04-18-2018 01:27 PM
Hi Pepper thank you for the links You and the others on this forum have given us lots of good advice which we will use to formulate a plan. Due to our situation and having to work with DoCS and the equivalent department in another country we have taken the step of hiring a lawyer who in the town we live in is known as being tenacious and works not only in our local court but in the federal court as well. The other country and DoCS are arguing as to who is responsible for what. In the scheme of things the mobile phone to us is a small this but for my niece it is really important. Yesterday she pushed into her ear an unpopped popcorn kernal and was taken to the hospital to have it removed. I can’t help thinking that it is another attention seeking act or she was attempting to try and get out of going to school today. She had her first day at school today and already by her body language etc during the meeting with her Deputy Principal I know she has no intention of sticking to the behaviour contract she was given today. We totally support the school and don’t believe they are being unreasonable however DoCS thinks they are … sometimes I wonder if this nightmare will ever end.
04-20-2018 05:32 PM - edited 04-20-2018 08:36 PM
The legal situation sounds like a bureaucratic nightmare @jdbza! You guys are managing so well with all you are tackling, you're inspirational.
Your niece sounds like she's hurting and really struggling, which is completely understandable after all she's been through. In the meeting with the Deputy, was there also talk of support and compassion? I'm just thinking with my daughter, when we've gone into school meetings to discuss only her poor behaviour without acknowledging what's behind it, she would immediately become irritable and defiant. We came up with a plan for my daughter to take time out, put her head down on the desk when she was building up to losing it, and everyone would leave her alone. She'd get herself together again, and re-engage with the class. She still got detention if she behaved badly though. Have DoCs given an indication of what they think the right move is?
I'm wondering how things went at court? I so hope things are taking the direction you're wanting. It's so sad that you're having to go through all of this because you want to give your niece the best opportunity she can have within a family that loves her.
(Oh, and here is a link to the thread I was thinking of about phone apps other members have used that I mentioned earlier.)
04-23-2018 07:10 AM - last edited on 04-23-2018 03:16 PM by gina-Ro
Yes, the legal situation is/was a bureaucratic nightmare. The country where she is from has agreed to pay our legal fees so we have engaged a lawyer. They have been awesome! The overseas orders are in the process of being registered in the Family Court here which will make things simpler for us in the long run. We went to the court house earlier with our lawyer and we negotiated with DoCS and came up with an agreement before we saw the magistrate. The agreement we have expires on the 17th of May and the intention is she will return home on the 18th. DoCS are required to arrange visits for us with my niece to allow her to reintegrate back into home.
My nieces back to school meeting was everything it should have been. I went there to support her and a youth worker was also there. The DP set out the rules of her returning one by one and engaged her in a conversation of how she was thinking and feeling about what was said. The youth worker and I were asked if we had any questions regarding the ground rules. When I left my niece was very happily chatting with the DP and eager to go to class.
I can hear your pain about what has been happening with your daughter. The first few times we were called into school since she has been with us that is how we felt. We have raised 5 other children and not once were they ever in trouble the way she has been. The first time she got suspended last year it was because she had hurt another student. I was shocked to the core and had no idea what to do. Matters were complicated by the girl she hurt having bullied my niece for quite some time. I think in hindsight nothing prepares you for it happening or it’s consequences. The one thing I did do though was to contact the Dept of Education to see exactly what the school were required legally to do and we held them accountable and kept them on track when it was necessary. I also tried to see the situation from the school’s side even though at times it was very hard.
We’ve made a decision regarding the mobile phone. The one she currently has will be removed from her. We’ve found a text and call phone that we can recharge and the credit will last 256 days. On the first day of every 3rd month we will recharge the phone for another $30. If she sends an inappropriate message the phone will be removed for a month. If she uses during church or youth group etc she will loose it for a week. If the credit runs out before the due day to top up we will not be topping it up earlier. She is also to give us her passwords and if she changes them without giving us the passwords or refuses to hand her phone over for us to check when we randomly check, then the phone will be removed from her. At this stage we haven’t figured out for how long. We are trying to come up with a staggered amount of confiscation on the level of misuse.
Thank you for the suggestions and links that everyone has given me as we have used them all to help us to make our decisions.
My niece is someone who came to the attention of child protection when she was about 12 months old. For reasons I will never understand the authorities left her with her parents until she was 7. During that time she was emotionally and physically neglected. When she went into care she went from home to home. We were told initially 12, then it became about 20 and the other day we were told almost 40. We will never know the truth. In care she was sexually assaulted by a female adult, raped by another child in care and continued to be emotionally and physically neglected. She was also physically assaulted by 4 teenage girls in on group home when she was 11. She has experienced a huge amount of trauma and her time in care has made her institutionalised. She has seen psychologists and other professionals over the years however because she was not in a stable environment I think in many ways they were just putting bandaids on the situation. She is now seeing a psychologist which she started about 3 or 4 months ago. She is going weekly and the psychologist is very experienced in working with traumatised kids as well as one with disabilities. Before she came to live with us she had a diagnosis of Reactive Attachment Disorder. When she had been with us for about 12 months we had her reassessed and she was diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Now they are talking about things like PTSD, Bi-Polar or Borderline Personality Disorder. Along with her history she also experienced a delay earthquake when she was younger. It caused a huge amount of damage and the death toll was high. We also have a very strong genetic history of Bi-Polar Disorder, ASD (high functioning) and her bio mum has Borderline. My niece has 2 - 3 years before she ages out of this system and we want to make sure she gets the help she genuinely needs. We love her dearly and want to make sure that we advocate for her in a positive way to get her the help she needs.