Coming Home from Residential Treatment Center (RTC)

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by JJJ, Jan 25, 2009.

  1. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    It looks like Kanga will be discharged from her Residential Treatment Center (RTC) this summer. She has not been violent while there so they want us to try her at home again. She needs significant structure and low demands in order to succeed. I hope we can duplicate that at home.

    For those of you that have reintegrated a child home after Residential Treatment Center (RTC), what do you wish someone would have told you before you brought him/her home? What community services helped the most? the least?

    The Residential Treatment Center (RTC) is saying July 1 but I'm hoping they will keep her until August 15 because I don't think bringing her home in the midst of the unstructured summer is a good idea.

  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    No experience or advice on this- just wanted to send ((HUGS)).
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Sending hugs.

    Hmm. I wish that the facility had actually arranged services for us, rather than saying "See a therapist every week, and a psychiatrist every month." I also wish they had given us some more tools to help when he got so angry. Specific recommendations for the IEP at school - concrete isuggestionsfor accomodations that are needed.

    I also wish that they had a way to help the other kids with their fears. Jessie and thank you each go through periods where they are afraid I will "send them away" lik Wiz. Our therapist has no idea how to help, esp as Wiz was taken away by the Sheriff for hurting me. Then he was at Gma's and Gpa's and she didn't know how to cope - was terribly nervous when over there. thank you had nightmares for months that I would send him away. Nothing we tried helped either child, it has taken time and them seeing that we truly ARE still a family, we just grew to keep Gma and Gpa in the immediate family. At one time I actually ended up telling thank you that we are a family of different addresses because the cats would not ever get along with each other. And that is why we have two houses, but are 1 family. It was the only thing I could think of.
  4. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    I wish they had better prepared me for the possibility that things were not going to be easy. My daughter had a very difficult time acclimating back to civilian life. She had a really difficult time dealing with the lack of structure.

    It is really tough.
  5. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Triple J,

    I really had to have Residential Treatment Center (RTC) stop continually amusing the tweedles. The 2 (3?) times wm was in & the time kt was in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) it was nonstop amusement & keeping difficult children busy. Well, I didn't have the money nor ability nor staffing to structure my home to that level. It just wasn't going to happen. Residential Treatment Center (RTC) was a "playground" in my humble opinion.

    While there was school, therapy & such, there were daily outings. I couldn't compete. So when transition to home was to happen I asked that the tweedles not be included on every single outing. I would pick up one tweedle or the other on outings that were too cool to miss & take them out. It would tick kt or wm off but they had to learn that home life wasn't like that.

    I asked Residential Treatment Center (RTC) to work on self amusement, self calming, safety & self care.

    kt got it ~ wm, not so much.

    Hope this helps somewhat.
  6. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    I'm not sure what the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) could have done to help with the transition--it didn't work for us. She went from a lockdown facility with total control over her environment to home and it just didn't work. She needed all that structure and she missed her therapist there (he was wonderful) and the other girls. I think she was depressed--she really liked it there even though she would complain about it. I think also that they let her out too early, she wasn't really strong enough in her new behaviors and thinking processes to use them at home.

    We had an educational consultant who found the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) for us and he pretty much flat out told us that she needed a stepdown boarding school after the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) but we couldn't afford it.

    On a brighter note, she does use the tools she was given at the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) now so it did seem to have a positive effect, but it was sure delayed!

    Good luck!

  7. Janna

    Janna New Member

    Hi J,

    Dylan just completed an Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) stay this past year. We put him in on Sept 15 of 2007, and he was discharged on May 15 of 2008. It really wasn't much of a benefit for us either, and I'll copycat Linda on the "playground" theory.

    We had our family sessions, of course, and Dylan had his individual therapy sessions. in my opinion, Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) works for a child when the child is willing, ready and able to work. If the child recognizes there are problems, and is hard core into working on those, Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) could probably be a benefit. When you have a child that isn't, it isn't.

    Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) was a very structured environment, as Linda said. Dylan's day was broken up with therapies (riding horses - fun, horticultural therapy - fun, art therapy - fun) where he didn't really *work* on issues, but played. They focused very much on behavioral modification, family issues, where that isn't where the problems were. And, unfortunately, the people with Dylan the most, were not the people that were able to help him. The staff consisted mostly of college kids or young adults with no children, uneducated in true mental disability, and when the real issues arose, they had nowhere to go except to a therapist that handled 18 kids. And, until the issue got to her, Dylan had forgotten what, why and how to handle it.

    My biggest gripe with the Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) was the schooling. They really did nothing in this regard. If Dylan acted up in school they shipped him right back to the residence, not dealing with the true issues at hand. And, when released, they just sent him right back to the same Emotional Support classroom he had faltered in previously, instead of looking at the true issues and trying to find the *best* placement for him. It's turned into more of a nightmare, actually - with the Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) giving him what he wanted (getting out of school, going back to the residence, not having to do the work in class), and within the first 2 weeks of school, he was hauled out.

    They were kind enough to offer Wrap Around services to us, which is pretty much in home therapy with a person to do behavior modification with us. I declined it, because it's just not what we needed. And, actually - Dylan came home with so much anxiety and stress because of going from one very, very structured placement to home, that is was very hard to get him readjusted. He was having every other weekend visits, and toward discharge, more time here, but the transition was just hard. I don't know what would have helped him to make it easier.

    I wish I had more to put in, but I don't. Our experiences with Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) haven't been good ones, and even the 3 B was in, they tended to work so hard on the family component, they weren't willing to see it wasn't a family issue, it was a difficult child issue.

    I think Dylan's biggest issue going in was to learn coping skills. How to deal with anger, frustration, disappointment. Aside from throwing a stress ball at him, they didn't have the time or capacity to work with him as individually as I wanted or hoped they would, and he really got nothing out of it.
  8. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Thanks all. It sounds like my fears are justified. I agree with the Residential Treatment Center (RTC)=Playground theory. That is one of the items I'm putting on my list of things to force Kanga to listen to (can't force her to understand) before she is discharged.

    They allowed her to earn so much money at the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) (around $60/week) that I know she is going to come home expecting to be able to earn the same amount of money here. Sorry, don't have it.

    I REALLY wish they would have spoke to us prior to telling her she's coming home this summer. I'm livid that they made a unilateral decision to send her home. If we had the money, we could send her somewhere else and they would have set her up for a huge shock if instead of bringing her home, we found a step-down program. For an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) that prides themselves on working as partners with the parents, they really dropped the ball.
  9. Janna

    Janna New Member

    It is very unprofessional for them to give a discharge date so early into treatment. JMHO. They did the same with Dylan, and all his did was focus on that, and nothing more.

    I forgot to mention, the Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) *did* mention the step down program to me. It's "theraputic" foster care. Now, I can go into a ramble about that, LOL, but won't. There are very, very good homes, don't get me wrong, but you have to find them. Because, unfortunately, there are not so good ones, too.

    However, the Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) didn't mention this step down/foster care situation until about 45 days prior to discharge. So, maybe they are waiting to see how she does, which, in my opinion again, is awful, because now she probably is focused on "I'm going home on this date". If that would change, it would be nothing more than detrimental to her.
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    JJJ, seems like there is no good time ... people tend to kind go into painic mode when their kids come out, wondering how it will all work.
    I may have to do this some day ... like many people, I doubt I could duplicate the structure needed. But it's good to know that major league structure is needed, so I can work on routine now.
    Just wanted to send support.