Residential Treatment Facility (RTF)..I am torn, I want my son home now..

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by bonx4chaps, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. bonx4chaps

    bonx4chaps New Member

    As a mother, I may not be thinking clearly, so I am hoping for some outside views...I have been through a lot with my 14yr old son (I'm sure i dont even have to explain) and I finally got approval and acceptance for an Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) near Philly, PA. The program was great, I saw an immediate change in my son, and our last meeting on 12/21 was requesting additional 90 days from insurance to start the discharge . His points for the month were 90 out of 100, he was working on community service, he even got hired for a job as a teacher's aide to pay off some of his fines!! well...he privately asks me if I can request a building change for him because alot of kids have been harassing him, hitting him, and one even put him in a headlock until he passed out. He refused to give specific names so they couldnt do much more. he came for a home pass on 12/23 when he told me the night prior two boys came into his bedroom, one held the door locked and the other chocked him and said he was going to get a "hommie" (homicide charge). My son told me there is no way he can go back down there bcase staff saw the other kid leaving his room and he lost his home pass, so he was waiting for my son to come back. I advised my son he had to return, to avoid getting in trouble himself, and that I would go back with him. All holiday he would through out the day say "you dont understand" I cant go back...Well, come time to go back, he walks out to car and disappears. He ended up running away for 4 days until I heard from him. Meantime, he was discharged from Residential Treatment Facility (RTF), and since on probation, ordered a ca pious. I had him turn himself in to our county detention center when he did return, where he is residing until his court hearing end of January. I understood why he initially ran, but he took advantage to hook up with old friends, and has tested positive for weed. Probation wanted him to to return to the same facility, but I fought it because of all that happened, even though the staff was very cooperative with a safety plan, there are too many clicks and it is too intimidating for him to continue with- progress. HERE IS WHERE I NEED HELP: I want him to be released into my custody with MST (mulitsytematic therapy), homeschool provided by the school district for the rest of the year, and i also am willing to hire a friend of family private tutor, he can remain on complete house arrest and elecotronic monitoring/// ***Probation wants him to remain in detention until he is accepted into another Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) program somewhere else. If he is not eligible for Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) then they will refer him for juvenile facility placement. This would mean 1-2 more months in detention (if not more) until they find a facility, then he would be starting over and another 4-6+ months in the actual placement. Am I unreasonale to not see how all this flip flopping can be beneficial? I think he should be home with- his family now. He's done his time- over 5 months now. He didnt graduation due to circumstances beyond his control, although he could have handled it at home better. He mentioned other things happened aside from what he told me. He is a very introverted and untrusting kid; I am lucky he even told me that much. I am so afraid he is going to regress after it took this long to open him up. PLEASE HELP ME THINK CLEARLY!!!
  2. missy44

    missy44 New Member

    I'm sorry I can't offer advice, I haven't been in your shoes. I just wanted to say that I'm so sorry that you're going through this. I can imagine the worry you have for your son.
    I sincerely hope that things turn around. He's only 14 and hopefully he'll find an interest (a productive one) and turn his life around.
    Take care...
  3. Welcome. You will get so much from this board, take what works. When I first read this my initial impression was that it reminded me of my son and the all out manipulation he used to get home from the Residential Treatment Center (RTC). I don't know if thats the case for your son because he accepted the placement at detention. Just a thought.
  4. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    First let me say welcome. You have found a wonderful place to find support.

    I can relate to everything you are going through. My daughter has been through very similar things as your son. She has been in 3 rtcs and Juvie twice, in fact she is in the County Jail right now. I felt the same way you did in the very beginning of all of this. After she was in the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) for a month or two I thought okay time is up I want her home. I argued with the probation officer, I wanted the same thing you do. I lost that argument. Thank God I did. She went awol from her first placement so they put her back in Juvie until they found a second placement, upstate. She ran from there too and ultimately ended up out of state in MA. I used to hear the same thing. Only she would complain about abuse from the staff. I would go up to the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) and raise hell, made a fool out of myself many times. Complained about everything and fought enough to finally get her out. BIGGEST MISTAKE OF MY LIFE. She was not ready to come home. Since she has been home it has been hell. She has gotten into trouble, verbally abused me and my family, had 2 hospitalizations, drugs, theft, got jumped by gang members, stole my debit card, punched me in the face, went missing for a month and now is in Jail. I wish I would have left her in the Residential Treatment Center (RTC)!!!!

