Questions about diversion programs


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Our granddaughter has court on Monday for charges a year ago for possession of meth and paraphernalia in her car. She has applied for a diversion program, and her court appointed attorney says that the judge has approved it, and in court she should be assigned a probation officer and learn what is required.

Can anyone tell me what usually is required? If she completes the terms of the diversion, in 18 months she will be done and have no felony record. She needs rehab. She knows she will have a curfew and will have to be at "home" by curfew. We are mostly just her legal address. She might spend one night a week here. She already told me that the first 3 months will be really tough on her as she will be moody and anxious from stopping meth. So ...that means we will be the ones suffering!!

When I told her she needs to understand that we will not lie to her probation officer. That if he asks us specific questions we will answer honestly. That upset her! She said family is suppose to have your back! I told her we have...we have taken care of her and her son for the last 2 5 years! And...since she was 3 and in foster care because of her parents drug usage.

I am afraid she will lie about her addiction, how often she uses and how many years! I am afraid that what they require of her may not be what she really needs. And if she is living here, what would we have to do if we need her NOT to live with us?

She seems to think that after Monday she will do all the right things... because she doesn't want to go to jail! Not for her, not for her son...because she doesn't want to go to jail!

I told her if she does live here, we need her to step up her participation in household routines. I told her that she hasn't washed one load of clothes for her son, or picked up and cleaned his room. Somehow she twisted that in to why didn't I keep reminding her to do his laundry? I said, he's your son, I shouldn't have to tell you he needs clean clothes! I have reminded her for the last 2 5 years to do her dirty clothes! I don't think she has done a load in a month! Every times she starts a load, she leaves while it's in the washer...and doesn't come home for 2 or 3 days!

I'm just fed up. I don't think she will be able to do diversion. She has been sneaking out of the house at night and running off since 14. She is 24 next week, and she doesn't sneak off, she just announces she left her charging cord at a friend's house, or a friend left their house key in her car, or someone needs a ride to work. And it's always I'll he right back. Nope. Disappears for a day or two or more.

I'm not really stressing about her going to jail, except how it would affects her son, who is 4. We are his adults... His dad has him every other weekend,. I don't know how it might affect his custody if she is in jail. We have tried to get her to sign temporary custody to us for 6 months . In case she ends up in jail. She won't.



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Ksm I don’t understand why your granddaughter won’t sign temporary custody to you. What in the world is her reasoning?

As for stopping Meth. I honestly don’t believe she can do it with just the threat of jail time. I think she needs rehab.

She sounds so immature and takes no responsibility for her own son right under your roof let alone a load of clothes.

My bet is this won’t last and she will end up in jail. I’m glad she’s finally facing some consequences for her behavior.

Does “dad” know that your granddaughter has these charges? What is his reaction to this information? Has he ever acted like he wanted to take A full time?


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I think you've done the right thing telling her that you won't lie for her. Do you think if she were facing jail she would sign over custody?
i think you need your questions answered by the probation officer before you commit. These questions:

Can anyone tell me what usually is required?

if she is living here, what would we have to do if we need her NOT to live with us?

we need her to step up her participation in household routines.
i also think you need her to understand that not only will you reply honestly to direct questions by the probation officer, but to live with you she needs to be clean from drugs; and that you will be forthcoming. She also needs to know the ground rules: Chores, care of her child, etc. Your being her doormat is not good for her nor is it good for you.

I agree with lms that this is good she is facing consequences. She has gotten a generous offer from the court.
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I don’t know that I can add much to this discussion but I have a few thoughts based on what happened when we got guardianship of our son back in 2004. Actually my father got guardianship first, but he was in his 80s and in poor health so we took it over with his blessing a year later.

I’m not sure what state you’re in, but this was Michigan, and when the birth mother, pregnant with another child tested positive for drugs, the court intervened and told her to find someone to care for him or he would go to foster care. Luckily, my father (the child’s grandfather) had been very concerned already and he was right there, ready to take guardianship. The mother went to jail, where she spent the remainder of her pregnancy.

I’m wondering why, when the court knows your granddaughter’s challenges and history with drug addiction that they don’t grant you at least temporary custody of this child. With or without your gd’s consent. I don’t see that she should have much say in the matter, especially since you have been his caretaker for 4 years. Is there any way you can petition the court to do so? I don’t know the legalities involved or if you’d need a lawyer, but it seems justified and at this point, your gd is obviously not ready to parent this child.

As far as requirements for diversion, I know it depends, but often the parent is required to hold down a job, show how they will support the child, stay in drug treatment, drug test, etc. I know in some states, they are very strict about making sure those rules are adhered to. I know someone (lives in KY) who had a drug problem, was successful at rehab four years ago, has been gainfully employed, on the right path, and she just now got her children back from foster care where she had to have supervised visitation all this time. I think that’s a little extreme, but the point is, it’s not usually easy to accomplish, and would be especially difficult for someone who is as far into addiction as your granddaughter.

I hope this helps. Every state is different but it seems to me, the court, and not your granddaughter should make this decision. Sending prayers for a good outcome.


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Nandina, we have not instigated guardianship, because his father is in the picture. He lives in a nearby town (15 minutes away) and has had Alex every other weekend for almost two years. He has been working for 2+ years and is now paying some child support, ordered by the court. He does not have a good past history, but now seems to be doing 180 degree turn.

The court would probably place great grandson with him. If granddaughter would sign form on her own, it would preserve her rights, and not take anything away from him, and would be reviewed in 6 months and the judge could extend or terminate the guardianship.

A year ago, (when she was first in jail) the dad's parents were pushing him not to return Alex after a weekend visit. They have no court ordered visitation agreement. And either could keep him from the other parent and they would have to go to court. Police will only remove a child if the other parent is breaking a court ordered visitation.

We talked to his dad and told him we understood. They were afraid if his mom got picked up again that Alex could be removed from her. They were living with us at that time then too. I told him if Alex was ever removed the authorities would immediately look at him for his placement. And I said I hoped if Alex is ever removed we can do it slowly and not just removing from what he's used to for so long. And he agreed it would not be in his sons best interest to remove him from us for a long period of time.

So we are in a catch 22... There is no court order on visitation, all we have is a form that we can seek medical treatment for him. I think my granddaughter has brain issues from meth. Two and a half years ago when we moved her into our home she was in a psychotic break. She had bizarre beliefs in her powers to control things with her mind. She wouldn't talk out loud inside our house because she thought people could hear her. She would write questions on paper and I would have to write back. Because she didn't want people to hear me. She thought she kept the city safe all night long with her brain powers. This got better in two or three months. But I don't think she's completely better. She is very forgetful. Doesn't have a good idea of time frames. Sometimes she would text and say she was coming to pick up Alex and I would text back it's 8:00 at night and he has preschool tomorrow! It's like she doesn't know what day or what happens the next morning.

She has made appointments for therapy and also to see her family physician and her OBGYN, but she never remembers to go. I usually text her to remind her and even that doesn't help because she'll forget to charge her phone. She will complain that we overstepped our boundaries by taking Alex to appointments when it should have been her. And I tell her check your phone you could have done it!