difficult child just called

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Feb 10, 2012.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    he said he has a little swelling in his cheek from last night but he maintained and he's ok.

    He's livid about not being released and trying to tell me to sign him over to post d so he can get out of there. I tried to explain I am not doing that because it's siginig custody over and would age him out. He thinks I can fight this afterwards- I could if it was a court order but not if I willfully and knowingly sign over custody. He said the staff in there are doing everything they can to try to get him out, had a husge mtg yesterday when the word came in not to release him, the word came in from Department of Juvenile Justice director's office, and they were saying they can't hold him past his release date but the director told them to so they change his release date to "dot-dot-dot". I told him to maintain- that's just more evidence. He wants to know why I couldn't get something done today- well it's not that simple. He said they are doing this because I didn't do what they wanted- yah son but that's not a reason to go ballistic, that's evidence. Hang tight. Can we say pressure here? See, this is the kind of koi the probation did when difficult child was under MH tx and both our lives ended up destroyed. Something is seriously wrong with this picture but he can't be violated right now and I can't be thrown in jail for not "willfully and knowingly" signing over parental rights without a court order stating to give up custody and it can be proven that any court order for a hearing, PO appointment, submit difficult child to detention center, etc, have ALL been met to a T.

    Did someone post to my earlier thread that hair is flying all over the place about this?

    I guess I need to wrap up my notes for the letter to fed Department of Juvenile Justice. If it's to a point where Department of Juvenile Justice staff are saying the director is telling them to change a release date but they aren't supposed to and have no date to change it to, just maybe fed gov will look at it.
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Who in "there" can you speak to? As in, find out from them what kinds of chains you need to rattle to help them help you?
    Sometimes... a spirit of working together can help (NOT with the PO of course... I'm guessing "there" is the detention center?)
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    They were Department of Juvenile Justice staff- see, it goes from the Department of Juvenile Justice director to 2 different chains. One chain is the people who oversee and run the state facilities where kids are incarcerated after commitment to Department of Juvenile Justice. The other chain is local CSU who handle parole, probation, supervision when ttrying to prevent commitment to state Department of Juvenile Justice or after commmitment to Department of Juvenile Justice. CSU is where things always fall apart. Detention centers are run locally- difficult child is currently in a state Department of Juvenile Justice facility and they are ready to release him and had already signed off on it. PO (local CSU) doesn't want difficult child coming home but that requires a court order- unless it's a step-down, early release initiatve which this wasn't. So because i complained saying it should, by law, require my agreement and PO had only explored one option that was basicly another sentence,and no one seems to know what to do, director over both sides in Department of Juvenile Justice ordered difficult child held while they figure it out and find "placement' once the kid is finished in the facility (incarceration) side unless a parent had already lost parental rights, was incarcerated, or either the parent or kid refuse return home.. OK- the real issue is that they have no legal right to even look for "placement" because difficult child has a parent who's never lost custody and they aren't trying to find a step-down program because those don't add to the sentence. IOW, the stand off is that I have to agree to any placement unless they get a court order and PO's super got livid over it and super and PO dug their heels in that they can order whatever they want without my agreement- no they can't- that just didn't get proven though until 2 days before difficult child's release date when the app showed up saying it requires either court order or parental placement. Further, they sure don't have a right to keep him incarcerated beyond his release date to find something like that- a placement out of the home once the kid finished the sentence requires either parental consent or a court order. They have neither. If they had such a good reason for this, they'd be getting a court order. To the best of my knowledge, they haven't pursued one or if they did they got stopped before it went anywhere.

    his behavior counselor (who's his primary authoritarian while in there) said this was wrong and the other stuff but told him she could only do so much or say so much because it would cost her the job. Remember- the "direct care" (incarceration side) and the csu (PO) side are completely different. The people in there are acting like they are in agreement with both po and me, to me. I know it's because they work for Department of Juvenile Justice but know on the other side of things- csu- this is messed up. They work with these kids for a year, for instance, with a plan in mind that is supposed to be set in place by the csu side- obviously the csu side botched my son's plan---actually, there never really was a plan in place.

    PO, by state law AND Department of Juvenile Justice regs, was supposed to do a home check, make sure any MH tx, whatever was in place- all those things DDD expressed concern about before and all those things I complained about not being done- were in place 30-90 days PRIOR to difficult child's release. They weren't done. They were busy digging their heals in that difficult child would go to GH on the pretense they had authority to place difficult child there, yet I was telling them I wasn't in agreement. Did they get a court order for that placement, NO? So now director is ordering difficult child held until they pursue this avenue, which could take weeks. This was all the fault of the local CSU side, not the facility side. Now the facility side is trying to figure out what to do and still keep their jobs.

