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County placements
Old 03-19-2018, 10:22 AM
 
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My son's school is suggesting a change of placement for him and saying that they can't keep him safe at school because of his suicidal idealizations and his new habit of skipping class and leaving campus during the day. I want to be sure that this is the appropriate choice but it's nearly impossible to get information about these programs outside of basic info. I have seen enough videos of horrible happenings at special self contained placements across the nation to know that they are not all very good, or psychologically safe for all students. How can I know that a school is on the up and up? They offered me a short tour and observation at a time that works for he school, but how do I know with a short observation what it's really like or if I'm seeing more than the dog and pony show.

A little back ground info- my sons has struggled with depression and anxiety and ADHD since he was 6- he is now 15. In January his close friend committed suicide and following that trauma my son spiraled into a sudden and intense depression. I had my son hospitalized for a couple of days to insure that he would be safe and not follow in his friends footsteps but it seems now like it was not a good choice since he has actually gotten much worse since coming home from the hospital. We are trying some new meds but it's not a very great time and he is much more suicial and irritable and behaviorally difficult than before. He also has gripping social anxiety all of sudden-he can't enter crowed places like busy restaurants or social gatherings. This sudden struggle is no fun and not easy on anyone but I feel like, if this turns into a bad experiance like the admitting him to the hospital, he could end up even worse off and once he has been moved to this alternative county placment it couldn't be very difficult to get him moved back to regular school. It seems like his current school already has their minds made up that he is moving, they haven't even been responding to my email for over a week.

How can I get real, more authentic and organic look at what this program is like? What questions can I ask to help me make the best choices? What are the signs of a high quality program verses a poor program that just gives a good spiel.


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Old 04-09-2018, 01:23 PM
 
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I hope you have some answers to these questions by now- sorry for the late response! Facilities like this vary quite a bit, which makes it really difficult to think about how to tease out the important parts. It sounds like your son needs some intensive help and has been through so much. I would want to know what family involvement looks like, what social opportunities look like, what the typical day is like, what the plan is to re-integrate him into the community setting (including school), how long clients typically stay, what the recidivism rate is, and I'd want to talk to people whose children have been through the program (if the program is on the up and up, they may offer that, but there are also confidentiality issues with that).
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