Problems caused by inadequate communication

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Nov 21, 2009.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Really long......I don't expect any responses; just written for my own regrouping.

    Since my last thread went awry and I've mulled over this latest bombshell with Department of Juvenile Justice, I woke up feeling like so much of this stuff with people involved in difficult child's life could have been handled so much smoother if there had been (and was) more adequate communication. I really don't get why it is me that seems to be pushing for that instead of them making more effort but I guess it's because I have a lot more at stake than the people involved just because it's their job.

    Here's an example: Remember the frustration I was having last week over family therapy? Well now it is clear why. First, I saw a therapist last winter before difficult child was sent to Department of Juvenile Justice. She told me that difficult child needed Residential Treatment Center (RTC), in her opinion, and that we needed to get family therapy while he was out of the home to work thru his misplaced anger and so forth, in order to keep me safe thru this process. A psychiatrist at a psychiatric hospital also recommended the same thing. So, when difficult child got sent to this Department of Juvenile Justice facility because I couldn't get him in Residential Treatment Center (RTC), I went right away to the head psychiatric there and reviewed difficult child's mental health history with her and asked for family therapy. She told me she would relay all that to the person who would be difficult child's therapist.

    A month or so later I was contacted by difficult child's therapist and she said she had heard all this from the head psychiatric but wanted to hear it straight from me. So I tried to go over it all again, the best I could with the limited time she gave me on the phone and I stressed getting family therapy to her. She told me we could do that later on but she wanted to work with difficult child individually for a while first. Ok. So after a few more months, I get a call from her to start family therapy. First session is basic; second ssession looks like it's heading toward a behavior plan to meet difficult child's goal of getting more privileges and basicly being allowed to do what he wants. I get frustrated over this because 1) this was not supposed to be the goal of the family therapy, and 2) I knew we could not put a feasible behavior plan into place at this point.

    She knew I was at wits end but didn't understand why and calls me the next week- she asks for difficult child's history AGAIN and asked about a behavior plan. I explained the issue I was having about the behavior plan and the way behavior contract worked in the past when we tried it and how I had to approach it a little differently in order for it to be effective. OK, she seems to get that and be in agreement. I was still frustrated because the reasons I had pushed for family therapy to begin with seemed to be completely ignored. So I wrote this letter, which she will receive on Monday. But yesterday on the phone, she mentioned that she had been meeting with us (difficult child and I for family therapy) to do a transition plan because when difficult child came into their facility, their processing people had it written as a requirement since he came in with a diagnosis of bipolar. She said she was going to remove that requirement to make our lives easier when difficult child gets out of Department of Juvenile Justice because she knew I would still take him to a therapist or psychiatrist if necessary without having it ordered by PO or the judge. Great! She is still going to continue seeing difficult child individually and us together every so often. (I can see that being used by GAL at some point to "prove" that there was never anything requiring mental health treatment for difficult child- that the problem was just me- but that's beside the point right now.)

    But here's what sticks out in my mind- if she had told me at or before the first session that she was starting family therapy in order to establish a transition plan, but not to address the issues I had relayed that were recommended by my therapist and difficult child's psychiatrist at psychiatric hospital, I would never have been so frustrated with how things were going to begin with. I could have just had that conversation with her then to weigh it but I would have known what her real agenda was. I'm glad I see that now and after she gets my letter on Monday, I think she and I will be able to discuss where to go from here as far as how to get difficult child's misplaced anger and the issues resulting from his aggression addressed. That's great- but what a waste of time- couldn't we have had that conversation months ago? And before anyone recommends that I just see a therapist without difficult child for this- remember that I did and she is the first one to say we needed to handle this in family therapy while difficult child was out of the home.

    Now, as far as the Department of Juvenile Justice and release date and PO: I talked to PO two months ago about this possible job and move to HI. He said I had to move first. I didn't think it sounded right that a parent couldn't move after a kid was released from Department of Juvenile Justice and put on parole so when I called HI's Department of Juvenile Justice parole dept to get some info, I asked them what they thought and they said a parent CAN move afterwards. I then called a higher up in our state Department of Juvenile Justice who had the interstate people call me back and tell me the same thing but said it was up to the PO. Ok, so I talk to PO again, he talked to the interstate people, then called me back, and said OK, now he knows how to do it. (Notice that at first he told me it couldn't be done- then he changed that to "now he knows how to do it".) But, he said coordination of the release date was not handled by them- it's handled by difficult child's CM and the Department of Juvenile Justice people. So, I call her (the CM) and she says they can coordinate it but it's not up to her. So, I write the director there who says OK, they will coordinate it. Fine. So she puts it back in the hands of the CM and PO and it ends up with CM saying it's up to PO to start a plan. PO says he can't start plan until I move.

