..SMARMY INGREDIENTS THAT ARE MOST DESERVING OF ANOTHER AMENDMENT TO H.R. 1981 ...
For many families, by the time they end up at an educational consultant's office they have exhausted every community resource available, or they are emotionally exhausted because there is little, if any, community help for their child. In many instances, they have exhausted their financial resources, too. This needs to change. Change takes forever, time is of the essence, fear for your child takes over, and boom. They have got you hook, line, and sinker.
You bought into the "Teen Help Industry," herein referred to as the "industry," you feel a weight has been lifted from your being as your child is 'safely' tucked away in a facility program. You sleep soundly for the first time in what seems ages; until, you receive "the call."
THE CALL - A TRUE INCIDENT:
- Your child cannot talk because their heavy sobs are incapacitating their speech.
- You have a 15-minute, monitored telephone call with your child.
- You think you heard your child say "there was blood everywhere, I had to walk through blood."
- The monitor/counselor keeps interrupting.
- You and your child's 15-minute telephone conversation is up.
- You tell your child to put the counselor/monitor on the phone.
- You affirm that you wish to speak with your child immediately, without monitoring, stating that the telephone conversation was inaudible as your child was near hysterics.
- You are a zillion miles away, angst is rising, your pulse is rapid, you are ready to vomit, and the monitor/counselor that is less than half your age states, "it is against the rules."
- You reiterate that you do not give a damn, "I want my child placed on the phone - NOW!"
- The monitor replies that they "must get permission from their supervisor."
- While your child's sobs permeate, you lose it. "Either put my child on the phone, take your body out of the room, or I will call the police."
Your educational consultant will not return your call. "But, they are a member of IECA."
Those that have not been inducted into this abhorrent "industry," and are contemplating utilizing their offerings - this is for you.
TIPS FOR DUMMIES
"In the United States, educational consultants are not bound by any particular statutory rules for practitioners." However, many professional organizations have established standards for professional consultants by which their members pledge to abide - in this case, IECA (Independent Educational Consultants Association.)
In other words, to become an educational consultant requires no state licensing, no state oversight, certainly no academic degree, and absolutley no accountability. In all fairness, there are educational consultants that have advanced degrees, whom are licensed or accredited psychologists, counselors, social workers, etc., that have branched out into this very lucrative world of educational consulting for "at risk" teenagers and youth offenders.
What confounds the mind, is how an academic can justify sending children and youths to programs that utilize non-evidence based therapies, especially in wilderness boot camps. The industry is more than willing to provide their "own research," which is beyond laughable. This is abominable.
The educational consultant community (IECA) has now embraced our Special Needs Children, which is apparently on their hit parade. More and more facilities,schools,and academies market and advertise themselves to Special Needs Children and their families. Twenty or so years ago, the money-maker was the coming of age of ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) to follow, then ODD (Opposition Defiant Disorder). Addictions were a given. Now the children and youth targeted are those diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders and of course "pill-poppers." All these diagnosis not only keep the pharmaceutical companies euphoric, but the educational consultants and the programs to which they refer to, are running with it.
More alarming are school/academy/facility programs that appear to be on the rise and market for adjudicated youth deemed sexual predators, or those with sexual addictions. In lieu of jail, (hearts go out to those victims who were offended and both families) youth sexual offenders are placed in facility programs, often with the help of an educational consultant and attorney. Once these offenders start "grooming" or offend at one of these facility programs, they are moved to another facility that will accept them. Herein lies the problem. If, as has happened, the offenders are accepted into an unethical facility (Therapeutic Boarding School, Wilderness, etc.) for the bang of the buck and commingled with Special Needs Children, it is a proven recipe for disaster - a human toll, a tragedy that could have been prevented. Most offenses are kept in-house, never to be reported by the facility or educational consultant. If you expect that an educational consultant would divulge this, your naivety needs a reality check.
Perhaps educational consultants do not know what a "mandated" reporter's responsibility is, not to mention their lack of ethical standards.
