My wife and I need guidance. We are a large, blended family with 8 children between us and have been married for 6 years now. Our oldest child is now 17 years old - my stepdaughter (Ava). I'm not sure how to help her and would like whatever suggestions pop in your minds. Here is our situation: Ava was always a strong willed, very defiant child. Always getting into trouble at school... major issues with any kind of authority there, home, church... anywhere. In 6th grade, Ava was angry at a teacher who she thought was too hard on her in class so she wrote a letter to the school accusing him of molesting her. She is very vindictive when you don't do what she wants. We are extremely successful with our other children. They are all excellent students, well-liked by their peers, teachers and neighbors. Ava is our wayward child and we are confused about her behaviors. We now suspect that she has bi polar disorder or some other behavioral disorder based on her extreme reactions to small matters and her inability to see reality. Two years ago, she started becoming increasingly disruptive in the home. I am the primary disciplinarian for our other children, but with Ava, my wife takes the lead and I back her up as needed. After a long string of efforts to help Ava manage her behaviors appropriately, she got angry and ran to a neighbors house and falsely accused us of abusing us and "begged" for help. Fortunately, though we didn't know this person, they returned Ava to us and didn't go to the police or social services. A perfect storm was brewing. During my own custody trial from my first marriage, my ex wife falsely accused me of sexually molesting one of our children. The charges were fully investigated and dropped, but as anyone with experience knows... the stigma of "child molester" is very precarious. People "play it safe" around you - just in case there was truth to the accusation. We kept Ava from knowing about this accusation by my ex wife, but we always feared that if she learned of it she would definitely use it to her advantage and make an accusation against me as she did to her teacher. My wife and I knew that Ava had the power to pull social services into our family with such an accusation and possible cause me to lose custody of my own children. To protect ourselves and the stability of our family unit, we sent Ava to live with her father in another state. Ava's father is bi polar, as is her grandfather. It hasn't been an easy 2 years for her father dealing with Ava's behaviors. She has turned against him as she did us and has escalated her accusations. Tonight we learned that Ava is falsely accusing her father of beating her and is threatening to go to the police unless we let her come back and live with us again. As much as we yearn to have her in our home again, she is too willing to burn our family to the ground with lies to government agents. My personal experience with Child Protective Services, though I was totally innocent, has filled me with a healthy respect toward the power these people weild to ruin people. My wife and I cannot afford the risk to our family to let her come back home. But we want to help. As so many disorders are diagnosed through verbal interviews with the patient, we are in a predicament. Ava utterly rejects any suggestion that her behaviors are inappropriate and refuses to participate in any form of counseling. She would refuse medication if it were to be prescribed. At this point, Ava's father is asking us to take her back because he can't cope with her anymore. We can't take her back... WHAT DO WE DO? I have many questions, such as: can she be forced into therapy or forced to take prescribed medicines (if that happens) against her own will? To whom do we adults turn to for help? I don't know any options for placing her in a home or state custody or anywhere else... I don't know where to start. Please direct me to any resources... web sites, discussion threads, personal experiences... ANYTHING that you think might help us. Thank you!