| From Strugglingteens.com|
If opportunity can be found wearing the cloak of adversity, then this is a time of tremendous opportunity for parent-choice, private therapeutic programs.
Our industry finds itself under intense scrutiny from several sources. Some parents and congressional representatives have allied to paint public and private youth programs, regardless of their history of program safety, with the same damning brush.
Disgruntled former students or employees with passionate feelings post accusatory memoirs of their times in various programs. Serious incidents are reported in the media with little or no attempt to distinguish safe, effective youth treatment programs from the few bad apples that threaten the whole barrel.
The sum of these concurring events is that the clamor for governmental regulation of our industry is growing ever louder. Turning this serious challenge into opportunity is the focus of this essay.
As we see it, there are several options available to the industry in responding to this challenge.
We believe the common denominator among the many different programs and schools represented by the National Association for Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP) is the healing relationships that healthy, skilled adults bring to the children, young adults and families within their care. This profound commitment cannot be guaranteed by graduate degrees, administrative resumes or time in operation. However, our evolving industry demands yardsticks to measure the safety and efficacy of our programs.
The answer, it seems to us, is to:
Rigorous as these processes are, they are no firewall against potential exposure, liability or scrutiny. Nor do these actions guarantee that accidents won't occur. What they will do is demonstrate and document our commitment to safety and successful outcomes. In so doing, we will bring additional health and credibility to our industry and our respective missions.
In our next essay, we will take a specific look at these suggested policies and procedures and offer suggestions for their implementation.
About the Authors:
Dr. Bill Valentine is Co-Founder of Next Step For Success, a parent and family coaching service, Redmond, OR 541-504-4748, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.nextstepforsuccess.com
Dr. Jim Powell is Co-Founder of Powell & Elliott Collaborative, LLC, Lake Arrowhead, CA, 951-317-3151, email@example.com
© Copyright 2012 by Woodbury Reports, Inc.