Turning Child Over to State

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Jeppy, Jun 17, 2009.

  1. Jeppy

    Jeppy New Member

    Has anyone turned custody of their child over to the state? My 15 year old difficult child is at times so out of control I am scared of him, but it's a hard step to take. How would you make a decision like that?

    I have a court hearing next week and I am really torn over what to do.
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    That's a pretty major decision and not easily undone. Some states have what is called a parental placement, where you work with social services to have your child live some place else, but you do not give up parental rights and can pull the child out if you change your mind- for example, if you find that the child is being abused or getting worse. You might want to schedule a meeting with social services first and tell them you need relief and help. Or, you can call your local jucenile courts and discuss a need for a Child in Need of Services or Supervision.
  3. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    There's also the option of a partial, temporary placement into foster care... I did that with my Youngest for the sole reason of accessing medicaid funds for Residential Treatment Center (RTC). Not all localities offer that, but it's worth exploration. I agree that you should contact social services to discuss all your options.

    You might also check with an attorney, if you can afford one, or a local agency that advocates for children.

    Hugs to you. I know it's a tough situation to be in.
  4. Jeppy

    Jeppy New Member

    Thank you KLMNO. I already am working with social services and have a child in need of services order but in some respects difficult child is getting worse (though in other areas there is some improvement). It is my understanding that due to funding limitations social services would fight this change, and if approved by they judge they would initially place difficult child in my own home. Only if things continued to deteriorate would they move him to a foster home.

    I'm thinking if they have custody of him this might protect me from lawsuits which people have threatened me with over difficult child's behavior? But I really don't know. I worry that I could lose my home and everything else I have worked so hard for. When he does something it is judged to be deliberate and not covered by homeowner's insurance liability. Has anyone else been sued because of what their difficult child did?
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi. What is happening that makes you feel this is your only option? Is he taking drugs? Is he violent and dangerous?

    I would think an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) is better than foster care. If he's acting out so badly that you can't handle him, it is unlikely a foster family will be able to deal with him either. He will probably end up drifting until he ends up in an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) anyway.
  6. Jeppy

    Jeppy New Member

    To those who mentioned Residential Treatment Center (RTC)'s, he is violent and dangerous at times, no drugs. My insurance only covers Residential Treatment Center (RTC)'s for substance abuse so that's why I haven't looked into that option.
  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I have never been there done that so I can offer no advice. You and your son, however, will be included in my prayers tonight. It must be a terrible position to be in. Hugs. DDD
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    From what I understand of the law...but do make sure by asking a lawyer...you can only be held accountable for your childs actions if you are not attempting to get him help after you become aware of his problems. That is why it is so important to keep records of what help you are providing. He may be held responsible but you would not. (I watch a ton of judge shows...lol)
  9. jcox

    jcox New Member

    We had to do this a little over one year ago for my stepson. It was one of the hardest things we have ever done, but also one of the best for him. We tried other ways of getting him help first, without sucess. Last March we requested voluntary help through DCF, had our intake apt. where they told us they would give us services for him, but then we did not hear back from them. We also got a CHINS on him that month, which also did not do much good.

    Come last May things got worse. Some of his issues were smoking weed, having drugs in our house, being very defiant, trying to physically fight with my husband, being very disrespectful to me, running away, cutting himself, stealing from us and others, and more. In May of last year, actually the Friday of Memorial Day Weekend we called the police on him. He went for a walk with my then 5 y.o son E, one of C's friends, and our puppy. E comes home and says he did not want to go to jail, but C gave him a smoke and he smoked it. We confronted C, he got very mad, and ran away. His friend then showed us his stash of weed in a teddy bear which we had the police get when they came. They found C right down the street from our house, thankfully they responded quickly. They took him to lock up for the weekend because of his CHINS. We had court that next Tuesday scheduled for his CHINS already.

    That weekend hubby and I thought long and hard about what to do. What would be best for our family as a whole? What would be best for Charlie? We decided not to let him come back home because he needed more help then we could give him. That Tuesday we went to court and basically refused to take him home. The judge did not give us any problems and put him in DCF custody. He went into one regular foster home, and four therapeutic foster homes in three months before he went to the psychiatric hospital for not taking his medications and being suicidal. Even the therapeutic foster homes he was in who were specially trained to deal with children with special needs and behavioral issues could not deal with him. From the psychiatric hospital he went to an acute treatment center with a school on campus. While he was in there the clinicians there, C's lawyer, our lawyer, and DCF began talking about an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) placement for him. DCF and our school district did a cost share for his placement. Like the schools they had to prove that he needed that level of care by going from the least restrictive environment and moving his way up which he did quickly.

    Now he is scheduled to come home on the 26th which is this Friday because his Residential Treatment Center (RTC) is closing. We hope that he has learned some skills needed to cope with life better now. He has been out of our home for one year and a month. I know that putting him in DCF care was the best thing we could have done for him and for our whole family.
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    It is really hard to even think about this, isn't it?

