juvenile court question

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Apr 27, 2010.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Does anyone know what they do to parents when they don't show up to court for a charge on their kid? difficult child will obviously be there. I am aware of the arraignment date and another court date for trial- there are no charges on me but the parent is legally required to show up. I realize that, however, I'm wondering what the punishment is for not going. Has anyone here ever done that?
  2. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    klmno - sorry if this sounds blunt, but why on earth would you consider not going? How is that going to benefit difficult child? He is 15, you are still responsible for him. You may not agree with- what the court recommends or what the PO/atty are planning, but ... again, how does removing yourself completely (and, I would guess, putting yourself at risk of your own legal problems) help difficult child?

    I read your other thread, and I guess I'm confused. While I understand, and agree, that there should be consequences for the choices he has made, even if he served another X months in juvie *now* (as opposed to possibly later, though that is by no means etched in stone), is that going to help him? You most likely are still going to have to deal with the same old garbage down the road from him.

    Maybe I'm ... too conformist. By virtue of difficult child becoming involved in the system as a minor, you have lost a lot of say in the matter. I won't debate fairness or rightness - I'm actually with you on a lot of it - but fairness and rightness are moot at this point. The fact is, as his mother and guardian, you are at the mercy of the court as well.

    I would guess that the more time he spends locked up, the less likely it is he will be able to function as a law-abiding citizen. That may be the driving force behind his team doing everything they can to avoid another incarceration. Sure, they may not think now he will ever figure out how to follow rules, but he is only 15. I listened to Fran say for almost a decade that with age *does* come maturity, and she was right. May not be the degree of maturity we hoped for but... it is still there.

    You are so adamantly against your family getting custody of difficult child, but I think if you don't comply you are setting up that very situation. You have to make a choice here. Do what is expected of you, as the court orders, or don't, knowing what the potential consequences of that are.

    As a detached observer, it seems that the concern needs to be what is in difficult child's best interests, within the limitations and requirements that the court mandates. I just don't see how you not showing up or complying would be best for him... but, it's the choice you need to make and you certainly are in a better position to judge what is best.
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I don't think it's in difficult child's best interest to come home under the circumstances they are proposing. Since I get no say in court, that's exactly what will happen if I'm there. I am seriously considering this because unfortunately, since they want to keep him in their system, they need to start considering that I might stop going along with this stuff. I might not be available. We did outpatient therapy for several years- it didn't work. They are the ones proposing to go back and try it again while expecting a different result. Am I willing to 1) go thru that again and have faith in it- especially after how difficult child acted this past month? 2) give difficult child more opportunity to mess up so then he gets recommitted for a longer period of time than he will now? I really am to a point where I feel guilty for cowering in to them out of fear while feeling like what they are doing is making him worse instead of just removing myself and detaching and reminding myself that whatever they decide to do with him, it's ALL their decision at that point. I'm sorry others don't get that. I'm sorry that they don't have anything available for a real transition for difficult child or even an ankle bracelet that they will recomomend or whatever. But there's no way I think it's in his best interest to go even further into the situation we were in in the past. I don't want him incarcerated but he is right now and I don't think that's my fault. I would like for him to get out and have a decent chance and have his head on straight and really try. Do I think letting him oout after a few weeks of detention, going to a 45 min therapist appointment and coming home with more emotions and anger stirred up is worth getting him out of detention now? No. I thought most were advocating to me not to let difficult child come home until better plans were made- I felt I had no choice. Now, the ONE thing that I told PO I would not do again just happens too be the ONLY thing they say they can do.

    I've been trying to work with the system for 4 freaking years now- difficult child hasn't changed and according to what Department of Juvenile Justice thinks, he was apparently just manipulating the mental health avenue. I had told difficult child this was his last chance at home and I'm not willing to go back and do all that over. So now I'm supposed to say "oh, difficult child, all's forgiven since you sat in detention a few weeks, you can come home and we'll try outpatient therapy again and just go back to our "normal" and think he's going to behave, not manipulate me, obey the law, and respeect the rules any better? PO and def attny are about to throw the towel in on difficult child- I might already be there if this is the best they can come up with.

