Need help!


New Member
I posted a story about my son and the fear and chaos he creates in our home. He's currently in a treatment center and has been there a week today. I talked to him last night and he told me they moved him to the children's unit, I asked why and he told me because another boy was touching him inappropriately. I asked how and he said on my private parts. I was furious! They had him on a unit with kids as old as 17 and apparently the boy who did it is 15! My son is 12 so why would they have him with boys that much older than him and why wasn't someone watching them for something like this to happen! I've called repeatedly trying to get a hold of someone for answers because a doctor, nurse, therapist or any personnel has called to inform me of what happened! I spoke to him at 7 last night and immediately called after he told me and was told I could leave a message for a call back, which I did. I've called numerous times today and still nothing. I do have plans to just go but it's 45 minutes from me and I'm waiting for my mother in law to come take my other two so I can. Can I file against this place for not watching him properly or allowing this to happen? He's supposed to have constant care and be watched, especially since he was speaking of harming himself. I thought someone was supposed to keep a closer eye on people who make threats like that! Can someone please help me on what I need to do or who I can call for help


Active Member
No, don't file against the facility... Rather call the police and press charges against the kid who did this to your son. I assure you that will wreck this kid's fun for quite some time! The same sort of thing can and does happen at a public school. They can't watch every single kid every single second. But you should report these things to the police when they do happen, then they will place the bad kid under special supervision and/or in jail.


Well-Known Member
Just an obvious word of warning, without in any way meaning to offend... is there any possibility the story is not true? Should this possibility be considered first, perhaps with the treatment centre, before the police are brought in?


New Member
Just an obvious word of warning, without in any way meaning to offend... is there any possibility the story is not true? Should this possibility be considered first, perhaps with the treatment centre, before the police are brought in?
That's what I'm trying to figure out. I'm having a hard time getting in touch with anyone regarding this so at this point it's hear say. If it's true I plan on getting police involved and his boy be charged

pigless in VA

Well-Known Member
I believe I'd go pay them a visit as soon as I could in order to get it sorted out. It is possible that your son wants you to rescue him. It's also possible that he was molested. Try to keep an open mind and be calm.


Well-Known Member
Tweens (11 and 12) are tricky. If they put them with younger ones, then the tweens can be the perpetrators. If they put them with teens, they can be the victims.

Sister's Keeper

Active Member
Is your son on 1:1 observation? If so and this did happen the facility is ABSOLUTELY at fault. If he is supposed to be on 1:1 then I would absolutely report this incident to the state, as well as calling the police.

I would go to the facility ASAP. If your son does maintain that he was molested call the police immediately from the facility.


member since 1999
Helix -

I am so very very sorry you and your son are having to deal with this. I know the absolute gut punch this must be for you. I hope by now you have gotten some answers from staff.

I've been there done that with my son. A couple of thoughts I'd like to share with you based on our experiences, but first, I want to make it absolutely clear that I am NOT excusing this behavior. It shouldn't happen - in a perfect world. We do not live in a perfect world, especially when we're talking about mentally ill kids. Additionally, it is *absolutely* inexcusable that you have not been able to speak with staff about this. I find that more alarming than the incident itself. Let me explain....

For a lot of us, hypersexuality in our kids is part of program. Bipolar kids especially can be hypersexual starting at very young ages (3 in our case). Put a group of mentally ill kids together and you *will* have sexualized behavior. Period. Any Residential Treatment Center (RTC) that is doing its job should have a SACY (sexually aggressive children and youth - a term used in 2000, so they may have changed it by now, but you get the idea) policy, and it's something I always recommend parents to ask about as they view potential treatment centers. It's an uncomfortable topic for some folks (myself included at the time), but again, unfortunately, sexualized behavior is not uncommon with some of our kids, even in non-Residential Treatment Center (RTC) settings.

The good RTCs my son was in had very specific policies in place, and they were followed. It did not prevent the behaviors, but it did allow for swift intervention and further prevention for/from the offenders and victims. They also did not admit kids who were known to be predatory (there are some RTCs that cater specifically to the more severe SACY population).

Realistically, it takes a split second for an incident of touching to occur. To expect staff to have eyes on every single client 24/7 is unrealistic. on the other hand, if the alleged offender has a history of this behavior, he should have been on "eyes on" supervision. It is done (or at least it was done 10 years ago).

You son's age is difficult. He is right on the cusp of being a teen, and I can understand why he was put on a teen unit. on the other hand, from your first post I kind of get the feeling he might be a very young 12-year-old, so.... it would have been equally reasonable for them to put him on the younger kids' unit first as well. But - they may have been trying to ascertain his level of function.... I don't know.

