Archives

Residential Therapy: Are you ready to made the leap?

You have finally reached your wit’s end.  It has come to a point where you have exhausted all your local resources.  The one on one therapy is no longer working, if it ever did.  The fact is, it is a fight to even get your teen to attend a session.  If you do get them to attend – how many times to they actually manipulate the therapist to actually believe there isn’t an issue at all…… in some instances the blame can come right back to the parent!

Yes, manipulation of a teen is priceless.  They are the best at what they do.  However now is the time for the parent to be the best at what they are – a parent.

You decided it is time for residential therapy and you jump on the Internet and you start with Google by typing in key words.  Teen help, struggling teens, defiant teens, teen help programs, military schools, reform schools, troubled teens, rebellious teens, etc.

What you will find is a list of marketing arms that are very quick to “sell you a group of programs” rather than discuss what is best for your individual teenager.  I always caution parents to beware of these toll free numbers and marketing arms that you have no clue where you are calling and who is connected to what.

I once was at my wit’s end – my story is what prompted me to created an organization to help educate parents about the big business of “teen help”.  Take a few minutes to read – “A Parent’s True Story” and you will realize that although you absolutely need to get your son or daughter help, you also need to take the time to do your research.

I have listed some “Do’s and Don’ts” when searching –  these are some great helpful hints for parents.  This is such a major emotional and financial decision that I encourage to read through my website and learn as much as you can before making a decision.  I firmly believe in residential programs – I just also believe you need to select the right one for your child’s needs.

Visit www.helpyourteens.com for more information.

Specialty Boarding Schools – Horizon Academy, Red River Academy – What are they?

Hold on, you will find the RIGHT help, just don't panic....

HELP – Who do I trust!!! What website is really telling me the truth?  Where are these toll free numbers really going to?  How do I know these people really care about my teenager?

Scary huh?  Yes, I was there over a decade ago – and unfortunately – today the same organization that harmed my daughter has moved on (though re-named themselves) are still practicing from what I have heard.  This is, of course, my experiences.

Troubled teens, teen help, struggling teens, at-risk teens, problem teens, difficult teens, boot camps, military schools, behavior modification, specialty schools, specialty programs, teen help programs, boarding schools, residential treatment centers, residential therapy, emotional growth programs, therapeutic boarding schools, wilderness programs, defiant teens, manipulative teens, disengaged from the family, family conflict, hopelessness, WIT’S END….

You have about reached your wit’s end when you are searching the web and typing in about every keyword you believe describes what you think you are looking for.  Glorified websites appear – maybe some not so beautiful, maybe you want a Christian setting, maybe you think a good boot camp or have that traditional thinking of an old fashioned military school…. however you will soon realize this isn’t 50 years ago.  There are legitimate residential therapeutic schools today and it is a parent job to do their research to be sure they find a safe and quality program that fits their individual needs.

After hours – days – even weeks (I have actually spoken to parents that have spent months) on the Internet, sometimes the confusion can deepen, which is why I did create Parents’ Universal Resource Experts.

With this – I am only sharing my own experiences…. and it has to do with the affiliated programs with the title of this Blog….

Are you confused yet? Looking for teen help and realizing this is a BIG BUSINESS?

So, your teen is driving your crazy.  You are at your wit’s end. You have finally decided you need outside help. You have exhausted all your local resources.  Local therapy doesn’t help, heck, you can’t even get your teen to attend.  Your teen is failing in school, he/she is very smart yet doesn’t want to attend school and believe they know it all.  Many say, “typical teen“, but as a parent, we know it is more than that.

Where did our good kid go?  Good kids making bad choices – and they don’t need to be placed in an environment that will make them worse in my opinion – learn from what happened to me!

As a victim of the WWASPS organization – I am often called or receive many emails about our (my daughter and I) experiences with them.  Obviously not pleasant.  Though I am happy to say the program she was at, Carolina Springs Academy, which attempted to go through a name change to Magnolia Christian Academy (or School) depending on the day you Googled it, is finally closed – it has been rumored some of the staff is now at their affiliate program – Red River Academy.

Let me be clear for legal purposes – these are rumors – but if I were placing my child in program, I personally wouldn’t take any chances – and furthermore, Red River Academy is clearly named in the current lawsuit which is extremely disturbing with allegations of fraud, abuse, neglect and much more – (click here) that is current.