    My advice to you would be to leave him in the system as long as you possibly can. I know how much you are hurting right now. I know how you feel, believe me I do. I too thought there would be no benefit to Juvie or to flip flopping around. I was wrong. I can't say that the outcome would have been different had I left my daughter in the system, but now I will never know. Now she is in big girl trouble. Trouble I cannot get her out of. If I could turn back the hands of time I would do things so differently. Hindsight is 20/20 though. Too late for me. You should really think about this. He was just home smoking weed, possibly selling weed, ran away for 4 days, indications that he is not ready to be home. You are hurting right now because you miss him and it is very hard to fight off the guilt trips. You still have time to save him. My daughter will be 18 in a month, I have no time left. Take advantage of his young age and what the system is offering you. You are not punishing him, you are trying to save him from himself.

    Just my opinion. I have been where you are.

    Hang in there and God bless.

    Shawna :)
  5. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    I have to agree with Bran on this one.

    I know your mommy heart is hurting, and for that, I am so very sorry. Where he is not may not be the nicest place for him, but it is the safest. He cannot get into more trouble there, and it is likely that he would do that if he were allowed home.

    Gentle hugs; this ain't easy!
  6. Rotsne

    Rotsne Banned

    If the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) can ensure his safety then there is only one option. Him to return. Unfortunately assults by peers are common in Residential Treatment Center (RTC)'s. Some have even lost their lives. A place in Ephrata-PA had some bad year recently. It is impossible to know if it is correct. The staff cannot be around 24/7 in all places.

    How can they protect him? Can they provide him access to a phone where he can speak freely with you? Can the number of visitations be increased? That is some of the questions you can ask them?

    Then there is the option of returning home.

    Can you handle him at home? That is the real question. Can they provide a GPS tracking device, so he knows that it is not only your curfews he has to respect? If he disobey, the police would know as well.

    Then there the option of another Residential Treatment Center (RTC). It would be sad if he would end serving years for a crime adults would have been released from within months just because he is a kid and have been unable to graduate. What was the original crime and sentence? I saw an article about a boy who was sentenced to 12-18 months when he was 13. Aged 19 he still was locked up.

    I think that the best option would be to increase safety around him and let him serve his time in the original Residential Treatment Center (RTC). Second best option would be at home with external monitoring or even at the local juvie. Sending him to another Residential Treatment Center (RTC) would proberly just increase his sentence too far related to the original crime.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I feel for you. In spite of homeschooling my daughter and keeping a close eye on her, I could not keep her out of trouble. It is amazing how creative our kids can be about getting out of the house and on the streets and, in my daughter's case, back into drugs. If he was put there by the Court, I am not sure you can get him out of there, but if he is being harassed, sure, have him moved. Do you have a say in where he goes? I know there is a wide variety of RTCs with differing results and security? My daughter was never put into an Residential Treatment Center (RTC), but she did not improve until she moved to another state, away from her bad druggie friends. Then she started to change her life.
    I wish I could offer better advice. I don't know how much control you have over what happens. Is he in trouble because of drugs? If so, like my daughter, an ex-drug addict tells me, "NEVER trust a drug addict." They lie. They look into your eyes and lie. They cry and lie. They need help from themselves.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2009
  8. goldenguru

    goldenguru New Member

    Hi chaps - I'm joining in a little late - I don't usually post much here anymore because my kids are no longer teenagers.

    My daughter was in a Residential Treatment Center (RTC) for about 16 months. I will tell you that she told us alot of 'stories' when she first got there. Stories of staff abuse, etc. The bottom line is that she was trying to manipulate us to bring her home. Making the decision to keep her in the facility was the hardest thing I have ever been required to do. And I've had some tough stuff in life.

    I'm not saying that your son wasn't telling you some truths. But, the fact that he ran and went back to drugging behaviors should be a red flag for you. A big red flag.

    I personally would try and use professional services, including residential treatment or the juvenile detention facilities if possible. They are less likely to be 'manipulated' by your son.

    Being home with your son 24/7, homeschooling him, and having that level of responsibility for a kid who may/may not desire to get well is really, really hard on you and on the entire dynamic situation of the family. We tried it - but that's another story for another day.