    I'm thinking: they can coordinate a release date so a parent can plan a move around it (the director said so, so I believe this); they need a plan from the PO to take to the committee to show that difficult child is not just being dumped on the street and that we really are planning on mmoving (that is according to CM and that sounds logical to me and I can provide evidence of a job and plan to move as soon as I get job confirmation); but PO can't do a plan because I haven't already moved (this is where I'm at wits end and left thinking that someone doesn't know how to do something here). That makes no sense and since PO didn't have a clue about how a parent can move after picking a kid up from Department of Juvenile Justice and going on parole, I'm thinking there was some mis-communication between the CM and the PO. I'm thinking a conference call is needed amongst these people and me and I'm a little ticked because after I already spoke to PO twice about this, the interstate people, people in HI, the CM and the director at Department of Juvenile Justice, none of these people had made the first move to really find out if this could be done? Is that what I'm supposed to believe?

    Maybe I should call the director back and ask that if it is possible to get an early release to coordinate a move (as she told me it was), what exactly does she need from the PO? Obviously, proof that the move has already transpired cannot be the answer to that question, so where is the ball getting dropped? Or is it just that the PO is trying to prevent this?

    According to the CM, the PO told her that there is no way they (our county people) will agree to a direct release because difficult child's latest charge was an offense against me. I don't believe that is the reason. They would not let difficult child out of their system for the past 3 years, which were obviously before this offense. Anyway, according to the CM, she and PO want me to move to HI, then they, along with their supers, will decide what happens to difficult child afterwards, ie, group home, remain incarcerated, (hopefully not DSS), etc, until they are satisfied that he can be sent to HI and live with me. Somehow, I'm just not comfortable being that far away with these people still not having more than that decided. Actually, there is no way because if GAL caught wind of this being up in the air, she would ask for a court hearing, knowing that I couldn't return from HI to attend then return again to pick up difficult child, and she would have him turned over to DSS. She has asked for DSS to get involved to weigh if difficult child should live at home every time difficult child has gotten in big trouble.

    I guess they are taking a position that I can decide what I'm going to do, then they will let me know if difficult child will be coming home and when. And I'm looking at it like I'm trying to coordinate this and revolve it around them so I can make decisions and commitments, but I need to know the "what's and when's" they are planning first. So, even though I asked what happens if difficult child can't get an early release and I have to go out there first but the interstate study is not complete before his release date comes up, they can't/won't even answer that question. If they have to have so much authority over our lives, is it too much to ask that they be a little more knowledgable than this- or at least find out after I talk to 5 different people about it for 2 months?? If none of them really had any of the answers, whay the *** were they all telling me "so-and-so can be done, but you need to do this or this person handles that", etc??

    So just like this time last year, I'm sitting here feeling like my hands are tied to do anything that might improve things for difficult child and me because someone in our court services unit, who is the person who is supposed to be in control of things in order to make sure difficult child gets the "supports" he needs, can't/won't do one darn thing. But God forbid, they can't quit "monitoring" difficult child because he might re-offend if they do- like that stopped him before. And they wonder why my attitude is the way it is toward people in this county?
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2009
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Ok, I have two ideas to pursue. One is to find out from Department of Juvenile Justice if we submitted proof that I have the job in HI and a tentative move date and a letter from PO stating that he is aware of this and will submit the interstate paperwork as soon as the release date is confirmed, if that would be enough to take to the committee. I would think it would meet their objectives but I will call Department of Juvenile Justice prior to seeing if PO will go along with that much.

    The second- well I just figured out the answer to that one.