    You know at difficult child's last trial- for pulling a knife on me- I'm the one who was blamed for it all without anyone ever giving a reason why they thought that (abuse or whatever) and they just tiried to get the mental health evaluation on me so I would be ordered to a therapist and psychiatrist and difficult child would come home without any punishment. Given that the only choices at that point were to go along with that or refuse and force them to choose between dss or Department of Juvenile Justice- they chose Department of Juvenile Justice. I still think that is the right decision. I think we are right at that point agaain and just like the other stuff- I'd already told difficult child that I was not willing to show up in court and get fingers pointed at me and orders for stuff, etc, when it wasn't me that broke the law again. He obviously doesn't believe that.

    A lot of what MarcieMac said on the other thread is like what we have been going thru for 4 years. I'm not so sure I am strong enough to continue watching this, much less going along with it and living with it daily. If difficult child had been trying, it might be different. If he had come out of Department of Juvenile Justice with a BiPolar (BP) diagnosis, it most certainly would be different.

    PO and def attny- well, neither one- called me back today. If one of them called me right this second I think I would tell them that I'm not willing to invest one more dollar or one more hour in their plans and I'm not willing to go to court and get ripped to shreds because this is the best they can come up with or that they have available and I think the idea most likely will make difficult child worse or allow him to dig himself in deeper.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2010
  4. helpme

    helpme New Member

    I would think they will reschedule and send a subpoena to you for the next
    court date. But I have seen some parents send a note excusing themselves,
    either from their work supervisor or medical physician, and hand delivered
    them to the judge's secretary.

    And since I'm still sorta new here, were the charges against your son
    when he did something to you, is that the child/parent breakdown?
    Around here, they be placing your child with someone else or with the
    foster care program.
  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I'm possibly stating the obvious here, but this has become so complex and confusing, especially for you in the middle of it, I think you need to sit down formally with a big sheet of paper (and preferably someone else with you to guide you) and work out all the likely courses of action and outcomes.

    You draw up a sheet and list at the top COMING HOME, then FOSTER CARE then JAIL. If Residential Treatment Center (RTC) is an option, list that too. You might need a separate sheet of paper for each one. And you also need to include FOSTER CARE WITH UNCLE.
    You then list the good things about each option, the bad things about each option and the other things, neither good nor bad, but possibly interesting.

    After this you have to work out how likely each possibility is and what is needed to make it happen as well as what is needed to NOT make it happen.

    I think ti is going to take all of this spread out before you, expressed simply, to help you work out your own best course of action.

    WHat worries me about this right now - I don't know because I'm not there, but I get the feeling you've come partway along a good road and because there were problems, you're throwing in the towel at the wrong time. it may feel right to you (for reasons due to your past negative experiences) but it might happen to be the wrong time for difficult child and for everybody and everything in general (which, inevitably means, it is going to work out wrong for you in the long-term).

    It's a sort of "throwing good money after bad" scenario, only we're talking about effort here as well.

    Now, you could be making the right choice here. But this perhaps is the best way for you to know for sure.

    This could be simply a case of a parent saying, "I've had it with this kid!" and turning their back, only to change their mind later on and say, "OK, come one back."

    Part of drawing all this up in chart form, is to help you see how long-term a commitment may need to be, in order to get the outcome you want the most. It can also help you see the possible pitfalls before they land on your doorstep.

  6. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I have kind of done that mentally, Marg. I have zero faith in the idea of difficult child coming home in 2 weeks, me getting us on the waiting list at mental health, and this making the "big" difference. I would absolutely hate the idea of difficult child going to my bro due to fears of molestation either by my bro or by someone invited to an all night party- it's really not an environment appropriate for a teen, not to mention that my bro is clueless about how to raise a easy child much less a difficult child. If difficult child went back to Department of Juvenile Justice now it would only be for a few months. If he is "given one more chance" and reoffends, it could be long term- especially if it's due to violence on me, even if that occurred after coming home from outpatient family therapy. Foster care somewhere else is not an option - neither is Residential Treatment Center (RTC). They are telling me it isn't available. I know that's not completely true but if they won't recommend it, it isn't an option for difficult child.

