17 Year Old Hurting Family

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by sstick0529, Jun 8, 2012.

  1. sstick0529

    sstick0529 New Member

    Hello we are a family of 5. Myself, my husband, my year 6 year old daughter, my 11 year old daughter, his 17 year old son, and our 2 year old daughter. My husband plays Dad to everyone and I play Mom to every one. Neither of our ex's are in the picture. Our 17 year old son has been in and out of our home since he was 13 due to several conflicts with the law. He has breaking and entering, possession of firearms, assaulting a teacher, assaulting a police officer. He has come home for no more than 3 months before violating the law again. He is violent with everyone in the home including his father. He has punched, hit kicked all of us. He has held us in a house at knife point, and even threatned to kill me and the girls. His mother took him from his father at 4 years of age and went to NY. He was found at 13 by DCF and returned to his father. We do not know what he went through and will NOT talk. He has been diagnosed Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), ODD, conduct disorder, and ADD. Please help. They are trying to return him to our home again and we are SCARED. We do not want to do more harm to him, we love him, but we are scared for our other children's safety. We have tried therapy, bu he runs away before the appointments. We don't know what to do, but Department of Juvenile Justice is saying we HAVE to allow him to return. Can and will these kids actually kill or do they just use it to manipulate to get their way?
  2. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Welcome to the board. I'm so glad you found us. :)

    I'd consult a lawyer myself. There has to be an alternative. For one thing, "danger to self or others" is grounds to have one committed to a psychiatric hospital, at the very least short term.

    Is he in any sort of treatment program at this point? You might contact county mental health and see what your options might be.

    Personally, I'd be digging in my heels and not just saying no, but HECK NO! You and the other children have a right to be safe in your own home.

    I don't have personal experience with this issue, but other parents here have, and I'm sure they'll be along to give you some good advice.

    I'm so sorry you're having to go through this. But you've landed in a great place.

  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hey there and welcome to the board.

    Im not sure where you live but I get the feeling you live near NY. I hope you dont live in NY. If so, that makes things much harder for you. One thing you need to think about is how close to 18 is your son. That makes a huge difference. Honestly if your age of majority is 18 in your state and he is fairly close to it, I would simply refuse to let him come home. CPS likes to threaten they will take your other kids but they really dont want to because they are so overbooked as it is and they dont have homes for the foster kids that are already in the system. The last thing they need is kids from good homes.

    I would agree to work with social workers or anyone else they can find to help them find some sort of independent living skills placement so he can learn to function in society because he will never again live with you and he has to have skills to live in the real world.
  4. buddy

    buddy New Member

    yes, they really can kill.....even if they dont mean to...some do mean to. Their conscience is not fully developed (or not at all). Most dont but many hurt like yours and mine. A family in a similar position to you near me (but he is autistic and bipolar) broke his dying mom's arm and the family refused to take him home. (he w as in t he psychiatric hospital) and the county charged them with a bandonment. THey asked f or a voluntary chins petition done and instead it w as m ade out to be t hat t hey had a bandonmed the kid. e ven the DA said after t hat t his w as no t a n a busive f amily but he had to f ight to get the kid home. Sure enough, weeks later he was out and i n Residential Treatment Center (RTC) short t erm again. The county had been asked to help for years and they told the judge t hey were given services. The legal advocate showed the judge the county billing and they had received FIFTEEN minutes of services in the entire year.

    It is ongoing.

    I and many others live in counties that do much better. We receive a large amount of services and I know when I am ready to call it quits (for direct service, I will never call it quits on my son but clearly there may be a time he is too much for me) I know he will be placed. If I had other kids he would not be living here. Not because I dont love him but for safety and the other kids mental health. This other family...was told they had to take the difficult child but that they could lose custody of their little kids if difficult child was unsafe....FIGURE THAT OUT!!??

    Those diagnoses require a very different plan. Sometimes, especially the level of upset you are discussing, means that the child could do better if in a setting where the bonding was not interfering with other things he needs to do (the Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) piece interferes with everything!)....There are people who have functional lives if they dont have to be faced with attaching to and showing empathy for "family"....it is just too much for them.

    What kind of insurance do you have. I'd be working to get him in a hospital and then residential asap. These Department of Juvenile Justice people are going to be liable for what happens. Is he snowing them? Acting all cooperative so they dont realize how d angerous he i s??? some Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) kids do that.

    What things have you guys already done with him??? (therapies, treatments, etc....)....any feasible stone unturned??

