Panicking a little-DSS/CPS is being called...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by carolinablonde, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. carolinablonde

    carolinablonde New Member

    We brought C to the hospital Friday night. She's been there all weekend and they've been unable to find her a bed at a hospital with a child psychiatric unit. So, they called tonight and said that since she was stable all weekend they decided that she could go home. We told them no. We don't feel safe with her in the home and we can't have her here. The guy at the hospital said that he would have to call DSS and he mentioned something about needing placement rather then another hospitalization. Anyway, what I'm scared about is our other 3 kids in the house. I'm a worryer, so I'm just scared that they're going to take them too. I just need someone more sane than I at this moment to maybe give me a little reassurance.


    carolinablonde :)
  2. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Look the last thing CPS is going to want to do is find placement for all 4 of your kids. They really don't want to do that if the kids are not truly at risk. CPS has a bad name because sometimes they do have to remove kids and sometimes they make mistakes and those are what are published in the newspaper. They also do some really good work and sometimes they can provide good services. My advice is to be very honest with them, tell them exactly why she can't come home and that in fact it is because you are worried about your other three kids. It really should be ok..... I hope you get a good worker. There are some good ones out there and of course there are some lousy ones too.
  3. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    If they try to suggest that your other kids need to be removed, point out that you have refused to take C home because you are PROTECTING your other kids. If you let C come back home, THEN maybe it would be more valid to suggest removal of the other kids, for their safety. But to threaten you and your other kids' placement with you, because you are trying to keep them safe - unacceptable. Stand your ground and say so. Ask the person who tells you this, what he/she would do if they had a violent child in the home who attacks other family members including the other kids, someone who can't be left unsupervised because of the real and present danger she presents to the other kids. What would they do in your shoes? And if they say, "I would take her home, of course," ask them to really think through how they could guarantee the safety of their own children, and their pets, when a child like this gets up in the middle of the night and roams the house. tell them that you want the benefit of their wisdom, because you have run out of ideas. All suggestions welcome, please.

    I have at times found that when I turn the scenario back to the personal ("How would you handle it?") the objections to my methods evaporate away.

  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Good luck. Whatever they tell you to do, do it. It is unlikely they will take your other kids, but I understand the concern. CPS freaks me out :/
  5. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Carolina blonde--

    YES!!!! - "Placement" is what you want for difficult child, "Hospitalization" is for crisis...."Placement" is for long-term....that's what you mean, and that's what you want....

    Now cross your fingers that the facility will actually make the referral for you!
  6. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Toughlovin and Marg have given you some great words. I do agree with DF that you want placement. This would not be a "quick-until-we-consider-her-stable" solution - it would be a chance for her to get some real help.

    Hold firm - don't assume they are out to do their worst - you are in the right.

  7. carolinablonde

    carolinablonde New Member about 7:00 last night we got a call from DSS. My husband was sleeping because he works thirds. I had to wake him up for the lady to talk to him. She wanted to know if he was going to pick C up. He told her the same thing that we had been saying all along. She said that the doctors at the hospital are the professionals and they say that she's stable. At that point I got on the phone and pointed out that twice now, doctors have released her after 10 day stays saying she was stable and within 48 hours she's back at the hospital. So, why does this dr know any better. She told me that if we didn't come get her then they would have to look at other plans and that would include possibly taking the other 3. I told her I wanted to speak to her supervisor. Her supervisor told me the same thing. I fought with her and begged her to please just help us. She said that it goes to their attorney and the attorney decides if the other 3 should be removed. She couldn't make any promises either way. I explained to her that we weren't getting C because we are trying to keep the other 3 safe. Bringing her home is the potential danger. Of course, they don't see it that way. She tells me that they need to also see that we have a plan. I asked her what more of a plan can we have. We have put an application in for residential treatment and are waiting for approval from medicaid. I can't make things go any faster. We also already had an appointment set up with DSS to discuss out options before any of this happened. We are willing to take any help that we can get, but it's like pulling teeth to get it. Anyway, I couldn't take the chance that the other 3 would be removed from the home so I drove to the hospital. I had it out with the social worker there. She said that C had been fine all weekend. I said of course she has. She gets whatever she wants when she's here. TV all day, tons of food, and her "sitters" (she has someone stay with her when we can't be there) bring her all sorts of presents. No one is asking her to do anything. All the nurses(who spend the most time with C) were totally confused as to why they were sending her home. One nurse did her best to convince the dr to change his mind, but no luck. Even after C admitted that she's hearing voices. The sitter is the one that brought it up. They were walking the halls and C just started talking to someone. She dropped a stuffed animal that she was carrying and had a blank look on her face. She told the sitter that the voices told her to drop the dog and to push the sitter and run. Anyway, I was pushed into a corner and had to take her home. She went into her room, the alarm went on her door and I had my youngest sleep with me. Anything that she could potentially use as a weapon was already put away. C can be totally fine and behaving well, but it's when she "snaps" that we don't know what she'll do. There is always a trigger, typically us asking her to do something(take a time out, go to bed at her normal bedtime, take her medications, quiet down a little in the car). When she snaps she has a total break in reality and there is NO reasoning with her. Anyway, I'm rambling now. We have our previously scheduled appointment with DSS today at noon to discuss options. I just want them to find a place for her without all this BS about taking the other kids. I guess we'll see what happens...