Then we come to Horizon Academy.  Another alleged WWASPS facility.  Why say alleged?  Maybe they will deny they are affiliated – yet look at their staff, again, you will see they were once employed at other WWASPS programs.  Jade Robinson was at the program in Mexico (named in that lawsuit with alleged abuse and neglect) Casa By the Sea, then went on to Bell Academy, which didn’t last long, and I assume is trying to continue at Horizon Academy.

So when the “sales rep” tells you that “Sue Scheff” is a disgruntled parent – I say – YES, I was – you put my daughter in a box for 17 hours, she was mentally and emotionally abused – food and sleep deprived – I was complete defrauded – and she also missed out on 6 months of education.  None of which I had signed up for.  Grant it, this was 10 years ago – a lot has changed – but those original owners haven’t – so in my humble opinion – I wouldn’t trust any of their programs with my pets….. BTW: I am the only parent to have defeated WWASPS in a jury trial.  

Most of the other (many) lawsuits have settled out of court with silence agreements.  I don’t have one, which is why I can still share my story – which is why I get slimed online – which is why their sales reps have all sorts of stories about me – including “the jury made a mistake” – neglecting to tell you I won the appellate court too.  No one condones child abuse – period.

I have been called a crusader (and not in a flattering way) though I take it that way.  I have made it my mission to find the better programs and schools, since I do know what it is like to be at your wit’s end.  I know what parents need help. I am not against residential therapy, which brings us to many  of my stalkers that were formally abused in programs that believe all programs should be closed down.  That is being extreme – they are not a parent trying to save their child’s life and future.

I will share with you that there are more safe and quality programs than there are bad ones – it is just about doing your homework and research.  Today you are more fortunate than I was – you have more access to information and you can learn from my mistakes and  my knowledge.

Please – take 10 minutes to read my story and see the list of programs that are and were once affiliated with Carolina Springs Academy – and from there, you make your own choices for your child.

I had one parent that almost went to Red River Academy that actually said the sales rep said they could have their teen “extracted” within a few hours?  Extracted?  Really – is your child a tooth?  Please don’t get rushed into a quick decision – this is a major emotional and financial decision.

WWASPS can try to discredit me to parents, but I have been vindicated by many included legally and the media.

My organization is Parents’ Universal Resource Experts – and no matter what those “sales reps” or the Internet fiction – I don’t own, operate or manage any schools or programs!  We are about educating parents when they are looking for help for their at risk teen…. Don’t get scammed when you are at your wit’s end.

Oh – and when these “sales reps” send out these defamatory links about me – another FACT they neglect to tell you is I won the landmark case for Internet Defamation that awarded me $11.3M in damages for what was said about me online!  Lies and twisted facts!  Here is my recent appearance on Anderson Cooper.

This is strictly my opinion on my own experiences – you are free to make your choices…

Teen Counseling: Does Therapy Always Work?

Going to therapy seems to be the first step parents take when they realize their tween or teen is starting to go down a negative path.

It is important to find a therapist that specialize with adolescents – one that understands the “teen talk”.

But what happens when therapy isn’t working?  What happens when your teens starts to manipulate the therapist?  What happens when the therapist believes it is time for the next step?

It is time to look for a boarding school, one that offers the support your teen needs both emotionally and academically.  It is important to understand, although education is absolutely a necessity, you have to realize that the teens needs to be emotionally balanced in order to do well at anything.

This doesn’t mean you look at programs that don’t offer academics, such as many Wilderness programs, parents need to keep 3 major issues in their mind.

  1. Academic’s/Education
  2. Clinical/Therapy
  3. Enrichment Programs/Extra-Curriculum Activities

Don’t skimp on any of the above.  You will first be stung by the sticker shock – then you need to take this search seriously.  There are state funded programs through your local United Way, as well as programs that offer financial help in accordance to your income.  It just takes time and diligence to find exactly what fits your families needs.

Learn more at www.helpyourteens.com – There is more to residential therapy than what you find online.

Teen Help: Hesitation and Procastination

Parenting is probably one of the hardest jobs there is.

During the holidays the added stress can cause contention as well as family disputes.

However if you are dealing with an at-risk teenager, a teen that was already struggling down a negative path – maybe experimenting with drugs or hanging with a less than desirable peer group or has failed their first semester of school, holiday times can be more strenuous.

Dealing with troubled teens at any time of the year is not easy, it is a challenge.  Dealing with troubled teens during the holidays can be double the trouble.  With time off from school, many families have both parents working with limited supervision at home which leaves many teens on their own.  Have you checked your medicine cabinets lately?