One important aspect of the educational consultant's success is their keen ability to market themselves to clients. In addition, they must establish connections, a network with their brethren and the facilities where they attempt to place children. One palm simply greases the other. Those educational consultants that do speak out are ostracized, hung, quartered, and black-balled.
HOW NOT TO FEED THE EDUCATIONAL CONSULTANT AND THE PROGRAMS THEY REFER TO
- Parental trust, blind faith, and fear will be quite palatable to the educational consultant.
All glorious and picture perfect to induce, until you:
- DO YOUR HOMEWORK: Educate yourself. The Internet affords access to most everything.
- Review your educational consultant's qualifications through state licensing boards for psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, counselors, etc. They may not need to be licensed as an educational consultant, but if they present one of the above "shingles" they should be licensed by the state.
- Search the Internet for complaints. Weigh them, without input from the educational consultant. "Reputation Defender," although good, cannot expunge everything. You may be under stress, wrought with worry, but you are not inept.
- Do not accept phone numbers of previous clients as proof of merit, ethics, and success for obvious reasons.
- If the educational consultant touts that they are a member of their own association, IECA, take it with a grain of salt, along with other nuances. To be a member of IECA, one must pay their dues and then complain about IECA.
- If the educational consultant taps a NATSAP ( National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs) program - run. NATSAP is useless.
- Ask the educational consultant for the names of facility programs to which they have referred clients. Browse the Internet checking for complaints, news reports, previous and current lawsuits.
- Call the local sheriff's office and inquire as to how many 911 calls were placed to the department from the facility program the educational consultant is recommending. 911 call logs from children, parents, staff, DFCS, or other state agencies are public information and may be requested.
- Check with the state's Department of Human Services, Department of Mental Health, or similar state agency to find out if there is oversight of the recommended facility, if the facility is licensed by the state, and whether incident reports are available. Do not take any one's word. Licensing is only effective if the state supports their own regulations. State agencies often funnel children and youths into these programs, so they will not cut off the hand that feeds them.
- Remember, as in other markets, industry-wide "friendships' and compensation all too often obscures the ability to be truthful.
- Emotionally distressed, seeking a safe environment for ones child, devastation - a quite lucrative bounty.
THIS CANNOT BE EMPHASIZED ENOUGH:
- Never place your child in any program where there is no outside access.
- Never place your child in a program where their telephone calls and mail is monitored to and from the parent. No matter what is dreamt up to console you about this program policy, this is for containment only and dangerous.
- If the program stipulates the children lie and manipulate as an answer to your concerns - run. You alone know your child and when they are fabricating. Look into your child's eyes, their heart, and you will have your answer.
- If the educational consultant recommends a facility/school/academy in Costa Rica or overseas - run.
- Never place your child in a facility program where the medication is not dispensed by an R.N.
- If the educational consultant states that they have visited the facility program, remember, these facilities put forth their best behavior creating a facade. The same facade would apply to a parent visit or state agency visit. No educational consultant has witnessed a child hanging from a tree or had to walk through a blood-drenched dorm floor from a suicide attempt. If the educational consultant witnessed inexcusable therapy sessions, you will not be advised.
- Under no circumstances sign a contract absolving the educational consultant of liability.
- Ask the educational consultant if they are mandatory reporters regarding incidents they are privy to at the the programs to which they refer.
- Ask the educational consultant if they receive compensation from the facility program to which they refer.
- If any individual markets himself/herself as a "parent advocate" and refers children and youths to one of these facilities/programs - sprint. Chances are they receive compensation on both ends - one is unethical, known as "kick-backs."
- Know that the marketing of these facility programs intentionally affords a vision of therapy and continuing a child's education (another lure) under one roof. Look at it as a one-stop drop-off service to 'fix' any anomaly known to teen-kind.
WHAT THE EDUCATIONAL CONSULTANT SHOULD ADVISE WHEN MAKING REFERRALS TO PROGRAMS
If an educational consultant did their homework and was ethical, they would have already thoroughly vetted the facility/program; history has shown this is not the case.