    Thanks again
  8. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I am so sorry that you are going through this. We had the same experience with CPS. I hope they can give you some help today.
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi Carolinablonde. I have been off the boards for a couple of days due to a monitor issue. I cant remember if I have responded to you before or not. I probably would have if I had seen your name because I also live in the Carolina's. North to be exact. Because I dont know if you are dealing with North or South I will give you some tips on NC from my days dealing with them. Because I have been out of the loop for almost - gosh...its been 7 years now since I had to do battle to get my son in to his last placement! - I am a bit rusty with CPS, mental health Residential Treatment Center (RTC)'s placements, and forcing issues with medicaid. I can tell you how I forced the issue though.

    I got absolutely nowhere with local DSS and CPS and you would have thought I would have considering I would have had the inside track considering I worked for them! I went to dozens of CPS workers and even threw myself on the Director's feet sobbing on bended knee pleading my case as not only a citizen of the county but an employee who was losing work and productivity dealing with a mentally ill child. It did absolutely no good. I kept getting told I was doing all they could think to do. They had no interest in taking my other kids because my difficult child was my youngest child. Finally, I gave up on my local county and sent an email to the top of the chain. I emailed (and called) the Head of Health and Human Services and CC'd my county director because I quoted him in the email. I figured that was only Well that got a whole lot of attention. I did happen to mention that if I didnt get some help I intended to send the email up the chain to the federal level and the media. I dont think they liked that too much. Money does flow from somewhere when Medicaid is involved. Because I worked in the system I knew how much they had already spent on my son and it had done zero to help him. I felt that the taxpayers had a right to know. Well my little threats got attention...some not so nice attention. I was investigated up the wazoo. didnt take maybe a month before my son was placed in a special program that I had been begging for and had been turned down for so many times I cant remember. It was worth it. However I got myself blacklisted at DSS and as soon as they could get rid of me they did and they will never hire me back. Thats a shame. I loved my job and I was very good at it. I dont know if I could ever work again or not because right now Im disabled but I do think often how badly I would love to go back to working there but I know its just a pipe dream.

    For someone who doesnt work there, I would do what I did...go to the top. Call and email the Head of Health and Human Services and make as much noise as you can possibly make. Call your local congressman, both US and State. Heck, call every community action group you can. I called every Catholic Charities, Lutheran Charities, Methodist Childrens Home, Boystown Hotline, If they could offer me another rock to turn over, I called them. I know I spent days upon days calling people. In NC, I called NC Baptist Childrens Homes. We actually got services through them.
  10. Jena

    Jena New Member

    and also i am going thru a cps thing as well. so sick all of this. wow it's really upsetting me lately how we get the shaft us parents of these children when we should be getting a plaque, maybe a stipend from the government, i dont' know just not cps called on us.

