Children and Youth Services

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by maril, Jan 4, 2009.

  1. maril

    maril New Member

    Recently, it has been suggested by a close family member (who has worked with at-risk children) to contact Children and Youth Services to help with more crises that are occurring once again with my difficult child. The suggestion was to tell CYS that husband and I no longer feel safe in our home. I have posted a number of times on the different boards about our difficulties.

    We can't get anything going with home-based services (suggested by psychiatrist) until the case manager comes back from vacation next week; also, the police have told us that, basically, at this point, they cannot do anything -- to look for help through a social agency.

    Since Christmas break started, there have been a number of eruptions with difficult child, including threats, throwing things, destroying property, and intimidating physical behavior; all but one of these "eruptions" occurred at home (including an outburst today); the other occurred at a family member's home on New Year's Eve with family members, husband, and I witnessing difficult child's extreme behavior.

    I feel my choices are to: Call the police and be told, once again, they cannnot do anything. Take him to the hospital: I don't think this is the route -- might not be able to justify a 302. Send him to live elsewhere: Don't think anyone we know would be willing or that that could be the answer(difficult child has threatened to commit suicide a number of times and has been hospitalized regarding such attempt one time this past October). Call Children and Youth Services: I would like to know more about this before we contact them. I don't know what the implications would be or if he could be in a "safe and structured environment" where he could be watched constantly.

    Any ideas as to what might occur with CYS would be much appreciated.
  2. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    There is a HUGE variation in policy from one locale to another. I have not had to reach out as a parent. on the other hand, I did spend years as a child advocate and worked primarily with oversight of CYS treatment of children in the system. Sometimes it was a win/win. Truthfully, in other instances
    it was strictly lose/lose.

    CYS and Department of Juvenile Justice and the school systems all have different agendas at different times. Probably the best you could do would be to attempt to "network" with someone who has personal knowledge of the current mindset in your community. Sending a caring hug. DDD
  3. maril

    maril New Member

    Thanks so much, DDD.
  4. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    I am in agreement with DDD, a network meeting would be a good start. The only problem is getting one. In my area you must already be involved with one of the "systems" to get one. What about "Family Ties"? I don't know if you have that agency in your area, but look into it. It is a support system for families of "difficult children", they could help you, they have helped me. As far as Children and Youth Services, I am thinking it is the same as Child Protective Services??? If it is, be careful. It could backfire. I know of a woman who contacted CPS for help with her difficult child and they ended up taking the rest of her children away and putting the blame on her. I happened to be very lucky, when my daughter got arrested years back and we ended up in Family Court I was assigned a CPS worker who was wonderful. Never blamed me and always advocated for me and my difficult child. I guess it's the luck of the draw!!!

    Hang in there and God bless. :)
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I'm in a similar situation as far as trying to get help and our locality works the way Bran & DDD explained. I have called people from each county agency, the state dept of mental health and the coordinator of the agency that handles funding for stuff like this. I got bits and pieces of information from each place, some of it conflicting. But, some of it useful. Then, I called social services to get information. I underlined that because I think it's important to say that to them in the first sentence if you call. And, I wouldn't recommend calling the hotline number. I called the main number and went thru the recordings until I could leave a message for a social worker to call me back to get info.

    One of the most useful things I learned was to file for a waiver to get the kid on medicaid for being disabled right away. This was to get a state waiver, not SSI disability. Although, I will probably be filing for that very soon. Apparently, if the kid is on medicaid, there are all kinds of services available. If the kid is disabled (mental illness), they can get the waiver because they don't count parents' income, whereas if they are not disabled, they count the parents' income.

    To find out more about your locality's process and what is and isn't available, I'd suggest starting with the website for your state's dept of mental health. Or, look at your state's website for dept of social services. It took a lot of digging and following links to find things and phone numbers of coordinators, etc. I''m still working on it.
  6. maril

    maril New Member

    Bran155: I am not familiar with how to go about trying to set up a network meeting but will look into that. Also, I will try and Google "Family Ties."

    I thought about your point that a contact to CYS might possibly backfire on us. I had already discussed this with husband and also told him about an article I just read from a local newspaper (no date given) describing what a nightmare juvenile court is, specifically pertaining to our county.

    Also, I can just imagine difficult child turning this on husband and me; it might end up a huge mess instead of a positive step. All we are trying to do is to reach out for help to get some control and sanity here; we do not want to get rid of our son or hurt him in any way, which I wonder if it potentially might be viewed that way by CYS.

    Thanks very much.
  7. Nancy423

    Nancy423 do I have to be the mom?

    FYI, this is not the case in every state. Mine still counts parents income unless the child would be institutionalized or hospitalized and the parents want to take care of him/her from home. I had a LONG conversation with- several people at the office as well as my advocate who knows the system.
  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    True, Nancy- it depends on the state, the specific waiver being applied for and the specific circumstances of the child/family.
  9. maril

    maril New Member

    Aha...very good. I will look into these. Also, I wish you success with your efforts! It isn't easy, is it?
  10. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    PS- Here, the repetative stays at psychiatric hospital and possibility of being sent to Residential Treatment Center (RTC) are considered "being at risk for hospitalization and/or institionalized". Also, my son is at risk for being sent to state Department of Juvenile Justice dept of correction.

    Here's what I'd recommend if your state has "parental placement" of a child that allows a parent to retain all parental rights and legal custody while voluntarily choosing to place a child outside the home temporarily- I would find out how to pursue that and go for it. Reason being, here at least, they will asemble a team to talk to you about it and try to find a way to keep the child in the home and see if they can offer help (less cost to them that way). If that won't work and you place the child out of the home, it does not go thru the courts like having your child taken away from you would and you can go get your child at any time if you became uncomfortable about the situation (ie- you thought your difficult child was being abused or something). Also, you retain parental rights and must be kept involved in the decision making process. The goal is for the child to come back home if possible. (If therapuetic goals are met)

    The law allowing this was just passed in our state last month, so it's worth finding out your state's laws regarding parental placement first.

