letter in progress to judge-

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Jan 19, 2009.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Those of you who have been reading my threads- what do you think about this draft letter to judge to file with another request for a hearing tomorrow morning?

  2. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hi K--

    Just my opinion--but I think your request for immediate services should be in the very first paragraph. The letter is lengthy, and you don't want the point to get lost if a judge merely glances over your writing.

    I might also condense the financial issue to a single concise paragraph where I explain that the time caring for this boy interferes with the ability to work and to afford to provide more extensive services yourself. You don't want it to sound as though options are available but you'd rather not pay out of pocket. (I understand what you are saying completely--but sometimes it does not occur to well-heeled judicial staff that you really don't earn enough money to cover these kinds of expenses).

    Just my two cents--

    Last edited: Jan 19, 2009
  3. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree with putting your ultimate goal in the first paragraph, so the judge knows up front what you are requesting and why. Another suggestion. when I did my letter, I did a sort of a timeline listing all of the things I had done/requested to date to help my daughter, using bullet-points. I made each one no longer than two sentences where possible; I have a feeling that judges merely scan these, at least at first glance, and bullets make it morelikely they'll get the point. You've got all that here, I would just organize it slightly differently. The other reason for a timeline is it shows clearly that things have gotten worse, not better, since your initial attempt to get services, hence your out-of-the-ordinary request for immediate intervention by the court. Perhaps in your introduction you could state something to the effect that are seeking more services because since your difficult child's intial appearance before the judge on x date, things have gotten progressively worse, you have encountered more and more roadblocks to getting your difficult child the help he needs, including his own P.O. who seems to be a hinderance to getting him the mental health care he so desparately needs (don't forget to quote her insane words!). Then you could list what you've done so far to try to get him help, ending with the current hospilization and the fact he is facing discharge with a good "safety plan" in place.

    Just suggestions, I can tell you've worked hard on this already!
  4. ML

    ML Guest

    You are a gifted writer and it's a great letter. I do agree with re-organizing it in a manner so that if it's being glanced out, the main points can't be missed. If a letter has a lot of white space it's supposed to be less intimidating to the reader (at least that's what I've heard) and more likely to be read in its entirety. Hugs, ML
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Never mind. I just got back from picking up the psychiatric hospital's letter. It recommends intensive in-home threapy. Which is exactly how MST got ordered in the first place. And before everyone starts telling me how I can have that changed- I'va already been there done that. And Yes I do know that there are other types of in home therapy but the judge and PO and GAL apparently do not. been there done that, too. I give up. I'm going to pursue giving up custody. It's either that or file charges against him for the knives incidents and I'm simply not comfortable with that as there is too much doubt in my mind that it is a mental health issue. If it were a home issue, why do they have him on MS's?

    It's his b-day. I checked him off the ward about 1/2 hour and gave him cupcakes. I told him that I needed to pursue other things but that if he couldn't live at home, to always remember that I still love him. Then I had to leave. I simply cannot keep it together right now.

    I humbly ask that no one asks me to go back and explain anything else about what I've already tried and fought and gone thru a year ago or 2 years ago or even 6 mos. ago.
  6. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I'm so sorry, klmno.
  7. maril

    maril New Member

    I, too, am sorry. I truly hope soon there will be changes that will bring you some peace of mind.
  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thank you. I'm trying to calm down. If had faith in the legal authorities not to turn this into MST and faith in therapist not to change from the type of services he wrote in his letter, this would be easier. But the way the sw wrote this letter, it would be very easy for the PO and judge to turn into "it's just a problem at home- order MST and don't let them out of it this time". Especially the PO-

    What can I do? Apply for chins and release from probation as originally planned and let it known in the letter that if we don't get services that I believe we need, then place difficult child out of home, if they order something different or don't do it or judge won't agree to hear the case, then I guess I'll end up in jail for not complying with current requirements or I'll be charged for neglect of difficult child for not being able to provide for him.

    by the way- the reason for the request is written on a county form that goes on top of the letter. I'm trying to show the urgency of the matter so the judge will keep reading. Atl least that was my thought. The clerk told me to write in there what all the other agency reps had told me, since the judge refused my last request and directed me to other agencies. Also, this has to be copied to PO. The clerk is not allowed to present it to the judge if the PO isn't copied.
  9. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Hugs, K. I know you are exhausted. I'm so sorry.
  10. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    what does the psychiatric hospital do if I don't go pick difficult child up?
  11. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm sending supportive cyber hugs your way. There is NO doubt that you have been and continue to be an outstanding Warrior Mom. I am so very sorry that the deck seems to be stacked against your ultimate goal but I
    sincerely admire your tenacity, your clarity and your dedication to finding the best help available. DDD
  12. Janna

    Janna New Member

    If you don't pick him up, my guess is they will call Children and Youth Services and have him placed in the custody of the County/Town whatever where you live.

    Then he'll probably go to some type of shelter or respite foster care home until they can figure out what to do with him.

    Then, if you refuse to take him back (I'm not sure on legality and ramifications, or if you can really *do* that), they will probably take you and him to court, and either legally place him back home, or place him into some type of "theraputic" foster care where they will make the goal (more than likely) reunification, and you will work with them, foster parents and whoever else to bring him home.

