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Some random articles about the clean-up related to the Agape School in Missouri

An employee was charged with three counts of Lewd or Lascivious Battery. He worked at an unnamed group home where lack of security and protocols allowed him to abuse minors aged down to the age of 13.

We do not know the name of the group home that had so a relaxed set of rules applying to the employees that such awful things could happen.

Florida Man Preyed on Minor Girls at Group Home, Traded ?Items of Value? to Sexually Abuse Victims as Young as 13: Sheriff (Law & Crime)
NEWS RELEASE (Flagler County Sheriffs Office - Pdf-file)

Rainbow House Inc. is located in Jonesboro. Georgia. The police seems to have arrested several employees (At least 4). The charges count inappropriate sexual conduct, child molestation, statutory rape, and sexual assault, sexual exploitation and failure to report the crimes. Not unusual in the group home business. Now the police have to look for more possible victims.

At least 4 employees arrested in sexual assault, cover-up at youth shelter; More victims discovered (Fox 5 Atlanta)
More child victims discovered in Rainbow House sexual abuse case (Atlanta News First)

Hillcrest Academy located Cincinnati, Ohio was in the news because an employee was arrested, charged with having sexual contact with a minor

Ex-Hillcrest Academy employee indicted for sexual contact with teen (Fox 19 now)

An employee from  Lava Heights Academy in Toquerville , Utah was arrested, charged with harged with various sexual offenses against teenage girls residents at the facility at the time of the alleged crime.

Staff member at southern Utah youth treatment center charged with rape, sexual abuse of students (FOX 13 news)

This are feedbacks from teenagers who were forced to stay there and also from some of their relatives. They were found on Google Reviews.

Quote from: Mazz Brassi
So, I was admitted to lava in August of 2018.
I was 13, depressed, and quite frankly minutes away from suicide at any given time. To say lava made my mental illness more aggravated is an understatement! The only redeeming quality was my last therapist, Heather. My autism went undiagnosed and ignored the entire time, I was witness to several violations of human rights. I urge that you don't send your child here, or any "troubled teen" facility. It is a money motivated trap and will only leave your child with more issues than they came in with

Quote from: Kalean Erickson
When my niece was in the care of this facility they would not let her call home to speak to her mother un supervised. Also on an outing my niece was assaulted by another student while not being watched with a boulder. It broke her nose, caused 3 brain bleeds, and she need stitches on her face. The staff failed my niece . When the incident happened the staff did not allow her to advocate for her medical rights. They didn?t provide photos of her injuries for her mother or the hospital. They slid the info under the rug. The student who threw the boulder was not held accountable for her actions. 2 days after the assault my niece wanted to go to the hospital because she was in pain, the staff chased her down and put her in a illegal physical hold and in the midst of it her head was injured more. I DO NOT SUPPORT THIS GROUP. This facility is a horrendous place to send a child.

Quote from: Clara Kahn
their thinking of sending me here saying its an all girls school but theres a review saying that this program helped a families son. Obviously fake reviews😂.. ALSO no hate to trans people but u shouldnt advertise on your website that they treat ?boys?.. this is a girls school and the reviews say otherwise which is sketch.

Quote from: Levi Hansen
At times there were good things happening at this school even though it was rare, that's why I'll add a star. However, this place seemed to be a more toxic environment for kids than a helpful one. It was an unorganized, mismanaged MESS. This is a huge money grab for the owners. The families pay a large amount of money for minimal outcome - most of the fun activities that were planned ended up being cancelled due to staffing shortage. My manager was lazy as hell and condescending to the kids, there was constantly short staff which was UNSAFE almost every day, the staff who are basically babysitting these kids all day are getting bottom dollar while owners cash it in. Overall just a terrible excuse for a business, especially when it's meant to help kids.

Quote from: Mekeda Maloney
I was here for about a week.their were nice staff but they were very low on staff and people were quiting left and right there was only one nurse and she was only there on the weekends. What really botherd was if one kid was acting up it would mess up the whole schdule it seemed the staff had very little over the giris. One thing i did notice were that there was a lot of good people working like the staff and teachers the facility its self looks very nice and the therapist did seem to care a lot but in my opinion it should b shut bc of how short they are on staff

An employee of Oasis Ascent located in MillCreek, Utah was arrested, charged with  sexually abusing a resident.

Mentor at Millcreek youth treatment facility charged with sexual abuse (KSL news)

Looking into the facility, this review was found on Google. It does not sound good.

Quote from: Michael Andersen
Oasis Ascent is just Discovery Academy under a new name. The same directors are in charge of it and I'm sure the same dysfunctional organizational structure is in place.