    I find it odd that PO had tried to get the two of us on the same page, then he's the one that changed and said no, he wouldn't recommend difficult child coming out on the program with an ankle bracelet. We needed to be harsher and make sure difficult child understood we sould stand behind waht we said and that he knew we were working together, according to PO and my agreement. Then, he turned around and said difficult child could come out of detention and go to a therapist as a last chance without even mentioning this to me and knowing that it would mean our public dept and that is the only thing I said I would not do.

    It isn't that I think my son is hopeless so I'm throwing in the towel on him. I think he has/had a slight chance of being reached and some mental health treatment being effective- but the juvenile justice system here would not and will not support, allow, or go along with the recommendations of the best psychiatrists in this state (3 of them) so that difficult child can get this- yet they continuously try to force us into outpatient where tdocs are not that effective and of course, a therapist in an outpatient setting is a lot less effective than in a good intensive therapeutic setting anyway.

    This jurisdiction prides itself on having the best population, schools, etc. I used to think I wanted us to live here because of that but I have learned (even a Special Education attny told me) that due to this reputation, the jurisdiction does not put funds into helping kids at sd's thru IEP's or in Department of Juvenile Justice because it isn't their priority and because if they did, the more "undesirables" would move here and ruin the good reputation. So between what local taxpayers want and the desire to keep undesirables out, it is designed to drive people out when their kids have issues.

    This is why I probably come across as paranoid about custody and so forth sometimes- it isn't that I think people over there are sitting around plotting against me. It's that I think they don't really care about what is in difficult child's best interest and honestly, as a 20 some yo attny with no kids, even if you cared, could you possibly understand what was in his best interest? And they are over booked and rushing to think of a solution and used to working in the system so they grab something out of the hat without reading the record or talking with profs or thinking things thru, then blame the parent who says "I don't think this is in my child's best interest".

    I would go to difficult child's court and tell the judge what I think is in his best interest and why, except that when it's the kid with charges and not the parent, the parent isn't allowed to give their opinion or side of things. One of the attnys can put a parent on the stand and ask what they want, then remove the parent from the stand and throw out all kids of false or twisted accusations but the parent can't address that at all- which is exactly what happened before.

    Over and over again I see these situations where they (attnys and PO's) decide what they want and what they are willing to use funding for for difficult child, then change manipulate, even lie to make that look like the most reasonable option for the judge to order. I feel like I am watching them destroy my son
    My throwing in the towel wouldn't be because I think my son is hopeless even though he obviously is treading on that line. It would be because I think the system's way is killing or already has killed the best chance difficult child had.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2010
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Also, if a parent (or any person) is taken to court for a show cause, contempt of court, or parental rights issue, although that alone looks bad to a judge, it does allow a parent an opportunity to give their side of the story and in some cases, a chance to have an attny represent them. Things were looking horrible before when PO and GAL were representing things in a skewed way in court, but once I found another way in there where I was actually allowed to tell the judge what was going on and the history of things, it obviously put a whole different perspective on things. I really didn't want to go thru that again but I might have to- but the only way to make that happen is to buck what the PO and def attny are doing, unfortunately.
  8. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    So let's consider this scenario - he goes back to Department of Juvenile Justice for a few months. Then he comes out and THEN reoffends... because after all, he is still only a few months older. So what happens then? What is needed, is a long-term plan that helps him learn the right way to behave, under conditions where the knowledge really sticks and helps him change direction. Is this going to happen if he goes back to Department of Juvenile Justice? Or is there another possibility that will work?

    I hear you on the bro thing, but it is an option that is still on the table even though you don't want it there. Because it's on the table, you need to be seen to be involved at some level in your son's welfare and placement. If you're not and you then complain about choices made on your son's behalf, they will say, "So what does it matter to you? You're no longer engaged in this." I can't see why you can't go to court in some fashion (even if you sit outside and they know it) and make it clear that he is YOUR son, you need input into what happens to him, but because he has attacked you, you need to be able to feel safe. And if you're sitting in court and the judge says, "I'm ordering him to be released into the custody of his mother," why can't you speak up and say, "Excuse me your honour, but since he attacked me I do not feel safe if he is in my home without another adult present."
    If you can't say it, there should be someone to say this on your behalf, since it has a strong bearing on the success of whatever placement is chosen for difficult child.

