Rec'd another letter from difficult child

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Feb 5, 2011.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    He said the staff are watching him like a hawk now and one in particular has it out for him. He had a horrible monthly treatment team meeting (that I'm supposed to be invited to in person or via phone but never am) and they told him he would not be eligible for early release. They said it was because he had been recommitted but the same person who told me that (his behavioral counselor- not to be confused with therapist) had previously told me he was eligible even though he had been recommitted so either this guy doesn't know what he's doing (this is the same one who can't get my phone number in the system right) or it's really due to difficult child getting on thei bad side with those charges he's gotten since being in. So, unless they flip-flop again on that, he'll be in until he's around 17 yo.

    He said the person that really has it out for him told him he seemed to have a sense of entitlement and difficult child commented to me in the letter that he didn't even know what that meant.

    Then, he proceeds to write that if I can't trust him when he gets out this time that he's not going to come home. He says he'll refuse to. I'm not sure where he's planning on living or exactly how he plans to go about it all. It's up to Department of Juvenile Justice and/or a judge to determine his placement and I don't know how much weight they'll put on what difficult child wants given his situation and hx.

    But rest assured, I'll be explaining to him what having a sense of entitlement means in my next letter. LOL! And I'll tell him that I've already asked his PO to look into him going to a half-way house. I think that now that he's over 16 yo, there are a couple of Department of Juvenile Justice options and a tiny bit less likelihood that dss will take him into their system even if Department of Juvenile Justice would prefer it to get him out of their funding pool and my bro is willing to have difficult child live with him. But I don't know, if my bro has started contacting difficult child in Department of Juvenile Justice, difficult child won't tell me and my bro could be working things behind the scenes to get them set up how he wants them.
  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I'm sorry in some ways he wont' be getting early release, but that is normally a consequence for doing things like using drugs, and the other things that he has been doing. chances are the staff was never as blind to what he thought he was "getting away with" as he thought they were. Early release is a reward for doing what is expected of you, so this was largely under his control and he made his choice. I know that prisoners like to say someone is "out to get them" and sometimes it is true, but more often the things that are being done to "get them" are a result of their own behavior. Just like at home when he would say it was your fault that he stole from you or hit you or snuck out.

    I think that he is trying to blackmail you by saying he won't come home if you won't trust him. How on earth can he rationally expect you to trust him after he cut the pockets out of the clothing you were wearing and stole your last dollars?? Even if he had gotten help and was super remorseful for it, he would likely still be on some type of house arrest until he adjusted to the rules at hoem and of the PO. So your trust isn't his biggest hurdle. It won't be your trust that will keep him at home and not allowed to do things - it will be the court and PO. He just wants to make you feel bad because he is upset that he blew early release by getting high, etc...
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I agree...and PO said if he comes straight home he'll be on house arrest. difficult child is trying to pull the same BS as he did last time. Maybe at some point during his first commitment he really did mean those things but he didn't by the time he got out and I think he's worse now.

    Mentally, I can't help but to keep going back to what that psychiatrist said before difficult child was committed the first time- " he will learn to identify too much with incarcerated boys if he goes there now because he's too vunerable and susceptible to getting other boys' approval; his best chance is a therapuetic Residential Treatment Center (RTC) where he can get intensive individual therapy and you two can get intensive family therapy while he's out of the home".

    So what option is there now? None that I see. Do you have any idea how I cry over this? Not that it was a sure thing, but it was his best hope and if the courts people- PO and GAL were so RIGHT- then why has that psychiatrist's words proven true? So I'm supposed to blame it ALL on my son because now he's 16 instead of just turning 14 and write him off as a loss or failure while no one else can be held accountable for ignoring what psychiatrists said?

