I'm trying to pursue a little more through links that you ladies have been kind enough to provide and wanted to post what I've found so far to see if anyone has experience along these lines that they can share and advise me on. I will call the parent advocacy place after I'm a little more comfortable about what to ask and verify with a list of questions. In Virginia, they have the Community services Act (CSA) which allows funding to be used for respite, family services to help a kid with delinquency issues, mental health issues, etc, Residential Treatment Center (RTC)'s, etc. Now, through that, the family works with the Family Assessment & Planning Team (FAPT), which consistes of people from 8 different agencies (education, juv. justice, mental health, social services, community board, etc). Unless difficult child is committed to state dept of juv justice and does some time in their juvy, this is the ONLY access to public funding for help that I can find. According to what I am reading, it sounds like the family is part of the team and has to agree and sign off on the "plan", which encompassess all these agency involvements in the kid's/family's life- somewhat like an iep has to have the approval and signature of the parent. (With one exception explained below.) But I'm wondering if there is a lot of pressure to either comply with whatever they offer/propose/demand, or be considered non-compliant?? It says on their website that they give you time at the end of the meeting to review the written plan before signing it, but you (the parent) have to sign it. It doesn't say anything about taking it home to look over- like we do with iep's. If it is as good as it sounds, they can provide whatever is needed- transportation, child care, respite, therapeutic foster family, etc. There are 3 ways to get access to the CSA/FAPT. 1) School recommendation. I'm not sure what "catches" come with this one. At first, it would not have been a possibility for difficult child, but now that he's missed so much school, I might be able to get them to do this even though they are happy with his behavior this year and he has no serious learning disablity, in the traditional sense. 2) Through mental health. The catch with this one is that I would have to pull difficult child out of private therapist/psychiatrist, get him on medicaid, start at lowest end of county mental health clinic (and I took difficult child there before- they are INCOMPETENT at our clinic- in many ways), have him evaluation'd by them while he sees a therapist there (who might be an intern), then, IF at some point, that therapist decides that difficult child needs more, they can recommend it. 3) Through PO/court order. NOT GOOD. First, not only does that mean I'd have to get PO on board (and she's never been on board with anything I want to pursue), but if it becomes a court order or probation requirement (if they order or recommend it, it becomes a requirement), then the parent does NOT have to agree to the team's decisions. The rest of the team decides what they think (which I'm sure has a lot to do with what the judge and po think), and the family is required to comply- period. Obviously, I don't want this. Even though this is a state specific approach/team/act, I thought other states might have similar things that maybe some parents here have gone through. Does anyone have experience with anything like this? Is it really as good as it sounds or does it just open up the door to add more people in your life making more demands on you? I can tell you, I COULD NOT handle the MST guy. Would this be like jumping out of the frying pan into the fire? If I only needed part of their services, would I be required to accept services from all agencies- ie, if I only needed respite and transportation and crisis intervention, would I be required to change difficult child's therapist/psychiatrist to the local county clinic? Ok, that one I'd probably have to ask the advocacy group. This is frightening- do you think I'd be better off just letting the consequences play out for difficult child? Two points I need to keep in mind- last year when the gal had social services "assess" our family, the lady from soc services ended up telling me that this state could not do any more for difficult child than I was already doing. Fine, but I can't afford to do it anymore. 2) due to difficult child's setting a brush fire (guilty of arson & tresspassing by fire), I was told that NO Residential Treatment Center (RTC) in this state would take difficult child- that he'd either have to be placed out of state or go to the state psychiatric hospital for violent mentally ill kids (much worse than difficult child). I don't know that a therapeutic foster family would be an option for difficult child if the more secure Residential Treatment Center (RTC) won't even accept him. Although, maybe some leeway could be given because difficult child is classified as "non-violent" and the brush fire was over 18 mos ago.