    I know you said you've done this in your head, but nothing beats putting it down on paper. It can really help you even if you think you've already got a perfectly good handle on it.

  9. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    I would suggest again that you prepare a Parent Report (information is in the archives) and make sure Judge, DA, PO and everyone else and their mother has a copy before court You are not given enough time to give a run down in the past year let alone the past 15 about what happened when since there MAY only be a few minutes you have to speak if you are lucky.

    It outlines what steps have been taken, what has worked, what ddin't, and at the end a synopis of what you would like to see done. And in there you can reiterate all the stuff about how the psychiatric doctor's imput was disregarded by Department of Juvenile Justice, Its just hard facts, and you are NOT giving them an opportunity to have any of this "all about you". Your son's life, from birth, is in black and white, on paper. Attached to it should be his psychiatric doctor's diagnosis and medication he was on. All of the junk going on with the old PO said this, the GAL said that, they wanted me to do this, the attorney said this, the new PO said that and on and on only serves as a major distraction for everyone involved. I know if I started to hear the blah blah blah speech, out came the Parent Report - they were handed out like candy - if they knew my sons name, they got a Report.

  10. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Ladies, I appreciate your thoughtss and input but this isn't a mental health treatment team. In this state juvenile system, the attny's, PO and so forth are the ones seen as knowing what's in a child's best interest- not in addition to the parent but instead of the parent. They look at it like "if the parent knew what was best, the child wouldn't be in this system", which is why all our GAL's are required to be attnys- not parents, or mature people with experience working with kids- just attnys who take about an 8 hour course. The history and so forth have been submitted to the courts but not the long length (which I can assure you they don't want) but the shorter synopsis. I can't make these people read it. More info was sent to Department of Juvenile Justice and they did look closer at it but apparently decided difficult child had no serious diagnosis- he does need some things (like coping skills, for one) but I still think his besst chance was the psychiatric Residential Treatment Center (RTC). In any case, it doesn't matter according to what PO is telling me. difficult child is at the point where the courts people do not want to put more money into services for him (like this jurisdiction spent so much on him before *choke*) and will send him straight back to Department of Juvenile Justice (which comes out of state funding, not this jurisdiction's), and apparently this is typical once a kid has been committed to Department of Juvenile Justice already. IOW, they are warehousing them.

    As far as being involved in difficult child's care and placement, all I can do is express my opinion to PO, which I have all along, but PO does what he wants and places orders. The judge then looks at that and of course, can over-ride or change or add to PO's orders. But it is NOT a situation where the parent is considered a person on the team of decision makers, like an IEP team. It's not considered family court- we don't have that here. If I went into a courtroom and said I am afraid of difficult child, he would probably never come back home. He would go to Department of Juvenile Justice but at some point, Department of Juvenile Justice can no longer keep him incarcerated and have to release him back to this jurisdiction- they would decide in there somewhere whether or not difficult child would return home or go to dss and go to my bro. We have broached this line already, as far as me letting people know about difficult child becoming aggressive and me not wanting to handle things in a way that might instigate that because I am afraid of difficult child's aggression and because I really don't want to contribute to digging him in any deeper. Also, I do think some over there feel like I might be intentionally "triggering" difficult child or causing all this.