    Sorry- that angwer isn't directed toward you- it's that blasting stupid PO and GAL who were so stupid to take my bro's word over all the profs.
  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    And just like it seemed that difficult child plowed himself right back into Department of Juvenile Justice when he was released last year, I'm not so sure he really cares about getting out at all now. This is the only life he knows as a teenager and now that will only get worse.
  5. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    You're difficult child is a "complicated one", isn't he? I guess he is going to have to travel the road that he has paved or is paving. on the other hand you have disengaged (with love) very well in the past x months and I think we are all proud of you. The only "missing piece" in your disengagement is your bro. Obviously only you know the gory details from years ago...but it has been a long time ago and your difficult child, sad to say, is not an innocent kid anymore. I hope you'll be able to distance yourself from the fear that your bro has circumvented your protective screne and let it go. I know you can't let go of your traumatization and your inate fear of his involvement but difficult child is not controlable and your bro isn't either. If they are in contact there is nothing more that you can do. Focus on your future.
    You're making great progress. DDD
  6. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    DDD, the issue with my extended family (mother and bro) isn't a situation where "they made mistakes and should be forgiven"- they are very screwed up people and those aren't just my words. They haven't changed. I realize I can't control my bro. I never was trying to. It was him trying to control me, then difficult child. Same with my mother. Yes, difficult child is approaching an age where he will be held legally accou ntable for his own actions. He isn't there yet. Nor is he of an age or maturity where he's not gullible as koi- he's gullible because he thinks he can handle anything and can't be hurt.

    jUST like you worry about your grandson and his mother's influence, can't you realize that this is my own son? Does it make any better if someone tells you to just let your grandson reap whatever happens from listening to his mother or are you and your husband always there to try to help him, in a constructive and responsible way? If you are doing that with your grandson, I would hope that you'd understand why I feel this way about my son.
  7. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Just wanted to send hugs - I think about you and your son all of the time. I know how hard it has been on you to make all of these decisions, without help from a caring spouse or father. You and I have walked in the same shoes.

    I try really hard not to beat myself up over my past decisions regarding difficult child, although sometimes it is really, really hard. I was journaling the other day about a period in Matt's life, and I wrote - I will never forgive myself for making 'X' decision in regards to Matt. That was an extremely powerful statement to write, and one I am not sure I fully realized until I wrote it. It gave me a lot of pause, because really, how can I NOT forgive myself? We only can do the best we can, with what we know. And you and I have certainly done that. That is all we can do.

    As for his letter, etc., I guess I don't really have any advice, unfortunately. I think that difficult children can be extremely perceptive, and your difficult child is probably right that some guy has it out for him. When Matt says that it is usually right on - but it is almost always because of a poor decision Matt made. The 2 heads butt - and it goes down hill from there. For me, that is the hallmark of a difficult child. I knew the minute Matt said a teacher had it out for him, it was over - because he also had it out for her - and they were going to lock horns. Figuring out how to navigate and circumvent negative situations in ones life, is a learning process for all of is just that difficult children are horrible at circumventing negative situations. Instead they want to fight it out.

    Many hugs.....I will keep sending positive thoughts your way!!!
  8. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    K - just hugs. Much of what you say about your son - could be Onyxx... And, oh, how I know how it hurts. Even to think about.

    Personally, I see your family as toxic. They're the kind of toxic that, if they were cleaning solution, would be for professional use only. No, we don't know exactly - even if you told us every teensy detail, we would not know.

    I think a halfway house of some kind sounds like a good idea. And, yes, he IS trying to make you feel bad for his mistakes. Don't let him. And trust? Well, trust is earned, not given - and he hasn't seen fit to earn your trust,

    More hugs... lots of them...
  9. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I absolutely know that you love your son....never doubted it for a minute. I absolutely know that you have done everything that you could possibly do to help him in every way. I was responding to your note that difficult child won't tell you if your bro has been in contact. If they are corresponding or whatever I assume there is nothing you can do about it. Lord knows you've tried for years to shield him and with good cause. I also am sure your son knows (as does our gs) that he is greatly loved.

    It has been painful and remains painful to know that we have a grandson who has addition to other issues. There is only so much you can do to protect a CD teen or young adult ( full adult
    I also sadly assume) from the choices they willingly make. If your difficult child won't give you a straight answer he is either pulling your chain or he is in contact. At least I can't think of any other reason he wouldn't just say "No, Mom, I have no contact with Uncle X."

