was out of control, pulling kniveson you and over what? I remember. It was nuts. Pure chaos.

    So now? THEY have lost the file, and he's NO BETTER, but gosh oh golly lets send him back home? (insert inaudible curse words here) Lemme see - he's 2 years older, 2 years bigger, 2 years more 'gang' affiliated, stronger, savy, and you are finally at peace - and they want to just send him home without any skills, or game plan? Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm no and not just no - H no. These people need to get a plan in place FOR THIS YOUNG MAN. This has very little to do right now with you. I get it - you are the Mom, but THIS IS ABOUT HIM - having skills to support himself and be on his own in 2 years. Cause he's NOT going to live with you. PERIOD. That ship has sailed and I think everyone should just get used to that. You, him - them. Done. You do what he did to your Mom - and the door kinda shuts - and you need to move on. Know what I mean?? klmno?

    So yeah- I've been here, and you know it's not that I don't love him either. I'll talk to him 24/7 - but he needs to mend a LOT LOT LOT of bridges before he thinks about home sweet home - he needs to be thinking about life skills, job skills graduation - job core, military - what and HOW he's going to support himself. Not - how do I get back home so Mom can support me and buy my cigarettes - it's obvious that coming home and making good on going to school, getting a job blah blah blah wasn't HIS priority - just getting out and 'hanging' appears to be his agenda. Neither of you need THAT.

    You're doing very good now with your VOICE - USE IT kiddo. And use it to make sure that your son - continues to move towards becoming a man. Yup - even at 16 going on 17. Sounds a little harsh to others I'm sure - not their problem - THEY didn't have to live with him and they won't have to live WITH him whenever. YOU WILL. Just like me - and this is where Dude and I parted company as well. He did come back on and off - for a few brief weeks but basically at 16? He was out. Wasn't my choice either - his behavior made HIS choices.

    Hugs to ya - nothing about our kids is ever easy.

    Stand your ground....it's finally peaceful ground - you've earned it.
  10. ML

    ML Guest

    I think the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) would be his best chance at independent living, especially if you found one that teaches life skills. You've tried it the other way and nothing has happened in the past 2.5 years to indicate it would be different this time.

    I also think you have to do what's best for you. You matter in this too.
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oh dear. I am so sorry they're such idiots and are putting this on you.
    Wish I had some advice.
  12. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Sadly home is not an option. There is absolutely no reason to believe that there would be any benefit for him...and absolutely every reason to believe that there would be nothing more than a momentary benefit for you. He wasn't ready before and he absolutely isn't ready now. I'm sorry for that loss.

    Once that is off the table what specific choices are available. The term Residential Treatment Center (RTC) sounds really therapeutic but as any of us who have dealt with the system knows there are
    huge variations in locations, programs, goals, lengths of stay, supervision etc. In our system (at least a few years ago) the placement was solely determined by an "open bed"...first come first serve. There was literally only one program that had the potential to help easy child/difficult child and even though I was "tight as ticks" with his PO she had no way of assuring him the next open bed. It was almost 100% good luck.

    Because of that experience I would arrange another longer meeting with the new PO and bring along a legal pad. Ask him "can you provide me with the names, locations
    and missions of the facilities that might be available for my son?" He, or someone, should be able to provide the list (check the State Department of Juvenile Justice site etc. in case there is good info available before your meeting). That will give you some valuable input. Also on the State site you can sometimes pull up annual inspection reports, population $'s,
    staff ratio #'s, average length of stay etc....plus at least one facility picture.

    I would then explore details on all other options. Boys Town? Job Corps? Halfway
    houses or transitional foster homes. Once you explore those...hit the net again and see what you can find. Some of those programs work directly with Probation or Parole teams so there would be an oversight plan in place.

    Gather all the data you can and I think it will become apparent what option seems best. This is a perfect example of "hope for the best but stay prepared for the worst". He wanted to be in the drivers seat and got his wish. The next year or two will likely tell alot about his future. Meanwhile, you have regained your present and your future...don't let a slide kick in, you've worked too hard to scramble back up.