    Have you drug tested your difficult child? If you haven't, or if it only tested for a few substances, then I would go and ask the doctor to do the most comprehensive test for drugs. A urine test at a minimum, and maybe a hair test. Make sure he is at the docs before you tell him about the drug test. I would even tell my son it is just routine to check for infection or whatever. Even "a baseline as part of a well check" might work.

    The behaviors can possible be caused by drug or alcohol abuse. So you need to rule them out definitively. If he is using there is very little that can be done until he is clean. It may take a lockdown facility to help.

    You can get info on placements by making a TON of phone calls. Talk to the school resource officer (policeman assigned to the school) and ask if they know of any schools or programs that might help. If he gives you any info, then call those groups.

    If you hit dead ends, then call the pastors/priests at every area church. Explain briefly and ask if they know of any groups taht help kids like our difficult children. You will make a LOT of calls in following up. You will explain things to a TON of people. I filled an entire legal pad with calls to contacts.

    Every place that can't help you should be asked if they know of any groups/schools/placements to help families. Even go and talk to guidance counsellors at any school he went to.

    Also try Lions Club and Rotary club groups. here the Lions club has a facility for boys like difficult children.

    I know how hard this is because I had to have my oldest removed from our house. We had 2 months of uncertainty when he got kicked out of the shelter and then the Deputy wouldn't write up the incident report or let me press charges, the CPS guy said we were doing it right and they wouldn't help either. The judge just left us hanging, in my opinion.

    Blessed is my family because my dad had retired and was qualified to handle Wiz. Now Wiz is a wonderful young man with a very bright future.

    Keep calling, even up to the federal legislators for your area. The squeekier the wheel the more you will benefit.

    If there is physical violence then a domestic violence facility should be able to at least give counselling. If difficult child is abusing a sibling then it would best protect YOU if you report the violence. Or have the doctor report it for you (would get doctor on your side and doctor could substantiate that difficult child was the violent one, not you). If it goes unreported and someone notices a younger child shows signs of abuse you could be in a world of trouble.

    Sorry if I wrote a book. I hope you can find some help and of course that you stick around here.
  11. Jeppy

    Jeppy New Member

    Thanks jcox and susiestar for your stories of having been there. Today is the court date and I am nervous.

    Yesterday we met with a child psychiatrist who confirmed diagnosis of ODD - difficult child has every symptom listed in the book, and when asked by the doctor, "Is this an accurate description of you?" difficult child stated that it is. So no doubt there. He also has some symptoms of pre-schizophrenia but it is too early to tell if that will develop. His father is paranoid schizophrenic and bipolar, so that is something to continue monitoring going forward. Anyways, the psychiatrist said there are no medications for ODD; there are some for anger/impulsivity, but difficult child doesn't want to take anything and I know I cannot force him - I have tried that in the past. And we also discussed how ODD involves choice - he is much more oppositional at home than at school, for instance. It's not that difficult child's brain chemicals are out of whack and he can't control what he does. So court involvement is an appropriate way to go rather than just treating this as a medical issue. So that puts my mind at ease that I am doing the right thing.

    Thank you all so much for listening and responding. There is only one parent support group in my area and it meets during regular business hours when I am work so I can't attend it.
  12. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Sounds like you are on the right track.

    I am amazed though. You have a parents group in your area? WE don't. Not even in either of the large cities that are an hour away!

    I am JEALOUS!!!
  13. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Good luck at court. I don't remember your entire story, sorry, but don't be surprised if they keep him in the home and order MST or some other therapuetic services with probation. Let us know how it goes!
  14. Jeppy

    Jeppy New Member

    Well, after waiting around 5 hours I was told to come back next month. On the CHINS the DCF worker never showed up or submitted reports and on the criminal case the DA's office wasn't ready either - had never contacted the other party to determine what outcome would be acceptable to them. What a wasted day!
  15. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Jeppy -- they are going to drag their feet as long as possible, hoping that either he we turn 18, run away, or you will find services elsewhere.

  16. Standinparent

    Standinparent New Member

    I am facing this very same decision. I stand in for my mother when I'm not in college to help her take care of her son from another marriage. The child is clearly bi-polar, but doctors have never wanted to see him because they don't like diagnosing bi-polar so young. He is now sixteen, and has become a nightmare. I know for a fact that he is drinking and smoking, and that he has been sleeping with several girls, one of which he was trying to get pregnant. He's been very violent in the past, but after threatening him with authorities, he became smarter about how he operates. Now he uses intimidation. Throwing something very hard, but making it hit the wall just next to you. Shoving and pushing, but no fist blows that would leave marks. He's horrible to his twin sister, calling her things that I won't even repeat here, and shoving her around when he's irritated with her. Sometimes she'll just be standing in the kitchen, doing nothing to him, but because she was there cooking first, he comes in and shoves her hard into the stove. He's stolen from all three of us (Mom, sister, and myself) and barges into anyones room and takes what he wants, sometimes right in front of us. Then we take him in to be evaluated, and he is just as pleasant and wonderful as can be. All smiles, all cooperation. He just tells them that we're lying and over-reacting because we're women and too emotional.

