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Parenting Teens

Our Experience with the Juvenile Court’s IDT Process

juvenile court idt

In a previous post, I talked about the Family Resource Meeting (FRM) and how it went for us. The last time my daughter ran away, she got sent to Shelter Care to await the court hearing later that day. When we went to court, the decision was to have her stay in Shelter Care until there is time to do an Inter-Disciplinary Team (IDT) meeting. Last year, there was a debate to go with the FRM or IDT, and we went with the FRM because the IDT can sometimes take a while. This time they were able to get the IDT completed before the next court hearing.

The IDT was not as thorough as the FRM. They didn’t speak to our individual therapists or our family therapist. The therapist, who was in charge of the entire process, spent ten minutes talking to me, and the other time it was rushed. I was happy that my daughter decided to go to the residential program that I wanted her to go to the previous year. Therefore, the decision was made for her to go there after she was accepted into it.

The day of the court hearing was the first time I read the report, and I was completely blown away (not in the right way). It was one-sided and made a lot of assumptions. The therapist said that I barely visited my daughter, and I need help to make sure I can support her. It angered me because not once did she talk to the therapists who saw everything that I had done to try to help my daughter. How can she make that assertion if she spent one quick session talking to me? I offered to have her connect with our therapists, and she said it wasn’t needed. She then makes these assumptions without knowing the details. I was disappointed. Before we were in front of the judge, I had to pause and think to myself. “Does it matter? The girl is going to the residential program that you feel will help her, so do you care what this therapist who has no idea what is going on and probably has a bunch of cases thinks?

The judge did ask me what I thought of the process. I told her that I preferred the FRM because it was a more careful process and made sure to really understand everything that has been tried in the past and make sure they got everyone’s input. This is especially true when the therapist spent ten minutes talking to me, one session with my daughter and didn’t reach out to the people who knew us. I am not sure what they will do with that feedback, but I hope they do something.

If you have a decision to go with the FRM or IDT, you should go with the FRM. This is with the caveat that the IDT is court-mandated, so my daughter HAS to follow the recommendations. Like right now, she is begging to leave the residential program. If it were the FRM, then she could decide to do just that. With the IDT, she has to wait for the next court hearing in December.

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Comparing the Juvenile Court's IDT process to the FRM
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