    Anyway, from what I have been told, there are only two options left for difficult child at this point, go back to Department of Juvenile Justice now (for 3 mos) or get one more chance and come back home after this few weeks and things are exactly the way they were with the exception of seeing a therapist (and possibly a psychiatrist) ordered at our mental health dept. Also, keep in mind that in addition to the bad experience already gone thru there- that wasn't under court order then, now that it would be, a parent has NO choice or say so with difficult child's mental health treatment, medications, or anything. This would apply to myself to if they order it for me. So if the incompetent therapist decides that he doesn't care to look thru difficult child's files from other profs who were private tdocs/psychiatrists, he could order difficult child right back on prozac. If difficult child reacts to that and sets another brush fire, too bad for difficult child- he had "his last chance" and goes to adult court (probably) and back to Department of Juvenile Justice for a long period of time. I know that sounds absurd, but I swear to you, that is the way it is. There is no way I'd let these people get a hold of my mental health. I feel sure they will present this in court now like I'm refusing to provide care (mental health treatment) for difficult child and this judge probably will be believe that. However, all of them in the serviices portion (PO, attny's, etc) know that I have provided mental health for difficult child for the 3 years prior to his incarceration, on my money not theirs, and he came out of Department of Juvenile Justice without a recommendation for this. If it's true that difficult child was using that avenue to manipulate, and given that now he's on the verge of being deeply involved in drugs and then that leading to dealing, I am in agreement that he should not be given rx's or another excuse or route to manipulate- assuming of course that it is not medically (mentally) neccssary due to a diagnosis. If I had been the one to push for mental health treatment this time, they would have gone to court and pursued a route that made it look like the problem is me for not facing up to difficult child's wrongdoings and giving him the MI excuse. (been there done that, too) Why?? B/s this really isn't about what is in difficult child's best interest to them, it is about legal strategy in the court room. It's a very dysfunctional, enabling system, in my book.

    Also, for whatever reason- funding, being fed up with difficult child, or dislike of me- I KNOW they haven't been honest about what's available and the previous PO definitely wasn't. Part of it is a power thing, too. The PO before said she would not agree to Residential Treatment Center (RTC) because if she had thought difficult child needed it, she would have already ordered it so it didn't matter to her what someone from a psychiatric hospital said. That statement says a LOT to me. The judges do care, in my humble opinion, but it's very difficult to get this sort of truth and facts in front of them- the PO of course presented things a lot differently and didn't show up in court but submitted a written letter to the juidge- the was to cover her rear no doubt. These people lie, manipulate and everything else. When I was trying to get the job in HI and looking into being sure that difficult child could go with me and they would all coordinate dates, the PO hung that up and told me he couldn't do that because of paperwork processes. The people at Department of Juvenile Justice told me then that the PO was not being entirely honest with me. If I thought these mental health people would/could make a mental health assessment that was accurate and thorough and then stand by recommendations all the way into a court room, things would be a lot different.

    However, I have already been there done that where the PO can and will over-ride what the mental health profs say and recommend. That is why I told PO right before court that I had reached my last straw with that route- I told him in detail what happened before and I (stupidly) thought he acted like he understood and didn't blame me. But, we got into court and the judge fllipped thru difficult child's file and then asked PO if he'd put any services into place for difficult child and what's going on with his mental health treatment. Instead of PO being clear that difficult child's diagnosis had been removed and no mental health treatment had been required from Department of Juvenile Justice, he said Department of Juvenile Justice had taken difficult child off medications because they didn't think he as BiPolar (BP) and he'd done fine there without them and didn't come out with a mental health plan so he hadn't put a package together YET and as far as what else might have gone on with difficult child's mental health, "you'll have to ask the mother". WTH does that mean? It made it look like I either was witholding info from PO or I had somehow gotten Department of Juvenile Justice to change difficult child's diagnosis- which Department of Juvenile Justice would NEVER listen to a parent that much. Again though, that was to cover PO's rear for not having some more services in place for difficult child and because the PO doesn't really understand enough about the mental health treatment. I think the judges understand it pretty well when they have the accurate info. But the people carrying out their orders think it's bogus or something that can just supplement their behavior mod plans or that it is supposed to be telling a therapist to fix a kid or a parent and that can automatically happen. At court for difficult child's knife-pulling, thee new prosecuting attny put me on the stand and ask if I had taken difficult child to a p[rivate therapist- yes, continuously. She asked then "why did that therapy stop". That therapy did not stop. She said "well it must have or this wouldn't have happened". I said, no Mam, it did not stop, my son had been released from psychiatric hospital about one week earlier, had seen his therapist a couple of days after, and I had to cancel appts that were made for the next few days with his therapist and psychiatrist. And they sat there and looked all befuddled like "how can that happen- the kid just must be completely noncompliant then or the parent just isn't following what psychiatrist and therapist suggest". That's their way of thinking, so there's no way they would support a psychiatric Residential Treatment Center (RTC).
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2010
  11. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Oh- and after that court appearance for the knife pulling last year, I was waiting on visiting hours to start at the detention center and spoke with another parent. My son was awaiting transfer to Department of Juvenile Justice and her's was awaiting transfer to an Residential Treatment Center (RTC). Her son had gotten out of control after trying a certain medication- the same one mine had just trialed- and her son was in there because he also had become aggressive with her. Howw did her son get Residential Treatment Center (RTC)? A different PO, GAL, attny and judge. When people say the system isn't fair, it's for a reason.