    The law and establishment of funding for help to at-risk kids is called "Community Services Act" in our state. I have no idea if thats a commone name for it in other states. You could start by googling "at-risk youth" along with your state's name.

    If you're in Virginia, by any chance, PM me and I can send you specific phone numbers and names of people to talk to.
  11. maril

    maril New Member

    Something that came to mind after I posted the above: When we do get to the point that we will be able to meet with the case manager (will get a chance to speak with him upon his return after Jan. 5), I assume the case manager would have information on what services are available for our family, as far as what is suggested above by other posters?

    This is the gist of what we were told in December by son's psychiatrist: Get in contact with the case manager asap (which I did, we missed each other's calls, then he was off on vacation; also, I chose to copy everything pertinent to what has occurred/what we would be needing home-based services for and sent it along to his attention with a cover letter in December) to get the ball rolling, as it could take six weeks to be approved ( ?? I suppose approved is the correct word here), paperwork, etc., completed to get started with home-based services. In the mean time, the circumstances I described above make it very difficult to wait. I am actually afraid of my son; subjective or not, it is not a good situation.
  12. maril

    maril New Member

    I like the idea about maintaining parental rights and keeping involved; after all, all intentions here are to try and help him, not abandon him. I am in Pa but appreciate your offer! Thanks much, again.
  13. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Oh- I sooo understand. I missed the fact that you already have a case manager. That's who you need to talk to first. Who is the case manager thru- mental health? If so, you are lucky unless you have a really horrible one. Even so, you already have a way in.

    My son doesn't have a CM, but he's on probation so his probation officer acts like a cm. It's a horrible situation because she doesn't get the mental health issue at all. I apparently have to go thru her.
  14. maril

    maril New Member

    Ouch. That could prove to make things difficult. I feel for you.

    The case manager (even though we have yet to get together) was referred to us by difficult child's psychiatrist and who is in the same facility (mental health services clinic). It is not that I don't trust what the CM might be able to provide or that he won't enlighten us -- I am just wary because I attempted to go through the same CM about six months ago and was told more than once that he could do nothing, provide no meetings, give no information without my son's consent; at that time, my son decided not to go to an appointment we had made with the CM, so we dropped the pursuit of his services. It was upsetting, and I wonder if it will be the same story six months later or does the fact that the psychiatrist recommended home-based make any difference as to case manager seeing us/consent of son or not?
  15. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Hmmmm..... I think I'd get psychiatrist's recommendation in a letter from him and take it to cm. It might be a law in your state that kids above a certain age have to consent, I don't know. I'm not sure how much good any service would do if your son isn't on board.

    I'm going to try to get a letter from my difficult child's therapist and have it to give to PO.

    Still, you might pursue disability and medicaid. If he's disabled due to mental illness, I'm not so sure that the consent would still be required. Maybe call your state's office of Protection & Advocacy. They should be able to help answer some of these questions. Also, call someone at the state dept of mental health.

    Your CM should be able to request the community "team", unless there is a consent law in the way.
  16. maril

    maril New Member

    Thanks, again, klmno! :D

    I am looking online as I type and found a site, Disability Rights Network ... hopefully, this will shed some light.

    All things considered, I have no idea why we cannot have some rights as parents here, especially since our home has become a battleground, threats are being made to us, and property is being damaged. I guess if my son says "no," then we just have to accept the fact that he can break the law, miss school frequently, and we will have to stand back and watch him self-destruct? On the other hand, we are told if he continues to miss school, we may be liable for fines, if he destroys property we will have to pick up the tab, etc., etc. Maybe an attorney might be a good idea at this point.
  17. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Oh, I'd say you can have charges filed against him. Unfortunately, that might not lead you to one ounce of more help. But, you'd be contending with the legal system on top of the rest of it.
  18. Rotsne

    Rotsne Banned

    Just be careful about any private option. A solution should be reached in a public one with oversight from the authorities.

    When our oldest was suggested to seek a continuation school, it was a private school where most of the fees were paid for by our county. I did a little more research about who owned it and in fact the owners are on record here in the States for being a cult.

    I guess that they just wanted to sent the problem as far away as possible instead of solving it.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2009
  19. maril

    maril New Member

    Thanks for the advice, Rotsne. I am glad your research tipped you off to help avoid a bad situation.

    I truly hope we can get some help before circumstances become worse.
  20. jal

    jal Member

    Marilynne - We were told we could get extra support services through Department of Children and Families Voluntary Services by difficult child's school sw and from the psychiatric hospital he stayed at. I waited a long time after the advice of the school sw because I did not want to get involved with-DCF. I am glad that I did. They have been wonderful. We filled out an application and were accepted within 3 weeks. We have in home therapy 2 times a week, that is done by a non-profit agency and is paid for by DCF. We have respite services (if we want them) and they will also pay for a 2nd neuropsychologist evaluation if his new school won't. Also, even though we have a private psychiatrist we are getting a 1 1/2 hour free evaluation from the non-prfit agencies staff psychiatrist. We meet with the DCF case manager 1 time a month. We can discontinue services at any time because they are voluntary. They will even fund extra curricular activities for difficult child as long as they are in line with the treatment plan and goals we have recently created. The team that comes in home also attends difficult child's IEP (our choice/not mandatory) so that we are all on the same page. The service lasts from 6-12 months. We are just starting so I cannot say it has made a gigantic difference as of yet, but everyone has been awesome and the people I have met have been wonderful. I do not know where you are located, but see if your Children's Services has a Voluntary program. The team that comes to our home also councels teenagers in home too. Good luck!