    PS: Just thought of something else. For some facilities there are parent forums that really give a true picture or close to it of how things operate.
  13. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    I really don't know your situation, however, putting a kid with mental illness in Department of Juvenile Justice (I'm assuming this is your juvenile detension center) does not equal rehabilitation. There isn't any decent therapy and life skills for these kids.
    My daughter is again in Residential Treatment Center (RTC)-she has several months under her belt where she sat at juvie awaiting a bed in Residential Treatment Center (RTC). She got worse and mostly sadder.
    I don't get why you have to tread lightly? I got an advocate from NAMI, consulted a lawyer, and got all the professionals( last Residential Treatment Center (RTC), counselor, psychiatric, etc.) to write letters about treatment and her need to be in a safe and therapeutic setting until her illness(and herself) were under control (if it can be). I was agressive because I love her and I maintain hope. We had tried everything on our own and we were out of resources, we had to to get state help. She is in temporary JJS custody so she can be at Residential Treatment Center (RTC). Luckily the judge listened to all the people. I was assertive and had a pile of papers for the PO and JJS worker. They were on my team once they knew I meant business and I had my daughter's ibest interest at heart-we all went hunting for what would be the right place for her (if anyone can know that). You may have more power than you believe. But you will have to go with the mental illness card to get help.
    I dont know if RTCs help or not when a kid isnt ready to change. I sometimes worry about my daughter being institutionized to the point she can't function in the world. But... bottom line, she would be dead by now the risks she was taking and the gangsters she was hanging out with! If your boy is a risk to you or himself-push like crazy for the Residential Treatment Center (RTC). Do your homework. Call the state mental health place and find out what RTCs your state contracts with and find out about each program. When you find the one you want-inform the PO and JJS worker and go after it. Keep us posted
  14. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    Alphabet lady, I'll never forget your excited posts about getting his room ready for his last homecoming. It felt SO familiar to me, my heart was in my throat as I read each post. I did the same for my son and got kicked in the teeth. He and I could never live under the same roof again. Please consider that your needs come first. He has made his choices.

    Love you much.
  15. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Hey lady. I vote for Residential Treatment Center (RTC) or transitional living situation. You know that wm cannot live here at home because of his dangerous behaviors toward myself & kt. wm, too, hates to be told what to do & rages (tho less frequently) daily. The boy's almost 17.

    Stand your ground ~ you're just getting life back on track for you. difficult child, even tho he's your son, hasn't proven himself stable enough in his current setting to be considered for your home setting. As slsh mentioned, sometimes an emotional attachment makes things worse.
  16. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Wow- you ladies have really given thought out responses. Thank you!

    The process isn't too far along yet though- I know I won't be making the choice of "which" he facility he goes to, no matter what type it is. All I can do is advocate for a particular type. I should point out that it appears to me (no person in CSU is completely honest with a parent) that the only reason they are even considering my input at this point is because the ultimate goal of any agency is to get the kid back in the home. I have told them that there are certain things that have to change and happen before difficult child will be allowed to live with me again, if ever. If I told them flat out that he'd never be allowed to live with me, that would be an automatic "have to go to court" situation.

    This new PO heard my big beef about difficult child getting sommitted to Department of Juvenile Justice instead of getting Residential Treatment Center (RTC) and mentioned he might be able to request that- but that's all he can do, supposedly. But as he explained and this does add up, the only way to build that case and have a chance is to go back into all the psychiatrist/tedoc trial and error, it doesn't work BS. The first thing is to establish that difficult child has a diagnosis in need of treatment. This is where it really gets sticky. Of course the private and state psychiatrists gave difficult child a diagnosis of a mood disorder and/or adjustment disorder. That had been in question if it was truly bipolar or something else. When difficult child was in Department of Juvenile Justice the first time, I asked that Department of Juvenile Justice psychiatrist to evaluate if difficult child really needed to be on MSs and if he thought it was truly bipolar. He weaned difficult child off MSs and difficult child did fine so the bipolar diagnosis was removed. Department of Juvenile Justice in their infinite wisdom concluded that this meant difficult child had no diagnosis.