    As your CD family member I was encouraging you to keep your positive focus going. There was not
    an iota of criticism intended or stated. Why would I do that? I've been one of the most responsive
    during your times of crisis and in your times of happiness. Never had evil intent. Never will. DDD
  10. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    I wish I had advice about the brother situation too - the only thing that I can think to say is that Matt's dad is SO mentally ill, and screwed up, it makes Matt look like a saint. When Matt turned 18, the only thing he wanted to do was go to "live" with his Dad. I had spent 18 years making it not possible for him to be under the influence of his dad - and boop - one day - there he was living with him. But guess what??? Matt spent exactly 3 months with him, before he called me to say he couldn't be around his dad anymore. Matt realized and lived his dad's insanity, and now knows he wants absolutely no part in it. All the starry grand illusions of living with his dad died a quick death, and he got the heck out of there as fast as he could.

    All of that to say - is that if your bro at some point brainwashes your difficult child into living with him - you might be surprised to see that your son sees him for exactly what he is and wants to find the quickest exit door. However, I of course, like you, would fight it until you have no more legal power when he turns 18.
  11. klmno

    klmno Active Member


    Thanks Steely & Step! I'm following my gut this time. The times I didn't, I ended up regretting it. Right now difficult child is acting just like my mother- he's trying to turn the tables by turning my mention of him mybe not coming home right away into doing me a favor if he's willing to. Entitlement and manipulation. That would be my mother. And how I thought she could be in his life and he not get any of that from her is beyond me.
  12. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    DDD & Steely's 2nd post slipped in on me- thank you, DDD, I honestly appreciate that. I only asked difficult child if anyone else was writing him but because he'd told me he'd written a couple of females asking them to write him, he told me "no, no one else is writing him- they didn't write him back". That might be true but might not be. I know the biggest point in there is that I can't trust him right now. But I will always love him and part of this is typical teen mixed in with difficult child and a God-awful "solution" of PO's and GAL.

    My concern with bro at this point isn't quite as much of forced sexual acts with a male as it is with bro allowing him to drink and do drugs (yes, bro actually straight oput told me in the past he would allow this and believes in letting teens do it) and the possibility of either difficult child being manipulated into something sexual by an adult male as a first experience with someone else or that a male will try and difficult child will kill someone, literally. If difficult child goes there I am positive it won't end up as difficult child expects although right now he's only thinking about getting back at me for not being here saying I'll give him whatever he wants. He might not end up with bro- Lord knows Department of Juvenile Justice has used this as a way to manipulate me for years but that's getting too thin at difficult child's age now. Unfortunately, the best hope I have IF difficult child ends up there is that he'll run away and refuse to stay there. I honestly can't see difficult child staying in a house where two gay men are having sex in a room 5 feet away from him. Sorry, I just can't see that happening with my teenage son but I could be wrong. And I most definitely can't see him going there and turining into a easy child. But I don
    't think the dss there is worth a dime so I can't count on them to stay on top of things.
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    This is an awful situation, and has been for a very long time. I am sure you have cried rivers of tears wondering how on earth it ever could have turned out this way. All that you can do is to try to be a voice of reason for difficult child. Steely was exactly right when she said what happened when someone "had it out for" her son. They make a bad decision and then when a consequence is applied they decide the other person has it out for them, so they keep using that to excuse their poor decisions.

    Your difficult child is working super hard to manipulate you and make you feel horrible for not saying that he can come home and do whatever he wants and you will pay for it all with every penny you don't have - all because he is still refusing to accept that HE is largely responsible for his current situation. He IS gullible and will only get over this the hard way. That is just how he is wired, even though it hurts so terribly to watch and try to help him through it all.

