Dear Mr Hutten;
I live in Vancouver B.C and am desperate to find something to help my son. I don't know if it's the same in the states, but here in Vancouver there are alot of organizations that will tell you what you can't do, but nothing available to tell us what you can do. You'd think living in a city that houses the most notorious drug street (East Hastings) in the world, produces the most pot in the country if not North America, and has a gang shooting in broad daylight almost on a daily basis now we would have something in effect to deter the youth!!!!
We have been involved with youth workers- who I am sure are effective with some kids, but with ours the in ability to give any meaningful direction has been laughable. We have quickly learned that the over all banter is he needs to learn on his own, maybe it's time for independent living...sorry but none of these are acceptable options for us and quite frankly lazy, thoughtless and very dangerous answers. My son WILL end up in prison or dead if we do NOTHING!! Not a reality I am prepared to live through.
We have been involved with the court system where we were actually hopeful a true meaningful sentence would be put into place- i even told both his lawyer and the crown what I wanted to see happen, which was community service served in the hospital either serving coffee to families in the family room of intensive care- or being the candy striper for a young person who was severely injured do to gang violence or a with a severe brain injury do to drug use- I asked that this be in conjunction with hours spent on East Hastings serving food or working in the aids clinic...I wanted him to be court ordered to attend school and counselling and mandatory pee tests- What they gave him was to report to his probation officer and 20 hours of community service in the community centre......sorry, but where is the diversion??????
He was charged again- this time I begged his probation office to help me execute a real life plan for my son- A true rounded diversion program that covers all aspects of his life- I gave them the program- This time he got what is known as restorative justice-a youth diversion program- I'm thinking woo hoo here will be a forward thinking program that uses non traditional measures to help youth at risk feel better about themselves so they will be less self destructive and hopefully turn a new leaf----sadly I am mistaken----and have lost all faith in our system...he got 100 more community hours, at the same place- and has to have a meeting with the person effected by his crime--perhaps the meeting would help if he did something like took a life- but under the circumstances he won't feel anything deep enough to promote change...he just wont break into her house again....
(these examples are just a small example of what we have come up against in an attempt to save my sons life)
I am so discouraged about this that I am a millisecond away from taking a podium and becoming an activist...
Anyhow..I severely digress.
I appreciate you and am thankful that I think I may have actually found something with some substance.
On a positive note-as I type my son and his dad are sitting at the table in our galley playing yahtzee...have not seen that in years...It's really nice to listen to the laughter and positive interaction, I truly thought we would never see that side again. I will bask in this moment! Oh my goodness, my husband just ignored a call on his cell...Your better than you thought ; )
My Out-of-Control Teen