Not ALL of it. Just enough to give me a much-needed dose of reality.
To paraphrase Greg Lemond, the job doesn't get more depressing; you just get more realistic.
One of the minor mothers--the one whose case got picked up by Probation--was arrested today. That was sad news. I think being incarcerated might affect her efforts to reunify with her son. Since I'm not handling her case (only her son's case), I don't know what the charges are. I'd like to ask her what she was thinking, but I'm sure she's probably heard it all before. It's just sad that she was doing so well, and now this.
Another one of my kids got arrested too! He turned 18 last month, but I asked the Court to retain jurisdiction until I could make sure that he graduated from high school. Well, I don't think he's gonna be graduating anytime soon. Instead, he'll be serving time for possession and intent to sell, which I think is a felony. It's a weird feeling to do an inmate search for one of my child clients.
It gets worse, though. Apparently this guy's legal guardian was aware of the drug-selling situation but she was fearful because he threatened to have her killed if she told anybody. I wonder how long that's been going on. Maybe it's easier to not know.
But by far, the saddest thing this week was having to detain a five year old girl and to place her in a foster home. I knew she was scared and didn't want to go, so I asked her to be brave and I even gave her my cell number so that she could ask her foster mom to call me if she got too scared. She called me three or four times; each time was heartbreaking.
I think I have pretty good boundaries, so I don't beat myself up if parents can't get it together. I don't make their choices for them. But doing what's best for the safety of the kid is really hard when it actually hurts the kid.
This one gets worse too. I arranged with the foster mom to make sure that this kid could see her family over the weekend. But just before I left for the day, I got a voice mail informing me that the foster mom wasn't going to allow visitation over the weekend because of something between this girl's mom and grandmother. Their relationship is volatile and apparently they can't manage to stay calm even for the sake of the kid.
Anyway, I think this four day vacation will still be good for me.