    To make matters worse, when difficult child re-offended in my care last summer and was put in detention to await trial, the defense attny asked the SW/therapist at detention to give difficult child a MH evaluation. This was stupid but his defense attny never listened to me anyway. The reason it was stupid is because tdocs assigned to detention centers only see the court record, ie, the charges and worst behavior and never really consider anythi9ng else. This is the same therapist who refused to sign the MH order for difficult child to go to Residential Treatment Center (RTC) even tho a state psychiatrist had ordered it BECAUSE the PO at the time told her not to. So difficult child didn't get Residential Treatment Center (RTC). Plus the gal told the judge that the state psychiatrists couldn't even agree on diagnosis. The qquestion was which type of mood disorder, not that there wasn't a diagnosis at all. The therapist in detention who gave the last evaluation- last year- concluded the only problem with difficult child was conduct disorder and the biggest problem "she saw was that he was relating too much to the worst kids in Department of Juvenile Justice and identified with them and would probably always have difficulty living outside a setting like that". Well that wwas exactly why state psychiatrist had said Residential Treatment Center (RTC) would be difficult child's best hope for rehabilitation and that Department of Juvenile Justice could do him in and make him worse. That therapist from detention knew that because she was in on the conference calls of that treatment team.

    Anyway, so she gave difficult child no diagnosis and just labeled him CD. He went into Department of Juvenile Justice processing with that so their MH evaluation just says the same. This PO is saying we'd have to figure out a way to get difficult child evaluation'd by a psychiatrist again. UNLESS the letter from state psychiatrist 2+ years ago is not too old to use. But it probably is since Department of Juvenile Justice and last jurisdiction's detention therapist says difficult child is only CD. So problem #1 is how to get difficult child an evaluation by someone other than a Department of Juvenile Justice psychiatrist who'll most certainly go with these lastest two in the same system without waiting until difficult child is released and in my "authority" when I can take him on my own. Problem #2 is whether or not that evaluation, assuming we ccan get one without difficult child having to live with me first, will say that difficult child needs to be in a Residential Treatment Center (RTC) without difficult child doing something so extreme first that we are right back where we started- if difficult child does something that extreme, he goes back to Department of Juvenile Justice not Residential Treatment Center (RTC). It's a catch 22. That woman probation officer used to have just royally sc**ed difficult child's future. And I know she hated me but there was more to it than that- she tried to order me not to have difficult child evaluation'd by the state expert to begin with. Then she told me she was fighting difficult child going to Residential Treatment Center (RTC) because "if she thought he'd needed it, she would have ordered it".

    \Soooo, Residential Treatment Center (RTC) is more than a long shot. Even if I get this PO to think this thru enough to realize and admit that taking a route that requires difficult child to mess up again will surely land him back in Department of Juvenile Justice, not Residential Treatment Center (RTC), the people higher up than him won't go along with difficult child going straight to Residential Treatment Center (RTC) without some current justification. I have a feeling that would be the people in this Department of Juvenile Justice facility saying difficult child needs it- that they can't rehabilitate him. The only time I've heard of them doing that was when there was extreme Learning Disability (LD) and/ schizophrenia involved and then once when it was a young teen who had raped a young child (apparently he'd been sexually abused as a youngster) or he had sex with an animal or something like that. The Residential Treatment Center (RTC) sent that kid back to Department of Juvenile Justice after about 6 mos.

    What seems to be pulling a lot of weight is that obviously, it can be proven what difficult child did to me if they ever find his file with the details. And that I have told them that I've had more than one MH prof tell me not to let difficult child come back to live with me until some of these issues he has and we have (relational) get worked out. But of course, I don't have that in writing either and can't get it in writing at this point. But what idiot wouldn't conclude that- besides the people in CSU. To add to this- if I'm not careful this could end up with me getting a court order to bring difficult child home upon release, take him to evaluation, get him a psychiatrist, do intensive in-home, etc- which is exactly where we started. See, POs dig for information from the parent only to order the parent to figure out how to get it all done then the parent is noncompliant if they can't make it all work and still keep the kid supervised and work enough to provide everything the kid needs. Round and round we go.

    Think about how much investigation it would take to pull together a case that difficult child was shafted when he was sent to Department of Juvenile Justice instead of Residential Treatment Center (RTC)- not that I'm not confident that it could be proven if someone actually did interview gal, psychiatrist, therapist from deetention, etc, just that it would cost me a lot more money than I have to hire a private attny to do it and the advocacy type attnys won't touch it- I tried. And we don';t have pro bono attnys willing to take the system on around here- there's nothing in it. We live in a state where government agencies/employees can't be held liable for decisions like this and it's too late to appeal- appealing is a waste anyway because you still get a gal who is newly licensed and cares more about fitting in with the other CSU people. So basicly, in order for this to have a good chance- I'd have to be able to afford to pay someone to prove that the previous jurisdiction was wrong and that Department of Juvenile Justice "owed" difficult child a placement in a Residential Treatment Center (RTC). And I can't afford it. I even wrote Dr. Phil once and never got a response. I'll keep saying the same things to PO, but I'm not holding my breath.