Parents’ Universal Resource Experts, founded in Broward County, has been helping families with teens in trouble for almost a decade.  One of the common threads is during the holidays when teens start to escalate with their issues, and parents will go deep into denial hoping to get through the holidays.

What they don’t seem to understand is that teenager is crying out for help and prolonging this help can only make things worse – whether it ends up in a legal battle or otherwise, if you are debating an intervention with your teens, don’t hestitate because it is the holiday.  There will be many more holidays in the future and the sooner you get your teen help, the sooner your family will be on the road to healing.

Being a parent in denial is also being selfish.  This is not about the parent – it is about the teen.  There will be plenty of time for blame and/or shame later, the immediate issue is getting your teen help.

Ask yourself:

  • Is your teen escalating out of control?
  • Is your teen becoming more and more defiant and disrespectful?
  • Is your teen manipulative? Running your household?
  • Are you hostage in your own home by your teen’s negative behavior?
  • Is your teen angry, violent or rage outbursts?
  • Is your teen verbally abusive?
  • Is your teen rebellious, destructive and withdrawn?
  • Is your teen aggressive towards others or animals?
  • Is your teen using drugs and/or alcohol?
  • Does your teen belong to a gang?
  • Do they frequently runaway or leave home for extended periods of time?
  • Has their appearance changed – piercing, tattoo’s, inappropriate clothing?
  • Has your teen stopped participating in sports, clubs, church and family functions?  Have they become withdrawn from society?

Be an educated parent – don’t let the holidays prolong you from getting your teen the help they may need.

Need parent choices?  Click here.

Helpful hints when looking for residential therapy: Click here.

Visit www.helpyourteens.com for more information.

Read more.

Sue Scheff: Teen Help and Tough Love – Parents Reaching their Wit’s End

How much is a parent supposed to tolerate before they reach their wit’s end?

How many times do you blame negative behavior on the friends they are hanging with, since your teen would never act like this? (Not my Kid)

How long do you continue to allow your teen to speak to you with disrespect and defiance?

How much is too much?

Let’s face it, parenting teens today has become more challenging than years before.  Think about your generation.  When your parent said to be home at 10:00pm, most were home by 9:50pm.  Why?  Because we respected our parents.  We also knew there would be consequences.

Was that considered tough love?  Not really, it was simply following the rules of the house.  These simple boundaries seem to have disappeared in many homes.

Is it because there are more single parent households?  Is it because most families have both parents working, meaning there is less supervision?

Without a doubt, the level of respect that some teens show today is despicable.  No matter what the reason is, your teen is creating tough love – and it gets tougher to love them as they continue to defy us, yet we will always love unconditionally.  Could this be why they push our buttons?

Years ago we rarely heard about residential therapy.  Today these boarding schools are busting at the seams as teens are learning to appreciate what they had at home.  Is residential therapy tough love?  No, residential therapy it is about regaining your child back. Tough love can be part of the process.

Visit www.helpyourteens.com for more information for private residential therapy. Here’s Help in Florida is resource for South Floridians with at-risk teens.

Be an educated parent, you will have safer and healthier teens.

Read more.

Sue Scheff: A Mother and Daughter’s Story

A Parent’s True Story – A mother and daughter’s story of courage, strength and inspiration.  This story is now published in detail, with my daughter speaking out for the first time about the horrors she endured at Carolina Springs AcademyWit’s End! A Mother and Daughter’s True Story published by Health Communications, Inc (HCI) can be purchased in all major bookstores and online.

By Sue Scheff, Weston, FL
sue.helps@helpyourteens.com

Deception, Misrepresentation & Fraud


After experiencing my good teen making some bad choices, I found myself on the Internet surfing until I was so confused and stressed I couldn’t make any decision. One group of specialty schools and behavior modification programs kept popping up wherever I clicked; I figured they must be good. Then I received their beautiful glossy literature with a video that could make any parent weep (I actually received 4 packets of the same material)! The cost was reasonable in comparison with other programs, or so I thought until I enrolled my child. The hidden costs added up like a grocery bill. I was totally misled by my rash decision. This is a common mistake when parents are placed in a desperate situation and a swift sales rep is waiting for you; answering every question the way you want to hear it and making promises that convince you that they can help your child.

My true nightmare was just beginning. 

