Planning for mtg with-attny

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Nov 19, 2011.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    OK, I'm getting thoughts together so I can keep things as simple as possible when I meet with an attny Monday. Besides asking if he can call PO's super and help her to see that I had been going by what PO was telling me and apparently, that wasn't the way he was relaying things to her and now he's acting like I was trying to write the parole plan and not respecting their authority over difficult child, etc, I'm hoping he can discuss the following with her:

    Could difficult child serve the last 60 days of his sentence in the local detention center since he will have completed his JCC program by early December and the advanced diploma at school is no longer an option and that time be used to find out if he’s going to comply with PO’s and my requirements, then determine if he should go to the group home based on whether or not this is successful? This would allow time and make it easier for PO and caseworker to talk with him and I would be happy to take him to family therapy and check him out for periods then bring him back, if that is allowed, in order to see how he behaves with me and if we can reestablish a comfort level; I will be happy to work with caseworker thru this period, as well; if difficult child does not show willingness to comply with PO and parent’s requirements thru transitional period in detention center, then he goes to group home instead of coming straight home. And would they stick to this and allow him to come home if all parties are working together successfully and difficult child is compliant or do they already want him in the group home under any circumstances?

    Then, my questions to remain confidential at this point, between attny and me, are:

    If they are insistent on a plan that keeps him out of the home until he’s around 18 yo, the group home’s approach concentrates more on getting boys to independent living than reunification with family, and I have no parental rights, then why do I still need to be involved with PO requirements? If I do have parental rights while difficult child is in the proposed group home on parole, what are they? What are legal consequences on me if I quit talking to and seeing PO and if there are demands on me from group home that I cannot meet? Can they prevent me from having contact with my son? If I have to maintain contact with a PO, can that be thru an attny in order to minimize occasions where what I’m being told isn’t actually what is transpiring and not consistent from one week to the next and apparently not consistent with what is being told to his supervisor and are serving no purpose other than setting me up to go in one direction and have certain expectations only for everyone to end up angry because they are all under a different impression of what is supposed to be transpiring? Well, I'm trying to find a diplomatic way to say the PO was telling me one thing one day, and saying the opposite the next, and of course, the super doesn't know this.

    Can anyone else think of any major issue I have forgotten?
  2. buddy

    buddy New Member

    maybe ask what the best form of communication method with po should be... The lawyer I just talked to said to make sure to email everything from now on so that we have all of it documented. I had started taht a while back but if they call me like yesterday, she said to send an email summarizing the phone call to have it down... she said to add at the end, if this is not your understanding of the conversation, please email me back with your thoughts. That way if they ignore the email, it appears like they agreed. I am sure a good lawyer could tear up the idea, saying they just missed it, but if you have a return receipt kind of function in your email you can use that. Also if you cc things to others less chance of it being missed by the whole department. I cc about 9 people.

    the rest is good. Look at your other posts, you have put so many good points in there, as have others.... I think you can reassure yourself that you haven't missed anything.

    Every time I read this over, I get so angry on your behalf. Makes SD stuff look trivial.
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    That's a good idea. POs don't normally do that with parents but maybe if the attny discusses it with the super, it could happen. Of course the madder PO gets, the worse things get for me and my son. The more super is involved, the madder PO gets. But, PO was tthe one talking out both sides of his mouth and misrepresenting things.