This place lost its academic accreditation in the summer of 2022 because they tried to claim that having teachers with licenses at one of their campuses counted as having licensed teachers at all of their campuses, even though the teachers in Provo would never actually meet the students in Cedar City, for example.

Watch out for this place; they lie like crazy.

Further sources:
Oasis Ascent (2021-present) Millcreek, UT (BreakingCodeSilence)

Two girls were found death after they ran from a group home operated by Powerhouse Youth Facility Inc. The facility they were living in was a fairly new department so maybe the routines were not in place so the minors could be monitored properly. Neighbors have reported increased activities by police at the address which used to house a assisted living facility.

So the ruling was alcohol consumption. I have to question that living in a country where alcohol consumption and purchase for minors aged above 16 is allowed when the alcohol percentage is below the safe level of 16.5.

The deaths might have something with them intaking something else. It looks also too easy to rule the deaths like this. Is it because they want to move on to other crimes where the victims rank higher on the social scale?

The victims are:
15-year-old Kamryn Meyers
17-year-old Sitlalli Avelar

2 runaway teens from group home died from alcohol poisoning, medical examiner says (WTOC news)
2 teen girls found dead after running away from Mesa group home, police say (Arizona Family's)

Quote from: MtGirl09, Google review
Screw this place! I've been waiting for 2 years to get help and they just passed the buck. TWO YEARS!! They just said they can't help and gave me information for things I've already been trying for 7 years that I told them from the beginning I've been trying. I begged and pleaded for help from this place and basically got a big EFF YOU.  If you're in need for help with your kiddo you won't get it from here.

Quote from: DWBonny, Google review
Many years ago, when I was employed as a substitute teacher at their previous location, the primary job qualification was willingness to respond to ?Dr. Armstrong? alerts, meaning yet another adolescent had lost it. We had to safely surround and restrain the individual until a doctor arrived to inject a sedative. The worst part, imho, was that it became glaringly clear that they were raking in lots of education $$$ under the guise of providing educational services to kids not exactly in the best frame of mind to benefit from being made to fill out boring social studies and other workbooks six hours a day, and I still wonder how much more money they made with their heavy-handed medications dosing after, in some cases, essentially driving kids further over the edge. My feeling was that they didn?t appear able to differentiate between those whose behaviors could only be managed with strong psychotropic medications and those who seriously just needed a caring soul to help them adjust to traumas and etc. Either that or they just didn?t care, on account of they had a business to run.  Personally, I would have been better off if I hadn?t stopped by and read so many reviews that prompted me to write this.

Quote from: Chris Swetish, Google review
This hospital should be shut down. They falsified records of my child; and the  worst part of it, is that my child got his foot slammed in the door and his toe got broken. They acted like this was nothing. The social worker was awful and was threatening to call CPS on me because I could not get off of work on her time to talk to her. I had to get lawyer involved. The lawyer and multiple doctors told me this is the worst place to send your child for psychiatric treatment. For the safety of your child, I would recommend to send your child to Missoula for treatment. The staff is kind and is a much safer environment for your child, especially if your child has autism.

Quote from: Emeliah Sequoia, Google review
I?m not trying to be dramatic, but I think I need to tell anyone who is wanting to send their child to this place how it really works.
I was send to shodair for a suicide attempt 3 months ago, after staying 9 days in the hospital I was send there. I was put in a room with cameras all along the ceiling, and it was honestly so uncomfortable for me and my mom (my mom drove me). From the shodair website, it makes it look professional and comfortable for the patients, but once you go in you are lead to a different branch that is honestly hell.
While there I was verbally and physically assaulted by other patients, while the staff watched, forced to continue medication that was obviously not working for me, and treated poorly by the staff.
The thing that bothered me the most is the staffs failure to prevent self harm on patients, this little girl that was in the room next to be used her toothbrush to dig into her skin until she eventually came close to dying. Even though there were cameras in the room and she was constantly being supervised, the staff failed to do their job and it almost cost that girl her life.
It was so bad that my parents had to pull me out as soon as possible, it was all just a waist of time and honestly it gave me some more issues to deal with.

Quote from: Ronald Barker, Google review
Six months ago our child was admitted for mental health stabilization.  The providers let him stay in his room, which looked like a prison, with very little interaction.   On the third day the social worker finally saw him.  She knew very little of him and asked us what resources we needed, not him.  She stated she was going to coordinate a neuropsych evaluation and never did.  Very, very poor service with inadequate staff.

