Thursday, November 08, 2007

Abuse in the Teen Rehab Industry

In 2005, the U.S. Government Accountability Office was asked to investigate the allegations of child abuse and neglect at residential "treatment centres" (also commonly known as "boot camps," "wilderness programs," or "behavior modification facilities"), including the deaths of 10 children. As mentioned before, these horrible places abuse kids on the parents' dollar.

The report (PDF) just came out. From USA today:
The congressional investigative agency selected 10 deaths to examine in depth and found reckless practices, inadequate training and misleading marketing. It also found what Rep. Todd Platts, R-Pa., called "horrific" examples of abuse.

Other common problems included:

    • Ineffective management
    • Untrained staff
    • Inadequate nourishment
    • Reckless or negligent operating practices
    • Inadequate equipment

The agency is examining how such facilities are regulated and is expected to make recommendations next year.


Chris Benjamin said...

so the institutions designed to 'whip' kids into shape are actually abuseive? quelle suprise. i am glad that this has been reported, but it would have been nice if it hadn't taken the deaths of kids to wake people up. 'tough love' is no love at all.

princesspatrice said...

I think it's horrible that children are dying at these camps but I also think it's ridiculous that we actually have such a camp to send children to. Where are the parents? Why is there a shift in control and responsibility? I think too many parents today allow their children to have the upper hand in situations and too many parents want to be a "friend" and not an authoritive parent. If parents were to remain in control and supervise their children, we could actually avoid such deaths.

Red Jenny said...

Keep in mind often these camps are mandated by the state - the parents don't always have a choice - because of a crime committed by a minor, for instance, or a problem at school.

But also don't forget a lot of really troubled kids are experiencing abuse, incest, etc at the hands of the parents. Those kids obviously can't rely on their parents, but some kind of vicous "boot camp" isn't going to help either.

Or sometimes the kids have a mental health issue - very common, btw. And sometimes parents have no idea what to do. Have you ever known someone with a kid who is completely out of hand, even dangerous? The parents are sometimes desperate. Sometimes it's a single mom, and her teenage son is bigger and stronger than she is. I know people who have been beat up by their teenage sons.

The situations are too varied to generalize and blame the parents.

I don't think there's anything wrong with the idea of third party help for kids, but anything to do with kids needs to have serious oversight and regulation.