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News & Views - Aug, 1999 Issue #60

Letter to California Legislature

(In mid-June, 1999, the California Assembly passed Bill 705, which has the effect of eliminating the ability of private transport companies to act as agents for parents who need help in getting their out-of-control children escorted to schools and programs that can help them make more positive decisions. See Woodbury Reports Issue #59, July 1999, Who Wins?)

July 13, 1999

Honorable Adam Schiff, Chair
Senate Committee on the Judiciary and Committee Members
State Capitol,
Sacramento, California† 94248-0001

Your Honor:

I am a single mother who has experienced problems with my teen-age daughter for a few years.† My daughter became oppositional, defiant and aggressive with me, she began experimenting with drugs and having sex.† I was unable to handle her; especially when she was on drugs. I asked for assistance from the police on numerous occasions; perhaps you are aware...they will not help in these situations! At the advise of a few professionals, I decided to send her to an out of state placement and contacted Westshield (Allen Cardoza) to handle her recovery and transport.† My daughter had been in two California placements and she did not benefit, she actually became worse!† She eventually ran away and was harbored by an adult male in his twenties.† Even when I explained to the police the manís age and my desire to pick-up my child from his premises they refused to get involved. I was actually told that this man had rights!

Allen Cardoza and his incredible staff made it possible to pick my daughter up from this manís home and transport her directly to Utah safely, professionally and in a caring fashion.† If it were not for their assistance, I donít know what I would have done!† It is simply amazing when one discovers that the police cannot assist when situations become so very dangerous for all involved.

A 14-year-old friend of my daughterís, demonstrating similar behaviors was found dead (strangled) in Santa Monica.† It was strongly suggested that her parents decide on an out of state placement to help her, also to possibly have Westshield handle her transport there.† Her parents did not choose to send her away; they thought they would miss her too much if she were in Utah. I know they miss her much more now.

I have received a few letters from my daughter thanking me for saving her life.† She told me that had I not utilized the transport service and allowed her to continue on the same path she could easily have ended up in jail, dead, or a teen-aged mom.

Once again, I am against passage of AB 705.† The problems we have with our teens are oftentimes beyond our capabilities, even strength.† It is not always something we have done wrong as parents; sometimes there just is no explanation.† I do feel these teens have to be given the chance to sort things out and get back on a positive track. My daughter has been helped tremendously.† She will return home to begin college after graduating from Provo Canyon School in December.† We are looking forward to enjoying a healthy and loving relationship.

Sincerely,

Name withheld by request

(Reprinted by permission of the writer, granted through Al Cardoza, West Shield Adolescent Services, California, 800-899-8585 ĖLon)

Copyright © 1999, 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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