Our most serious incident of sexual behavior occurred when my son was in an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) that treated only kids from ages 6-12. He was 12 at the time (had been there 3 years), and his unit had kids aged 10-12. The story has changed so many times over the years that I don't really know for sure if my son was victim or willing participant, or even the specifics of the incident. I'm as confident as I can get about anything from those dark years that he was not the aggressor. DCFS was called in to investigate by the Residential Treatment Center (RTC), within hours, and I was notified immediately as well. Because DCFS deemed the incident "consensual" (don't ask, I still can't wrap my head around that one) between two 12-year-olds, the investigation was closed. The Residential Treatment Center (RTC) put both kids on "eyes on" supervision. I was comfortable with the interventions staff put in place, but I had the benefit of having worked with them already for 3 years - I knew them very well, and they knew me and my family very well, and I trusted them completely. I still think that trust was well placed.

I think your Residential Treatment Center (RTC) acted properly in moving him to another unit. I'm utterly dumbfounded that they didn't contact you *immediately*. I would definitely ask them what their policy is on notifying parents of incidents of any type - violence, illness, sexual behavior - any and everything you can think of.

Just based on our experience, police are not going to act here (you've got 2 minors receiving mental health treatment, and heaven knows what the background of the alleged offender is). If the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) is unable to address your concerns (and maybe even if they are able to), a call to DCFS (or CPS or whatever it's call in your state) would be the way to go. Was this an isolated incident, or it is a red flag that staff is not following appropriate protocols?

Yes, your son has the right to be protected. Gosh, I hate to even type this, but I think it really needs to be said. He has the right to be protected to the best of staff's ability. That does not mean he will be safe 100% of the time. You know the behaviors you have been dealing with at home, and you know that you have been unable to protect yourself or the rest of the family 24/7, just as I was unable to protect myself or my family, just like a lot of us weren't able to. This could just as easily have been an incident of violence where your son got caught in another kid's rage, or it could have been an incident of him getting harmed during his own raging. Residential Treatment Center (RTC) staff should be trained on how to handle *all* of these types of situations, but even the very best RTCs cannot guarantee there will never be an incident. To my eye, the more important issue is how they handle the incident and what measures are instituted to prevent a repeat in the future.

I'm sorry. I've read and re-read this to try to make it gentler, softer. I truly remember the nausea I had when we had to deal with this, the disbelief, the wanting to hold someone (other than the children) accountable. Again, because I trusted staff implicitly and we already had a long history of working together, I probably didn't flip out nearly as much as I would've with a new Residential Treatment Center (RTC), but still... it was pretty awful.

I hope you are able to get some answers.

Gentle hugs to you.
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Well-Known Member
The child abuse laws may differ in your state but in my state, consensual sexual behavior with any child who is 12 years old is not consensual if the other child is 14 or over. I would say that the older boy could be charged, and depending upon his mental status at the time, convicted. . And depending if it did happen, which needs to be investigated...That is to say, your son may have dissembled for secondary gain.

If it happened, it is a crime, because of your son's age. And if it is alleged to have happened it needs to be investigated. But such an investigation is usually in house. (If the hospital administrator is involved I do not believe they would hush it up if they were smart, because they would know their liability, I believe, and know that concealment makes it waay worse.) Which is to say that maybe lower level employees were negligent and are concealing this from their bosses, and you will get assistance if you advice the highest level.

In my State all of this is law. Not just in residential treatment centers, but in nursing homes, and in prisons, adult facilities too. To the extent that there is a law called PREA, which I think stands for prison rape elimination act. Rapes are rampant in prison.

The institutions used to be indifferent to prison rapes. Until they started getting sued--for a lot of money. The reason the courts pay out so much money is because people in these settings are dependent upon the care and responsibility of the people that work there--it is a custodial situation. The residents are sitting ducks. Especially kids.

What I do believe, like others, is that the facility responded extremely irresponsibly and stupidly, by not returning your phone calls. They as if invited suspicion. Why in the world would you not return a call...if you were not negligent in some way?

I would call directly to the administrator of the facility. The top person. I would speak with nobody else.

I would call for an investigation. In writing. Now.

I would call the ombudsperson who works for the county where the facility is. The number should be posted. That person (there is one in every county) is paid to represent residents in facilities such as this. If you cannot find the County ombudsman there is a state one. You can google your state and ombudsman and you will find phone numbers.

I might call the police, or I might wait.

I would talk to my son and I would demand that the facility pay for a psychologist specialized in sexual trauma in children, to counsel and to talk to your son. The minute they became aware of the possibility of assault the facility needed (by law in my state, to have your son medically examined. They need to do so, now.. Again, this need for an immediate investigation is triggered regardless of proof anything occurs. All that is required is an allegation. That criteria has been met. At least in my state.)

