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Do I let 15yo go into care?

(58 Posts)
Brightspark1 Tue 13-Mar-12 20:14:24

Posted before about DD's behaviour. Last night she trashed the house, crayon on walls, nail varnish all over bathroom and wrote f* you on the carpet. Lashed out at DH and me, and was physically violent. Ended up calling police. She calmed down but was still giving attitude. She ran away two weekends ago and was found by the transport police. Despite attending CAMHS , she will not engage with any attempts to help her and is angry, all the time. We are exhausted and life has stopped, am not coping at work. It has been suggested that we put her into temporary care, I'm tempted in a way, just to get a break, but it feels like a final admission of failure as a parent, and I don't know whether it will make things worse in the long run.
What do I do?

starsintheireyes Tue 13-Mar-12 20:16:25

Has she got SEN?

ragged Tue 13-Mar-12 20:23:14

It won't necessarily be temporary; you can ask for temporary (respite) care, but then the system (SS) takes over & you have very little control what happens, she could be in care for a while if she wants to be. She won't be coming home if she thinks she can get something she wants elsewhere (like less discipline than you impose, or... whatever). Trying not to say too much, but a friend put her out of control teen into respite care, or so she thought, last year, and the teen isn't home yet. Suddenly a lot of other people were involved in parenting that teen, foster carers, several SS people, likes of CAMHS & school staff, more, I think. And the teen themselves suddenly had a much larger say in anything they were being required to do.

I doubt very much you're a failure, but some kids are very very tough work.

parachutesarefab Tue 13-Mar-12 20:29:27

Speak to social services, and see what help may be on offer for you all.

Locally we have Support Breaks - "regular, short breaks to young people and families. Support carers work with social workers to help young people and families, who may be experiencing difficulties, to stay together. "

Probably goes by a different name in different areas.

Families can and do get through this - not all, but from your post you definitely haven't given up get. Ask for as much help as you can - family, friends, work, social services - and take what is offered. Good Luck.

parachutesarefab Tue 13-Mar-12 20:32:47

x posted.

Support breaks are different to respite care. Teenager stays with foster carer for weekends, for a fixed time, with everyone working to try to keep the family together long-term. Doesn't always work, but it does for a lot of families.

Brightspark1 Tue 13-Mar-12 20:43:19

Ragged,nyou have put into words just what scares me about what might happen, especially about giving her more say, though she can't make even the simplest decisions at the moment.
She is dyspraxic and has always struggled with writing but she's bright and up until last year was doing well at school, she's supposed to be doing her GCSEs at the moment but that has fallen apart as she has missed so much school, she is only attending one day a week. She has lost touch with her friends which doesn't help. She is so unhappy , but I can't seem to do anything to help- I just seem to make things worse?
Maybe I should ask about support breaks

Mrsrobertduvall Tue 13-Mar-12 20:46:43

I'm so sorry to hearvthis.
I have dd 15 who has brought us to breaking point on several occasions but nothing as major.
I can't offer any advice, but hope thinggs get better for you all.

starsintheireyes Tue 13-Mar-12 20:50:54

Honestly speaking (as someone whos been through the care system, both childrens home and foster care) letting her go into care will probably make her worse and she probably wont be coming back to you.

Imo childrens centres can be quite cushty in some ways, you get an activity allowance, haircut allowance, laundry allowance, clothes allowance and pocket money on top. The probability of her absconding is pretty high as its very hard for 2-3 staff members to be fully in control of 10-14 teens who are determined to cause trouble/go out. Many yp in them have drug/alcohol problems, are promisucus and many drop out of school.

Obviously theres no garuntee where shed end up-FC or CH, but A)foster placements are in high demand and there is a massive shortage B) Many foster carers are reluctant to take a teen with behavioural problems

Its hard to know what to suggest without knowing a back long has she been like this? are they other children in your house-if so is she the oldest? have there been any big changes that may have triggered her behaviour? do you think she may have been using drink/drugs?

starsintheireyes Tue 13-Mar-12 20:54:09

You say up until last year she was doing well at school. what do you think changed for her to go downhill so very fast?

Brightspark1 Tue 13-Mar-12 21:02:25

That's what I feared, there can't be many fosterers queuing up to take such a difficult child.
There's no drug or alcohol problem, but she is binge eating and has gained a lot of weight as she takes no exercise (yes we've tried) She has a brother who is in the first year of uni and I know she misses him. There aren't any triggers that we know of , but seeing as she won't speak, we have no way of knowing for certain. But she has no self esteem, never has done. We have never compared her to her brother, and have praised her when she has done well, but she thinks she's useless compared with her brother.

starsintheireyes Tue 13-Mar-12 21:15:13

It sounds like she needs a mentor, someone outside the family who she can gain trust with and start opening up to. Speak to ss about this, many areas have mentoring schemes for young people where volunteers give up a few hours a week to do something/go somewhere with the child.

What sort of help have camhs offered so far? (asking as Ive personally found them completely rubbish-eg your child needs to stab someone before they deem the situation serious enough to get involved with)

Brightspark1 Tue 13-Mar-12 21:46:57

Actually, Camhs have been good, she has a very good CPN who is firm but caring, and the psychologists who tries really hard with her, but she is learning behaviour from the othe kids there, eg sharing new ways of self harming. But they can't make her engage. She finds it impossible to open up to anyone.
Thank you all for making me feel less alone

NunWithADirtyHabbit Wed 14-Mar-12 16:58:13

Hi I hope you are still reading this thread.