    Anyway, really want to welcome you and let you know you are in the right place. Not at all alone!
  5. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    A 17yo is not a little kid who can get away with hurting people when they get mad, same as with Angel if she assaults someone police will come here and at police discretion she is going inpatient or jail. Only exception being mutual squabbles between the 2 sisters, they get into throw downs daily and R provokes Angel.

    Talk to a lawyer about if need to declare him incorrigible, here you file papers with-court which signs husband's parental rights over to the state, adoptive parents absolutely never sign - major legal glitch. The state then decides whether he goes to juvi, Residential Treatment Center (RTC), group home or foster care. Him being 17yo will age out of system soon (if somehow stays out of prison) and if knows where you live and is holding a grudge for you this it could be bad.

    Do you have room for a camping trailer on your property? or a garage that could be converted to a living quarters? He's so close to being an adult would probably go for "his own place" and then you wouldn't need to feel like have to sleep with one eye open. If he does end up staying with you try to never leave him alone with your other children and have some kind of nanny cams recording what happens when you aren't home etc.

    Glad you found us but sorry you needed to, there is a great bunch of parents here who have experienced similar situations and you truly are not alone. Do what ever you feel necessary to keep your family safe there is no judgment here.
  6. sstick0529

    sstick0529 New Member

    Here are a few more details that will help everyone out. We are currently in SC and he is 5 months from his 18th birthday. He has acquired his GED while being in a treatment program. He is in this program for being ruled incorrigable. Te law in this states that if a 17yo is found incourrigable that the parents may refuse to provide him with anything, but Dept Of Juvenile Justice (Department of Juvenile Justice) is stating that due to a court order (where we were not allowed to speak) this says he must reside in our home until probation is completed. He makes the people think the problem is us, and that we treat him unfairly. Yet he refuses to work or doing anything around the house. He says why work, he can just steal what he wants. We have spoken to an attorney and been told they can charge us with contempt of court, but they refuse to do it. We have spoken to DSS department of Social Services and they say if we allow him in our home, they can take the other children under "failure to provide a safe environment" and that if we allow him into the home and other children get hurt they can charge us with neglect. We don't want to hurt this child, but we can NOT handle him, and with his fathers health going down daily due to diabetes I can NOT handle him at all. We love him, but it seems this damage was done when the mother took him from the father without permission, and now no one seems to know how to "un do" what ever was done to him. He blames his father for his life, and his dad looked and did everything he could. Eventually after 5 years of attorneys and private investigators trying to find his son dad ran out of money, but a day never went by that he didn't pray or look online or try something to find him. We don't know what to do, but so many keep telling us we are doing wrong by turning our backs on him and putting him out the family home.
  7. FlowerGarden

    FlowerGarden Active Member

    Welcome to the board. I'd go to another lawyer to get a second opinion, if possible. Some how Department of Juvenile Justice has got to come up with an alternate plan, so your family stays safe. Did DSS have any advice on how to proceed?
  8. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    You're not doing wrong. You're protecting those who cannot protect themselves.

    Again, dig in those heels and flat out refuse. Turn custody over to CPS if necessary. (how can they refuse when they know he's a danger to the other children? )

    Personally? I'd be headed to a good lawyer for an order of protection, which by the way, means he can NOT stay in your home or get within so may yards of any family member that is listed on the order.

    The court can't force you to bring a dangerous person into your home, even if he's still underage. I'd make them come up with other options.

  9. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    I agree completely with what Lisa said.
  10. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I third what Lisa said. You're not horrible if you refuse to let him stomp all over you and husband and the other kids.

    You may not be able to undo what was done. But if you cave in, he will not get help - and he will not leave at 18. Let them threaten abandonment, etc. - he is WAY too close to 18 for them to be able to follow through. Especially if you have it documented that you have told them he is a danger to the others.

    :hugs: I'm in a similar situation, not as dire, but we're trying to find alternatives too...
  11. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I agree! Good points. He is so close to 18 and they just dont want the cost. I'd risk fighting for why I wouldn't let him home over the fight to get my other kids back if CPS takes them and charges you.....

    What a choice!

    You are doing the right thing.
  12. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Sending supportive thoughts and hugs your way. I believe that it may be in your best interests to write a nutshell account of recent years. For example "continuously attempted to locate difficult child from x year to y year utilizing all financial assets and potential assistance leads". Documentation available. Interventions sought x year to z year (school, social workers, psychologist, psychiatrist, etc.). Documentation available. Department of Juvenile Justice actively involved beginning in year b. Documentation available. DSS actively involved beginning in year c. Documentation available.