    Now the message I'm trying to send to my son is that I agree there's something wrong and it's unfair- but we fight this leglly- if you go ballistic you're only digging yourself in deeper.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2012
  4. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm glad the two of you got to talk and it is reassuring "a bit" that facility staff is discreetly communicating with you and with difficult child. Obviously there is no way any of them can afford to put their jobs in jeopardy but they are "watching" the situation unfold and that is a comfort. Also it's important to keep in mind that PO and his supervisor are concerned about their job security since their feet are being held to the fire. That's the bad side of advocacy, sigh. It's a precarious balance of action choices.

    My suggestion is to not pursue your letter writing etc. for awhile. Give them time to formulate their plan. Yes, I know they should have done so before this but they didn't. Although it seems life a very long time since this current issue came into view (and I'm sure that it seems life a lifetime to difficult child) it really has been only a few work days for them. They had a plan, the plan did not pan out, they fell back and regrouped and they "know" they are under the magnifying glass. I have given this alot of thought and I think that it is not in the best interests of your difficult child to take any new actions until you actually have a plan to review or excessive time passes with-o any communication from them. The goal is to get an acceptable plan for difficult child and in my opinion his best chance for a workable plan is if you ease up and see what they come up with. Right now there is alot of conjecture. Soon (and I hope very soon) you will know...and maybe it will be reasonable...specifically what option is proposed.

    On a lighter note (while truly understanding this is not a "lite" subject) I thought of an analogy that might help difficult child cope with the delays. I'm assuming he is not only disappointed but may be getting flack from his peers to boot. Tossing this out just as food for thought. Perhaps when you speak to him you might encourage him to think of this time span as "Occupational Therapist (OT)". Football teams often think they have a game won and then in the last seconds the game becomes a tie. Then, of course, they have to reach down for emotional/physical reserves to finish the game. There is a similarity in his life. It is unexpected and the specific outcome unknown but he can adapt, avoid all conflicts and believe he will come out a winner.

    As always, with caring, DDD
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I'm not writing anymore letters to anyone in this state but will write one to fed doj. I just don't have the same faith you do that these people are trying to do what is in difficult child's best interest. I think they are in CYA mode, at the central office, and covering POs rear for their own reputation instead of holding him accountable for messing this up. I also think they are just trying to hold things up to buy time. Also I want to point out- there was only 1 letter sent to Department of Juvenile Justice, a few legislators, youth commission, aclu, and reentry program director. I have not written letter after letter, or even a 2nd letter, to Department of Juvenile Justice or anyone.

    These are some questions I asked central office to review in my letter to them, sent in Jan.

    (The copy-clip was from my notes and not trul;y reflective of how this was presented in the letter but all those questions/requests were included in the letter.)

    If these questions were stupid ones and adversarial, then why is it that this is exactly what that turned out to be- a post d program that PO didn't have sole authority to put difficult child into. The letter wasa sent to try to get all this worked out prior to difficult child's release, which is po's job but he wasn't doing it.

    Now, first, the PO should have been able to tell me those things and should have told me, 90 days prior to difficult child's release because the law requires him to. Secondly, he misrepresented the whole "plan" (which was really only a placement decision, not a complete parole plan) by insisting it wasn't a post-d program and that he could place difficult child in there himself. Thirdly, he apparently thought I wouldn't notice the parental agreement he expected me to sign until he had no choice but to send to me- this past Monday, which clearly stated that it was a post-d progrm and required court order or parental agreement, unless kid was in custody of dss. Ok, so if he didn't know any better, shouldn't central office have come down on PO instead of me/difficult child for not looking into it? His job is to look into these things and have them in place. Now the central office is ordering a different type, which would be 'not so bad' if it can pan out but everything I'm reading tells me otherwise- so just due to this that and lack of info about GH until the 11th hour, I'm not confident they have this available in a way they can legally put difficult child in there, either. It appears central office scrambled to find something to bide time and if by chance difficult child went to a detention reentry, that probably is for them to bide more time. Doesn't it seem odd that the placement decision from central office didn't come in until the late afternoon before difficult child was supposed to be released, yet they had my letter for 3 weeks? And they don't know if it can be funded or if there's one available, where is it? Why don't the people in central office know anymore about this stuff of stuff than PO? That is their job, on the csu side. On the Department of Juvenile Justice facility side, they are sympathetic but can't do much given that they are in the different "chain" of Department of Juvenile Justice. They have said that PO should have had all this resolved long before now. I don't even understand why they haven't changed the PO for difficult child to someone else. Really, the whole things points to all of the csu side just trying to manipulate me and now use more incarceration for ggfg to force my hand. But I still don't see why they just aren't getting it before a judge to show reason why they think difficult child shouldn't come home. It looks like they are too busy playing games then just pursuing this in a legal, timely manner. I haven't rec'd anything from Department of Juvenile Justice central office justifying any of this- I mean letting me know a response to my letter and giving legal justification.

    difficult child has asked to speak to an attny- he brought that last night, too.