Impressed by the fancy words and glossy brochures, I enrolled my child with the understanding that they were qualified help. I am ashamed to say, I never did a background check on these programs. I had called their parent references that they gave me (and later found out they were paid to talk to me, some actually receiving a free month’s tuition). I know many of you are thinking I must have been nuts, and you are right. While in this stage of my life, I was in a total frenzy. I truthfully just wanted help for my child and thought for the money I was paying, it must be good.

Long story short, my frenzy and desperation was my biggest mistake I made. This was not what they sold me. It was more of a warehousing of teens program. I was looking for therapy and internalization through the help of professionals. I believe if you take a negative child, and put them in a negative environment, it builds resentment and anger. Literally, this is what I had done. I had no idea as to what I did. Fraud, misrepresentation, combined with a vulnerable parent can lead to danger for a child in my opinion.

I attempted using the so-called Independent Educational Consultant that immediately wanted a check for $350.00 just to talk to me. They claimed they could help me (without even knowing my daughter) for about another $3000.00 or more. 

It was a couple of months later, after I attended some very bizarre seminars that were mandated in order to visit your child that I realized I had made a big mistake. I wrote my withdrawal letter immediately after the second seminar. Actually, in retrospect, red flags went up shortly after I dropped my child off and I asked who the psychologist would be, and guess what, there was none, unless I wanted to pay extra! So who led the group therapy they raved about? There was no group therapy, there was a person who sat in a circle with them as they reflected, which was usually another student. I would have hired their psychologist for another $100 per visit, but why? We could have done that at home. Their sales reps told me that there was a licensed therapist “on staff and on site”. I should have pulled my child then, however I thought I was over-reacting since I was in such confusion and frenzy. The staff was very good at convincing me to “trust the program” instead of addressing my concerns.

During my child’s entire stay of almost 6 months, I was never allowed to speak with my child. I only spoke with an employee once a week for about 15 minutes (In my further research, these employees had no credentials and many didn’t have education beyond High School including the President of the Organization). My child wrote me letters: some good, some bad. The good ones were considered manipulation; the bad ones were considered proof that they needed to stay longer. I couldn’t win and neither could my child.

After observing and listening to some of the other teens there and their families, I realized it was all very strange. Some of these kids were there for well over a year and the families were so deep into this program, it was sickening and sad. The support group meetings were like a Stepford Family Reunion, with a leader making her financial profits. These poor kids just wanted to be loved and held by their parents, who couldn’t be there. I later found out it usually takes up to 6 months to speak with your child, and in most cases up to a year to see them. Although they sell you another story, the truth be known, most take 2-3 years to graduation. Recently I understand a law was passed that mandates you can see your child after 3 months. I am not sure if this group of programs is abiding by this new regulation; however, it is in place.

I brought my child home and when she felt confident I wouldn’t send her back, I heard some unspeakable stories. The stories were very consistent with many others I was hearing and reading about. My child went immediately into real counseling where, after almost two years, we are recovering from this traumatic experience in our lives. My child was suffering from depression and nightmares from the stay at Carolina Springs Academy. The fear of being sent back, had created suicidal thoughts, however the excellent psychologist helped my child through this horrible post experience of WWASP. I have heard from many other post-WWASP students and families suffering from the same symptoms, which is very sad.

I firmly believe, until you walk the shoes as a parent of a teen, you really don’t know the feeling of hopelessness. I have been there and I have survived and learned from it. I believe in sharing my knowledge of this, very political, industry with as many families as possible. It is very scary to know that even Independent Educational Consultants (that are supposed to be professionals) have no state or government regulations. In other words, anyone can state they are Educational Consultants. This combined with the misrepresentation of schools and programs, is very frightening and costly in many ways.

Our experiences occurred with Carolina Springs Academy, one of many of their programs that are part of the World Wide Association of Specialty Programs (WWASP aka WWASPS aka Premier Educational Systems). Some of the program names are: Cross Creek Manor – UT, Cross Creek Center – UT, Spring Creek Lodge – MT, Tranquility Bay – Jamaica, Casa By The Sea (closed due to allegations of neglect and abuse), Academy at Dundee Ranch (raided and closed), Academy at Ivy Ridge – NY (accreditation suspended in April 2004; 2005 State Attorney General Spitzer made Ivy Ridge pay approx. $1.65 Millions Dollars in fines and to parents for Educational Fraud), Majestic Ranch – UT, Pacific View, Midwest Academy – IA, Paradise Cove (closed due to allegations of neglect and abuse), Morava Academy (closed due to allegations of neglect and abuse), Darrington Academy – GA, and Horizon’s Academy – NV. I feel all of their programs are simply boot camps that claim internalization; however, lack it tremendously. Their specialty is cash cropping children; marketing and using a child are part of their strategy. They are, in my opinion, a children’s warehouse and a parents’ escape from their desperate situation. Their deluxe *Marketing and Pyramid skills seems to be what they specialize in.

