Parent Warmline: 1-833-REACH-OR / 1-833-732-2467

My child is in the Oregon youth Authority

Home Forums Community Discussions My child is in the Oregon youth Authority

  • This topic has 3 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 12 months ago by ash.
  • Author
  • #12455

    My child has been in the Oregon Youth Authority for 3 years. How do I support my child inside the program and once she comes home I feel alone, and don’t have any real support. I don’t feel much trust in the juvenile justice system. I don’t feel like anyone understands how I feel. I miss my child every minute of every day. How do I deal with my emptiness?


    Hi Mygirl23! I am so very sorry that you are going through this and feeling alone! I have had experiences with the juvenile justice system and it definitely was a hard path to walk on. As a parent it is so hard to know that although our children made choices that have led them to this outcome, somehow it feels like we SHOULD have known how to stop them and we could have prevented this from happening. As if, somehow it is our fault because we did not do something good enough for them, we didn’t provide what they needed, we were not there to stop them. These thoughts go around and around in my head until I feel like I am the one who is incarcerated. I am not sure if your daughter is able to receive written letters from you or not, but that always helped me to feel that I was able to get my thoughts and feelings out. It help me to be able to let them know how much I missed them and that their brother and sisters and family missed them too. I got the other kids to write or draw pictures too. It was hard to reach out to my brothers and sisters because I felt like they judged me – that somehow it was my fault that my son was in detention. I felt all alone too. I looked for support groups and was able to find some that helped. I also planned for when my son got out and tried to figure out how to balance structure with easing him back into “normal” everyday life at the house. Figuring out rules and how much trust I could invest was super hard. Working on the house rules together helped so that he could feel like he had part figuring out what the boundaries were. Also, trying hard to create a way to communicate that he became invested and involve in was hard in the beginning because he was so defensive, but eventually he saw that I wanted what was best for him. I hope that this thoughts help. I hope that you know that your love and advocacy for your child is and has always been really important and taking care of yourself is super important too! Sending you lots of good thoughts! – Grace


    This is something I have experienced as a mom, in fact my beautiful child is now part of the adult system. He just turned 21. Which I am grateful for as sometimes, I didn’t think we would make it this far. The emptiness is very real. It doesn’t go away even when he is out. However it has got easier. The biggest tool I have to stay connected to him is that we share alot. we share memories- good and bad, laughs, stories. We have learned to make the most of calls. This was so hard in the first years as I would cry and just not know how to move forward. We are so close now though. Talking and writing is something we both look forward to. He is an artist and sends picture or poems. I guess the thing I am trying to say is that we found a new normal for us. The one goal I had was that we would still be family and have each other to lean on. It helps some. I smile more than I cry now.


    Hi Mygirl23. Navigating the legal system can be difficult and daunting. PO’s and legal mandates can be burdensome for a smooth transition back into regular society. I hope that those challenges are few and far between for your daughter and yourself. After enduring this for 3 years, I’d like to point out that you are strong, resilient and extremely patient. It is difficult to wait and wait, only to have to wait some more! I hope that she comes home to you soon so that you can start the healing process together.
    I have so many questions I’d like to ask you in an attempt to help you start planning for release and next steps. I realize that may not be what you are wanting, so I would like to invite you to Reach Out to one of us here at Reach Out Oregon. You are welcome to start a chat with us by clicking the “HI!” icon or call us at 1-833-732-2467. We are here from 12-7pm Monday – Friday and would be happy to just listen if that is what you are wanting/needing. Hang in there mama – you are doing awesome!

Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Join the Community

Sign up to receive the monthly newsletter, the very latest from Reach Out Oregon.

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: OFSN Training Program, 4275 Commercial St. SE , Salem, OR, 97302, You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Thanks for Reaching Out

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with Reach Out Oregon. Please complete the form below.

Volunteer Form

By submitting this form you are confirming that you are at least 18 years of age and that you agree to all Reach Out Oregon Terms of Use and Privacy Rights.

Thanks for Reaching Out

Thank you for sharing information about a needed resource. Please complete the form below.

Request a Resource Form
Maximum upload size: 5MB

By submitting this form you are confirming that you are at least 18 years of age and that you agree to all Reach Out Oregon Terms of Use and Privacy Rights.