    Know, through all this, if it does go this route, you will be forced to continue insurance, and be prepared for hefty child support payments. I've gone this route (not refusing to take my son home, but placing him in custody) and it's financially drained me.

    You could ask about emancipation, but I'm not sure about the age on that. I emancipated my son, but he had turned 17, was in legal trouble, and I refused to pay one more penny toward anything he was doing. I had just cause for it, and was lucky enough that he was already involved with court, so we just did it with probation/judge/court etc.

    I'm very sorry for what you're going through.
  13. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thanks, Janna- that is very useful info. It sounds like it's no longer an option, though. It looks like all I can do is request a hearing and tell the judge that I can no longer meet the supervisory requirements, the financial requirements, the mental health care needs, and ensure that I can keep my son safe from himself and his own actions. I'd tell the PO as is required however, she will just say that I have to, then take me to court when it doesn't happen.
  14. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    When I asked the psychiatric hospital about not picking youngest up (the times they discharged her with NO notice, and called me to come pick her up), they told me I would be charged with parental abandonment. I was told "off the record," however, by her Children Services Board (CSB) in-home therapist, that sometimes parents have to go that route to get their kids help. Janna's scenario is about right, they'd put him into foster care for the time being.

    I don't think you have anything to lose at this point by going ahead and submitting your chins request with your letter. I know you must be absolutely exhausted. I will say that in-home *therapeutic* services would likely come from Children Services Board (CSB) or a contracted provider, if you are granted those. But I absolutely understand your concern about the court viewing it a different way. You just have to hope and pray that someone's brian finally *clicks* on the mental health piece.

    Rest. Get a good night's sleep, if you can. No decisions need to be made tonight. If you are a believer, do your best to "let go and let God." Perhaps in the morning, things will look better, even if only slightly.

    Lots of us here are praying for you. We know you're doing everything you can.
  15. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thanks, Crazy. I'm calming, slightly. LOL! Yes, I think I need to work on the letter and say something like "if no help can be provided except MST, then xxx". This is because I took it to court to get MST removed and took evidence that mst is for conduct disorder (behavioral issues) only and does not allow for other treatments at the same time. The judge ruled in my favor. She also let difficult child out of detention and allowed him to come home on probation so I could get him treatment that I said I'd pay for. Now, I'm going back in asking that he be removed from probation and asking for help because I can't pay or otherwise provide all that he needs. How well can that possibly go over? But- difficult child has not hada any further legal charges and they are real pleased with his behavior at school. I just keep trying to mull things over and come up with an "angle" that will get difficult child help and not put any more demands on me- as I've said a lot lately- I can't meet the obligations I already have, that's in part why things kept getting worse. Maybe I should call difficult child's attny before I file anything and tell him what difficult child has done and why I'm doing this. But, then, if this proceeds and difficult child needs an attny in court, I can't afford to keep this guy on.
  16. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think the key is somehow getting them to separate the legal issues from the mental health ones. The fact he's had no more legal run-ins definitely works in his favor, but clearly he's deteriorated in other ways. Maybe that's the angle; he's managed to stay out of trouble legally but he's become a danger to himself and the issues have shifted, so to speak ... time to focus on the mental health piece rather than the probation piece...
  17. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Ok- but the only thing I can say that shows how urgent and critical this is, is to tell them he has damaged our house, can't make it to school half the time and held a knife at my throat in one hand while swinging his arm back with another knife in the other hand, while my back was against the wall. Do you have any idea how this PO, and even the judge would react to that?

    Also, When you tried the in-home services, did the therapist start out with the pretense that it's a family trying to deal with BiPolar (BP) stabilization or did he/she start on the pretense that if the family was structured enough, or whatever, that the problems wouldn't be there?
  18. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Honestly I don't think you need to go into the details. But, there is the chance they'll ask ... I'm just throwing things out there I guess. I didn't give too much detail in my letter, just basic facts.

    Therapists don't start with any pretense. Any therapist that does, would be unethical. They come in and assess the situation, talk to you and difficult child, they decide what they can to do help amd what sort of treatment/services they can provide. I know you feel betrayed by the system, but any therapist would be there for you and your son. They would report back to FAPT or whomever, but that doesnt' mean they have any other agenda other than to HELP you. That also doesn't mean they betray confidentialities other than basic information about progress. Again, ethics.
  19. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh.. and I think the way you show it's critical? Is to show the progression up to now .. and the roadblocks you've faced.. and now he's hospitalized. And you're at the end of your rope, and out of options. Talk about "pleading for the mercy of the court." You are there.
  20. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thanks, Crazy. I'm trying to give this another chance. MST and the guy we had assigned to that just didn't work that way and I sincerely cringed at the thought of him byt the 4th visiit- I still cringe at the thought of ever having to go thru that again. But while in court for that, I asked the judge if the county could provide services to help at home other than MST because that clearly was not what the psychiatrists were suggesting and was not appropriate for difficult child. The judge, PO, and GAL all said that was all the county had to offer. I know that isn't true, now, because over the past couple mos while researching all this, I found that this SAME judge is on one of the CSA boards- now you know that she has to KNOW about fapt and additional services available. Maybe she meant that she wasn't going to make it available for difficult child?? According to PO, the county is not going to pay for difficult child to get any more.