DHS wants to send my difficult child away

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by OpenWindow, Aug 11, 2008.

  1. OpenWindow

    OpenWindow Active Member

    Our newly assigned DHS caseworker called today. The investigation (difficult child touching his little sister inappropriately - an isolated incident as far as we can tell) is over and the caseworker told me she's going to recommend that they send difficult child to a program for 6-9 months.

    I'm in shock. difficult child's counselor agreed with me that sending him off to a program would not help him, and he wouldn't handle it well at all. No one's talked to the counselor (she was the mandatory reporter), not any of the investigators, and the investigation is over. All the investigators told us everything seemed fine and the safety plan sounded great. Now we get a letter saying they found the allegations true (they are true so that doesn't surprise me) and want to put him on the central registry list.

    Now DHS calls and tells me this before she's even met us or talked to anyone. This is exactly what I was worried about happening, and now it's happening. One of difficult child's counselors gave me the name of a lawyer to call, but I don't know how we'll ever be able to afford it.

    I haven't told husband yet - he's not going to handle it well.
  2. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Linda, I don't know what to say. I can't even begin to imagine the fear and frustration not to mention anger. Hugs.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm so sorry. I feel so bad for all of you. I think they have to do it. They take everything regarding sexual abuse very seriously. It could be a very good thing for your son, and it gives the kids a chance to be apart so they can have seperate counseling and tell their stories. Maybe you can finally figure out what is wrong with your child (((Hugs)))
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2008
  4. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Family Advocates. Check them out and give them a call. They can usually help you.

    I'd give the lawyer a call. Usually the initial consult is free. Explain the financial issues and see if they have a sliding scale that can help. OR call the Bar Assoc. and see if they have a list of ProBono attorneys.

    See if you can get a neuropsychologist done on a rush (childrens or teaching hospital). When you call for the initial appointment. explain what's happening so they can push you in. The atty. will be looking for as much info as possible!

    Let us know how it goes!

  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Still, it wouldn't hurt to get any recommendations from counselors, psychiatrists, school, whomever, in writing and present them in court. Even if it doesn't change this decision, it might influence future decisions- like length of stay, where he goes afterwards, your involvement (were you doing everything you could), etc.

    Also, I didn't learn this until it was too late, but call your state's agency for advocacy of mental health- there is a name of the type of agency- I need to find it. If you're interested, PM me. Anyway, they can provide legal counsel if you haven't gotten a private attny on board yet. (At least that is the way it works in this state.)

    I'm sorry- I really hope things turn out for the best for everyone involved. HUGS!!
  6. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Wish I had some advice-sending hugs and prayers your way.
  7. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    DHS in NJ says they're going to do alot, but never follow through, but I would definately pursue some legal advice. I do not see a judge approving something if his counselor agrees it would od more harm then good?
  8. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    :surprise: I don't understand how they could not consult with the counselor who reported the incident? Whom did they interview? Did you tell the caseworker what the counselor is advising you?
  9. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    I know I asked this once before - but to what intent? Is this some reactive law that warehouses these children with little help until they come of age?

    Or is DHS actually offering help? Real, concrete help? If difficult child were getting help - things he can use in his life that would be wonderful (but awfully backhanded in my humble opinion).

    I'm angry for you & husband; you put a safety plan in place along with every intervention you could think of all with DHS's blessing. Is this new caseworker just graduated from college? Those kind scare me.

    I'll be praying for you & yours. Check out those family advocacy links; I wonder if NAMI would be of help.

    You can always go above this woman's head; heck all the way to the top in your state. I've done the for other matters.

    Please remember nothing to date is set in stone. I'll do my best to find some resources as others here will do the same.

    As for husband, tell the man to grow up - you have/had a serious situation on your hands & you dealth with it in the best manner possible. "The system" isn't supposed to over react - just do their jobs as laid out by generally well thought out guidelines.
  10. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Unfortunately, I think some people in the legal system (police, others) sometimes think that if we (parents) could handle the situation, we wouldn't be calling them and reporting it. So, if we do call it in, they feel like they have to take the most extreme measures available- in a way to cover their rears.

    Because of our experience, I definitely don't think that they all look at it as being there to provide help, in a realistic way, for a family.
  11. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I'm so sorry this is happening, Linda. Sending hugs. I agree that consulting an attorney would be helpful. You need to know exactly what your rights are in this situation.
  12. I'm very sorry this is happening to your family. I can't imagine being in your shoes. First you're told it is over and then you get slammed that he has to go away? Yikes.

    Sending lots of hugs,

  13. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    I am so sorry for all of you. :( I can imagine how scared you must be. My heart goes out to you. {{{HUGS}}}

    I think you should call the lawyer anyway, hey he might take the case pro-bono, it's worth a shot. Get the yellow pages call every lawyer in the book, plead your case, maybe you'll get lucky and find someone with a good heart to help you, even if they put you on some sort of payment plan that you can afford. You never know.

    What kind of place do they want to put him in?? Will it be an Residential Treatment Center (RTC)?? I can't imagine an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) doing much for him. Not enough treatment. In my experience Residential Treatment Center (RTC)'s are geared more towards behavior issues.