Quote from: Conner Anderson, Google review
If you want to get rid of your kid for a while and have absolutely no soul, this is the place to go. If you are a decent human being that actually wants their child to heal, then stay very far away from this place. Almost no actual therapy occurs here, and medications are often distributed based solely on making the children easier to handle, even if this means that they are unable to stay conscious for more than two hours a day. I find it disgusting that victims of abuse and neglect are "Treated"  in an environment that vastly prioritizes money and ease of care over that actual patients well being. The kids who are unlucky enough to be put in this "hospital" almost invariably come out worse then they went in. The majority of the children who stay here return very quickly with the same problems as their last stay, which is unsurprising given that Shodair makes quite a bit of money for every "repeat customer". The systematic dehumanization of these poor kids is horrifying, and WILL lead to irreparable damage to your child's soul. If your care in even the slightest way about your child's well being, find someplace else.

Quote from: Zephyr Bernier, Google review
I haven't been here myself, but my girlfriend has and its horrible. It never helped her, she's been there multiple times and none of them did anything, so she had to go somewhere else. They're overprotective with the dumbest things. You have to ask for literally everything, even to go into your room. The pencils there are these plastic flexible things instead of wood. I understand the precaution, but they shouldn't treat everybody the same.

Quote from: Tim O'Born, Google review
I've been trying to make appointments for my kid at shodair for 4 MONTHS! I leave messages (because no one ever answers the phone). I actually talked to someone once... They argued with me that my son didn't need to be seen. They argued this without seeing any of my doctor's notes or having seen my son. Shodair is garbage and they have zero interest in actually helping. If you have any other option, please... GO ELSEWHERE!

Quote from: Rick Bel, Google review
I was looked directly in the eyes and lied to by Dr. Ford and 3 other people and in less than 20 minutes found myself in handcuffs being escorted to st.petes for a psych evaluation.  These folks are terrified of their job and the people that come to see them for testing.....
I can't recommend shodair for any service they provide. After a lengthy phone battle all of my bills from that day were abated ....indicating that s hodair knew full well their "doctors" were absolutely wrong. They actually tried to charge me over 1100.00 for "treatment" that I did not request, couldn't refuse, or sign myself out of. I still have not hurt myself, anyone else, or been a threat to the public in any way...... exactly the conclusion they jumped to in less than 20 minutes after I walked through their doors.

Quote from: Marianne Pester, Google review
Serves uncooked pork. They don't care about their clients. They are very rude and are just pushing children through the system. They over medicate often with the wrong meds and wrong diagnosis. This is a money scam. It is ridiculous expensive for little to no benefit. I wish the staff actually cared about the children, but take away a child's phone privileges as soon as they get there. It feels like a punishment for mental illness.

Quote from: jhaentgesgirlable, Google review
My 12 year old daughter went to shodair because it's the closest place with inpatient for kids. She spent barely a week there and she changed completely! Now she is so cold and sometimes seems malicious. My beautiful girl who loved to hug her family, all of a sudden isn't comfortable with "physical contact" she is calling people losers and laughing about it. She is making fun of her brother in ways she never did before. I was very upset to hear that she was in a unit with boys as old as 17. A kid who is depressed and had suicidal ideation should not be permitted to paint her nails BLACK in a mental hospital. I know from personal experience that colors really do effect moods. So many other things I could say about this place. Maybe they should focus more on actual treatment and less on "spa days"!!!

Quote from: emma Swan, Google review
I went to shodair 3 times, and each time I came back the exact same, it's a good place to save you from yourself but overall it never gave me the help I so desperately needed. The staff whose there for the kids are amazing honestly, the ones who actually genuinely care are amazing. But overall my whole stay I didn't feel safe not once.

Quote from: momo gray, Google review
the best part about this place is probably the people, they?re very nice and some of the staff are alright.
the food sucks and i was put on a bunch of different medications, one of which was experimental and caused me to have such low blood pressure that i almost passed out.
while i think its okay as way to pick yourself back up and relax from your daily life, it?s definitely not too helpful in therapy aspects in my opinion. the activities got repetitive real quick and some of the staff were demeaning towards the kids, as well as under-qualified. it?s disheartening but i think that with some improvement it could be a decent place to recover.

Quote from: seth ring, Google review
This isn't a hospital it's a place for kidnaped children who 90% of the time don't need to be in there. My friend got in a verbal argument with her mom got sent here and came out more suicidal and constantly jumping

Quote from: Finn, Google review
I was there for 8months the first time. There are a few good staff but the system there is messed up. On residential only one of the therapists was actually licensed. They have no control over the kids and don?t know how to deescalate situations with out medication and qr time when most the time the kid just needs someone to talk to. Becca is one of the best staff there.