    The problem is that he's bad, he makes life miserable. What I've written here doesn't even begin to skim the surface of who he is. But, apparently, he's not quite bad enough. He hasn't commited any serious crimes (yet) hasn't left any recent marks on us, and I'm worried that if we try to take action, he's just going to lie his way out of it. There isn't a single day that goes by without some giant blowout, and all three of us for the most part hide from him now out of fear. Sister stays at school as late as she can and goes straight to her room when she gets home, mom and I hide away in the basement and hope he doesn't barge his way down.

    We are so financially strapped, and struggling as it is, but there has to be something out there that can help us. Mom has finally agreed that if handing him over to the state is possible, that might be the road we have to take now. I'm not so sure if that's even an option though.

    Any help is very appreciated.
  17. katattak

    katattak New Member

    I am in a very similar situation now, and would like to know how you and your family are doing now
  18. ladydeee1123

    ladydeee1123 New Member

    I read this and it seems as if you are living my life. I have custody of a niece and she is the sheer terror and the spawn of Satin all in one she has done all of the above with the exception of the physical abuse. she's a runner.. ran away countless times... the longest this summer for 5 months...in a cruel world such as ours she'd be prey for any offender. She has no regard for her safety or the safety of anyone else. She feels as if in her head she has the right to do and say anything to whom ever she pleases. She's just a horrible teen. I never imagined in a million years this would be my life with her. I find messages that I know she left for me wishing I died in Iraq... Posting on IG that family has called about. Just as recent as last night she ran away. I've looked for her but it seems each time I become less and less concerned and less caring ... That makes me feel horrible as a person and a parent. She's a master manipulator. Lies come so easy to her it's scary. When she ran away we had the most tranquil home ever and that's sad. I have had several hearings with DSS and they always return her... How is this possible. We can't keep her safe. She doesn't want to be there. If we say we won't allow her o return we get charged with neglect... If we bring her back its a horrible prison we are forced to live in. Does anyone have any answers... please help!
  19. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Since this is your first post, it would help you out if you started a separate thread. What you did was add onto the end of a very old and long thread and many people may not look at it here. From what I read, it sounds like perhaps your niece had a VERY chaotic early life, probably started in infancy, and has , due to that, failed to develop boundaries, empathy or any interest in following societies rules...it's called attachment disorder. Attachment disorder is a spectrum, but basically it means the child is incapable of attaching to other people and is in self-preservation mode all the time, thus only cares about himself/herself. These are VERY challenging kids to raise and VERY hard to get help for because it requires long term and very specific therapy. More than this may be going on and it may not be this at all, but sounds like for some reason this child has no caring of others at all.

    Crazy lying is a symptom (they lie even when caught in the act). Being intrigued with fire is a symptom. Cruelty to animals is another. Violence is another. Peeing and pooping inappropriately is another. Drug and alcohol abuse is common. Basically, attachment problems is similar to antisocial personality disorder in adults. They are very engaging and charming to other people then they terrorize those who are close to them, but nobody believes it. Sometimes they make false abuse allegations and their caregivers get into serious trouble.

    Did this child's birthmother drink alcohol and/or do drugs while she was pregnant? THAT can cause brain damage along with the other stuff.

    Sadly, in some states you can not relinquish a child you have guardianship over, although some parents do anyway and risk jail. The best advice I can give you is to try to get her involved in the justice system and hopefully they will send her off to a residential treatment center where she can be watched 24/7. If you have other kids, especially younger ones, and have pets this is almost imperative...to get her out of the house. I believe you when you say she is dangerous. We adopted a very dangerous eleven year old who acted like a little angel to outsiders and even to us, but he killed a few animals and sexually abused our two younger kids. Our two younger kids were so scared of him that they didn't tell us. That was even though we had always told our children to never be afraid to tell us if anyone touched them in the wrong places or the wrong way. They were too afraid of him as he threatened to kill us all if they said a word.

    I am not trying to say that this niece is as horrible as this eleven year old was, but you never know what they have done to younger kids until the threat (the child) is out of the house. Took us months of therapy because our younger kids were able to tell us the full extent of what he did to both animals and to them and other kids. If your niece harms anyone in your family, CALL THE COPS!!! If she picks up a knife and threatens you, CALL THE COPS. If she steals from you, report her. Next time she runs away, CALL THE COPS! You protect nobody, not even her, if you don't get her help and your family relief from her behavior.

    I am so sorry you had to come here, but glad you found us.