    just try to breath and relax i hope it all works out

  11. HowMuchLonger

    HowMuchLonger New Member

    I echo Jena's sentiments...I know the system isn't and probably can't be perfect due to so many grey areas...but damn it seems that us parents that ARE trying are the ones getting the shaft with CPS/CAS(canada). I too have had them called on me by a substitute principal at difficult child 2/difficult child 3's school. She didn't know us or our family from a hole in the ground and made grand assumptions. When the regular principal returned she of course had to be professional and back her colleague but I could tell by the look in her eyes that she was devastated and would never in the same situation have made that call.

    carolina, I too panicked....I threw up for 3 days straight, couldn't eat even 2 weeks after they'd done their investigation and pretty much locked myself in the bathroom and cried in a bubble bath everynight for weeks. I felt that compared to a whooole lot of people I was probably on the "better" end of the parenting spectrum. I live in a fairly bad area - I've SEEN the families that clearly need either a hand or a very in depth investigation and then those that definitely need their children removed...and yet, here I was, being investigated. It's not easy...and even now it's been almost 2 years and I still get a cold shiver down my spine remembering how low I felt back then. I think that too contributed to my lowered confidence in my ability to parent difficult child 3...I was unsure of everything and trying to always do the RIGHT thing and never quite sure what the RIGHT thing was.

    I have no advice for you, jsut want you to know you are NOT alone, and NOT a bad parent. I don't see people taking the time to sign up for forums, asking questions and really baring their soles as being neglectful or bad parents. Good luck with everything, I hope the call to CPS will perhaps just give you another outlet that might help you? To be honest, they were NO help to me...the home worker came in generally when the kids were in a good state, asked how their day went and gave them candy...yeah ok..great therapy!

    Chin up...keep fighting!
  12. carolinablonde

    carolinablonde New Member

    We had our meeting with DSS. It was actually a 2 part meeting. We first met with the people that we had set up the appointment with last week. We discussed orur options with them, including relinquishment if it comes to that. They are being very helpful and are going to help to push the process along of getting her into a PRTF. They of course didn't have any immediate help for us, but at least they're going to be on our side. They see that C needs serious help and that we as parents need help navigating the mental health system. Then we met with the supervisor that I spoke with last night regarding the incident with the hospital. She had already been to the school to talk to all the kids. She said that they are all very polite, beautiful and could tell by what they said and how they acted that we are wonderful parents. She now has an open file and we have to have a home visit, but I'm not concerned about them taking the kids. That is more of a fear for if we were to ever decide to relinquish. They are also going to help to try to push along the placement. So...we'll see if they stick to any of their "promises".
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    CB, write up all that they said in the meetings and send an email or letter to "recap" the meeting. Also do this after each phone call or other verbal interaction with them. It shows what you perceived that they said. Be sure to put a line at the bottom about how if this isn't correct to please let you know. When they don't respond this becomes a record of the meeting and what was discussed/agreed upon. If fthey send back a letter with corrections, then you can reply if what they said isn't correct. This also becomes a written record of what transpired.

    then you have proof that they said this that or the other.

    Also call whoever is in charge of social services in your state. AND your state and federal representatives - it can be surprising what they can help you accomplish. If you don't get help, start going to the media. remember that facebook and twitter are now powerful influences on public opinion. You may be able to use that to some advantage if you need to apply pressure to them.

    Be SURE to call all the groups Janet said, and also look for Jewish charities. You do NOT have to be a member of the religion for them to help you. If you can, call local pastors/ministers/priests and ask what services they are aware of. If you tell them the basic story and ask if they know of any help and they say know, ask them who you can call to find more resources.

    You should also check out some of the national sex abuse/incest groups. They may know how to help you find help. It cannot hurt to ask, after all.
  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Im very glad to hear the term PRTF in your case. That is what my son was in as opposed to a basic Residential Treatment Center (RTC). Some Residential Treatment Center (RTC)'s are simply behavioral but PRTF's are psychiatric. That is a good sign for you. Thumbs up!
  15. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    If you are desperate, this may be helpful in preventing the docs from discharging C. The sitters know she is disturbed. Try getting them to push her to do things she doesn't want to. Even just turning off the tv to read or play a game. When you are there, try insisting that she do soemthing. If you know something relatively "normal" like doing workbook pages or whatever that sometimes provokes her, try bringing it and getting ehr to do it. I am NOT suggesting this to be mean to her (or you). It will make her show her behaviors in a way that the hospital will document. If they have it documented and then say she is "stable" and they release her, then they can be held accountabel if she hurts someone.

