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helpful suggestions please - possibly overwhelmed??


Melissa in Australia

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No one is saying the boy doesn't deserve good care. We all feel sorry for him and hope he is able to get the help he needs. But we are thinking of Melissa first. Her original post in this thread was nothing short of heartwrenching, and it seemed clear to many of us that this child is causing her incredible distress to the point where many of us were concerned about her welfare.

 

Yes, and I would add that in a recent thread, it was stated that residential care seemed almost certain to be this boy's next step.  I did not know until today that Melissa was trying to hold out for the boy to get testing through the school.  I am glad for the respite that will hopefully make that possible.

 

I've hoped very hard that this boy could have a successful placement with his brothers.  I am sorry that it doesn't sound feasible at the moment.

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... nor how bad Residential Units can be here. 

 

I am sorry to hear this.  My experience with kids' residential treatment centers in the US is that they are compassionate places where good progress is made.  So I was thinking that if he needed to go there, the sooner the better.  Sounds like I was wrong.

 

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I am sorry to hear this.  My experience with kids' residential treatment centers in the US is that they are compassionate places where good progress is made.  So I was thinking that if he needed to go there, the sooner the better.  Sounds like I was wrong.

 

 

Some of them here have been uncovered as hotbeds of fraud, taking millions of dollars of government money and not even providing a change of underwear or three square meals per day.

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I'm not going to argue with you about this. You are entitled to your opinion, but I would suggest that perhaps you should be less judgmental toward those of us who are extremely concerned about the emotional, psychological, and perhaps even physical wellbeing of Melissa and her family.

 

I am equally concerned for her, I believe my previous posts and genuine offer of help as someone actually in the country display that just fine.

 

But I also don't think trading one life for another is so clear cut. Choosing to put a child back into abuse and an environment which will almost certainly result in very poor outcomes because they acted out their trauma in the 'wrong way' is also a heart wrenching decision not made better by people who act as if foster kids can be returned like an unwanted puppy, and act bewildered that anyone might feel a sense of loyalty or selfless concern for the child beyond their own health. You didn't just say that she should return the child, you said you could not even understand why the boy was still there at all, which shows a total lack of empathy or emotional understanding of the situation. 

 

Maybe it's a difference in system, maybe residential homes are good there or something. Here, in my experience (different state but sounds like a similar situation), they're just holding pens before the kids move on to juvenile detention or the street. I don't think Melissa deserves to be criticised for being willing to give everything to try and protect the full blood brother of her children from that fate.

 

I agree that she cannot give everything and sacrifice herself and her family for him. I've made that clear already. But I also understand that it's impossible to just ignore the consequences of her choice to send him back, which are huge.

 

As someone who owes everything in their life to a person who was willing to do similar to what Melissa is doing now,, for as long as she feels she can handle one more day I will offer encouragement in that, while reminding her that when she can no longer do it (ad that sounds like soon in this case) it wont be her fault, and every day she fought for him will matter in the end. 

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I am equally concerned for her, I believe my previous posts and genuine offer of help as someone actually in the country display that just fine.

 

But I also don't think trading one life for another is so clear cut. Choosing to put a child back into abuse and an environment which will almost certainly result in very poor outcomes because they acted out their trauma in the 'wrong way' is also a heart wrenching decision not made better by people who act as if foster kids can be returned like an unwanted puppy, and act bewildered that anyone might feel a sense of loyalty or selfless concern for the child beyond their own health. You didn't just say that she should return the child, you said you could not even understand why the boy was still there at all, which shows a total lack of empathy or emotional understanding of the situation.

 

Maybe it's a difference in system, maybe residential homes are good there or something. Here, in my experience (different state but sounds like a similar situation), they're just holding pens before the kids move on to juvenile detention or the street. I don't think Melissa deserves to be criticised for being willing to give everything to try and protect the full blood brother of her children from that fate.

 

I agree that she cannot give everything and sacrifice herself and her family for him. I've made that clear already. But I also understand that it's impossible to just ignore the consequences of her choice to send him back, which are huge.

 

As someone who owes everything in their life to a person who was willing to do similar to what Melissa is doing now,, for as long as she feels she can handle one more day I will offer encouragement in that, while reminding her that when she can no longer do it (ad that sounds like soon in this case) it wont be her fault, and every day she fought for him will matter in the end.