    Neither PO or def attny returned my call yesterday- and in my message I just asked that each of them call me back because I had a couple of questions. If I don't hear from them this week it pretty much indicates that once again, I'll be the one run thru the mill at court. I pretty much have that feeling anyway. The def attny spoke in a way that leads me to think that.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2010
  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    There is no reason you cannot introduce the parent report into evidence. You give it to his PO, his defense attorney, the CA and send it in advance to the judge.

    Im going to be honest here, I dont see how you can just give up or walk away from a 15 year old who hasnt done something horrendous to you. You just have to work the system as good or as bad as that system is. If they order outpatient therapy, do it. We jumped over so many hoops it wasnt funny. Did they do any good? Who knows. Maybe getting into the mental health system can get him access to mental health group homes. If nothing else, you are biding time till he is 18.

    There is nothing to say that getting in trouble as a kid means you will always be in trouble. People can change. He may get tired of this. Or not. But if you arent standing behind him it wont be as easy for him.

    I wouldnt work against the system while he is a minor. Thats just too big a risk. But thats just me.
  13. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    If I were in your shoes, contemplating some sort of contempt of court or failure to appear(which I assume a charge would be for not appearing), I think I would make a list in sharpie of all the things I have done for my kiddo over the past 15 years to try to help him. The first page would just be #1. 1997 - Behavior Dr Adams. #2. 1998 Behavior Dr Jones. #3. 1998 Behavior Dr. Smith. #4. 2003 Tried to get him into Residential Treatment Center (RTC)/TBS.... No details, just a list of everything you've done in as few words as possible.

    Then, I would add another section that detailed each of those attempts and what came of them.

    And then I would go to court, hand it out, and risk my contempt charge in standing up and DEMANDING IT BE SEEN/READ/UNDERSTOOD that you have TRIED everything in your power to help this kid. And I'd say that. I'd say "I thought about not coming, but I decided that would benefit no one. At least this way, you can still charge me, but you MIGHT hear what I'm saying and you MIGHT hear me pleading for help for my kid."

    Just my 2 cents. Might be all its worth, but I'd dang sure be considering it.
  14. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I have read your threads about what is happening and I cannot help but wonder how much funding (or lack of funding) is causing the problems you are experiencing.

    I have not been through juvenile court with my difficult child....so I cannot say from personal experience what may or may not happen.

    However, it seems to me that they are trying to propose outside counseling as an 'alternative sentence'....not as a diagnosis of mental illness. In fact, a relative just went through a similar experience. In his case, he is elderly. He was facing a suspended sentence after a domestic incident involving alcohol...yadda, yadda, yadda. After another domestic incident (in which everyone involved behaved badly and nobody was seriously hurt)--police were called and he was arrested. He should have been facing three years in jail....BUT the courts really did not want to commit a man in his seventies to jail as a first-time felon.

    Instead--the courts ordered weekly counseling sessions for the entire family. "Out-Patient Counseling" is the sentence in lieu of jail time. The courts did not officially determine that the man has a mental illness or even anger issues. Their rationale was that family counseling could potentially help the family avoid the kind of conflicts that lead to police intervention.