    I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. God bless. :)
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    We had experience with this and I can share what we were told. Remember, this is our situation and our state only.
    One boy had perped badly on all the other kids. Another boy, also adopted, had perped on our daughter at knifepoint. BOTH boys were taken away. We hadn't wanted the second boy to go, but we had no say so (and he was legally adopted so he was ours). They said that, no matter what, it was to protect our daughter, and to find out what really happened, stating that kids often do not "tell" on each other about these things and that they needed to get to the truth.
    Again, I can't speak for any situation but our own. It turned out that A LOT had gone on that we hadn't known. We had at first been told by all the kids that this had only happened once or twice. But it had really been quite severe. With that, the psychiatrist treating our second son, the one we hadn't wanted to leave us, said that, even though he'd been forced to perp on daughter, the two of them were at high risk to act out sexually with each other when they were older. Do I believe this? I have no idea. It scared us to death.
    The Caseworker didn't let this particular boy, who had lived with us for a little over a year, come home for over a year (longer than he'd been in our family), and then we needed a safety plan. In the end, long story, he ended up going to foster care and we let that family adopt him. It still makes me cry to think about it. However, every single situation is different. This is how they authorities felt about our case however. We still don't understand a lot of it with second son.
    We hired a lawyer, but he told us there wasn't all that much he could do, and there wasn't. I hope your lawyer is more successful. I would definitely hire one and try. By the way, the court disregarded recommendations from our adopted son's counselor...it was very frustrating.
    As for the actual perp, we never saw him again, but we didn't want to. (((Hugs))) Trust me when I say, I know how hard this is.
  15. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I have to agree with MWM and the others who pointed out that time apart may reveal more abuse than the "one time" that you know about. I know it is difficult and it's not what you expected. I hope it will help your family. Right now it must feel like someone threw a malotav cocktail into the house. I'm really sorry for your pain.
  16. OpenWindow

    OpenWindow Active Member

    Thanks to everyone for your responses - you all are helping me think a lot more clearly.

    Thanks for the links Beth. I am checking them out. I had a neuropsychologist set for this July and they called to do the pre-interview and decided he didn't need one, and referred me to an autism specialist. I have to wait 8 months to get in - I'm on the cancellation list but apparently that list is very long, too, and they said no one cancels.

    Thanks KLMNO, I'll PM you about the info. I didn't report him, the counselor did. We told the counselor knowing she may have had to report it.

    gvcmom, the state police interviewed me, my daughter (who wouldn't say anything and when she pointed to the drawing, she lied) and my easy child son. The sherriff's office interviewed my difficult child and tried to interview my daughter, but she didn't say a word. DHS came out once and talked to me. I don't understand why they haven't talked to the counselor, and neither does she. They called and left a message with her once, and she called and left a message. They never called her back. I told the caseworker what the counselor said, and the caseworker said she would be talking to the counselor.

    Linda - the caseworker actually sounds like an older lady, not young at all. I finally found the place online (the caseworker was close but had the name wrong) and it's for child and adolescent sexual offenders. My counselor is out of town until tomorrow so I will ask her if she knows anything about the place - but she told me early on that most of the residential facilities they would send him are not the best places to go. In addition to separation anxiety and him feeling like we abandoned him, he mimics behaviors of those around him, especially bad behaviors.

    husband did OK - I could tell he was angry but he kept control, and he didn't direct his anger towards me. Hopefully, he'll be able to be calm when the DHS caseworker comes on Monday.

    bran - it's a treatment center for child and adolescent sex offenders.

    Midwest Mom - thank you for sharing your experience - I know we don't really agree on some of the details but it means a lot that you're willing to share what you know to help me. We have started counseling for both kids in the hopes of finding out if there is more to the story or not. We were expecting a FINS and mandatory counseling, but instead they are suggesting exactly what everyone who actually knows difficult child says would be the worst for him.

    I understand that they have to protect the victim, that's been number one on my mind since the day it happened. We're doing that. She seems very secure and not afraid. She's getting counseling to make sure what we are seeing is correct. If I thought for a second that she couldn't get over this and that difficult child being out of the house would help her overcome her feelings from what happened, it would be a no-brainer. But I don't think that's the case and neither does the counselor at this point. I know that could change and we could find out a lot in the next few months, and I'm preparing myself for that.

    Thanks again, everyone.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2008
  17. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oh, dear.

    Great links, Beth.

    I can see both sides to this. How painful.
    You haven't told him yet, right?
  18. OpenWindow

    OpenWindow Active Member

    husband? I told him last night. I was going to wait a few days until I heard from the counselor and the lawyer, but I'm not very good at keeping important things to myself, so I told him last night, in stages. First I told him they want to put difficult child on the registry and we have to go to a hearing, then a couple of hours later I told him DHS was coming on Monday, then about an hour later I told him what she said.

    He handled it much better than I thought he would. He's mad, but he didn't have any meltdowns and didn't put the blame on me, but on the system. He may still be blaming me on the inside, but he didn't verbalize it.

    I really can see both sides too. I was abused for years as a child and none of the adults who knew did anything, and most are still in denial 30 years later. I'm not going to let that happen to my daughter.
  19. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Sounds like you handled it well, Linda. And so did he. He's coming along ...

    When do you tell your difficult child? I would not want to be in your shoes.

  20. OpenWindow

    OpenWindow Active Member

    husband is doing very well with his anger... I'm afraid he's going to be really tested in the coming months though.

    difficult child has major anxiety about leaving home. He doesn't even like going on a trip even if we go with him. He tells me he's never going to move out, even after high school or college. And he sees things in black and white, so if he gets sent off, it will be my fault (in his eyes) and he will think I abandoned him and don't care about him, no matter what I say.

    I think I have to tell him before the caseworker comes on Monday in case she says something when he's around. Another thing to talk to the counselor about when she gets back tomorrow from her vacation. husband wanted me to call her last night, but nothing is going to progress until next Monday anyway, so I'll let her finish her vacation before laying all of this on her.