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OT--Trying to determine what to do..

notsobrady's picture

My bios (18 +19) have a mutual friend. A GREAT KID..I'll call him Mike for my post. Recently graduated high school and will begin college next week. He's been dealt a pretty raw deal in the parental department. His parents have been in and out of jail for possession and dealing drugs from what sounds like most of his life. He has 8 sibilings..and another on the way. HIs younger sister had a baby at 15 so they're a big dysfunctional group. 

When I met him he had just returned to highschool. He had numerous absences but at that point he and his siblings were in a foster home as his parents were in jail. I "think" in these situations the school in more lenient with absences because he missed many days and nothing ever happened. So anyway...All of the kids were doing well in their foster home. All were together and thriving. Except for the sister who had a baby...but that happens in any home environment unfortunately. 

So now his parents are out of jail, requested getting the kids back from the court and of course they were awarded the whole friggin family. Mike, now 18 decided to stay with the foster family, as he could choose where to live. They couldn't force him to return to his parents. And his foster parents are AMAZING! I've met them both and I felt Mike was making a wise decision.  So the rest of the family went to live with the parents, Now time has past, not sure how long they've been back..less than a year. The dad is dealing/using again and the mother is also using AND IS PREGNANT AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!! Mike has been living with a friend because he just couldn't handle living there anymore, but now has returned (and this is my thought) He's returned because he fears for the kids safety. He became the caregiver of all of them and took on a very mature role at a very young age. So he continues to get sucked back in because they are so little and he loves them tremendously. 

I encouraged him to go away to college. Not far, but just far enough to get his life started, but he insisted he would go to a local college because of his siblings. And I get that. I understand his concern and fear, but how much is too much? 

My daughter called me today and said things with Mike are bad. He was taking the kids to school and returned home to find the sheriff at the house because one of the smaller kids (toddler age) was in the middle of the road at their house and the mother was nowhere to be found. He's at his limit and I feel can't escape. He now wishes he would've gone away to school...I told my daughter he can come to our house, which I've told him that before. I REALLY want to help him but I know he cares so much for those kids. 

So my question is ?? If anyone has any experience with this. Can I be an advocate for him since he's 18? Or is he considered an adult. I want to help him, just don't know how or do I just offer the open door if he needs a place to stay. And I really wouldn't do this for just any kid. He's smart and funny and really has his shit together for everything going on. I just hate he's having such a hard time.


Harry's picture

He is an adult. He has all the rights of an adult.  You can help him. Talk with colleges to see how he can get in.  Help him with the paperwork for college.  Give him guidance with younger kids. 

advice.only2's picture

Not much you can do sadly, it sounds like much as he knows what he should do, he's doing what he feels is the best thing for his siblings.

thinkthrice's picture

Bronx cheer for the "system" that is so intent on letting bad parents get away with everything in their attempt to "reunify" disfunction.

susanm's picture

Now that there has been this kind of police involvement it may be out of his hands.  The kids may end up in placement where they probably will receive far better care than an 18 year old by himself can provide no matter how much he loves them.  He should actually be pushing for it to happen to get them away from the drugged out neglectful parents.  There is nothing preventing him from remaining involved with them.  But being their primary caretaker is not realistic.  

You are a good person for giving him a place to stay for a while and kind of regroup.  It is going to be hard for him to have the kids be taken into care but that would really be best for everyone.

still learning's picture

The best thing Mike can do is get a great education and land solid on his feet so he can help his siblings in the future.  He got dealt a rough hand but what an amazing young man to be so responsible and caring for his younger siblings.  I believe there is extra help he can get through the school and financial aid since he was previously a ward of the state.