Once again, I would appreciate it if you would stop assuming that you understand my intentions, as it is clear that you don't. I have not insulted you or called you names, and I haven't criticized you for your posts, even though we disagree on some key points.

 

If you insist on viewing me as lacking in empathy or emotional understanding, you are certainly free to do so, but you are wrong.

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Some of them here have been uncovered as hotbeds of fraud, taking millions of dollars of government money and not even providing a change of underwear or three square meals per day.

They also do not have to provide education to children living there. The children can choose to not go to school if they wish. I have met people who have worked in them, and they told me that there is never ONE success story of a child coming out of a Residential Unit. 

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I am sorry to hear this. My experience with kids' residential treatment centers in the US is that they are compassionate places where good progress is made. So I was thinking that if he needed to go there, the sooner the better. Sounds like I was wrong.

 

Here's just one article - *trigger warning* http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-14/four-corners-broken-homes-child-protection/7987450?pfmredir=sm

 

Eta- it's difficult to read through. Heartbreaking stuff.

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Lanny the psychologist is the one hat DHHS has mandated we use. She is provided by them.theyfired the psychologist that we found for the child.

 

Melissa:  In my post #89 I was on my phone and what I wrote got scrambled, when I tried to move the cursor. Sorry...   I assumed that CPS had selected that Psychologist. The problem with that is that someone (or in your case a family) must have rapport with the Psychologist or Psychiatrist they are spending time with.  If not, there is IMO no possibility of getting help from that person.   I base that on my experience with Severe P.T.S.D. and several professionals that I saw. The 3rd one had extensive experience with P.T.S.D. patients and helped. The first 2 were worthless. Time and money wasted...
 
I am going to begin reading the posts in this thread below my post #89 now.  I glanced at a few of them a few minutes ago and I saw one of your comments.
 
In post #101, you were quoted as writing this: "His DHHS worker suggested to me that I should buy him a pet on the day I caught him spying on me.??? I am dealing with a level of crazy that renders me speechless."
 
I am with Catwoman and others who believe that your health, and the health and safety of your DH and your DC are the #1 priority and that he must leave your home and your care ASAP. I read what Abba12 wrote to Catwoman, and I sympathize with the boy (and with Abba12) however that does not change my belief that you and your DH and your DC are the first priority and the most important priority. Your desire to help the boy and your dedication are wonderful, but not to the point where your health and possibly your safety are at risk.. 
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The OP has no good choices.

 

Trying to provide just enough more time to get educational testing is a fantastic goal. It is great that op and her dh are reaching for this.

 

Most of the suggestions of considering sending the child back were made before the goal was mentioned.

 

Everyone is aware this is a child. And this may be his last chance. The OP has other children, not just the twins who are biological siblings of the child in question. If the presence of the child is causing so much stress for the OP what is happening the her other dc. What is the long term damage to them? They count too.

 

When I teach lifesaving skills to nonprofessionals, the first message is don't jump in the water. If you jump in water over your head, the drowning person can pull you under. Drowning people are amazingly strong and are irrational. So, jumping in easily results in a double tragedy. In the OP situation, I am concerned not just that op is pulled under but the twins AND her three older dc.

 

This isn't a question of possibly losing one person. The real possibility is choosing to stick it out with one child could result in longterm damage and loss to 6 dc and a couple of adults.

 

There is a point where the OP may need to consider triage. Triage feels callous. A negative can result from any choice. The point is to save the most people. One child may have to go to long term care to save everyone else. It's not a choice that's going to feel right or good to anyone.

 

Hanging on for the testing is reasonable as long as the school sticks to a good timetable and the situation does not deteriorate further, keeping in mind that further deterioration can result from simply staying the same without improvement.

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In reading the additional details...Melissa I just have no clue what I would do in your situation.  Probably what you have been doing.  The situation is stacked against this boy.  You may very well be his last chance.  That is a heartbreaking place to be with all that you and he are trying to deal with.   If he were the only child you had then of course, it makes sense to keep trying to work through this with everything you have....

 

But the twins and your other kids are also part of this mix.  They count, too.  They matter, too.  And the twins have suffered a lot and came to you very broken, very damaged and needing help just as badly.   They got the luck of the draw in that they were younger when they were placed with you and that gave them a better chance.  Not an easy road but a better chance.  How damaging is it to have their older brother back with them, manipulating and using them and causing them additional trauma and causing you significant harm as well?