    difficult child knows what the issues with your brother are, at least to a certain extent. He also knows you would do anything you could to keep your bro away from him. This is yet another way to manipulate you, in my opinion. He won't give a straight answer because it would put your mind and heart at ease. I don't know if he will ever choose to make a life outside the "system", and that is a horrible thing. I wish there was a way to hold the PO and GAL from the prior area responsible for this as they flat out ignored not only the PO but also every single parenting book out there. There directions to you went against every concept of decent parenting and gave difficult child permission to do anything he watned because HE wouldn't be held accountable. in my opinion they should pay a HUGE portion of their earnings for the forseeable future into a fund to pay to help you and difficult child both with the costs of therapy and for the pain and suffering they caused. ALL monies to difficult child should be put into a trust that you control that he can only access after he has successfully learned to live outside the "system" for a few years. Sadly, it won't happen. They won't pay and I doubt that suing them would amount to anything. It might be worht it if you had a lot of money to invest in this cause, but even then it probably wouldn't be heard by a judge because then PO's and GAL's might have to be accountable for their actions.

    I hope and pray that at some point your difficult child decides that he wants to do the hard work and therapy that are needed so that he can live out in the world. I also hope that at some point he can learn to drop the manipulation attempts.

    You are, and have been, a great mother. I know things haven't turned out the way you wanted them to, but that is NOT your fault regardless of what difficult child or anyone elese says. You did the very best you could in an awful set of circumstances. All you can do is continue to love him and do your best to not get caught by his manipulations so that you can be the voice of sanity.

    It might be helpful to get a book called Reality Therapy by Wm Glasser ( This therapy is being used in prisons all over the world to help inmates learn to live a better life. My stepMIL teaches it to those who work with inmates at prisons in this country and in many other countries. Often she works with "lifers" to help them become able to counsel other inmates as to how they can turn their lives around and not get pulled back into the criminal life once they are released. She was working with a group who was almost exclusively in jail for murder back wehn husband and I married. These men then worked with others and really helped them. The impact this has made in all of their lives is incredible. I have read letters from some of them that detail the huge ways this helped them see how their choices caused their problems, and how it helped them move from blame and entitlement to a positive new life of responsibility. There is also a second book called Choice Therapy by Dr. Glasser that is also part of the program and helpful.

    It might give you some insights as to how to help difficult child help himself.
  14. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    klmno - the thing that really struck me is that difficult child has really gotten good at trying to dump all this on other people. He's gotten charges because other people have it in for him? How 'bout he's gotten charges because he hasn't toed the line. Maybe they are watching him closer, but for heaven's sake, he *cut your clothing off of you* to get money (or cigs or whatever it was). Consequences are a bear.

    He's not going to come home unless you trust him. EXCUSE ME? What on earth has he done to warrant trust? Trust is freely given the first time around. After it's lost, it has to be re-earned. Sorry, but I'm just seeing red on your behalf. It's emotional blackmail, pure and simple. What would his response be if you told him he *can't* come home unless he goes to school, obeys curfew, quits stealing, quits sneaking out? It's your home, it's your rules. Heck, it's society's rules as well. This is on his shoulders, hon.

    I understand the regrets of coulda/shoulda/woulda. Maybe Residential Treatment Center (RTC) would have helped. But you need to understand that that institutionalization mindset can occur in RTCs as well. You might be dealing with- a whole different set of issues at this point. I absolutely *do not* believe that your son's future is written in stone. He may be one of those kids who has to live a really hard life before he starts making positive changes. That doesn't make any easier for you, at all, but... I certainly do not think it's an either/or kind of situation in terms of what kind of life he will be living in 2/5/10 years.

    He has got to start taking responsibility for his actions. You cannot protect him from his choices. Personally, I think you need to call him on the absolute bologna about he won't live with you unless you trust him. How 'bout you won't live with him until he's *trustworthy*??? His choice (as it has been for quite a while now).