    Son currently residing at Department of Juvenile Justice facility and release is anticipated on such and such date. Due to the format of the Department of Juvenile Justice hearing it was put in writing that Son would return to family home following release. Based on his past history, the evaluations of multiple professionals and the mandate of DSS his return to our home would endanger our family and result in the removal of all siblings disrupting their sense of safety, ongoing interaction with family, friends and school mates. We, Sue and John Johns, are the parents of x(age), y(age) z (age) as well as difficult child age 17 soon to be 18. We respectfully seek the assistance of the Court to assure that all our children can feel secure about their future.

    I'm not sure how the Court system is set up. Sadly I do know that many Department of Juvenile Justice systems are set up with many problems. My thought is that keeping it as simple and unemotional as possible "may" allow an authority figure to use common sense and get this shadow away from your family. I'm so sorry that it is so complex. Hugs DDD
  13. mrsammler

    mrsammler Guest

    There isn't a court in the US that can physically make you take in a violent, amoral, heartless 17-yr-old who has demonstrated repeatedly that he will be violent toward family members in your home and who can not be controlled by anyone in the family (i.e., Dad can't overpower & manage him). A court can threaten whatever it likes, but no judge will actually impose such penalties on a family powerless to control a violent teenager. Just refuse to take him in and tell the authorities your situation and that your position is non-negotiable, and that you will explain it again in court, if necessary. You have younger children and yourselves and your property to protect.

    My sister was in exactly the same situation 3 years ago and she asked me to come live with her until her difficult child son turned 18. That solution worked, but not without me being attacked repeatedly throughout the 14 months I was there--basically, the target of his violence switched from his mother and brother and their property to me, and I was able to withstand and repel it. Still, the other option was always there: she could declare him an uncontrollable minor and let him be placed in a state juvenile facility. I would suggest that you look into doing that yourselves. But I would NOT let that difficult child back into my home again. And yes, kids like this do sometimes kill--it's in the news all the time. Take care of yourselves and your other children--a kid like this is not to be trifled with, nor endured in the house.
  14. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Well, there is a family just north of my county who has a teen who I would not describe as heartless, he has Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and bipolar, so needs intensive support....mom is ill/dying they have little kids and this kid broke mom's arm. They refused to allow him home from the psychiatric hospital and CPS charged them with abandonment....ALSO said they would be in trouble and have the little ones taken away if their teen was unsafe....the disability law people were livid. They refused and went to court. They had to take him home. County said they were getting services but only 15 minutes the entire year had been billed so they lied. Advocates are trying to help but it obviously can happen, I hope it is rare but other parents have posted that they were being bullied to take difficult child's home too....

    I'll never understand.
  15. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I live in NC and I do understand the mess that they are trying to pull but they do have homes for boys such as this that are refused to be allowed to go home. Two are near MB. Not a bad place to be sent in my opinion. The courts do like to tell the parents that they have to keep kids in the home while a kid is on probation but that isnt always the case. The kid can go into foster care or into another placement. Once he is 18, all bets are off. Actually in SC, once a kid is 17, if they leave the house you dont have to let them back in. Here in NC, at 16 they are considered an adult for any criminal acts and would go to jail instead of juvie.
  16. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    I agree with what others have said.... and really at this point you have to protect the younger kids. I would listen to DSS and ask them to help you with Department of Juvenile Justice.... maybe they can write a letter for you saying that bringing home the older son puts the other kids at a serious safety risk. The state wants you to bring him home because they don't want to pay for some kind of placement... systems often don't want to work together but in this case you have two state systems that are telling you opposite things... so try to get those two systems to talk to each other.

    I feel bad for your son and for you and your husband as this is a very very painful position to be in.... but really I think your priority has to be your younger children and their safety. The 17 year old is already a mess.... and being placed in foster care or dealing with more violence will be traumatic for the younger kids and could mess them up too. So do what you can to protect them.

  17. peg2

    peg2 Member

    i agree, you DO NOT!!!! have to have a child with you if you are afraid of him, danger to self and others. I went through youth and family services and they threatened to take me to court if I would not pick my son up from the psy. hospital. I said go ahead, I need a Judge to back me up. I didn't pick him up and when my insurance ran out medicaid paid the bill until he was placed. Now, he is over 18 and 2 years ago I had to get a restraining order against him for verbal abuse. They will bully you, but bully back. I did, I said, I'm not picking my child up, you deal with me then. Don't take him back, your family deserves to be safe. I went through the same thing, and bullied back. Now, myson screwed himself because he is not allowed near me, but me and his brothers continue to look for adult programs(not so easythough). We don't give up but we don't get abused either.
    Good luck.