It is not that I believe any of this is trivial. It is just hard for me to accept having worked in a facility that they are all bad. Yes there were some asshole staff at our facility but their was no abuse going on. We were on camera 24/7 and the only thing that did happen in that facility that was listed above was they had a level system. It changed every day on the child's behavior from the previous day but the child's rights were never removed. It was more a way for staff to rate if the child was able to handle community outings or use the computer room.
Actually, I don't think I have a problem with that. If I understand you correctly that's not the kind of level system I'm talking about. The kind of level system found in the programs typically talked about here of fornits consists of multiple phases that all detainees must progress through in order to move up the program and graduate. In order to advance one must buy-in to the program, which means accepting the programs version of the truth and rejecting your past life.
Look at these links for a better understanding of the type of level system I'm talking about.http://wiki.fornits.com/index.php?title ... lping_Kidshttp://wiki.fornits.com/index.php?title ... bout_Ranchhttp://wiki.fornits.com/index.php?title ... er_Academy
As one moves up the level system one gets treated better. Less punishment, more and perhaps better food, more communication with parents, etc.
I don't really have a problem with a system that is based upon a day to day analysis of a person's behavior to determine what privileges and extras he might have such as TV time, going to the movies, later bedtime, etc. You asked somewhere if there were any good programs. Well, I'm not sure, but there are certainly some that are much worse than others. Some programs are almost like regular boarding schools. Based upon what I've been able to learn one such place is the Oliverian School. viewtopic.php?f=52&t=26358&p=408691&hilit=oliverian#p408691http://www.oliverianschool.org/
It wouldn't be appropriate for seriously violent or acting out kids, but I think it would be a better alternative for most of the teens who end up in the programs featured here. Of course, in most cases a little family counseling and patience on the part of the parents might be all that's really needed.
The doors were not locked in our facility and the kids were free to leave at any time day or night, and sometimes they did. Of course these were primarily foster kids so they really had no place to go but the streets most of the time.
The place you worked doesn't sound like a behavior modification program. It sounds more like a group home. If the kids are able to keep their own ID and money, have cell phones or can call people, and go to public schools, and walk down to the corner store then I don't have a lot to complain about. There are some situations where the home is too abusive and the kids need somewhere to go. I would hope that the teens have a say so in that, but your facility doesn't seem, based upon what you've said, to be an abusive program.
I just feel that the abuse kids do to themselves and have done to them by peers when they are living a drug addicted, or homeless life is just as harmful as these torturous places. Getting raped or murdered on the streets, or killing yourself on a heroine overdose is still a tragedy.
This is a false dichotomy. The choices aren't either a heroin overdose or an abusive program. There's a whole lot of room between those two extremes. But that's exactly the argument programs use to scare parents into forking over mega-bucks to get little johnny fixed. The truth is that most teens, even the ones who do really stupid stuff like hard drugs, don't end up dead. In time they grow up. There may be some bumps along the way, but most of them make it and they're not life long drug addicts. Parents and others who work with young people can do more to help simply by trying a harm reduction approach. Talk to them, develop a relationship, and try to guide them to more moderate behavior. Most young people want meaningful relationships with adults, but they also want autonomy. If the teen can trust that you aren't trying to control them, but simply trying to be their friend and mentor offering guidance then they are more likely to open up to you and be more receptive to your advice.
Teens don't think rationally, at least most don't. They have under developed frontal lobes of the brain. It is adults duty, especially parents to protect their kids from themselves as well as others. The things I read on here make me sick and in no way do I believe that it is ever right to abuse someone. There are Programs like Children of the Night who are out helping kids though and those are the types of places I believe in. I will keep reading and learning. Maybe the way I feel will change, we will see.
The supposed research on teen brains has been way overblown. I'll give some links below where you can read the truth for yourself. What research studies actually show is that sometime around 14 years of age the average teen can make just as good decisions as the average adult on a whole host of issues. Teen brains are highly adaptable. If they weren't the species wouldn't have survived. Teens and adults have the same risk judgement. However, teens do have a higher risk tolerance than adults. This is developmentally appropriate. If they didn't they would never leave home and go out into the world. http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/print ... dobbs-texthttp://home.earthlink.net/~mmales/lat-edt.htmhttp://www.scientificamerican.com/artic ... ehave-reckhttp://www.crosswalk.com/family/homesch ... .html?ps=0
I hope you continue to learn more about what kind of services can actually help teens and which ones are harmful. Good intentions aren't enough and there are a lot of programs out there that strip teens of their liberty, autonomy, and subject them to harmful thought reform techniques that often result in long term depression, anxiety, and PTSD.