In many parents and professionals’ opinions, the fine line of their cult-like program is enough to destroy many families and children, as we have many testimonials to. (Please review some of our Informational Articles for more true stories). I am speaking from experience. I used to sell their program and market their schools to gain free months’ tuition. Yes, whenever you refer a family, you would get a free month! What a concept, and I fell for it! Being involved in selling the program controls your mind in the consistency of how great they are when in reality, you have not even spoken to your child. I had no idea how the program was working; I was just trained to sell like a good follower.

There are many followers of this program who have become programized. There is many like myself, and more waking up daily. Dateline, Primetime, 48 Hours & Inside Edition has done segments on this organization that paint the same picture of negative experiences. There are many newspaper and magazine articles (including People, Forbes, New York Times, LA Times, News Day, Miami Herald, Sun Sentinel, Guardian, Jamaican Observer, YM Magazine, Salon, Time Magazine, Spin, etc.) and lawsuits pending against WWASP that they are struggling to keep silent. Where there is smoke, there is usually fire. Why take a chance with your child?

Many wonder why they are allowed to continue, it is simple, money and plenty of it. Money is usually the root of evil, and it seems obvious with this. I am a firm believer that one day WWASP aka WWASPS aka Premier Educational Systems will be held accountable for their actions. The day will come that many truths will be exposed. For the sake of the silent cries of the children, the sooner the better.

First Lawsuit WON Against WWASP:

P.U.R.E. ™ is proud to have defeated WWASP (click here to learn more about this victory) as they attempted to silence P.U.R.E. ™ and myself.  Please note that we won in their state of Utah. I believe this is the first of many wins.  Additionally, in June of 2006, P.U.R.E. went on to defeat WWASP in the Federal Supreme Court of Appeals.

I hope my experiences have saved parents from making the mistake I made in desperation. I am sharing my personal experiences to create awareness about the misrepresentation and fraud I endured. This story was not written out of malice against WWASP (World Wide Association of Specialty Programs), it was written for the principle and morals that they lacked. I think they call it “Accountability.”  I am accountable for what I have written as being the truth as I experienced it.

*As a footnote for their Marketing, when I was searching, I was recruited by a Miami based parent that has made a mission (in many peoples’ opinions) of building this pyramid for WWASP. Although she claimed she had no financial gain from this, we have further learned that she collects large sums of money for her involvement with WWASP. Although she states she makes her income from her Title Company, it was discovered that she was arrested in February 2002 on charges of illegally diverting nearly $6 million in trust money through a variety of schemes. Lynn Pretzfeld, of Miami Florida, was charged with conspiracy to commit racketeering and grand theft.

According to the Florida Department of Insurance, the now closed Title Examiners Inc. diverted money into personal accounts from escrow accounts. 

UPDATE – According to public record, on June 3, 2003, Lynn Pretzfeld is now a Convicted Felon and on 10 years probation as well as paying restitution. Case #F02003735B (Click here to view PDF file)

Please note that WWASP seems to make it a habit to change their names. When I was involved, it was WWASP. A couple years ago, it became WWASPS (with an “s”) and presently we understand they are opening under Premier Educational Systems. I assume when parents do Search Engine research, it eliminates any bad press that may be associated with previous names. This is just an opinion. If you have nothing to hide, why the constant name changes?