Quote from: Koi Chinikaylo, Google review
Only reason for two stars is I meet some very amazing people there and not all the staff were terrible. But don't send your kid here the food is barely considered edible and they will just drug you kid up with medication that clearly doesn't work. Also they didn't start checking that people took there medication till someone overdosed, also they let me pierce my nose well didn't let me but they didn't stop me and I did it at the nurses desk. I luckily had a good therapist when I was there but some of the other therapists were very concerning at least with what I heard from other patients. But it wasn't all bad you could tell that some of the staff actually cared which is more than I can say about other hospitals I've been to.

Quote from: Jon Novak, Google review
No amount of hand washing will help for blood is still on all of your hands. Escapes wouldn't happen if you kept the paitants under your closest eye! The town of Helena won't forget what happen. I am sorry for the mother of the child. But I show no pity for Shodair. The worst case of crisis handling I ever seen. This is why you don't hug the patients or let your ID/ key card hang freely off your person. No remodeling is going to cover up what happened that summer!

Quote from: mattie gaither, Google review
I definitely would never come back to this place. Two years ago I was on a one on one because I was suicidal and I ran away with one of my friends by a fire alarm. She was hit and killed by a vehicle and I was locked in a room for 48hours alone after. Then sent to another hospital. They handled it all super bad(with the exception of two staff members). We were not the first to run away so they should?ve fixed the issue; or we would?ve been safe.

Quote from: Ashley M. G, Google review
Someone had a successful suicide attempt in May 2021 when I was there, and according to Montana Public Radio, they shredded all documents related to the patient's death without even reporting the death to any government health agencies. One of the staff was also transphobic. The staff themselves were usually good, but the place was poorly ran.

Quote from: Octavia Counts, Google review
Please don?t send your kids here for outpatient therapy! I brought my 7 year old here to help her and also to help me help her with anger and emotions. Her therapist called CPS after 3 sessions! I understand that they are mandatory reporters but The claims were utterly ridiculous and she would have known this had she investigated just a little bit. Even just asking my daughter about it more probably would have cleared it up. I confronted her and asked nicely if it was her and she said she can?t tell me anything. I also asked her to talk to me about my daughter and what she thinks and what is going on and she refused. So I pulled my daughter from the therapy sessions because a therapist that doesn?t work with the parents and instantly calls CPS like it?s no big deal, is a terrible therapist! My daughter then confirmed that it was indeed the therapist who called CPS and that she said she would call CPS again if I took her out of therapy! Avoid the therapist named Bethany! She can call CPS again if she wants but my husband and I are excellent parents. We would never hurt our kids. CPS concluded it was a bogus claim the first time. Anyone that knows us knows we are loving, caring parents, which is why we put our daughter in therapy in the first place. The only thing this place did was call CPS.

It seems that this place is turning into a death trap. 2 deaths related to this place.

Kayla Neal, 2019, traffic accident when she tried to escape
Angel Lynn Rolph-Jackson, 2021, Seems to have passed away while she was committed to this facility

Sounds like a for-profit facility with the regular understaffing and lack of care and security.


New Info / Re: STORM RIDGE RANCH ?? (More testimonies)
« on: May 18, 2023, 05:51:44 AM »
Quote from: emily lybolt
Do not send you kids here! They are manipulative, abusive, and medicate incorrectly. Years later and I still have unresolved trauma even with getting my life back together. This place isn?t what you think it is and causes more harm than good. Just work with your child, get them in therapy, love them, learn about adolescents! Stay away from here. Save the thousands of dollars that will cause psychological distress. The girls part is horrible. I remember when I finally was leaving girls could no longer wear leggings because it made male staff ?uncomfortable? I mean that sounds like?. Just don?t! Even the 2 good staff workers don?t work here anymore because the corruption. Even after girls left they would stock them on social media and laugh (owners and daughters). If that doesn?t get you to rethink I don?t know what to tell you

Quote from: Lucienne B
Please spare your kids trauma and do NOT send them here. Please. All of the girls who have graduated this pathetic youth program are now traumatized and even have a survivors group on Facebook. They will break your kids bones, body shame them, deck them in the face, socially isolate them for days, take them OFF OF MEDICALLY NECESSARY MEDICATIONS TO HELP THEM LOSE WEIGHT do NOT send your kids here please there are so many options this is not one. My dad even regrets sending me here after I opened up to him about everything that happened. Here the things that happened to me, and the things that happened to other girls. There are other options. Sending them away? is giving up on your kid sending them here? is giving up on them. Please don?t do it. I?d never in a million years send my daughter to this child laboring emotional chop shop. Since this place I have developed an eating disorder that I seem to relapse on because of their constant comment of my weight when Ben himself is like 400 lbs. I have constant flashbacks of when I hyperextended my knee and they refused to get me medical treatment until my dad told them to. Them ?restraining? your child isn?t restraining out of fear of physical violence they bend their wrists or arms for NO reason, simply for talking back. They listen to your phone calls and will hang up the phone the moment your kids start saying anything bad about this place. Please please please don?t send your kid here. Refer to the ridiculous dock sheet below as the things your children would/will get punished for or even physically restrained for.