History has also shown their disclosure to be less than forthcoming.
- Psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, social workers, doctors, etc., those that claim to be licensed, accredited, and affiliated with the program - check their references within the state, which can be found at state licensing boards and the state's Department of Education. Seek out those professionals that are no longer affiliated with the facility/school/academy. What they have to say may just shock you.
- Special Needs Children - Check the facility program's capabilities, accreditation (which appears to mean nothing these days) of their Special Needs Educational Program, counseling, and the credentials of those individuals to whom you are entrusting your child into their care.
- Again, check with the state's Department of Human Services or similar to find out if there is oversight of the recommended facility, if it is licensed by the state, and whether incident reports are accessible. Do they follow through with mandatory reporting, accountability, or just shelve a report , and not prosecute.
- Never place your child in a facility program that does not show proof of insurance for fraud, negligence,abuse, accident, and professional liability. Check the state statutes for fraud.
- Do not fall prey to paying advanced tuition for a discount or otherwise. Do not pay deposits unless the deposit is held in escrow. Read the fine print. Have a contract attorney read the contract. Check the state statutes regarding a facility/program that has a "rolling enrollment" which allows for the lawful return of deposits and tuition.
- It is imperative that you out-source any psychological testing, free from the program to ensure there is no scam, double-dipping or program surcharge, so that the testing is completed as paid for by a licensed, ethical psychiatrist, or psychologist that is in no way affiliated or compensated by the facility program. In addition, as despicable as it is, those affiliated with programs have been asked to change diagnosis to make the child/youth acceptable to the program offered.
- Enrollment statistics - Ask for the number of clients that do not complete the program. You will not get the truth.
- Under no circumstances place your child with Autism Spectrum Disorder(s) in a wilderness program.
- Under no circumstances send your child from a Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility (PRTF) to a Therapeutic Boarding School or a Wilderness program that purports to be a Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) or Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility (PRTF). The states will have a listing of licensed RTF's, PRTF's, and other mental health facilities.
- Internet search - Again, there is a plethora of information available. Search complaints and lawsuits.
IMPERATIVE - ASK THE EDUCATIONAL CONSULTANT:
- Does the facility program commingle children with DJJ youth placements, DFCS state placements through waivers (facility is not fully vetted or licensed) or otherwise, in-state or out-of-state youth that are court-ordered or more important adjudicated to placement in lieu of jail, with private pay placements including Special Needs Children.
- Does the facility program commingle children that are victims of sexual assaults with youth that are adjudicated sexual predators? Groomers?
You are totally disillusioned and disgusted. Your child deserves help within your community and under your watch, but there is little help, if any. Most psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors, social workers, pediatricians, teachers, judges, attorneys, etc., have not been educated in the fraud, abuse, and neglect associated within this industry.
These are the sad facts with the only remedy lying within the communities themselves, so that out-sourcing of our young to these abusive, fraudulent facility programs becomes a blemish on our history.
You may be thinking, "are you out of your mind?" "How can I do all this?"
The important question is, "how can you not?"
Be your child's advocate and their solace. Your "bounty" is your humanity. Do not strip your child of theirs.
FIGHT BACK AND SUPPORT H.R. 1981 "STOP CHILD ABUSE IN RESIDENTIAL PROGRAMS FOR TEENS ACT OF 2013."
It is not perfect, but it is all we have. Partisanship has no place where the well-being and life of any child is concerned.
And that's my take.
"For the Children Left Behind" and those to come.
Those ethical academia and foundations that are in support of H.R. 1981 appear far more appealing, although in the novice stage of truly understanding this horrific, multi-billion-dollar industry, than paper pushers and corporate lobbyists of abuse.
Although this is for the State of Virginia, licenses and certifications may be looked up nationwide:
Although this is for the State of Virginia, licenses and certifications may be looked up nationwide:
Copyright © 2013 Jilliestake - All rights reserved.