Author Topic: Author calls for end to residential program abuse  (Read 1315 times)

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Offline hurrikayne

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Author calls for end to residential program abuse
« on: January 03, 2009, 07:12:20 PM »
Author calls for end to residential program abuse
By Rebecca Nuttall | Published  12/31/2008 | Metro | Rating:
 
Author Ron Howard is hoping for enforcement of the “Stop Child Abuse in Residential Programs for Teens Act of 2008.” Until it is implemented and enforced, Howard sees little hope for the many children he says are being abused in residential programs across the country.

“A lot of people are just overlooking this whole thing. I’ve been preaching this for over a year now,” Howard said. “The problem with this bill is it has to be enforced and that’s gonna take manpower and more money.”

Though the bill was passed in the House of Representatives June 25, it is still awaiting approval from the Senate as well as the president. Howard said if the bill is enforced each incidence of child abuse can be assessed for up to $50,000.

“If you were to check around and try to find any success stories coming out of residential treatments you would find zero,” Howard said. “Parents need to understand their rights, and organizations need to be held accountable.”

Howard said children in residential programs are the victims of neglect as well as violent abuse that has sometimes led to death. In his book, “Children on Layaway,” he includes the personal stories of children who have suffered these traumas.

“There’s a mentality that runs the residential programs that these kids did something wrong,” Howard said. “They’re treating them more like inmates. If you treat a person long enough like an inmate, that’s how they’re going to respond.”

Another issue, Howard said, is that children with behavioral problems are put in the same homes as children who had to be taken from their parents because they were being abused or neglected.

“They mix them all together, which is one problem there. These kids that are being snatched out their homes after they’ve done nothing wrong, shouldn’t be put in a home with a kid that’s been acting out,” Howard said. “They should be separated. If you put a good child in with a bunch of bad kids, eventually that good kid is going to dissolve right in with them.”

In researching the backgrounds of criminals, Howard found many had been through residential programs as youths. “Where are the results?” Howard said. “There’s no concrete results coming to these kids. It’s all on paper, but when you get in the field you’ll find none of this is actually happening.”

Howard, who worked in a residential program and has a degree in developmental psychology, blames the lack of results on underqualified staff. He recalled one staff member who had a degree in cosmetology, and could not remember anyone who had a degree to qualify them for working with youths.

“They’re calling them ‘youth counselors’ but really they’re security guards. It looks good on paper and it makes the parents bring their kids to them,” Howard said. “Make them hire people who are qualified to do this kind of work.”

Howard said children might be afraid to report abuse because they are afraid of retaliation. Likewise, he said parents might be afraid to report abuse because they do not want their children kicked out of the program.

Larry McKinney, Holy Family Institute’s director of residential and clinical services, said his staff undergoes training to help keep abuse from occurring.

“Obviously our main line of attack is through training of our staff. I personally meet with our staff and let them know our kids have been in numerous placements before they got to us, “McKinney said. “We try hard to make them aware of the types of abuse they have been subjected to. We help them in understanding the background.”

McKinney said staff members monitor each other and know to step in when a staff member seems to be getting stressed and losing patience with one of the children.

“The other thing is too, if somebody does do something—and I have to admit that has happened from time to time—there is a statewide investigation,” McKinney said. “Kids know their rights. They all have child advocates who check in periodically.”

Although McKinney is not familiar with the “Stop Child Abuse in Residential Programs for Teens Act of 2008,” he said it might address concerns similar to the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act of 1975. He also said legislation passes by his desk frequently regarding child safety.

http://http://newpittsburghcourieronline.com/articlelive/articles/43098/1/Author-calls-for-end-to-residential-program-abuse/Page1.html
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
"Motivation is everything. You can do the work of two people, but you can\'t be two people. Instead, you have to inspire the next guy down the line and get him to inspire his people. " - Lee Iacocca

Offline FemanonFatal2.0

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Re: Author calls for end to residential program abuse
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2009, 10:43:06 PM »
Great!

Ron Howard should direct a movie about the program.

 :tup:
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
[size=150]When Injustice Becomes Law
...Rebellion Becomes Duty...[/size]




[size=150]WHEN THE RAPTURE COMES
CAN I HAVE YOUR FLAT SCREEN?[/size]

Offline hurrikayne

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Re: Author calls for end to residential program abuse
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2009, 12:05:18 AM »
Different Ron Howard, follow the link...
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
"Motivation is everything. You can do the work of two people, but you can\'t be two people. Instead, you have to inspire the next guy down the line and get him to inspire his people. " - Lee Iacocca