    I can't imagine how my son must be feeling this week. To learn he got 2 more mos added to his sentence there because he got seen, you know, then to learn the plan is a long term group home that is really another sentence and program he has to earn his way out of, then him knowing I'm the one who said I wasn't comfortable with him coming straight home so he probably thinks I advocated for this..... he didn't ccall last night. I'm hoping he calls tonight so I can explain a little, at least. If not, I think I'll try to make it to visitation to explain but my car needs a part replaced so I really hate to drive it any more than I absolutely have to before I can get it fixed next week.
  4. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    You are suppose to get a plan from jjs-written and signed. Have you gotten those? Do you keep notes of what you are being told? I did this and dated them and even put the time the conversation started and ended. I even ended up sending copied to everyone involved to let them know I meant business and I did not trust them in the slightest because of the issue that had gone on. I would want to share any notes/ info with lawyer. Make sure you ask the lawyer to spell out your rights when it comes to medical treatment, counseling, clothing (we ended up buying these as they did not give her anything beyond their uniform despite the fact that they could wear street clothes beyond a certain phase), etc. My daughter, who had not even had a cavity, ended up with a root canal because of their neglect. Then they tried to authorize a cheap cap for the tooth-luckily I had insisted she see our dentist and he called to tell me. I would go with him to all physicals and appointments (make sure that is your right in your state-they failed to tell me she was getting her first gyn exam and I did not go-she was horrified by this).

    As for reunification.. you need to have their plan in writing. It was part of ours through JJS. This plan is a 2 way street you should have some say. Ask about this as well. Also, ask how you can get a new PO. Your lawyer will know and may even know a good one if he/she works in the juvenile/family law field.
  5. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    Don't have any advice. Just sending my support.
  6. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm hoping your appointment. tomorrow brings some peace. In preparation I "think" I would type up a brief recap of difficult child's history...just using simple sentences. For example:
    1. difficult child will be 18 on xxx.
    2. He is currently living at yyy due to domestic violence toward me on zzz and aaa dates.
    3. He and I have not been afforded the opportunity to share counseling and have limited contact.
    4. I love difficult child and hope we will share a life as soon as safety issues are resolved.

    Then, perhaps, my current concerns are:
    1. I was given the choice of having him released directly home or placed in a transitional setting.
    2. Due to safety issues I preferred temporary placement prior to unification.
    3. Although I was led to believe temporary or transitional placement was possible, Department of Juvenile Justice now wants to place him in a Group Home that states their goal to be placement until adulthood with training to prepare for independent living.

    Finally, I need to know what my parental involvement rights are in regard to their plan and how I can assure the opportunity for reunification is not lost.

    As you well know "time is money" and further "recapping past disappointments dealing with the system" will likely derail the focus or goal of your appointment. Basically you are going to find out "what are my rights" "what are difficult child's rights" and "how can I best assure difficult child and I might be safely reunited".

    I'm hoping you get the answers to those questions, klmno. Sending supportive thoughts. DDD
  7. buddy

    buddy New Member

    wow DDD, that sounds good
  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Yep, that's pretty much what I'm doing, except I wasn't actually given a choice, except to refuse to let difficult child come straight home. Well, I was, 2-3 times, but then PO denies that now and says I have no choice. And has his super believing that he'd never given me a choice, that I was trying to dictate the parole plan. I do want that straightened out because due to how bad things got with that probation officer before, I want to nip this in the bud as quickly as possible.

    The thread has into a lot of details which I am grateful to learn about so I can make sure they get covered. That doesn't mean I plan to go in there with 50 pages of complaints.

    Now, I have visited difficult child and I might as well not even mention the detention center as a transitional period. difficult child says it is one fight after another there and nothing like the detention center in our old jurisdiction. I believe him because I'm learning quickly that he learns more about what things are really like from staff and other boys in Department of Juvenile Justice and I get the lip service that tries to get a parent to buy into something. Between difficult child preferring to finish his sentencce there than in a detention center and PO already claiming I was trying to write the parole plan, I'll just take this off the table.

    I told difficult child what had transpired and supposedly this re-entry lady will be coming to interview him again for the group home placement. I told him I did not advocate for this long term placement or anything resembling another sentence. I was shocked that he seemed to believe me so readily, but I was telling the truth. He said well, then, he will make sure he 'doesn't qualify' for it. I asked him how he planned to do that and he said he would refuse to talk to her at all. I warned him about digging himself in deeper but he says that he'll talk to a couple of other boys and see if they have a better idea. Oh, boy....