 

Their poor older brother deserves better than what he was dealt.  Absolutely.  100%.  He needs help, not to just be dumped in a facility where no one cares and he won't get ANY of the things he needs to maybe try and heal.  It breaks my heart what that child has been through.  One can only imagine the horrors he has suffered in his short life and how that is shaping who he will become.  Your home, the stability it offers, very well may be his only hope of leading an even semi-normal life.  I am in awe of your selflessness in trying to save all three and keep them together as the family they are.  I think your goal of holding on until he gets testing and some additional systems in place through the school is an admirable one.  I hope with all my heart that testing gets taken care of in a timely fashion.  

 

I am just so incredibly worried about all of you.  That little boy is not the only one involved, as you are obviously painfully aware.  You are in such an impossible position, Melissa.  And the system isn't helping at all.  That stinks so badly.  

 

I wish the system were working for you instead of against you.  Is there any way to fight legally to get more support, more helps in place?  Someone who could come into the home and work directly with the boy and keep the others safe while giving you respite?

 

:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

 

 

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The OP has no good choices.

Trying to provide just enough more time to get educational testing is a fantastic goal. It is great that op and her dh are reaching for this.

Most of the suggestions of considering sending the child back were made before the goal was mentioned.

Everyone is aware this is a child. And this may be his last chance. The OP has other children, not just the twins who are biological siblings of the child in question. If the presence of the child is causing so much stress for the OP what is happening the her other dc. What is the long term damage to them? They count too.

When I teach lifesaving skills to nonprofessionals, the first message is don't jump in the water. If you jump in water over your head, the drowning person can pull you under. Drowning people are amazingly strong and are irrational. So, jumping in easily results in a double tragedy. In the OP situation, I am concerned not just that op is pulled under but the twins AND her three older dc.

This isn't a question of possibly losing one person. The real possibility is choosing to stick it out with one child could result in longterm damage and loss to 6 dc and a couple of adults.

There is a point where the OP may need to consider triage. Triage feels callous. A negative can result from any choice. The point is to save the most people. One child may have to go to long term care to save everyone else. It's not a choice that's going to feel right or good to anyone.

Hanging on for the testing is reasonable as long as the school sticks to a good timetable and the situation does not deteriorate further, keeping in mind that further deterioration can result from simply staying the same without improvement.

:iagree:

 

Beautifully said, Diana.

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Hugs, no advice- I agree there are no good options.  WHen there are no good options, we have to choose the least damaging one.  If you weren't such a caring person, this wouldn't be tearing you up so badly, so think of the anger you feel as good- it is good that you feel anger that this situation has happened.  It is good you want to help.  That makes you a good person.  Nothing is wrong with you when you feel this way, it is proof you are a human with a big heart.

 

Hoping your family can come to a solution quickly, that benefits most of you. 

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I think some of the difference of opinion here is that many from US probably don't have an awareness of how messy the foster system over here is. There has been an increase in removals of something like 40pc in 7 years, constant ads for foster carers, case supervisor in our state recently convicted as the leader of a child exploitation ring, and the exposure of some privately run res homes as profiteering and providing totally inadequate care. I don't want to pile on because I don't want to influence Melissa's decision. I just think those recommending he be dropped off probably assume that he will be going to another reasonable situation which may not happen. It's not because they're hard hearted toward the boy it's just that they think he has a good chance elsewhere.

 

It still may ultimately be better to let him go rather than hurting a whole family but I totally understand the reluctance to do it.

 

Melissa, I can't believe they won't even let you choose your own psychologist?! And recommended pets for the kid...

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I am sorry to hear this.  My experience with kids' residential treatment centers in the US is that they are compassionate places where good progress is made.  So I was thinking that if he needed to go there, the sooner the better.  Sounds like I was wrong.

 

 

My experience of residential treatment centers in the US is not this at all, though nowhere near starvation and lack of clothing.

 

 

My heart and prayers go out to you, Melissa, and to your family and the boy in question.  I just really can't imagine how difficult and scary this must be. I don't know if I can keep following, because this hits a little too close to our own trauma, but please know I'll be thinking of you and praying for you often, and all involved.

 

Edited for privacy.

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