Finally, if your child should have been on suicide (and he was not) this makes the whole thing even worse. But you do not know yet, what is true, as sish and pigless implied. There may have been secondary gain for your son to get you hysterically afraid and anger and pull him.

But it is not your responsibility to investigate and to prove anything. It is the facility's responsibility to disprove it, by investigating thoroughly and ruling out such an event.

Finally, if indeed it was determined that such a crime took place, or perhaps even the likelihood of such an event, your son might quality for benefits under the victim's assistance program. You would apply through the District Attorney's office in the county where the act took place. The benefits would include free psychotherapy for a year at least. The therapists who do this work are very good. Top. Because it pays a great deal.

The reason I might hesitate to get the police involved right away is because, one we do not want to empower your son if he is manipulating and lying (not to say he is). I would also have the rights and welfare of my child front and center. I think I might want to see how the investigation plays out, and how he is affected by it. I would also want him stabilized first before he was put under further pressure.

I would call the hospital administrator and I would put into writing your request for an investigation, what your son alleges happened to him, with whom, and date it and sign it. I would make copies. If it is a chain I would also call the head office.

I would take this very seriously, as you are doing--but I would be cautious and deliberate.

I am sorry this has happened. As if you needed it. Keep posting (I hope) and let us know.
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Well-Known Member
I don't know if the police do take this on. Maybe it depends on the state.

In Wisconsin, when the 12 year old child we had adopted admitted he had molested our two youngest, he was actually charged with sexual assault of a minor and HE was a minor. But our law here states that if you touch anybody six years younger than you, you are liable and he was. We did not even think about pressing charges. We just wanted him gone. The DA pressed charges and he was found guilty of sexual assault of a minor in the first degree and had his mug on the sexual offender list. He was taken to a lock up facility for young sexual offenders where the cameras ranb24/7 and was caught trying to offend again.

He is is no longer on the sex offender list. Either they dropped it after he turned eighteen or he didn't register. Not registering is a crime and he was guilty of this once before and put into jail.

We called CP S and my husbands voice was shaking as he told worker what this child admitted he'd done many times. "Get him out of here it ill kill him." My husband got into no trouble for his words.

Boy was removed, adoption dissolved, and the county paid for many good services and therapy for us, which helped us all bond even closer and to stay strong.

We never saw or wanted to see the offender again.

So that is what happened in Wisconsin. Had he picked on a child his own age, I think it is different. He crossed that six year line
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Well-Known Member
I do not know your state but I googled residential treatment children and ombudsman and this comes up.

Legal Regulation of Residential Child Care and Education Institutions . ..... Children's Rights Protection Ombudsman

This type of office might be of some help. Also, depending on what might come up down the road, there are state agencies that license residential treatment centers. But I think you could hurt any potential case if you get too aggressive too soon. First, I would protect my child and request investigation, before making any accusation. At least that is how I might approach it.


New Member
I'm sorry for the late response but I've been dealing with this all day. I never received a call back so I went to the facility where I had no luck in speaking to anyone. I didn't want to act irrational or angry even though I was and I'm glad I wasn't able to make it down there immediately or the situation would have been different. I was told the therapist was in session and wouldn't be able to come speak to me as well as the doctor was busy with patients. I was able to speak to the nurse on the unit and he told me he is unable to give me any information because today is his first day on this unit and he doesn't know the full story except he was moved to the kids unit because he was touched by a 16 year old boy, (which initially I thought 15) and that's all he could say. I asked why no one has yet to contact me regarding this issue and he had no answers. This has now happened 3 days ago and I have yet to speak to someone for answers or receive a phone call. I did leave numerous voicemails for the therapist with no luck so all I have so far is what my sons said and confirmation from the unit nurse but he can't give me details because he's new and doesn't fully understand what happened. My son went in there with threats of wanting to harm himself so I thought it would have called for a 1:1 but apparently not. I understand they can't be watched 24/7 and he isn't the only one on the unit but for it to happen out in the open is where I question it because obviously no one is close enough to where it could happen in plain view and not a single person saw it. My son is 12 but doesn't have the mentality of a 12 year old, he may have aggression and anger but the mentality is not typical of someone his age, he acts way younger and is actually doing a lot better on the kids unit from what he told me. I'm very upset that no one notified me and has yet to do so and because my options were limited today and even though I went there I didn't get answers from anyone who knew about the situation. I'm definitely not going to a treatment center and flipping out from my anger because it won't get me anywhere. I'm trying to stay calm and rational for the time being and hoping to get answers tomorrow

Sister's Keeper

Active Member
3 days and a 12 year old child was assaulted and no one has contacted you or returned your calls? There is no excuse.

I would call them and tell them that my next call will be to the police and the call after that to your lawyer.