    I'm so sorry - I know it's just heartbreaking, trying to work with a kid who has so much potential, who you love so much, but who is intent on making such poor choices time after time after time. Many gentle hugs to you.
  15. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    That's my intent slsh- to call him on it. Otherwise, he'll be treating me this way all his life and trying this BS with everyone- just like my extended family. It was one thing to go to any length to keep him from having to live with my bro at 12 or 13yo but he'll be about 17yo when he's released this time so my intent is to present it to difficult child that I'm advocating for him to go to a half way house because I still am his legal guardian and will not lose parental rights even if he gets turned over to dss. But if he ends up getting placed some place besides a half way house, then he's big enough to defend himself physically if need be and he will have to deal with any mind games to manipualte him as best he can. It will simply be out of my control and there's not much I can do about his determination to plow into independence and making his own choices at this point, given his age and circumstances. I will remind him that I did my best to protect him from things like that when he was younger but he obviously thinks he's old enough to handle it all on his own now so there's not much I can do to control the outcome. I won't sign him over to dss but if he fights for that instead of a half way house and that's what the judge decides, I really have no control over the outcome. If my bro does something illegal regarding my son and I catch wind of it though, I will be making sure charges are filed against my bro.

    As both you & Susie pointed out, it IS emotional blackmail and I do see that. Between difficult child seeing how I would go to any length to keep him from my bro's hands in the past and the PO and GAL enforcing to difficult child that I would be the one blamed if he got into trouble for not going to school, etc, and threatening to send him to dss/bro over every infraction difficult child committed, difficult child became convinced he could walk all over me. But what he hasn't banked on is that what worked in that jurisdiction with those specific people and at that age might not work in this jurisdiction with different people and at 17 yo.

    What started all this conversation between me and difficult child in the first place is me reminding him that if I couldn't feel comfortable that he was going to come home and live by the rules this time, I couldn't feel comfortable advocaating or allowing that because I would feel like an incompetent mother setting him up for failure if I did. I simply can't continue to keep trying things the previous courts people continuously pushed for, knowing that they have not worked or helped difficult child in any way. AndI do need to remember to tell difficult child that this PO said he'd be on house arrest this time to. The PO stays in control of difficult child's requirements, not me. Now it isn't quite clear what happens if he gets turned over to dss. It appears that it's an either/or, as far as if a kid gets turned over to dss, then dss has authority, not Department of Juvenile Justice anymore. But that seems absurd to me- that the kid would automatically be off parole and not have anymore court requirements or have to answer to a PO?? But, they do a lot of things that seem absurd to me.

    As far as a staff person being out to get him- I do realize that it really isn't s staff person "victimizing" difficult child or setting him up. It sounded more like they have learned not to trust him as much as they thought they could so now he has a particular one watching him like a hawk and probably really has gotten to a point of blaming him when he really didn't do it (based on one situation he described but a teacher vouched for him that difficult child was telling the truth), but I also realize that we all (authority figures) get to that point after a while when difficult children continue to betray trust and sneak around. When I wrote about that, I was just relaying what difficult child said in his letter- not meaning to imply that I bought all of it being an accurate perception of his or factual.
  16. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I seriously doubt that difficult child realizes that things have changed regarding your manipulatability, esp in regards to his age. He has felt invincible for many years, esp since the PO and GAL started telling him that he wouldn't get punished no matter what you said. In his mind YOU are still the same and his ability to push you around with the dss/bro threat is the same. It seems to be the one thing that being a minor is good for in his mind other than having Mom pay the bills and provide him with whatever he thinks he needs. The idea that you think he is now old enough to fight off your bro if needed AND to fight off others if he insists on being in those situations has NOT occurred to him. He thinks that he can get you to agree to things based on the "threat" to him that he thinks that you perceive.

    I also do not think that he realizes that doing things like he did before when he was released will NOT get him sent to juvie after he is 17. If he goes and cuts the pockets off someone else's clothing or he assaults them after he is released at age 17, the likelihood of him going to juvy is pretty low. Those are likely to be felonies, esp with his record, and he will be in "big boy jail" which is totally different from juvie - TOTALLY. I hope he never has to see how different, but it may be the ONLY thing that gets him to realize he needs to change his ways. It works liek that for a LOT of people, sadly enough. The main reason my gfgbro went to rehab and actually worked the program was because he looked at all the other guys in jail and realized that if he didn't stop drinking he would be in and out of jail for the rest of his life. Before that he drank coffee, water, beer and booze. Once in a while milk. But that was ALL. It took 2 weeks in jail to come to this realization though he was promising all of it within 24 hours of being in jail.