    I'd like to figure out away to change the scenario from all thesse separate individuals making their own recommendations when they are doing it without the benefit of knowing the facts that others have (because they don't communicate) to having a scenario where it really is more of a team approach with all the info laid out for everyone to know, then a decision made. Example: CM said she had no idea what PO was going to recommend or require, therapist said the same thing, CM also said she had no idea what therapist was working on or going to recommend.
  3. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I think I understand your frustration and I'm sure I understand that you want to know the choices and the procedures. on the other hand, a case "could" be made that as government employees they shouldn't be dedicating extra time reassuring a parent of what steps to take "should" they get a job out of country etc. I have no idea how many kids are in the facility with difficult child or how many kids are in the system locally but, for the sake of argument, if only ten percent had family's facing life altering choice the staff would easily be unable to meet the needs of the teens.

    Have the HI people given you a time frame for their commitment? If the job goes through, do you know how much time you will have to accept or decline and do you know how long before they will want you there?

    Between difficult child's complex issues and confinement, the dog issues, the house foreclosure, financial worries, the need to get rid of stuff out of your house,
    and then the very extensive stress of HI or no've got a heck of alot on your plate. Believe me I would want answers as much as you do
    but I'm not optimistic you are going to get what you want now with so much up in the air. I still think :redface: it's best to focus on what you can do
    right now to ease the future. Goodwill? Garage sale? Whatever makes you feel like you're stepping forward. DDD
  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thanks, DDD! I emailed the HR person in HI on Monday to ask if she knew when I might get a final answer from them. She said she expected a final word from the security officer "in a few days". She said he was reviewing the package of my stuff with the people I would be working for and they needed to sign off on it, or let HR know that they decided against it. I tend to think that since I haven't heard "No" yet, it might be a good sign. Anyway, she said that's all they were waiting on before confirming their offer to me and then she would need ...actually, here is what she said:

    There was other stuff but this was the part pertaining to the start date. I emailed back asking if that date was negotiable at all and she said "yes, within reason".

    Right now, difficult child's tentative release is supposed to be sometime around the 3rd week of Feb. and I'm sure that I can't get HR to wait that long. If I got out there Dec 21 (which is a big stretch to think I could make it that soon), Department of Juvenile Justice will have to figure out what to do with difficult child until the interstate stuff is done, and that can take 3 months after I move, which is what I'm trying to avoid. My goal was to tell HR that I could start around Jan 11 and take difficult child with me. The specifics I wrote to Department of Juvenile Justice director are this: if difficult child can be released around the 1st of Jan, allowing us to arrive in HI Jan 4 or 5, I can get difficult child enrolled in school there that week and their second semester starts on Jan 5, and I can start the job around Jan 11. The director said this sounded like a good plan.

    As far as housing, there is a lodge (multiple rooms/suites) that can be used by DOD employees and their families until they find permanent housing and I plan for us to stay there at first- of course reservations have to bee made in advance and if I go alone before the holidays, that's going to be a problem because it's also used by families visiting military personnel). Anyway, I already asked HI's parole super if that place would be acceptable to get their approval for difficult child's home and she said it was- that they have had military people come in with kids on parole and stay there in the past until they found a permanent place.

    Yes, I need to stay focused on where to go from here until I find out for sure about that job. difficult child called last night and that's what I told him, too, I just have been racking my brain trying to get over my initial reaction to this yesterday and figuring out if it's even feasible to pursue this anymore. Really, I guess I need to form a Plan C now- quickly. It might be that the county people are just going to throw wrenches in any plan for difficult child to go to HI and they just aren't saying that out-right. If I had any idea how to provide a home and support difficult child on min wage, I'd grab any job I could find in a neghboring state and go that route. But I swear, I don't- how does a person afford rent for any place livable and be able to put food on the table and buy clothes for a teen on min wage? And two jobs is out because then I can't keep him supervised as parole requires. And, whatever job I get has to allow time off for IEP meetings, parole appts, and whatever parole requires difficult child to do that they won't let him do without my involvement or needing me transporting him.