Quote from: Mejdjdj Sndidjdn
I was a student here 10 years ago. Initially I thought it was a positive experience, 10 years later I?m realizing it was a huge set back and very detrimental in how I process my emotions. Of course your kid will have straight A?s and ?good grades?. There is no teachers. Kids ranch in ages 13-18 so obviously not a teacher for every grade. You?re given packets to complete which are very easy to skim for answers. Didn?t learn a single thing but I got back all of my 9th grade credits (I had previously failed every class) and got back on track to 10th grade. Just because your kid is getting school credits doesn?t mean they?re being taught anything. This WILL be a problem later.
The therapist was extremely over loaded and seeming didn?t care for me. She was only there weekends for almost 20 girls at one point. Eventually they hired a second male therapist but still, there is not a licensed psychologist on site to monitor your kid or to talk to your kid at all times. I would talk  about the weather and drama at the house with the therapist. She never dove into my issues. I was never able to trust her because of the odd circumstances of being sent to a ranch against my will. This ultimately taught me to mask my emotions extremely well.
Something that will forever stick with me was being called a brat for crying on the phone to my parents after being lied to about the length of my stay (9 months but was told 3 months). They ended my phone call because I was crying hysterically, mocked my hyperventilating and told me I?m a brat. This ultimately caused me to believe I?m not allowed to express emotions.
This may still seem fine to some parents! But 10 years later this is causing me to lose my grip on reality. I had successes after this such as getting into beauty school at 16, completing school early, getting a job and my own apartment. I was there for 9 months, did the program how they asked and even I thought it helped. But things consistently crash down because I cannot process emotions or stress myself. I have walked out of multiple jobs because I cannot control my anxiety and I do not feel safe reaching out for help. I?m only now realizing how badly this place has effected me. I went to the ER a few nights ago for bad dysphoria and panic attacks, and was scared to express myself to the nurse and kept saying I don?t want to get in trouble. I have a very hard time trusting health officials and people here to help me because of my experience here.
I am now 24 year suicidal sex worker. Please just talk to your kid, buy them art supplies, take them on hikes. Try to be there for them. Do not send your kid to any type of school like this. Even if you see initial results, years later they will have emotional damage from this place.

Quote from: Reno Sorenson
My experience wasn't to bad for me except when I went there 12 yrs ago and the state of utah pulled there contract with them and I had to go to a new group home all the money I earned their from going out and working for other ranchers to make money that storm ridge said they hold on to till we leave the program stole it from me they would not return it and there excuse was the state pulled out contract so we had to keep the money which is not right by any means.

Quote from: A
worst experience of my life. i am older now and have realized what a horrible place it was. looking back at the trauma caused by other peers, staff, and management. please dont send your kids here. you will regret every second of it, i promise!

Quote from: Hugh Altman
I?m 34 years old?17 years later and I still have horrible PTSD from this place. Sleepless nights and hypervigilence are the norm. I know you want the best for your children but please do your research and look for other options

Quote from: Jordan Lagge
This place I feel like was not any help for me. I gained a benefit which was my high school diploma but can?t get in contact with anyone to get my information. Since it?s legal in Utah to restrain they had broke my arm and I?m still living with pain in my arm. Did not think this place was helpful at all!!

Some of the testimonies found on Google reviews:

Quote from: Anna Jett Winter
Truly one of the most terrible experiences of my life. I wake up screaming from nightmares about getting sent back and every time something bad happens to me I worry that I will get sent away again. Please, for the love of God, do not send your child here. They kept me in isolation from my group members for an entire month because I couldn't make a fire. Staff would belittle us, especially my therapist, Christine. I have chronic back and hip pain from the hikes that I took there. I had an eating disorder and would be forced to hike for hours without having eaten anything for the past 2 days. There were times I collapsed and fell with my face in the dirt during hikes and staff would not help me up. I was malnourished and not provided with the proper care for someone recovering from an eating disorder. They were extremely medically negligent. I was forced to take a black box medication and was titrated at an adult rate when I was 13. I had severe tooth pain that kept me from talking and eating and it took them a whole month to take me to the dentist. They lied and told my parents they sent me as soon as they found out. There was a student who had a fly lay eggs in wounds in her hands and she was never taken to the doctor. After 2 weeks staff stopped giving her iodine even though there was still fly larvae crawling out of her skin. I could go on for pages about what I experienced at Blue Ridge, but the bottom line is that if your child is sent to blue ridge, they will be abused. Please, for the love of God, do not send your child here.