    I completely agree that his life is NOT set in stone with incarceration as an adult being guaranteed. It will take a lot of growth and strength on his part to have this happen, but that is possible. Heck, if he would use 1/4th of the effort, energy and planning that he puts into getting into trouble into staying out of trouble he would likely be a big success.

    The book I recommended can be very helpful in getting people to see how their behavior and choices determines what they can and cannot do. Seems like a simple concept, but many people have problems with it. It is apparently very common for those in prison/jail/juvie to think that anything negative that happens in their life is completely not their fault, regardless of if anyone else was involved or not. That is part of what the books are aimed at helping people change, and a large part of the focus of both reality and choice therapy. I think Star can tell you more about it - I remember suggesting it to her for Dude and she was already familiar with it. I think it was Star.

    Anyway, he is really blessed to have you for a mom, whether he knows it or not. I hope that in a few years he is at the point where he is healthy, happy and living a successful life without any court involvement or manipulation of you or contact with your relatives.
  17. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    True, but he's going to. It just might take reinforcing this new position for a while. It would be nice if he gets it before his release but that might not happen.

    As far as his ability to turn things around in the future- I know that he has intellectual capability but this is where his distorted thinking comes in. Whether or not it's really what he wants (I find that hard to believe after reading R Green) or he's just resolved himself to it or this is all he knows or doesn't have enough motivation, etc- his actions haven't seemed to indicate that he wants anything any different than a life of incarceration and this is exactly what that psychiatrist said would likely happen if difficult child was sent to Department of Juvenile Justice 2 years ago- given difficult child's way of thinking and vunerability at that age. This is why incarceration is not serving to help difficult child, it's making him worse. If I was told that by a psychiatrist who had worked 2-3 months in a psychiatric hospital- not outpatient- with difficult child prior to long term incarceration, this is where it's hard for me to accept it all as intentional choice. I mean,, I get that difficult child has choice and has made bad ones and continues to do so. But I also think there's a psychological component and a known distorted thinking and if it was forseen by experts that this approach would more than likely lead to this outcome, psychologically, for difficult child, then it leaves me torn about it all. These people in the last jurisdiction heard that directly from the psychiatrist too, in weekly treatment team conference calls,- specifically "with difficult child's particular distorted thinking, a long term commitment to Department of Juvenile Justice will more than likely have and adverse effect on him and be psychologically damaging and he might never be able to overcome it then". But the MH prof in juvie still had the audacity to tell me last summer that "now all they see in difficult child is that he's identifying too much with other incarcerated boys instead of learning his lesson from this experience". Well, DUH- I just asked her what did she expect the outcome to be after hearing that from psychiatrist and refusing to recommend what he strongly suggested for giving difficult child his best chance for rehabilitation. I realize that Residential Treatment Center (RTC) might not have worked either, but we will never know now. If I had been the one to refuse a written recommendation from a state psychiatrist, they'd had my rear in court in 2 secs.
  18. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well, we tried it all and the only thing that has half way worked is jail. That and a HUGE probation officer who scared the bejeebers out of Cory. The guy made two of Cory and could have snapped him in two without breaking a

    If difficult child can get his diploma and at least get some kind of training post HS then maybe he has a chance. He needs to work at something. I think work will be a very important component as fast as you can get him into something. Dont hand him things like cars or cell phones. Make him work for things and earn them himself. He needs to feel accomplished. Work also gives them a very good self image almost immediately. I have noticed that Cory behaves 10 times better when he has a job. If I had known that I would have sent him somewhere that had child labor when he was 7. LOL. Actually, I would have probably farmed him out to the tobacco fields around here as early as they would have taken him in the summers which is around 10 here.