    Then he talked a little about where things went wrong last year and these are still concerns we both have. It really is a shame that they don't already have a re-entry program in place that focuses on the issues these boys really have after long term incarceration instead of just focusing on another "earn your way out" program. No program designed to be a diversion or dispositional placement is going to focus on re-integration and re-unification. I guess the people in this state will figure that out in about 2-3 years.

    difficult child said they have NO program in this state that is fairly short term and focuses on transitioning kids back into home/community. To me, this is a no-brainer that it's needed. These are teens who have been incarcerated for at least a year and thinking they can go back to normal life two days after the door is unlocked is outrageous to me.

    But since they don't have one- at least according to PO and difficult child and that option has never been presented to me, then it looks like the only chances are difficult child coming straight home or going to a group home. As scared as I am of what will happen if difficult child comes straight home, I'm not liking the visual of difficult child living in that dump until either 1) he's 18 yo with a GED, job, apartment, or 2) he's 18 1/2yo with a high scchool diploma, job, apartment. I really can't see him staying at that place that long. He's very discourage now, especially after his sentence was extended and he misses another set of holidays and another b-day. I honestly think he'd run away from that place and do whatever and get recommitted, or be charged as an adult for whatever. I think there's a slim to none chance he'll be able to suceed coming straight home, too. So I don't know. He asked me what would happen to him if he didn't go to that group home and I told him he'd come straight home. Really, those are the only options. DSS won't allow me to place him because Department of Juvenile Justice owns him, even when he's on parole. DSS won't take him from Department of Juvenile Justice even if Department of Juvenile Justice tried to get them to. DSS says it needs to be coming from Department of Juvenile Justice's funding, it's their problem.

    I'm going to be concentrating on difficult child's and my relationship because no matter what, I want us to improve our relationship as much as possible and in case he does come home, this can only improve the cahnce that maybe he won't re-offend against me. Yeah...I know....any other suggestions?

    I apologize for this wording being so bad- I just got home and am trying to re-group!
  9. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Wow just wow. I hope he talks with said lady but lets her know he wants to reunify with you and go home-not have to stay until 18 or 18.5.
    I like all the suggestions from DDD. Will you be going before the judge before he is released to either you or the group home? If so I would want the lawyer with me. Can you have a counselor ready if he is to come home-do you have insurance to cover that? Does your sd have a person who monitors kids on probation?(Ours does) Will he be on probation? If not is this a possibility? Can you place him in the alternative high school where his world will be smaller and he is better known? They usually handle GED at alt. high schools as well. Just trying to think of ways that you can create your own transition program. My heart is with you and I hope tomorrow goes well.
  10. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    difficult child and I both want him to get hiss HS diploma- it's just if he goes to that group home they will most likely push him to get a GED and he'd go for it because it would get him out of there quicker- he will be 18 1/2 when he graduates if he stays in school. He could get the GED before then. He will be on parole when he comes out- until he's around 18yo. They order whatever they want. They are the ones ordering this group home now, because I said I didn't want difficult child coming straight home. I meant I wanted him to go to short placement somewhere so we could reunify and get him back in the home gradually. Now I have to back track or live with it - I don't know, that's why I'm going to an attny tomorrow. Ordinarily, difficult child would come straight home on parole, without having to go to court. But with things the way we are, I might need to request a hearing to try to get difficult child home instead of in group home. Honestly, I'm still weighing what would be best for him. Yes, I will keep an attny on board thru this. And perhaps request an attny for difficult child, too. The state should pay for that one.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2011
  11. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I am glad you got to see him and clarify your position with him. I hope he makes reasonable choices. Let us know what happens with the lawyer. Really hoping there is something they can do. I was thinking.... even if you were trying to "run the show", (you weren't but ...arrgg) , so what??? That is reason to be vindictive? Just all so unprofessional.
    Said it before, Will say it again... you are amazing.
  12. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    thank you, Buddy! I know you didn't insinuate that I was dictating anything, but my feeling was that I was trying to tell them things like 'difficult child had issues sneaking out at night and leaving school after attendence was taken the last time he was released from Department of Juvenile Justice, therefore, can he be put on an ankle bracelet?" I would have thought a PO would want to know things like that. I wouldn't have felt the need to bring it up if he'd ever read difficult child's flippin file. And that I was uncomfortable with him coming straight home due to what happened last time and the offenses against me, can he go to a transitional place first? And then WHEN Po asked me what my choice was after he laid out 3, I asked questions and told my preference. And I said I didn't like this group home idea at all. Now that is what got turned into me trying to dictate to them what to do. But as you said before, some of this at least has to be PO's own issues.
  13. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Well any grown-up would have taken your help and been grateful!
  14. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    It makes the PO look bad when a kid violates a lot so some appreciate the input from the parents. Others's apparently just a control and authority thing with them.
  15. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I forgot to mention, too- I saw a post from DJ this morning asking what would happen if I just called PO and said I'd decided, after speaking to an attny, to allow difficult child to come straight home. I chuckled when I saw that and wasn't sure if she was even serious.