    It sounds to me like this is what the court is trying to set up for your son, too. Not as a "solution" or a "magic bullet"--but as an alternative to extended jail time.
  15. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I don't know, Ladies. I'm sitting here right now debating on whether or not to go to tonight's visitation. I didn't go last weekend. The PO said when he saw difficult child right after being put in detention, difficult child was talking non-stop about all he'd done and that he was planning on laying out of school again if he hadn't been arrested and how much he wanted to do drugs. Now, if PO wasn't exagerrating to manipulate me into agreement for his real plan- which is obviously a lot different than what he'd led me to believe- I see this as indicating one of three things- 1) difficult child really is BiPolar (BP) and is experiencing hypomania or mania, 2) difficult child is just showing how well he copes in high-stress situations and this is somehow a cry for help or strong indicator of bigger issues he has that need to be resolved, or 3) difficult child really doesn't give a hoot and is always just going to do what he wants and manipulate others into thinking he cares long enough to get something he wants. The whole idea behind the psychiatric Residential Treatment Center (RTC) was to get difficult child all the medications (that weren't working) and get that question answered- plan B of course was for this to happen in Department of Juvenile Justice. Unfortunately, by the time we get thru this process, difficult child wouldn't get back to the same facility until months from now. I think it would be best for the same profs there to see him and let them tell us if this is a major change in him- or can he control it and behave wonderfully just like he had been doing, at his own will. But again, it doesn't seem to matter what the parent thinks is in the kid's best interest. I had asked PO and def attny to just look at time periods difficult child was always arrested- he's always this way this time of year and then a pretty good (or reasonable ) kid the other times of year- at least for the few years prior to going to Department of Juvenile Justice. They have both told me they didn't have time to look at that. That made me think they didn't really believe there was any MI- this was an excuse. Then, they are now pushing for this treatment- I swear I don't think it has to do with anything other than covering their rears.

    The pecking order here in the juvenile courts works like this- 1) the judge, 2) the other courts people there, 3) other local agencies (sd, mental health, dss), 3) state agencies, 4) community, 5) parent of delinquent, 6) delinquent. And that oorderis exactly the order of priority and consideration they give when making decisions and deciding how to treat people.

    It is very difficult for me right now to have faith in difficult child or in the system and I can't control either one and just feel like giving up- seriously, I wonder why I am even there other than to be used and blamed by both. I felt like such a scapegoat today that I googled the word- I don't know why it just kept sticking in my mind and I kept relating it back to my dysfunctional family. I had thought it was only common in dysfunctional families but I found a few interesting articles about how it is common in several environments. Ironically enough, it is also common in court systems and mental health relationships. Well, that explains a lot. That led to looking up "the drama triangle" and what to do about it to stop this pattern. So, I am comfortable now that I need to quit letting them put me in this role and if I change and not be their doormat, it forces the other players to change. That is what I want to do because this isn't working and I have always felt it is dysfunctional. It might not be that way in all courts- it might be something that stemmed from office politics in this particular court, I don't know. But, the last article I read gave a couple of suggestions that I will mull over. I might skip a court date but that isn't necessarily turning me back on difficult child. I'll just see how things go.

    You know the drill- I just have to keep reminding myself to act, not react; put my own mental health and my child's best interest first; don't bite into their manipulative tactics and keep dysfunction going; etc.

    And some of this depends on what others have done between now and then- difficult child and def attny and PO. by the way- neither returned my call today either so I feel sure they are wrapped up in some deal (def attny told me they are talking and he portrayed it like they are very close- on a first name basis, etc) and then trying to get me to buy into it or I'll be reamed. My gut feeling, especially after reading these articles today is that I am being made the scapegoat (typical for parents involved in "systems", apparently) in order to cover up that others dropped the ball. It isn't always intentional- but once one person does it, it almost becomes automatic for others near that person to do it until one person starts handling things differently. Again, the article gave some pointers that I will mull over.

    You can be sure though, they don't want me saying anything more than they can keep close control over- like putting me on the stand prior to attacking me so I can never respond to anything they are accusing me of later. It's all strategy. And it's not because they care about difficult child. It's because they don't care but they have to make it look like they do to the judge because they know they have a warrior mom, so that's why I'm being discredited on the offense.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2010
  16. Robinboots

    Robinboots New Member

    Grrrrrrrrrrrrr. My post disappeared! Haven't been around much lately and am stunned at all this.

    Here's my two cents:

    If you don't show in court, you could be charged with contempt. Probably that, and a continuance. They won't terminate parental rights just for that, altho you could be charged with abandonment and they could put difficult child in foster care. That's not entirely a bad thing, because it gives you a break. been there done that.