    Oh- I do understand that they can't or wouldn't pursue potential scenarios that a parent doesn't even have confirmed, but as I explained to them, I will need to tell HR whether or not I'm accepting the job and when I'll be there soon after the confirmation (assuming, again), and it according to CM, it will take at least 2 weeks to get committe approval of any request pertaining to a release date so I needed to get a find out if they would pursue that or not so I could know what to tell HR. They seemed to understand that- they know its a DOD job and the fed government just isn't going to wait for weeks for me to wait on Department of Juvenile Justice before I even answer their offer- never mind that they have spent 3 months with the application and clearance process. LOL!
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2009
  5. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Sounds good and optimistic. If the new job offer comes in (fingers crossed) I bet that Department of Juvenile Justice will move fast forward when they can actually see that you have a government job in HI and need difficult child to go with you. Of course they may not :( but I think State government will respect Fed.government and at least try to "look good"...they are "family" so to speak!

    by the way, have you ever asked difficult child if he would be OK with the dogs being adopted locally instead of having to travel etc.?

    Fingers crossed. DDD
  6. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    People at the Department of Juvenile Justice facility already did move fast- the director only got her letter early this week and they were moving on it. It was PO (at our county) who threw a wrench in it yesterday.

    difficult child will not be ok if dogs don't go. therapist was in support of keeping them- a lot. I have gotten their blood test and called HI quarantine people and they have received what they need- except for the fee and paperwork that I have to take with me (health certificates, etc) and they told me that the dogs will be allowed on the island Feb. 19th. That's another reason for trying to put the move off as long as possible- it's less quarantine time.

    Of course, if I don't go until Jan and difficult child can't be let out early, this puts him in a mess between Feb. and April. If they would tell me where he would be (just held at same facility or what), it would help me make the decision. Supposedly, they usually hold the child but for some reason, the CM brought up a group home. difficult child is adament that he can't stand that thought and that kids abuse other kids in the Department of Juvenile Justice group homes- and the PO pretty much told me the same thing, which is why I quit pushing that before and resolved myself to difficult child coming straight home.

    Anyway, I'll try to get PO and CM to work something out if the job comes thru. Of course, that's going to require the PO to actually check into things and form a plan and not just explain to me that he can't do an interstate paperwork until I move. In the meantime, I'm moving onto forming the next plan. LOL!

    If I get the job in HI, I will ask the HR people what is the latest I could be there. Then, I will ask for a few days to think about it and look at schedule. I will use that few days to 1) see how long I can financially make it before going 2) see if I can stay in this house that long, and 3) see what Department of Juvenile Justice and PO say about releasing difficult child on whatever date I come up with. If they won't commit to anything- if difficult child can go, what happens to him if he doesn't go with me, etc., I can't see taking it. That's my worst nightmare though because I don't have anything else. Then, I'll catch **** for not accepting a job offer after being unemployed so long and having a child, of course. I can tell you the DOD people will flip if I don't take it, too, after spending so much time on this process. This is why they ask if you accept a tentative offer before they start the "real" process of clearance and so forth.

    As an afterthought, if these people don't have time to work with the parent, then they need to let the parent off the hook and quit claimiing they are case managers who HAVE to know what is going on with the parent. It works two ways, in my humble opinion. I've been sent paperwork for 6 months saying they need to know right away if any status changes regarding difficult child's plan for after release and anything about me pertaining to difficult child. If they want in control of it, they need to find time for it. That is part of their job.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2009
  7. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I wonder if the problem is that you are asking and inquiring instead of demanding?

    In other words, you are saying to them "Would it be possible to coordinate a release date around a move to HI for my new job?" and the answer is, well, maybe, guess so, but nobody is taking any action because it is a question and not a demand.

    Whereas, if you said "I am moving to HI on xx/xx/2010 and I NEED difficult child's release date on or before yy/yy/2010 in order to ensure that I have proper housing and therapy support in place for my minor child in our new home." perhaps you would get more of a response because you are notifying them that you ARE moving and that they NEED to organize a plan now....instead of well, maybe, might be a possibility.

    Just a thought...

  8. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Like Daisy I think you have to have the commitment first and then you can make a direct request with facts and verifications available.

    I just thought of something. IF you had to leave difficult child where he is and have Department of Juvenile Justice put him on the plane (yes, I know that is not what you want but IF) maybe the dogs could go on the same plane and they could come at the same time. That way difficult child wouldn't feel alone. DDD

    PS: On your other post...I agree that it sounds very optimistic.
  9. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I'm in a rush right now so this is short- I don't think Department of Juvenile Justice will put him on the plane, but IF I can't get them to approve difficult child going when I do, I will ask- I just seriously doubt they will because a kid just being released one hour, then being completely alone with no supervision from the east coast to HI- still being required to be "monitored" by the courts?? I think the chances are slim to none.