    difficult child told me that if I tell them he's allowed to come home, they cannot send him to a group home. According to PO, on the other hand, they can order anything they want and for difficult child to be palced anywhere they want as long as he's in Department of Juvenile Justice, including on parole.
  16. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    Good luck with the meeting tomorrow.
  17. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Part of me thinks that difficult child may truly know the way it is, because he is in there with other kids who have been in and out of the system. Just like adult offenders are often the most savvy in manipulating the system, the kids see what is going on. But then again, he may have been told this to try to get him to think that you are the bad guy and it is all your fault, whatever the issue at the moment is, and not the PO's or the staff's.

    I do think the PO will tell you whatever will get you to agree - and you ahve GOT to find out what your real rights are and what difficult child's are and how to make them respect those rights. cause this system is completely abusive, at least in your case/difficult child's case.
  18. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Susie, PO initially had me sold that this group home was only a few mos and was exactly what I'd hoped for- gradual integration back into home. That was a few mos ago. difficult child is the one who first told me this was like another sentenece and I was trying to tell difficult child he was wrong. difficult child told me it requires ABC. I came back, looked into it on my own, and difficult child was correct. When I spoke with the lady from that program and asked specific questions, her answers made it more than obvious, along with what I'd found on their own website. This has happened a few times for a few different issues. Like when difficult child got arrested last time- that PO and difficult child's def attny were telling me that difficult child would be in about 9 mos or less. difficult child said it would be over a year. difficult child was right. The people in CSU don't really know, they are just telling me whatever to avoid my wrath. Don't get my wrong- difficult child still lies to me about things and is wrong sometimes, but when he's incarcerated, he views me as his only advocate. As far as things as our rights, though, we definitely need an attny.
  19. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I wish I had known about this before hand last night. I watched a whole series last night on MSNBC that was on Youth Behind Bars:hard Time. I believe that was the exact name of it. It was about both kids in Wabash State Prison and Pendelton Juvenile Justice Authority which is the juvy prison.

    It absolutely broke my heart seeing some of this. Really hard. I watch Locked Up a lot now but honestly the juveniles are worse I think. This wasnt a detention center either. The center looked nice on the but the boys inside just acted out so horribly. Much worse than the adult inmates. Now the kids in the adult jails that were in the kids portion seemed better off if that can be believed because they are housed by themselves in a completely separate unit and there are just a few of them. But gee. 13 and 14 year olds with 25 year sentences. Makes me sick. No rehab, no therapy...nothing. At least in juvy they got something.
  20. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    That's the type of faciltity difficult child is in and was in - that's the difference between state Department of Juvenile Justice incarceration and a detention center. And no gradual integration after they are released, even if they were incarcerated from, say, 13yo until 16yo, as an example.