    Re visitation - there was a time or two that I didn't go. Da*ned if you do, da*ned if you don't, Know what I mean?? I could go and listen to difficult child's lies and delusions and cry later, or stay home and just cry. Either/or.
  17. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I didn't go to visitation tonight. I'll go this weekend since the next court date is next week. Here are the options I've come up with so far- these are to mull over, not a final decision.

    1) write letters to these people since they won't return my call, however, this will definitely cause more animosity and might cause difficult child to not be able to come back home even after his release from Department of Juvenile Justice, assuming they go ahead and send him there
    2) not show up for the arraignment (his def attny has already told me he won't be there and he won't be asking for difficult child's release on the program so it isn't any great loss but probably will provoke a phone call from someone - PO- to find out what is going on- I have never missed one of difficult child's court dates)- it would get a GAL assigned if NEITHER mother or def attny shows up
    3) show up for the arriagnment but not the trial- that would be a BIG sign that parent is not going along with the plan- I don't think it would have major consequences directly on me because many parents in this state get to a point where they give up and walk away when their kids get in this system- is it any wonder why? But, it would force either a postponement of the trial and a GAL looking into things (probably a different one) or difficult child going straaight to Department of Juvenile Justice once judge sees the parent is not willing to go along with an outpatient/community plan
    4) go and not comply with any order to go to a therapist, get served with a show cause, meaning I go to court and explain why I am not comfortable doing this- that actuall;y looks worse on the people I tried to discuss this with but refused to listen (PO)
    5) leave another phone message to difficult child's defense attny saying that I think it's in difficult child's best interest for him to understand why I am bucking this idea
  18. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    6) call the victim's advoccate at the prosecutor's office who contacted me last year after difficult child pulled the knife on me
    7) request a hearing myself from the judge due to concern's about my son (doesn't play well with PO and attny's)
    8) if (when) we get orders to go to county mental health, go to the county crisis center (in same building and same dept) and tell them why I am not comfortable doing this- they are the ones who a tdo goes thru and already know about the knife-pulling that ultimately, the PO did nothing about- see- the probation officer KNEW that difficult child had done this before and she did NOTHING to help- oh wait- she ordered in home therapy that was due to start 2 weeks later but difficult child did it again before that 2 weeks even went by- these people don't get the idea of crisis or acute- aanyway, back to this idea- they can't say I didn't comply if I went to the crisis center and told them I am scared to try this approach and tell them to look at their records from winter of 2008/2009 and they can call the phosps that difficult child was in- advantage- difficult child will already be released and this isn't a parole violation for him
    9) file for relief/parental placement with dss again. That forces dss to meet with the parent within 10 days. They don't want to take the child and they get real tic'd off if this is a family in another public agency already because it means that dept is not really assisting this family appropriately. So, it forces a meeting between dss, the parent, and any agency already involved- not an automatic placement of the kid

    I'm still mulling ideas over- seriously- they couldn't possibly care- I told PO this is why the psychiatrists had said we need family therapy out of the home, before difficult child comes back, and that it was key because difficult child had been getting aggressive with me when these more sensitive issues are opened up in outpatient settings. I think this is why they have tried to discredit me- they know I'm not a doormat and it would look pretty bad if it came out in headlines that these people kept sending this kid home if they had been told- so their answer is to not listen to me, not read the records, and discredit me. The story of the 14yo that difficult child was incarcerated with comes to mind often though- his therapist had told people that he could explode and harm his grandmother. They sent and took him home anyway and he stabbed his grandmother to death. Of course he's still incarcerated at 18yo and will be for years. Didn't the system play some responsibility in this, too? That happened in this state a few years ago- no one blames any official or anyone but this kid. I'm not saying he is blameless, but our system has no accountability and the system failed that entire family, yet in our state, no one in the system can be sued for stuff like this so they don't care. It was not in the kid's best interest to send him home knowing he was at a risk for that any more than it was in the grandmother's.

    They need to think about this too and I'm sure they have and it's a frustration for them- if they stick my butt in jail, they have to find a place for difficult child to go right then. If he's sent to my bro, he won't be under their control anymore. But, if they stuck me in jail for contempt it could be no longer than 10 days- and they can't take custody from me for that I don't think. DSS could not get difficult child to my bro and back in that amount of time.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2010