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Opinion & Essays - Aug, 1994 Issue #29 

CONSIDERATIONS IN SELECTING
AN ADOLESCENT TRANSPORT AGENCY

by: West Shield Adolescent Services
Huntington Beach, California
800-899-8585 

Parents are often faced with the situation where their son or daughter may require the individual attention that is offered through a special purpose school or program. The child may be bright, but unmotivated; may have been suspended or expelled from school, or dropped out; may have exhibited inappropriate behavior indicating rebellion against parents, school, and authorities. 

The decision has been made for your child to attend an academy where individual instruction and behavioral development are emphasized. Your child may not elect to go willingly, and parents may consider their transporting of the child to be both difficult, and emotionally unpleasant. 

An option available to parents is to retain the services of a professional transport agency. The transport agency can assign an adolescent transport agent who is professionally trained in defusing potentially volatile situations. Through positive verbal interaction, the agent "prepares" your child for the program, while they travel together to the school. 

The preparation is instrumental in the child making a smooth transition into the school or program, and with a positive attitude. In selecting a transport agency, ask about the following: 

1. LONGEVITY: Is the agency reputable? How long have they been doing adolescent transports? How may successful transports have they done? Do they have references? 

2. TRAINING: Are their agents thoroughly trained in verbal and non-violent crisis intervention? What are the back-grounds and educations of the staff members? Do they use restraints; or are they able to control the situation verbally? 

3. EXPERTISE: Are their agents able to mentally prepare your child for the school, facility or program for the child? This will facilitate the transition, and enable the child to accept and benefit from the program. Ask the school if they are familiar with the transport agency, and if they are familiar with their results. 

4. DIVERSITY: Is this a full service agency? Are they able to locate runaways? Are they able to hold a child until the school is able to admit them? Do they work up a psychological profile on your child to determine which agent would be most compatible? Are they a licensed Private Investigation agency that can provide in depth research or surveillance when necessary? 

Asking the proper questions can ensure that the adolescent transport agency that you have contacted can deliver the level of professionalism that you require. 

This article copyright 1994, Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced without prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author attribution accompanies the copy.)

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