    I don't know if fed gov can step in when a state doesn't hold state employees' accountable for complying with state law but if nothing else, they can add one more person to their statistics showing complaints against this state's Department of Juvenile Justice- and they can take a look at where fed funding is going and what the state is actually doing with it.

    Anyway, I agree with you to a certain extent but I think establishing that paper trail was extremely important. And I really like the football analogy!
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012
  6. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    LOL, glad you liked it. I get my best ideas during the night..kinda like "lightbulb" moments. In the "light of day" some of them just aren't that great but others are keepers.

    I do understand your thinking, totally agree that either from ignorance or whatever PO et al have messed up big time and am strongly hoping this is resolved in a healthy way soon. on the other hand, as a family member, I thought it was a wise choice to share my viewpoint as an experienced advocate. It's not easy to figure out when to "push" and when to "lay back" when you're in the midst of a cause...there is a fine line that's often hard to identify. As an outsider I really think it's time for you to silently wait. They need to fall back and regroup while in the meantime each PO (if it is similar to here) has at least forty juveniles on their plate. Each requires court dates, inhouse meetings, reports sent and received, home oversight etc. Even with an "outstanding, bright and caring" PO it is a difficult job. As a result of your advocacy difficult child can't logically be placed on the back burner for long. They still, however, need time to explore options (yeah, should have already done it) and put a plan in writing. Think of it as overtime resulting from your opponent's foul. Yikes. DDD
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I agree about not jumping too fast right now- except I think lawfully difficult child can see an attny and he requested it at Department of Juvenile Justice so we'll see if they get one available for him. They won't have more than a few weeks to figure out if there is an available detention reentry program here that difficult child can go to, legally, or if this is a bomb too. This will be very telling, I think. I'm going to start my letter to fed doj but not send it until some more comes to light. Right now, even staff in Department of Juvenile Justice facility are saying they have no idea what detention center csu/central office plan for difficult child to go to. The one thing we all know- it has to be local to the parent. If this "plan" turnsd out to be another bomb, I would think even the Department of Juvenile Justice facility side would start raising some eyebrows and complaining, if they haven't already.

    I do appreciate your perspective...

    I might call difficult child's def attny from the old jurisdiction Mon to ask for his recommendation- although he never did do much to help difficult child.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012
  8. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    How did difficult child ask for an attorney? I didn't realize he had that option and am wondering if he was "informed" that he had the right by some sympathetic Department of Juvenile Justice worker or ??? Interesting. Thank heavens he is still a minor and can't make decisions with-o parental consent. Phew/Whew!