Quote from: Jacqueline Cohen
This place should be shut down immediately. They are abusive in every form of the word and the counselors are completely delusional if they believe other wise. Also the therapists are complete liars and use emotional manipulation to get what they want (money) from the children's guardian's. They tell the parent's that their child is improving when in reality they are starving to death and being verbally broken down every single day. Blue Ridge Therapeutic Wilderness program destroyed my life and I will probably struggle with ptsd for the rest of my life.

Quote from: Naomi White
This program is extremely abusive.  I had my daughter go there when she was 16.  She went for 5 months and when I saw her again, she wasn?t the same.  There were scratches and bruises all over her body.  She was pale and thin and even had extreme eye bags due to lack of sleep and care.

I wouldn?t even wish this upon my worst enemy.  Because of this program, my daughter has horrible ptsd along with anxiety and depression.

Quote from: Ella Rauls
This place deserves 0 stars. My parents were not aware of what they were getting me into. I have had ptsd therapy for a year now and still have nightmares. I never felt safe for example i stayed up all night during a storm in light night position counting at least 100 lightning strikes and had to hike 2 miles the next day on no sleep. I witnessed one of my group mates beat up another and it was truly scarring. Girls self harmed all the time and would run away just to be brought back cut up and in horrible condition. This place is poorly run and brainwashing. I will never truly recover and i hope these sort of places are shut down forever.

Quote from: Mira G
I was here for about 3 months. I was only able to wash my hair once they pored water on my head after I scrubbed my hair. I lost 15lbs and have severe ptsd. When I returned home my head was so matted I had developed dreadlocks and lice I had to spend 4 days trying to salvage my hair and keep in mind my hair is relatively curly. There were kids there with much curlier hair who no doubt went home and shaved their head. I have chronic pain in my back and severe ptsd. The reviews written by ?happy parents? are not real. Please if you are thinking of sending yourself or your kids here, don?t. Do not do it.

Quote from: Lanci
Do not send your child here. I am a survivor and suffer from diagnosed PTSD from this place. A lot of other people had to go through the same thing and we all know that this place causes more bad than good for us. Spending 100+ days here felt like torture and I still haven't forgiven my parents for sending me here.
If you are planning to send your child here don't. Do some research instead and try to help them in a nother way.

Quote from: misty noneofyourbiz
I went here for over 6 months. They do not give you fresh water or to treat anything with it. Most of the kids at came are extremely sick, vomiting and diarrhea, the workers would brush it off and thought it was a joke. Every happy picture is staged. All in all it was a terrible experience and all it did was traumatize me

Quote from: Blue Brick
It's a cash grab.

I spent nine weeks in the woods living under conditions that aren't even acceptable in our prison system.

One highlight of the experience is when I got sick with dystentary and they forced me to march with a seventy pound pack. When I keeled over to vomit they had me bag it up in a plastic bag and carry it due to their "leave no trace" policy.

We were constantly under physical and mental strain, and if we didn't smile and pretend to be "learning" or "healing" they would punish us with isolation from the group or no food.

When I finally got through their program there was a transition camp for two days with my parents. The difference between the quality of life at transition camp and the regular program were night and day.

These people do not care about helping kids. They want money.

Quote from: Megan Daniel
I almost lost my left leg and died from infection. The infection was a direct result of the lack of care shown at this program. On top of that, they go around lying about whose behind this program truly, it is a Second Nature program which are notorious for their abusive practices and disfunction. Deleting my review will do nothing as well because I am operating on spite and I guarantee that fire burns stronger than any attempts you people can make at stopping me. I speak the truth and have the evidence to back it.

The Troubled Teen Industry / Re: Pierceton Woods Academy testimonies
« on: April 30, 2023, 03:12:05 AM »
They want a loophole in the law so they can do with the residents as they want without being held accountable.

After sexual abuse claims, politically connected treatment center seeks immunity

A faith-based residential treatment center accused of allowing staff to sexually abuse boys is pushing for legislation that would protect it and similar state contractors from most lawsuits filed by victims and their families.

The legislation would provide immunity to child caring institutions and group homes in connection with the performance of duties under a contract with the Indiana Department of Child Services. Those contractors include Lifeline Youth & Family Services/Lasting Change, a politically connected operator that provides homebased services and runs a residential treatment center in Northern Indiana.

The Fort Wayne nonprofit is a leading promoter of the legislation. It is DCS's largest contractor, raking in nearly $200 million from the state since 2017. Its fundraisers have featured former governor and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.

