Six-month review coming up--what to expect?

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by CAmom, Feb 19, 2007.

  1. CAmom

    CAmom Member

    Hello,

    My son has been in his Residential Treatment Center (RTC) a bit over four months. For some reason, they are preparing for a six-month review before the judge later this month. The only thing I can figure out is that it has been six months since he was taken into custody. He spent one month on home detention and another in Juvenile Hall.

    I've been asked to visit with the PO to sign papers that are part of a "treatment" plan, presumably for the remainder of the time that he will be in this program.

    I'm very uneasy, not knowing what to expect. I know kids are terminated from the program for gross infractions, i.e., running away, fighting, etc. My son has many issues for what I consider fairly minor infractions compared to running away, etc.--using profanity, goofing off in school, and one more serious issue when he and some boys snuck out the window into the backyard to smoke cigarettes. The program coordinator has told me that, although my son is a challenge, behavior-wise, he's "very likable" and he (the PO) has "no plans to terminate him from the program."

    In the last quarterly review, all my son's positives and negatives were noted, including the fact that he was "not yet stable" and "still in the orientation" phase of the seven-to-nine month program, having made "little or no progress." However, in the past three weeks since he was restarted on medication, there has been an improvement of behavior, according to the program coordinator.

    This all sounds very scary to me, and I don't know what to expect when I meet with his PO. I'd appreciate any been there done that's any of you might have to share.
     
  2. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Well..lol..for once I won't be replying with a long rambling response to your question. There was no review process with my
    easy child/difficult child. All the difficult child's in the program were "warned" that if they
    violated the rules their time would be extended. In the Department of Juvenile Justice program, it was just a countdown to the first home visit (about
    six weeks before completion) and then a countdown to "coming home
    for good".

    Truthfully, the total lack of control and input that we had was
    very discombobulating to me. The whole thing was between our kid
    and "the system". It has been that way ever since. When the local Judge told easy child/difficult child that he didn't believe his "brain surgery
    impacted in any way". Yikes!

    I hope someone else has experience that can ease your fears. You
    have come such a long way. I do pray your son is going to be eager to live a healthier life. Hugs. DDD
     
  3. KFld

    KFld New Member

    Not quite sure what to tell you to expect. I just can't believe it's already been 4 months. It seems like just yesterday when you were questioning your actions and the fact that he was sent there in the first place. I still think it's the best thing that could have happened and hopefully the review will be a positive one and he can turn his life around and come home and live a happy healthy normal one soon. let us know!!
     
  4. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    This hearing is. in my humble opinion, just part of the the whole process. The judge will look at reports and determine how much longer is needed in treatment. I, too, think that termination from the current program is unlikely. Programs don't usually like to admit they failed with someone. It doesn't look good to the judges who send kids there...and they are there for one reason...to make money. Please don't take that the wrong way...I'm not saying that the only reason that programs exist is because of the money...but they do get paid for "housing" your son. That's why they exist...to help kids get better. If they don't/can't do their jobs, they wouldn't exist anymore.
     
  5. CAmom

    CAmom Member

    DDD, you're replies aren't rambling, and I always appreciate your input.

    I'm also finding this situation "discombobulating" (is that actually a word?????). For instance, they won't allow any caffeine-containing drinks in the house. My son has no reaction to caffeine and likes 7-Up or Sprite and asks us to bring him one every time. My husband and I don't want to do ANYTHING to break the program rules, and we go through this every time. I understand the caffeine issue, but DARN IT! I SHOULD be able to bring my son a 7-Up or Sprite if I FEEL like it! I know this is very petty, but I find it frustrating--he's MY SON!!

    But, back to important issues, we also hope that he's actually learning something during this time. I do see ONE major change, not particularly because of anything he's said specifically (I NEVER trust that kind of "insight") but, in casual conversation, I hear him FINALLY realizing that his responses and behavior play a part in what privileges he gets and does not get. This is a big change for him. In addition, I see him still pushing the envelope, i.e., asking us to bring him that 7-Up or Sprite anyway, but then actually asking (we could hear his conversation with the staff member in the background) if it was okay. He had originally asked for the drink AND chips. When we arrived at the house with both, he looked at his dad, aghast, and said, "Dad, I only asked about the drink, not the chips--I'm trying not to PUSH it! For him, this is progress...
     
  6. CAmom

    CAmom Member

    Oh, thank you Karen. I also can't believe it's been four months! To tell the truth, it's actually been nice, not having to worry about where he is and what he's doing--knowing he's safe.

    Of course, we miss him, but I think driving away past the street he lives on as we get onto the freeway home every two weeks is the hardest for me. I feel as though every cell in my body is reaching out, wanting to make that turn back onto his street.