    Have you come up with a plan for a peaceful Sunday for yourself? Maybe a trip to the park with the dogs? Or a great movie or book? I think you deserve some down time. Hugs DDD
  9. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Any kid incarcerated has a right to talk ti his def attny or GAL, if a GAL is assigned, and all the kids in there know that if they have been in there a while. difficult child techincally doesn't have a def attny right now, unless the last court appointment one still can look at it because difficult child is doing the sentence he represented him in court on. That's why I think I might call and see what he suggests- as far as whether or not he can still represent difficult child, where difficult child and I should go from here, etc. I was less than impressed on his lack of def for difficult child the first time difficult child was committed to Department of Juvenile Justice, but he does know the story as far as family issues and me trying to find something effective, while still not throwing difficult child under the bus. It could be a lot more helpful than dealing with an attny who doesn't know if I'm lying or an abusive parent or whatever. He sure knows I don'[t lie to cover difficult child's rear. I could try to call the last GAL, too (not the nit-wit lady who handled it before this last trial) and see what his recommendation is but he's pretty good, therefore, he stays swamped and has very little time.
  10. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    It might make difficult child feel empowered if he requests an attorney to represent him. I imagine he feels a little bit like a pawn right now. Plus, hard to believe even for me, he's closing in on adulthood. DDD
  11. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I don't know how much effect that has on him- he's been dealing with attnys since he was 11yo so that isn't a milestone, in his case at least. He is closing in on 18 but neither of us want him aging out in an out-of-home Department of Juvenile Justice placement without efforts to "fix" some of these problems- especially if they don't have a program that is geared toward him meeting some of his own goals. He talked about that last night, too.
  12. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    If he can request and be provided with a pro bono attorney I think it would either empower or reassure him that he can do something. Since he can't make adult decisions I don't see how it could hurt and maybe in the long run it could be helpful. It's possible that he would be assigned someone with more experience in the Department of Juvenile Justice/PO arena than a private attorney would have. From our experiece there are few private practice attorneys that truly "know" the system. difficult child's attorney could be an expert. DDD
  13. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    True, Just for clarity though, a minor can make his own decisions with his def attny or GAL, without any parental consent or agreement. This is for a minor's protection in the event there was abuse or neglect.
  14. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    GAL's don't do what minors say they want done...thank heavens, because most abused and neglected minors want to "go home" even if it is horrible. They present recommendations to the Court based on "the best interests of the child". The Defense attorneys that we had listened and explained options to then easy child/difficult child but met with us as we were footing the bills. One thing I am positive about in any State is that they can't force parents to sign over their power. No reason to worry about that biggie. DDD
  15. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I get that- I didn't mean it to come across like a kid could tell a GAL or any attny what to do or present, but a kid in this state can tell a def attny or GAL what they want to strive for, even if a GAL presents something else in court as being in the best interest of the kid, without a parent's permission. This is ok because it gives a kid who might be abused a way for protection. That has never been our case and fortunately, difficult child has never accused me of anything like that.. A GAL in this state still has to incclude what the child asked for to the court. In this particular case, I think it would fall more in the hands of a def attny and not a GAL right now but I'm not positive. I say that because in this state, a GAL and a child advocate who represents the kid's best interest are not one in the same. That gets sticky but basicly, the GAL is an attny who recommends to the court which party is at fault (parent or child) and what punishment for either might be available and appropriate. The advocate is assigned only in cases of abuse or neglect- cps type issues- and we've never had one involved. Since it was already deemed in court that difficult child committed an offense without provocation from me or whatever, and he was convicted and sentenced, I don't know that a GAL could even get involved. Plus, he's 17 and getting a little too old to have a GAL.

    I'm thinking the same about it being across the line to force a parent to willingly give up custody. If there was legal reason to justify it, a judge would hear, review, and make that determination.

    difficult child called earlier- he's starting to get on the same page. He now says we just need to wait for them to figure out that they have no placement legally available since I'm not agreeing to it. I reminded him that I understand he feels this is all unfair and unjust and he has every legal right to fight it, but we are to fight it legally and gave him examples of how it can dig him in deeper if it's fought illegaly.
  16. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Great! The telephone call proves that he is thinking, listening and analyzing. You can sleep better tonight. Hugs DDD
  17. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    by the way- DDD- when I asked the behavior counselor how difficult child was handling all this news yesterday, she told me she asked him if he's ok and he told her he's "maintaining". I think you had a thread somewhere about that term so wanted to reassure you a little- it can mean "hanging in there" about any type of life situation.
  18. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    LOL, what a coincidence. DDD
  19. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    When does he turn 18?
  20. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Another year- he just turned 17 a few weeks ago- but he'll still be finishing high school then unless they coerce him into dropping out and getting a GED, That's oone of my major concerns- if they don't let hiim come home within a few mos, they will have him in a placement that is intended to get him to independent living, meaning he'll have to work and find an apt before getting out of that "placement". If he's required to work enough hours per week to try to earn his own living, it's unlikely he'll finish school because he'd have to go to school on top of having a full time job, or agree to stay in the placement and wait until next summer until "working his way" out of that placement. While this is a feasible option for kids who have no parent or family at all, I'm a bit confused on why they are jumping to such a long term placement idea from me stating I thought we need a gradual transition and a reunification plan when they originally planned to have him come straight home with no services at all. They went from one extreme to the other, don't have a placement now, but are refusing to even reconsider difficult child coming home under any terms. I just don't see the logic or justification. Getting mad at me is one thing but at some point, I'd think going to these lengths would have to be justified to someone, somewhere.

    When I think back to how some of those in-home services were presented to me before, it makes me wonder if PO was intentionally presenting it in a way that would get an automatic "no" from me just so he could justify something like this. Since they aren't taking it to court, at least at this point, to try to get a judge to sign off on it, I have no idea what they are intending on doing if/when they can't find any out-of-home palcement. They could continue to lkeave difficult child in there based on him being a minor and claiming they have no place else for him but in reality, he could come home. That's where it forces me to take it to court. They aren't telling anyone- difficult child, me, staff at Department of Juvenile Justice facility, anyone that I know of what their "real" intention is. That's why I think it doesn't look good at all but that has been going on for mos- before I sent a complaint in and asking higher ups to review it.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012