    When my son was in the psychiatric hospital they wanted to release him after a few weeks. He was still honeymooning and had shown NONE of his problem behaviors to them. I triggered him in a therapy session. It was awful - he spewed all that ugly awfulness out at me. It gave them enough reasons to keep him and then they could see and document the problems we saw - which meant they could try to treat him. with-o seeing these things they could never have treated him.

    It won't be fun, likely will be scary and certainly will be traumatic for you. But it might be enough to get them to keep her longer or to speed up her placement. You will feel like you are a horrible parent but in reality it takes a very strong parent to do this. I did it to try to save my son, to get him help. You would do it for the same reason and to try to save the rest of you from her problems.
  16. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Good advice, Susie. I also want to suggest for future reference - when you are nagged into bringing her home, make sure that the doctor saying she is OK will put this in writing, in detail, including the statement, "I am firmly convinced she is not a risk to her parents or her siblings, I realise her parents believe she is a risk but I have assured them this is not the case. We therefore will take full responsibility if any family member is harmed by the patient." Tell the hospital that if the doctor will write this, you will happily take her home.

    I'm betting the doctor won't write this.

    The doctor wants to send her home because he is being pressured by the hospital and by insurance. Money. It's distressing that his concerns about money (and the people pressuring him about it) are greater than concerns about your safety. But there it is - the money thing is a definite, the risk to you guys is not yet real, it's only hypothetical, a possibility only. And if you can do for her what they do at the hospital, it shouldn't happen (yeah, right - as if you could).
    So you have to push the doctor's buttons harder. If he is asked to confirm his stated opinion, that she is fine and not a danger, then he is being asked to personally guarantee your safety with an attached risk of being sued if he gets it wrong. So here, he is now weighing up the money pressure from the hospital and insurance, with the risk of being personally sued if he made a wrong call.

    You should be getting an attorney at this point anyway - ask about the wording of this, so you can get it right. You might find it speeds things up dramatically. A desperate doctor who is caught between a rock and a hard place is far more likely to make a placement magically materialise, than a doctor who has successfully sent the problem home (to become Someone Else's Problem). Make sure it stays this doctor's problem permanently.

  17. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    by the way, I know she is already home. But for this girl, hospital/home seems to be a revolving door. Plan for the next time.

    Each time, you learn more and get stronger. it's like a broken arm - it never breaks at the old scar. After enough breaks, it is unlikely to break again. (I have a cousin with a mild form of osteogenesis imperfecta).

  18. carolinablonde

    carolinablonde New Member

    Thank you all again for the responses. I am so incredibly grateful that I found this site. We have an appointment with a lawyer on monday. It was one that was court appointed because of the issue with C's brother, but we plan on discussing this situation as well. I did threaten to sue the hospital, but it was in the midst of arguing with the social worker there. She said go right ahead. Obviously it had no bearing on her. I like the idea of having the dr sign a written statement. Wish I would have thought of that last night. :) Who knows how long she'll make it this time before we are back again.

    husband has pushed her into a meltdown at the hospital before, but we never know if it's going to work. Sometimes the things we think will set her off she's fine with and the things that are no big deal she completely loses it on.

    I've been looking into any and all options we have. Another thing that DSS suggested was to talk with her adoption agency in Michigan. We live in NC now, but she was adopted in MI. DSS said they may be able to help and/or we might qualify for more assistance financially to help pay for placement if we find someplace on our own.

    We are so tired and just want her to get into the PRTF. I feel like we are just treading water right now and trying to keep from drowning. I feel like I'm going further and further under water between breaths...I'm sure you all can relate.
  19. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Many hugs and prayers are being sent your way.

    When you have time, if you will create a signature that would be very helpful for people like me to help and remember you:)
    Some of us only come on once and awhile and it is hard to keep up with who is who without a signature (and preferably an avatar for us more visual people:))

    Again, I wish you much strength in dealing with this chaos.