There have been a couple of disturbing threads over the last week regarding inappropriate sexual behavior between siblings.
It's a terrifying reality to the parents who brought this problem to CD.com. And there were many many responses & suggestions for these distraught parents. Unfortunately, many of those replies & ideas were panicked in nature as well as pushing for an immediate intervention for that GFG.
As dh & I have lived this I'd like to offer some education for the parents here who haven't lived this. Haven't experienced the shock, fear & loss of what to do for that child.
Many suggested calling CPS immediately; I agree with that – it's a good thing to report this type of behavior; to have it documented. In the same right, do not expect CPS to come out to the home & pull that child for the safety of the rest of the family. It's not going to happen – it would happen if it were adult on child abuse going on. Not child on child.
CPS will document, they will even offer suggestions, however it's not likely they will jump into action. If the child is 12 years or older you will see more concern, more action on CPS's part because of the onset of puberty & the hormone thing.
The next route would be county mental health & starting the same reporting & documentation with them. You may be assigned a mental health case manager & the CM may get the ball rolling. Again if the offender is 12 years or older you will see more action & options.
In the meantime, as a parent, you go hoarse repeating yourself time & again; asking, begging for help for your child, knowing that this is above your head. Inside, as a mother you fear for your other children's safety & you fear for your GFG. You are torn. You feel you can do it all & it isn't physically possible.
The reality is that the professionals do not want to believe this in our children. Especially children under 12 years of age. If they do believe it, they most likely will not want to take on the case because of the difficulty of finding help for these children. It's easier to try to find support for the home & the family then it is to find intervention & treatment.
The other “roadblock” is that there are few programs, fewer beds & far fewer therapeutic foster homes that will offer a bed to a child with a hx of sexual aggression/offending.
If you think about it, it's difficult to find treatment for adult sexual offenders. Adult sexual offender treatment isn't set in stone, there is no real plan or criteria for the treatment of these offenders; very little support after treatment is “finished” & the prognosis is abysmal at best. Treatment for adults is generally in the prison setting & these prisoners can refuse treatment. Once the adult offender is released it's even more difficult to find a place for that person to live.
Now think about our children.
Think about our children who are “caught” up in this behavior (for whatever reason) – how little there is out there for them. In my state, my son cannot be assessed for the possibility of this problem at the one clinic I located until he is 15. In my mind, that's far too late.
The only way we rec'd help was to jump through the offers of in home help. Utilize every service that was thrown our way. Prove to every professional that we were keeping our children safe, document any & all incidents & report them to everyone involved & push our concern over the safety of our daughter, our entire family as an entity.
In home we changed our doors to solid doors, put locks on the outside of his door, installed video cameras in all the rooms with monitors in the kitchen, dh's office, on my desk & in our bedroom. Along with all that we utilized PCA's; one for kt, one for wm. wm's behaviors were redirected on a continual basis.
wm started truly receiving help when he became physically aggressive with the entire family & then self harming. Crisis team was called & I transported wm to the ER. He was admitted in 7 short hours to the children's psych ward based on his physical aggression toward his family & on his self harming behaviors. Our mental health case manager met us at the ER to help speed things along. wm's PCA rode along in the car to keep the ride to the ER safe.
It took almost 3 years to finally get in patient intervention for wm. However, during that time I was reminding everyone as to wm's unsafe behaviors & documenting everything along the way – I walked into that ER with a 3 inch binder of every report, incident, evaluation. It included his bio home history, mental/emotional history, social history, school history, services & how those services played out & documentation of every incident.
The sexual aggression & behaviors were finally addressed “seriously” once wm was in the hospital. It took 7 weeks of hospitalization to “stablize” wm enough to be transferred to an RTC. Note I say “seriously” - that is because there is little known treatment for these children. Given these children have been evaluated to heck &back & sexual aggression & predating needs to be addressed the next question is how? What treatment plan is used? So at that time it was hit & miss treatment.
With 3 hospitalizations & 2 very long RTC placements & now therapeutic group home at the age of 13, wm's sexual aggression is seriously being addressed. NOW. And the professionals (at least at the quarterly staffing this past Tuesday) are still not sure how to address it.
All in all it's a frustrating & scary time. I both love & fear my son. Since the age of 6 wm has been sexually abusive/aggressive. I fear him; I fear him for kt & do my darndest to keep her safe. Even if that means my twins will once again have their birthdays apart. Once again have no contact for the next 6 months. If that is what it takes.
And it took me 5 years of begging, documenting, arguing & beating my head against a wall that just wouldn't move.
Now we live as a family of different addresses. Because of wm's lack of impulse control & his blatant sexual behaviors I doubt he will ever live here again. It's for the best for all of us. wm feels cheated; that's something I cannot help or change. kt misses & fears her twin; again that's something I can't change. She will have to work on that with her tdocs & I will support the treatment plan.
I hope this makes sense & doesn't ramble to much. I hope this helps some of you parents understand that there isn't going to be an immediate response or supports for families. It's not the way the system works. These families that come here need our support & understanding & not to feel judged b/c they cannot get the help that is so urgently needed but not available.