My difficult child is my 13-year-old stepson. He is currently in the juvenile dependency system because of false accusations he made against my husband. Although those have now been cleared up, difficult child is refusing to return home he wants to be returned to his mother, who he has not lived with since he was 3, and who has a fourteen-year child welfare history (four sons, none live with her). She came back into his life on a regular basis when he was 11, almost 12. She is a relapsing meth addict and has been diagnosed with NPD. Currently, because of a history of inappropriate interactions, all of her contact with difficult child is closely monitored. She was the one that goaded difficult child into accusing my husband of abuse. Right now difficult child is in a level 12 group home. He had a brief honeymoon period since he was moved there over Xmas break, but now keeps getting into trouble at school. Its something new every week. He was caught in possession of marijuana, and has a notice to appear for that. The group home has referred him to a 12-step program, where he will be drug tested every week, but we are still waiting to hear back on the intake for that. The p-doctor took him off his medication because of his substance abuse. difficult child claims he was taken off of it because it stopped working. So the marijuana possession was two weeks ago. A week ago he was making disturbing threats against another student, and that students mother called the police, so they came and talked to difficult child. This week he got into a fight with another student and was caught stealing tardy slips from the office. From the vice principal: We asked him to put them back and he tried to take 4-5 more as he walked out of the office again. He received another 1 day for theft. Once again his response was Whats the big deal it is only paper. So hes been suspended again and we have an emergency meeting with the faculty as well as the assistant superintendent of pupil services. Apparently hes been getting more aggressive and has been wandering around campus during class time (the tardy slips he stole ). There are consequences and rewards in place at the group home. If youre on level 0, you get no privileges. You can work your way up to level 1-5 through good behavior. Not only do the kids earn more privileges, but they can earn quite a bit of money. Of course, now difficult child wants to go to the countys community school. Hes heard that the teachers dont care what you do in class, that they dont give out homework, and that they smoke pot all day there. Hes told the group home director that he will do whatever it takes to go there. This phrase just raises my blood pressure. Its the same phrase he used in April of 2009, when he decided he didnt want to live with us anymore. He was going to do whatever it takes to go and live with his mom. It was when he made the first abuse allegation against my husband. Right now he can come home whenever he decides he wants to, but it has been over a year of him in the system and he is still holding out for his mom to get herself together (she relapsed AGAIN during the course of this child welfare case). No one involved has ever encountered this level of willfulness. His school is doing everything they can (seriously, they have gone above and beyond best school in the district), the social worker is doing everything she can, we are doing everything we can, the group home director is doing everything he can, and the CASA worker is doing everything he can. difficult child is so so so lucky that he has so many skilled, caring, and intelligent people who are fighting for him. But the only one who isnt doing everything he can is difficult child. Were spinning our wheels here. And I feel like the social worker isnt quite there yet in terms of getting it. So here we are attending workshops, etc. on parenting. Yeah, its a good idea, and Im going into it with an open mind, but I also know its going to be a repeat of what we did when he was living with us. The Explosive Child? Check. Parenting with Love and Logic? Check. Parenting Teens? Check. Transforming the Difficult Child? Check. Divorce Poison? Check. Shes also encouraged us to be more verbally and physically affectionate. We are doing this, and my husband always tells difficult child that he is always going to be there for him, no matter what he does Im getting fatigued. Ive spent years throwing everything Ive got at this kid, and things just seem to get worse instead of better. And we just got an email a couple days ago stating that the CASA worker had talked to difficult child and difficult child was willing to put more effort into his school work. As my husband told the social worker, the influence of these talks tend to last as long as the talk does itself. Numerous people have talked to difficult child, and felt they have reached him. And they always come to us saying they are disappointed and that they thought they and difficult child had an understanding. Does anyone have any suggestions or has been through something similar? I dont know what else to do anymore. We are taking him on a tour of juvenile hall this weekend, and the group home is taking him on a tour of a prison next week I just dont know if this will even help. Hes back on level 0, and has even had his guitar taken away. This is the kid who, while we were all meeting with him to discuss his misdemeanor possession ticket, started asking the social worker to contact the former foster family because his iPod got stolen while he was living there, and he wanted them to replace it. I feel like Im slamming my head against a brick wall the brick wall doesnt move, and Im only hurting myself.