Pierceton Woods Academy in Fort Wayne faces accusations

One of Lifeline's facilities is Pierceton Woods Academy, a residential treatment center about 30 miles west of Fort Wayne that provides care for sexually maladapted youth.

The academy has been accused of allowing employees to abuse teenage boys, then covering it up. A psychologist hired by the attorneys of one victim said in a report submitted as part of the 2020 lawsuit that at least a dozen staffers were known or suspected to have sexually abused boys at Pierceton Woods.

Curtis Smith, a spokesman for Lifeline, said the nonprofit denies allegations that it failed to protect minors from sexual abuse or that it was aware of and covered up sexual assault allegations.

"We love helping these boys heal and get better," Lifeline CEO Tim Smith told lawmakers during a hearing in March. "It is the only reason we do what we do."

But Travis McConnell, the attorney who filed the lawsuit alleging sexual abuse at Pierceton Woods, said Smith lied to lawmakers about his client's case in an effort to keep the immunity legislation alive.

?If there?s no accountability for their actions, then there?s no incentive to do the right thing," McConnell said. "By giving people immunity, you?re giving people a free pass to do whatever they please.?

The controversial proposal, House Bill 1282, appeared dead earlier this month after a Senate committee failed to advance it, but lawmakers appeared ready to add the liability protections to House Bill 1091 as of Tuesday. If that happens, the full House and Senate could vote on the measure this week.

CEO accused of misleading lawmakers

During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last month, Tim Smith said the immunity legislation is needed because of a huge increase in insurance premiums. Without relief, he said, the company already has reduced the number of boys it serves and may not be able to continue providing important rehabilitation services.

Smith testified the annual insurance premium jumped from $30,000 for $3 million coverage to $500,000 for less coverage. He blamed ?one lawsuit in 55 years? even though it was settled for ?nuisance value,? a legal term for an amount less than it would cost to fight a lawsuit. Smith said he could not disclose the settlement amount because it was confidential.

McConnell, the Warsaw attorney who represented the family in that lawsuit, called out Smith on the nuisance settlement claim.

?That statement was not true,? McConnell said. ?So not only does Lasting Change want the taxpayer to cover their negligence, its CEO is willing to lie to the Legislature in order to try and make it happen.?

McConnell said Smith?s statement voided the confidentiality agreement, and he provided IndyStar a photocopy of a $72,000 settlement check from Lifeline?s insurance company.

Curtis Smith, the Lifeline spokesman, said Tim Smith "stands firmly" behind his opinion that the settlement was for "nuisance value," adding that McConnell "appears to misunderstand" the terms of the settlement.

Records detail troubled history at residential treatment center

Court documents and DCS records in the lawsuit detail a troubled facility rife with allegations of the abuse of young boys ? most already abuse victims seeking treatment. The case alleged a 16-year-old boy was groomed and sexually abused by a female worker.

An investigation by DCS found that allegations of child seduction against the employee were substantiated, meaning there?s enough evidence for a ?reasonable person? to believe the boy had been abused. It also revealed the same employee had been investigated two years earlier for similar allegations and allowed to keep her job despite refusing to cooperate with that earlier DCS investigation.

The lawsuit alleged the woman coerced the boy, and other residents, into participating in various sexual acts over several months in 2019. The employee formed a so-called ?circle of trust? with the boys and repeatedly told them they could be open with her, according to a complaint filed in Kosciusko County in October 2020.

The complaint also alleged that multiple supervisors were or should have been aware of the accusations against the employee, but they ?failed to implement policies to prevent sexual assault? and, instead, ?chose to minimize and cover up? such allegations.

Indiana DCS investigates sexual assault accusations

DCS began its investigation in 2019. In interviews with a family case manager, the boy and another resident said the woman had sexual contact with them during movie outings and walks near Pierceton Woods. The employee admitted forming the ?circle of trust? with the residents and taking them on walks and outings, but denied any sexual abuse, according to the case documents.

In 2017, police and DCS looked into similar allegations against the same employee, but neither the woman nor the alleged victim cooperated. Lifeline kept the employee on staff with direct access to male residents, documents say.

Curtis Smith, Lifeline's spokesman, said the nonprofit can't comment on DCS investigations, although he said the nonprofit cooperated with the agency. The employee in question no longer works for Lifeline, he said. He did not say if she was fired or if she resigned.

A psychologist?s report prepared for the lawsuit said Lifeline ?showed deliberate indifference? to the rampant sexual abuse of young boys, interfered with the ability of residents and staff to report to DCS, and ?emboldened sexual predators.?

Staffers who were accused of or committed sexual misconduct were sometimes reassigned or given the opportunity to resign, allowing them to move to other youth organizations, Kristine Chapleau, a licensed clinical psychologist in Indianapolis, wrote in her 21-page report. Chapleau's assessment was based on interviews, DCS reports, mental health records, company policies and court depositions.