    I know it is hard to relinquish control of parenting our children. But, there comes a time in some children's lives where average parents lack the knowledge, skills and energy to effectively deal with such huge problems. Do remember that the goal here is to get your son well - not to 'get rid of your son'. In the big picture, these months in a treatment facility will serve him well.

    Bottom line: If I had to do it over again, I would. Was it hard? OMGosh. So, so, so very hard.

    Hugs to your mother's heart.
  9. C.J.

    C.J. New Member

    I successfully argued against an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) placement at a court hearing for N* when she was 16, as I felt it was overkill. A year later, two weeks before she would have been off a year's probation, she ran again. I didn't bother arguing at the next court hearing. She was given 6 mos in Residential Treatment Center (RTC), with the possibility she could be released to me at 90 days if she behaved well. She fought it hard the first 45 days, and saw that I was not coming in to save her. She turned it around for the next 45 days, and was released to me. I am now sorry I let her come home at 90 days. However, I was sick and tired of all the "professionals" who treated me like I was an unnecessary and unneeded part of her life, and I wanted them out of mine.

    If the first Residential Treatment Center (RTC) is not a viable option because of safety and security concerns, inform all the parties who need to know this: his attorney, case worker, doctor, prosecuting attorney, judge, etc. There should be a Plan B, and a Plan C, and so on. Sometimes, our children need more than just us to protect them from themselves.

    Will keep you and your son in my prayers.
  10. recovering doormat

    recovering doormat Lapsed CDer

    I so feel your pain. My son is in an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) outside Allentown, PA, and I was worried sick that he might harm himself earlier this week and that staff would not be attentive enough, but he seems to have settled down now, and I'm hoping he can stay through the entire 45-60 day diagnostic program.

    I also agree that the best scenario now is to have him return to the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) if they can have a better security plan for him, since he has been threatened. If not, they have to find hima safe place. Since your son is involved with weed, like mine is, he is likely to make you crazy if you let him come home now. My son was home. on home arrest, and it made no difference. His dad had to work and son was left home all day with the ankle bracelet. So son would hop on the city bus and go to a friends' house to smoke. If we had reported to his probation officer that he was AWOL, he would have been arrested and taken to detention, which is not what we wanted. HE thought juvie was no big deal, but his father and I were not about to let him find out the hard way that he is wrong.

    If my son had gone to an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) at 13, like all the social workers were telling us, I don't think we'd have gone through al the heartache we have since then. He is 16 next week and running out of time to get help from the school district and juvenile justice system. We can't afford to mess up again this time.

    I'm praying for you and him that you are able to figure out what he needs the most right now. It's so hard when you're in the thick of it.
  11. bonx4chaps

    bonx4chaps New Member

    Thanks for all your advise!!...I have court on Thursday and was planning on going in there like a tiger, demanding my oldest son return home immediately. But my biggest concern is that he is going to make a fool of me!! Today the school called and my younger-13 yr old just tested positive for marijuana . I feel like the worst parent in the world. I feel soo embarrassed. Why do my kids have to be so bad? Why cant I have these wonderful straight a students who are envolved in sports and church and are out having fun laughing at kid things..not out cursing and fighting and smoking and drinking? I am friends with all of his friends parents. I know I have to tell them what I found out , but what is so embarassing is that MY SON is the one corrupting the neighborhood!! I actually have to hide because I know all the other parents talk about me. Who knew raising kids would be THIS HARD? ughh..I have to leave it in God's hands...whatever he decides on Thursday will be best. I miss my son, I hate not being able to raise him in a family environment..but does he even care or does he just want to get out to party with his friends? He has so much potential, why is he wasting it....I just want to shake him and slap him silly (actually CHOKE him lol)...Thanks so much for the support. I hope this posts..I have been having trouble with- this site..God Bless YOU ALL who feel me!!
  12. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I don't want to give any advice because not all the difficult child's are the same. on the other hand, all of us totally understand the shock, the embarrassment, the real need to be in denial when having a troubled teen. Somehow in the world it still seems like it was in the movies....bad kids come from bad homes and they do bad things so we need to keep OUR kids away from the bad kids...etc. :redface: How horrible it is to find out that loving, caring, supportive and sane parents can have clean, gorgeous, polite, achieving kids who are "the bad kids". Believe me I have quite a few gray hairs as I am a senior citizen still doing parenting. It is mindboggling to accept the reality and I am sending you a HUGE hug of understanding. DDD