    He did admit that POs were starting to see more and more that kids who had been committed as young teens were intentionally keeping themselves in the system and "there's a problem with it". Yeah- well stop blaming the parents in order to justify just ordering them to do more and wake up- the kid needed more than Department of Juvenile Justice to begin with. But instead of sepending their funding on programs that are really needed, they spend it on tons of inexperienced POs and GALs and attnys. How stupid. They could take the same amount of money, hire a few experienced profs for CSU and spend the rest on programs that really do give the kid a chance. But no- then they have no way to "train" the attnys in this state. This is the infinite wisdom of the legislators in this state- you know- the experienced attnys.
    Last edited: May 21, 2011
  17. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I have no doubt that you understand the "goal" of the "the system". Whatever choice is made for his transition, he will on the list of expected recividism. My heart breaks for you. DDD
  18. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    True. Sigh. I was editing my post to spill my soapbox thoughts while you were responding- it hoovers. Thank you for being there- here. !!
  19. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I so truly HATE that PO and GAL that were in charge of your son's journey through the legal system. I think there ought to be a way to hold them accountable because, in my opinion and in the opinion of any reasonable person who remembers all that went on, they did all they possibly could to make sure he didn't trust you, would not obey or respect your authority, and went to Department of Juvenile Justice. I still believe that the laws that mean you cannot sue them for their abuse and neglect of both of you is wrong. Of course all that added to a dollar still won't get you a cup of coffee most places. But it is my opinion.

    I think that Residential Treatment Center (RTC) would be better than home. There is nothing that will make it a good idea for him to come home straight from Department of Juvenile Justice or even within two or three months of getting out of Department of Juvenile Justice. He is going to need to learn a lot of new things, deal with his drug addiction (that mostly developed inside a juvenile jail system!!!) and deal with whatever trauma is the result of whatever he had to do to get those drugs. Cause they don't just give them to each other for nothing. I don't have a clue as to what he did/does for them, but whatever it is I am sure it is something that won't be very helpful in the outside world.

    while he might like the sound of a place that teaches transitional living skills, he is not going to follow the rules anywhere unless he is forced to. That is the result of so much time in Department of Juvenile Justice and of having this because the PO and GAL flat out otld him many times to not listen to you because he didn't have to - he had to listen to THEM and so did you so you couldn't boss him around.

    I also think that coming home to where you now live, seeing how different it is from the home you had, and seeing all that you once had/did but no longer do, will be a constant reminder that you lost everything because he wouldn't stay out of trouble and you had to do so many court ordered things that you couldn't have a job. Because that is what happened, despite all your excellent efforts. Cause you fought long and hard to get better treatment and results but you were blocked at every turn. That reminder will keep him acting out and hurting himself, sort of a self punishment for the way you were hurt, though it is completely NOT a conscious one on his part.

    I have no faith that this PO will follow through. Be very cautious before you start to hope. These people have done a real number on you and do not deserve your trust. Your son has something going on that should result in a diagnosis IF he would cooperate with a good expert evaluation. I have always thought it. But I doubt it would make any difference now. You are just going to have the PO and a lot of others tell you that you should have gotten him into Residential Treatment Center (RTC) before he went to Department of Juvenile Justice, cause once they have served time they are not "eligible". When I was looking for a placement for Wiz I heard from a lot of places that they could take him if he only had a court ordering him to go there, but we didn't. Then we were in court because he was violent and all of a sudden those same places told me that once the court is involved they cannot take them because it is too much risk for the other kids. It is just another way to say no and make it somehow be the parent's fault.

    I'm sorry. Do not let them send him to your home. It won't be good for either of you at this point.
  20. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    That's how I see things, Susie- past and present. I know it sounds too absurd to be true but every way I evaluation it, no matter how much time has passed, this is what I come up with.

    I'm off to visit difficult child now. I'm slammed with stuff to do at home but will try to find time later today to respond to others' posts and catch up with everyone.