It could be possible that she is trying to avoid going into a foster home, which could be brutal--
It does sound as though the family has stepped in (including this young woman herself) to keep foster care out.
If she is Hmong (looks like it's Vietnamese), the Hmong have the strongest anti-foster care feelings of any Asians, but generally speaking Asians want to take care of 'their own'--
Many Hmong youth help support their families, so in her paradigm she is just doing what she should do--
if this judge has an ulterior motive of trying to force her into foster care, then he is even more of a scoundrel than he appears to be--
She shouldn't be helping to support an older brother, but he could likely be working a full-time job himself, or she may be trying to keep him on a scholarship, which, if he lost, could be disastrous for all of them--
it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--