?The work environment at Pierceton Woods was highly sexualized. Several female staff talked openly about sex, fought over who was having sex with the male staff, and even bragged about abusing the male youth,? Chapleau wrote, citing an employee who boasted about such abuse. ?Yet, these ?giant red banners? were repeatedly ignored.?

At least a dozen staffers were known or suspected to have sexually abused boys at Pierceton Woods, according to Chapleau?s report. One employee was allowed to resign after sexually abusing a boy under 15 and was never reported to DCS, according to the report. So was another employee who sexually abused a 15-year-old boy inside a supply closet. Another was allegedly impregnated by a resident she helped escape from the academy, the report said.

In 2020, another female employee was investigated by DCS and arrested for child seduction. She pled guilty to two misdemeanors in a deal with the prosecutor.

Curtis Smith said Chapleau was hired by the plaintiff's attorney, McConnell, to pursue money damages in the lawsuit and neither visited Lifeline facilities nor interviewed any employees. He added that Chapleau's report was based on "hand-picked" information and documents.

During the litigation, Lifeline's attorneys expected their own medical experts to "deeply scrutinize" the findings and prepared to "vigorously cross-examine" Chapleau before the plaintiff decided to settle, Curtis Smith said.

Chapleau told IndyStar her report was based on the sworn depositions of eight employees, Lifeline?s policies, and the substantiated DCS investigation.

"Within a month of receiving my report, Lifeline agreed to settle without asking for my deposition," she said. "It?s troubling that, even today, Lifeline would rather 'deeply scrutinize' those who uncover the abuse than their employees who commit the abuse."

'This takes the consequence away'

The lawsuit filed by McConnell was voluntarily dismissed by agreement of the parties in February 2022 after discovery, including multiple depositions that were taken. That dismissal was tied to a then-confidential financial settlement with the family.

The dispute was rekindled last month following a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on HB 1282, which would prohibit negligence claims such as the one McConnell brought against Pierceton Woods.

Under the legislation, immunity would apply to most liability claims, including wrongful death, negligence, malpractice, battery and infliction of emotional distress. There are exclusions for criminal offenses, gross negligence and willful or wanton misconduct, but those cases are rare and much more difficult to prove.

McConnell said he shared information about the settlement in his case after hearing Smith downplay the incident in testimony to the Senate committee. He said Smith's public statement voided the agreement, and he doesn't want to see lawmakers swayed by what he considers misinformation.

Brad Catlin, an attorney who has represented multiple clients in DCS-related lawsuits, said the impact of abuse in youth treatment settings can be particularly devastating for the children involved.

"If they are hurt in places where they are put for care, that?s a terrible thing," he said. "It probably also will seriously make the issues they are dealing with worse."

Lawmakers should ensure contractors are held accountable, he said.

"If some somebody doesn't have a consequence, they're more likely to engage in bad behavior," he said. "And this takes the consequence away."

The Troubled Teen Industry / Re: Pierceton Woods Academy testimonies
« on: April 30, 2023, 02:29:00 AM »
Found another article:

Former Pierceton Woods Employee Arrested For Child Seduction

PIERCETON ? A former Pierceton Woods Academy employee was recently arrested after entering into a relationship with a juvenile who resided on the campus.

Kaitlyn Anne McCullough, 24, 4256 S. SR 109, Albion, is charged with child seduction, a level 6 felony.

On July 8, 2020, the Indiana Department of Child Services received a report of child seduction that occurred at Pierceton Woods Academy. The incident allegedly involved McCullough, who formerly worked as a childcare worker at the facility, and a youth who resided at Pierceton Woods.

On July 9, 2020, the youth was interviewed by a DCS worker and Pierceton Police officer. According to court documents, that person described entering a relationship with McCullough while she was employed at Pierceton Woods. The youth showed Facebook messages between them and McCullough, indicating a relationship spanning from May to June 2020. The juvenile also described two events where the two kissed in a wooded area on Pierceton Woods? property.

The DCS worker and Pierceton Police officer then spoke with McCullough about the incidents. McCullough admitted to having Facebook conversations with the juvenile and described two incidents where she and the juvenile kissed in a wooded area.

Pierceton Woods Academy is currently facing a sexual assault civil suit in a matter unrelated to the McCullough incident.

In the suit, a father of a juvenile who was allegedly assaulted on the campus says their child was sexually assaulted by Darby Ellis Perry, a former Pierceton Woods employee.

McCullough was booked in the Kosciusko County Jail on Feb. 11, with a $5,250 surety and cash bond.

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