    Yes, I am waiting to get confirmation, then I will "push" a little harder once I have some sort of evidence- also- I will know the longest dod will wait and how long I can afford to wait- maybe I can say the end of Jan instead of early Jan.
  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hey...if he needs to be monitored in VA...maybe...I could ask...maybe...possibly...just suggesting, he could stay with Jamie until they would put him on a plane if that was what they would do. It isnt that far from where he would be released. Jamie is deputized. By the time your son gets out, Jamie will be attending the police academy too.
  11. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    thank you, Janet- I speculate their big concern will be the lack of supervision between here and there. There are no direct flights so my guess is they are going to ask themselves what happens if difficult child runs or breaks a law or never shows up in HI- where would anyone begin to know where to look and who is legally responsible for it? The county that put him on a plane on his own.
  12. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I'm getting a chuckle here- he is in Department of Juvenile Justice, Daisy, not a private Residential Treatment Center (RTC). Visualize walking up to a prison and demanding that they release your loved one.

  13. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    No--but I thought you had been talking to them about negotiating the release date? Or about negotiating the terms??

    Maybe I misunderstood...
  14. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    It''s ok- I needed the chuckle. Yes- I started by asking if they would negotiate and I was told yes, but now it seems that maybe the PO won't- I'm not sure yet. But if someone says "No, we decided not to negotiate", there is nothing I can do about it at all.
  15. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    A special thanks to all of you have taken the time to read my huge posts, by the way!!

    Ok- I gotta go for a few hours.
  16. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I just got a letter from the Department of Juvenile Justice director to follow up (basicly- to document) our previous phone converstaion. It wasn't nearly as promising as she made things sound when we talked- but of course, I'd figured that already after hearing from the CM. This letter made it sound like Department of Juvenile Justice facility staff would do their part to coordinate things, but it had to be left up to the PO and courts. Now, the PO had already told me that he had no control over when difficult child got released. This is just par for the course- no one really takes the bull by the horns and when I try to, it just causes resentment or some sort of back lash.

    Then, she wrote that she had "mentioned that sometimes wards receive direct release" but that was not up to her. Clearly, she wrote that to CYA herself because she told me on the phone that she recommended it. She copied the PO, the CM, and the CM's supervisor so I guess all them are on the same page- which to me, leaves it like this: no one is going to do anything except say that the other party is in control of it and just point the finger at each other. I've seen this done by our county people so evidently, they are just taught that to keep parents off everyone's back and try to convince the parent that when things are messed up, it wasn't any particular person's fault and I guess this keeps parents working with them in most cases. You know- no one is the bad guy this way, in their minds.

    I used to beliieve it really was that the left hand didn't know diddly about how things work in the right hand's world but I'm changing that opinion quickly. I was looking something up yesterday and found even more stuff that proves to me that when I was trying to get PO or someone to do something last year to help difficult child and me before he broke the law again, all these county people from different agencies acted like they couldn't do anything when in reality- they all knew what was going on. But because no one did anything, the judge is left with no option. Then, when I mentioned something about me being frustrated over stuff like this to the CM, she said "oh, judge's in that county are very harsh". It's not the first time I'm had the Department of Juvenile Justice/county employees try to twist my words like that either- when it is clearly them not picking up the ball and I say something about it, they try to make it sound like it's what the judge ordered.

    The director wrote someething about "just because this can be done doesn't mean it's in either difficult child's or my best interest". Geesh....I can't control the fact that they have custody of difficult child, but they sure aren't in any position to determine what's in my best interest. What am I, 12yo? She said PO would be contacting me. I can't stand the thought of communicating with him anymore- it's all BS- obviously all they are going to do is explain for the hundredth time that the process is to go before difficult child's released or afterwards and here's how the paperwork stuff has to work.

    I'm thinking more and more that difficult child will never make it home again before he's 18yo, but they are trying to make sure that they don't take responsibility for that happening.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2009