    I wouldnt worry about what DSS will do either. He will be much too old when he gets out for them to do much of anything. Most likely he will go to one of their local group homes. There is no way they will want to go to the work of doing any sort of transferring custody to another state because it takes time to do home studies in the other state, time to actually do all the paper work, time to do the actual transfers, time to arrange things...just lots of time involved. By the time they did all this, he would age out. Also, your mother would get the first go at him and they would have to investigate him...or actually his father would..and then your mom, then brother. By that time, he would be 18. They would have had him in Integrated Listening Systems (ILS) services all that time and wouldnt want to interrupt that just to send him somewhere for a month or two. Especially since the first goal of DSS foster care is reunification with the parent so they want to keep the child close enough to the parent to have family therapy.

    No...he will either go to a Department of Juvenile Justice foster home, halfway house or DSS group home or therapeutic foster care home.
  19. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I mailed a letter out to him this morning talking about this stuff and telling him PO was going to look into possibility of a group home to give him an opportunity to earn his way back home, if he wanted to and did what he was supposed to, and also, so he could be integrated back into "normal" life gradually instead of thrown back into it.

    This would be a Department of Juvenile Justice group home and since they only have a couple left, they are using them for the worst offenders who are a minimum of 16 1/2 years old only. There are usually waiting lists and the boy has to remain in Department of Juvenile Justice, even past his release date, until his opening comes up.

    I've been fighting tears all day.

    Janet, the scenarios you describe are probably the most typical in this country and still might be the way they do things in this state for a kid being removed from a home. But for the past 2 years, given that this state has very little money in Department of Juvenile Justice and dss and difficult child is considered a ward of Department of Juvenile Justice once they are committed, here is what I have been told: if the kid can't go straight back into the family home, Department of Juvenile Justice tries to get them turned over to dss to get them off Department of Juvenile Justice funding for a home because Department of Juvenile Justice only has 2 group homes left (see above). DSS tries not to take them from Department of Juvenile Justice but will if there is a family member that will take them. They HAVE to place them with a family member if possible- apparently new state regulation since funding was cut 2 years ago. DSS will NOT accept a kid coming from Department of Juvenile Justice who needs a group home. They will proceed with a home study to place the child in a family member's home but the kid remains in Department of Juvenile Justice custody until that placement is ready. DSS has told me flat out that difficult child would go to my bro if ever placed in dss custoddy because my bro has himself officially listed with dss here as wanting difficult child. It normally takes 2-3 mos to get a home study- they can proceed with that at any time after difficult child is turned over to dss if ordered by a judge or turned over (on paper) by Department of Juvenile Justice, meanning if that happened prior to difficult child's release, they could be doing a home study while difficult child is still doing his sesntence.

    Now, when my bro filed for custody, the judge immediately ordered a home study on bro and that was accomplished before the court date to hear the custody case. Given that, it might not take as long to get thru that process again, if it turns into that.

    If the choice comes down to me bringing difficult child home or going to my bro, and it's left up to me (in all likelihood I'll have say-so in it since judge has never ruled anything other than difficult child being returned home to remain in my custody in the past and there are no current scheduled court hearings), I'll just have to weigh all that then. That would have been a major issue if the last judge had ordered difficult child into dss upon release when he committed difficult child last summer, but he did not.

    I sincerely hope difficult child starts getting a clue and doesn't push it that far. I'm sure I'll hear him talk about it and threaten it, but I'm not so sure he'll actually ask for a lawyer/gal to push for it or talk to his po about it.

    I have discussed all this with the new PO and he's aware of my concerns regarding difficult child living there- including that bro will NOT expect difficult child to comply with the law- and also, my concerns about difficult child not having to earn his way home, integrate back into society gradually given what happened last year, and that I have a bit of a problem with difficult child "needing" all this Department of Juvenile Justice monitoring however, then Department of Juvenile Justice immediately pushing for me turning difficult child over to dss if I won't take him back home simply so Department of Juvenile Justice won't have to place him in a Department of Juvenile Justice group home. Department of Juvenile Justice needs to be the ones to deal with it, in my humble opinion- it's a Department of Juvenile Justice issue, not a cps/dss issue. That statement did seem to hit a chord with PO.

    We'll see. My guess is that IF bro has found a way to contact difficult child in Department of Juvenile Justice, difficult child will be very anxious to tell me about it after he reads this letter.