As of May 2009 it is believed that WWASP aka WWASPS or Premier Educational Systems LLC has affiliations with the following: 

Academy of Ivy Ridge, NY (CLOSED)
Bell Academy, CA (CLOSED)
Canyon View Park, MT
Camas Ranch, MT
Carolina Springs Academy, SCCasa By the Sea, Mexico (CLOSED)
Cross Creek Programs, UT (Cross Creek Center and Cross Creek Manor)
Darrington Academy, GA (CLOSED)
**Discovery – Mexico (see below)
Help My Teen, UT (Adolescent Services Adolescent Placement) Promotes and markets these programs.
Gulf Coast Academy, MS (CLOSED)
Horizon Academy, NV
Jane Hawley – Lifelines Family Services
Kathy Allred – Lifelines Sales Representative
Lisa Irvin – Helpmyteen and Teens in Crisis
Lifelines Family Services, UT (Promotes and markets these programs) Jane Hawley
Mark Peterson – Teen Help Sales Representative
Majestic Ranch, UT
Midwest Academy, IA (Brian Viafanua, formerly the Director of Paradise Cove as shown on Primetime, is the current Director here)
Parent Teen Guide – Promotes and markets these programs
Pillars of Hope, Costa Rica
Pine View Christian Academy, (Borders FL, AL, MS)
Reality Trek, UT
Red River Academy, LA (Borders TX)
Respect Academy, NV
Royal Gorge Academy, CO (CLOSED)
Sherri Schwartzman – Lifelines Sales Representative
Sky View Academy, NV (allegedly closed?)
Spring Creek Lodge, MT (CLOSED) Rumors they have re-opened in another location of MT.
Teen Help, UT (Promotes and markets these programs)
Teens In Crisis – Lisa Irvin
Tranquility Bay, Jamaica
Oceanside, CA – rumors of short term program there.

**There is reason to believe a new program in Mexico is now open – parents need to be aware of this. It is believed they may have re-opened Casa By the Sea location with another name – possibly Discovery. We have heard that Jade Robinson is running this program – he was formerly at Horizon Academy, Bell Academy (closed) and Casa by the Sea (closed).

In addition to the legal battle with WWASP, P.U.R.E. and founder Sue Scheff won an unprecedented $11.3 million jury verdict for Internet defamation. Despite being vindicated, many of the attacks on P.U.R.E. continue out of malice and spite.

When you can’t defeat someone legally, it seems the Internet/Keypad is the next best legal lethal tool – or so they thought.  Pre-Order my next book – Google Bomb, when revenge becomes e-venge to find out how I won this landmark case.

Sue Scheff: Keeping Kids Safe

washdcThe Stop Child Abuse in Residential Programs for Teens Act of 2009

 on February 10, 2009 3:11 PM
Keeping Kids Safe

Tens of thousands of U.S. teenagers attend private and public residential programs – including therapeutic boarding schools, wilderness camps, boot camps, and behavior modification facilities – that are intended to help them with behavioral, emotional, mental health, or substance abuse problems. Depending on the state in which the program operates, some of these programs are subject to State law or regulation, while others are not. As a result of this loose patchwork of state oversight, children at some the programs have been subject to abuse and neglect with little to no accountability.

The Government Accountability Office found thousands of allegations of child abuse and neglect at residential programs for teens since the early 1990s. Tragically, in a number of cases, this abuse and neglect led to the death of a child. To address this urgent problem, the “Stop Child Abuse in Residential Programs for Teens Act of 2009” would:

Keep teens safe with new national standards for residential programs that are focused on teens with behavioral, emotional, or mental health, or substance abuse problems

  • Prohibit programs from physically, mentally, or sexually abusing children in their care;
  • Prohibit programs from denying children essential water, food, clothing, shelter, or medical care – whether as a form of punishment or for any other reason;
  • Require programs to provide children with reasonable access to a telephone and inform children accordingly;
  • Require programs to train staff in what constitutes child abuse and neglect and how to report it; 
  • Require that programs only physically restrain children if it is necessary for their safety or the safety of others, and to do so in a way that is consistent with federal law already applicable in other contexts; and
  • Require programs to have plans in place to provide emergency medical care.

Prevent deceptive marketing by residential programs for teens

  • Require programs to disclose to parents the qualifications, roles, and responsibilities of staff members;
  • Require programs to notify parents of substantiated reports of child abuse or violations of health and safety laws; and
  • Require programs to include a link or web address for the website of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which will carry information on residential programs.

Hold teen residential programs accountable for violating the law

  • Require states to inform the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services of reports of child abuse and neglect at covered programs and require HHS to conduct investigations of such programs to determine if a violation of the national standards has occurred; and
  • Provide HHS the authority to assess civil penalties up to $50,000 for every violation of the law.

Ask states to step in to protect teens in residential programs

Within three years, states must require all public and private programs to be licensed, meet standards that are at least as stringent as the national standards, and implement a monitoring and enforcement system. The Department of Health and Human Services would continue to inspect programs where a child fatality has occurred or where a pattern of violations has emerged.