What they others have said about Children's homes and Foster care is correct to a degree. It isnt that SS encourage the kid to stay in care but the child has a voice and if they say they want to stay in care - the kid is listened too. However you will still have PR for your child so can theoretically remove your child when ever you like. I would also point out that your daughters self esteem (what little she has) will hit rock bottom because she will always see going into care as you hating her or her not being good enough - Childrens homes do not have a magic wand and are no more qualified to 'sort your child out' any more then you are.

Also childrens homes are also full of kids with serious emotional / behavioural problems and have come from some of the most horrific back grounds - this can mean (some not all) will be self harming, taking drugs/ dealing drugs, running away and be involved with sexual exploitation (prostitution).

SS should have a team that deals with families to try and stop the child from coming into care. Each SS will call it a different name so i cant tell you exactly which team to ask for. They work with both the child and the families as sort of a negotiator - giving practical advice and support. Maybe call your SS and see if they have this resource?

You are not a failure as a parent - in fact you come across as caring and warm..could you also maybe got some counselling for yourself to help you manage this situation or perhaps see your GP. SS also do parenting classes that maybe of some help ...

Remember you cant change her - but you can get the advice and support for YOU to change (if that's what's needed) or just to cope with the situation.

Best of luck

Brightspark1 Wed 14-Mar-12 21:05:00

Things have moved on since then. This afternoon she attacked me when I wouldn't let her have her computer, social services rang in the middle of her hitting and biting me, and they rang the police and she has been arrested. We have said ,and the police agreed, that I wouldn't and she wouldn't be safe if she came home tonight. So it looks like she won't be coming home. The idea is really scary but I'm scared of my own daughter. I love so much but it seems she despises me for caring

parachutesarefab Wed 14-Mar-12 23:57:54

Keep trying to write a response, but everything sounds wrong. So sorry to hear about this turn of events. Stay strong - you love her, and you can get through this. (hug)

momnipotent Thu 15-Mar-12 00:13:13

Perhaps police involvement will give her a good scare and make her realize that she needs to control herself a bit more or something? <hopeful> How horrible for you brightspark, and for her. I hope tomorrow brings some peace for you both.

MuddlingThroughItAll Thu 15-Mar-12 20:15:22

I hope things start to get better for you, and I agree that maybe having a break will good for both of you. Is there any family who might have her for a week just for a change of scenery? That could be a solution if you worry about respite care leading to something else.

Meglet Thu 15-Mar-12 20:20:21

No. Please don't.

I was a dreadful teen and knew another girl who was also pretty bad.

Her mum put her into care and their relationship and her life was shot to pieces for ever. The care home was a nightmare for her, the other kids stole her stuff and it fucked her up for life. She was a teenage mum, drugs, breakdown etc.

My mum stuck it out with me, even the house trashing, hitting and throwing things and in time I grew up ok. She did drop me off at social services once but in the end they didn't let me stay.

Some teens are just bloody hard work.

mumatwitsend Fri 16-Mar-12 19:25:29

So sorry you are going through this bright spark i have brought up 5 teenage girls and we have all survived. I think you always lash out at people you love and trust as you know they will never give up on you. Think your daughter is really mixed up and hurting about something at the moment but let her know you love her and will always be there for her. Do you want to swap for my teenage son? He is 14 going to be a father in 6 weeks doesnt listen to a word i say and is now smoking weed.

Brightspark1 Fri 16-Mar-12 20:12:24

Thanks for all your posts, DD is now at a home for teenagers for the weekend and then a decision will be made on Monday. It's supposed to be good. She went yesterday. My husband broke down at work and got sent home for two weeks. We just spent yesterday crying. I wrote her a letter saying how much we loved her, and that she has to let her guard down and let people help her and that she has done so much to make us proud. I don't know whether she has read it. She didn't show any emotion when she was told that she wouldn't becoming home. It seems this is want she wanted. I feel so wretched, all hope has gone.

ragged Fri 16-Mar-12 20:37:15

sad Must be so tough.
Just remember there is no one right way thru this.
The out-of-control teen I know has spent a lot of time emotionally manipulating her birth family; I know that sounds so horrid & I don't know if your teen is like that at all. I think it might help if you're prepared for the possibility, though it's impossible to be truly detached.

noteventhebestdrummer Fri 16-Mar-12 20:38:34

Keep breathing. It's not what she wanted, it's just where she is right now and things can be OK again. It's not personal. She is just a mess of teenageness and inside she is your same lovely kid. She just needs some time and space to recall who she is. It will be alright in time.

noteventhebestdrummer Fri 16-Mar-12 20:43:25

And I think that maybe it is good to just say what YOU feel (being as positive as possible) and if you can, try not to TELL her what to do. They hate being told what to do sad but they do grow up in the end.

ivykaty44 Fri 16-Mar-12 22:18:32

just wanted to say - please don't think in any way that it is your fault, you have done stuff wrong or you have failed.

You have parented as you thought was best, best for your dc. You have one dc at uni and one dc is making so many choices that are causing so much trouble for your family.

This is a sad time but don't forget you need to look after yourselves aswell, this is a very stressful time and I hope things settle for you.

Taken Fri 16-Mar-12 23:38:59

The letter is a lovely idea. She will read it when she calms down - though might not admit it to you. There are not many that go into children's home with no emotions. She is just hiding it at present. She will think about what's happened at some stage. All you can do is keep in contact and tell her that your still there for her but obviously there are problems for you all to work on.
Sometimes things have to hit rock bottom before they can progress.
Be honest and open with her and social services - they are there to help your family.
Don't let people scare you with their stories - does not mean it will happen to you. I have seen some nice endings but you don't ever hear of those!

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