    I still believe he's better off where he is at the moment. I've asked myself the hypothetical question many times--what would I say IF (and I understand that, once placement is ordered, it has to be seen through until the program is completed) I was asked whether or not his dad and I would be willing to have him home and supervise the program from home. I hate to say it, but I'm afraid, in my heart, we couldn't say yes. We both believe he really is where he has to be at this point in his life.

    Thanks for your positive thoughts and words...
     
  7. CAmom

    CAmom Member

    Katmom, I certainly didn't take your note the wrong way. I hear you! We all know that "money makes the world go round." This program must be VERY heavily funded--I've seen my son's closet! We basically buy him everything he needs and/or wants, but he always has new shoes, shirts, etc. that they've bought him. I only hope they're doing as much in other areas. As you said, it wouldn't be in their best interest to fail to help my son or any other child, but, as the easy child told us early on, our son is a real "piece of work."
     
  8. SunnyFlorida

    SunnyFlorida Active Member

    Where I work we have a "transition" process that actually starts 6mo prior to the actual transition. There are many areas on our "transition form" to be filled out. Due to the number of people we are dealing with 6mo is sometimes what is needed. The form is then also "updated" just prior to any meeting that is scheduled. This way there is continuous monitoring and up to date information.

    I do not think your difficult child is in any danger of being terminated from the program. There are benchmarks and goals they are trying to achieve. I do think that if after 6mo they are not seeing any improvement, they will work harder to get those benchmarks/goals achieved. If you look at it that it takes xx number of months to change behavior and then actually put that behavior into place - that's what they are looking for.

    by the way, Sprite, 7-up, Root beer don't have caffeine in them. Neither does Diet Rite products. They are just carbonated. There is carbonated fruit waters out there too that have no caffeine.

    I think when I was searching for you long time ago regarding different programs, there was an article that your state revamped their programs completely.

    I too think your difficult child was very lucky to have been given this opportunity to have this intensive counseling and treatment. So many of us wanted that but it was not available to us.

    I'm hopeful that this program will also be assisting you in reunification. By that I mean will the program teach you and husband how to stand firm with your rules and how to implement them fairly?
     
  9. TYLERFAN

    TYLERFAN New Member

    Good Luck at the meeting.
    Just go in there and see what they have to say.
    As far as the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) rules go, follow them by the book. Even bringing a soda can send a difficult child the wrong message....that it is okay to break "some" rules. As you know our kids have trouble differentiating between the world and themselves and what applies to them.......
    When my darling was in Residential Treatment Center (RTC), I would have to appear at these type of meetings. They would report progress and outline the future goals and any concerns from either side.
    Just make sure you have all your info. Listen to what they have to say. Give your input also.

    Many Blessings,
    Melissa
     
  10. KFld

    KFld New Member

    I know most of the program my difficult child was in didn't allow caffine and really tried to limit sugar intake. I guess they don't want all those kids hyped up on caffeine and sugar because they have enough trouble keeping them calm and paying attention :smile:
     
  11. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Melissa makes an important point in her post. Truthfully I did
    not even grasp the concept until after program completion. They
    have discovered that difficult children think in the grey in decision making
    and they try to communicate the concept of black and white. I'm
    not a black and white thinking person myself :redface: but I never thought in the grey about moral choices I made. I always knew that taking a piece of gum was stealing just
    like taking a diamond. It was a "no brainer". The difficult children have
    compromised their values in order to smoke pot, or drink or do
    illegal things with friends. The programs try. I don't think that they succeed usually..but they try. easy child/difficult child, for instance,
    watches bootleg movies and offered to bring me a DVD of a movie
    the same week it came out in theaters! He was shocked when I said I don't want anything stolen in my house. His response,
    seriously, was "Mama I wouldn't bring anything stolen into your
    house. It isn't stolen..it's just a copy." :smile: It's
    a weird world they live in! DDD
     
  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Cant speak to anything else but those 7 up and sprite dont have caffeine. Also walmart sells fruit drinks that are carbonated and no caffeine. Quite good.
     
  13. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: CAmom</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> I've asked myself the hypothetical question many times--what would I say IF (and I understand that, once placement is ordered, it has to be seen through until the program is completed) I was asked whether or not his dad and I would be willing to have him home and supervise the program from home. I hate to say it, but I'm afraid, in my heart, we couldn't say yes. We both believe he really is where he has to be at this point in his life.

    Thanks for your positive thoughts and words... </div></div>

    CAmom, you have come so very far in your journey. I understand how you feel. I love my son and I want him to get well and to do well but when asked if I would take him back into my home I had to say no. It broke my heart because it ment him staying in jail a little longer until they can find a placement for him but I am so afraid he will just go back to the same old same old if allowed back here. I am hoping that once in a group home and plugged into services he will learn to make better choices. -RM
     
  14. SunnyFlorida

    SunnyFlorida Active Member

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: DDD</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> difficult children think in the grey in decision making
    and they try to communicate the concept of black and white.</div></div>

    This is quite profound DDD. I think I'll use that when the time comes.
     
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