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Posted September 19, 2002 

MARION HALPERT
Michigan
struglingteen@yahoo.com


In November of 99 I started looking for a way to help my 14-year-old daughter. I began to search the Internet for a solution for my family to save my daughter from herself. This brought me to WWASP.

Before utilizing the school I contacted other parents and watched the videotape that Teen Help had sent me. I also attended a local family support group of parents that had their teens in one of the WWASP programs. After that we decided to send my daughter to CCM.

In December of 1999 we took my daughter to Utah to get the help we believed she needed. At CCM we believed she would build up her low self- esteem, work on her issues, learn about positive relationships, and rebuild her broken family relationships.

For the first 10 months my daughter sat on level one with zero points. I was told this was normal for real stubborn kids and that they would move her around to shake things up when they felt she was getting too comfortable. I was not able to talk to her or see her during this time, as she needed to earn it. I accepted that as part of the rules and was willing to do what ever it took to get through to her that I loved her no matter what and that she was worth it.

Then I was asked to come see her in a special group session since it had been so long. At this visit I was able to sit in on a session with her and her therapist. I was biting my tongue because I really wanted to tell him what I thought of his approach. I felt he was be-littling her and I watched her shut down and not speak to him and had her whatever attitude. I realized at this time that they had a non-working relationship and that keeping her in this group would not motivate her to make changes or open up about what was going on within her.

When I returned home I had her changed to a different group. I never had the warm fuzzies with this therapist and seeing a session in person closed the deal on how I felt about him. The family rep admitted that she knew my daughter and this therapist had a non-working relationship yet did nothing and said nothing.

I was always assured during this 10 months by program staff that they would not allow a child to become comfortable. I was told they would move her to different groups. This did not happen until I asked for it. For 10 months I trusted they knew what they were doing and said nothing until the day of the session. This mistake cost me 10 months of idol tuition.

After moving to a new group and therapist she began to move in the program. Finally it seemed to be paying off. My daughter was building her self-esteem, working on her issues, and our relationship was blooming.

I continued to support the program and did everything I could to encourage my daughter from home. I had completed all the seminars successfully and went to visit her whenever I was allowed and was committed to see her graduate.

Twenty months and Sixty thousand dollars later I was out of money. She still had at least 6 months to go before graduation. I had already taken a loan, cashed in my retirement account and begged her biological father for money. I was not willing to sell my home to pay for more tuition. So I brought her home.

During her stay at CCM I also had to send her an allowance of 20 dollars a week. This money was to be used for necessities (bath needs and such) and was also utilized as a savings account for when she earned school trips. Since she had not earned any trips in her 20-month stay there should have been at least 1,500 dollars in the account. After bringing her home it was difficult to get any of this money back since no one seemed to know who was in charge of the account. When I finally did get the money back after several calls to Utah all that was left was 500 dollars. I was told the rest was used up in fines for breaking rules. Must be this is where you get nickeled and dimed to death.

The first five months were great. The next six months were hell. She continued to make the same choices as before. She is a better manipulator than before and continues to raise the stakes in the game.

My daughter came home in July 2001, broke the law and was put on probation in May 2002. In August she violated probation and has been sentenced to the Residential Treatment Program at the juvenile center in my county. The cost of this program is 150.00 per day on top of the bills for CCM that I am still paying.

The choices she has made is not the fault of the program or WWASP, however I do not believe they delivered what they promised. They took 10 months of tuition and didnít shake things up until I asked them to move her. She still has the same issues and still suffers from low self-esteem.

Although my daughter did not graduate the program I certainly think there should be some changes in behavior after paying the high tuition for 20 months. There are many people in my situation with graduates and non- grads.

It is from my experience of this program that I feel it has a large area open for improvement. Many of the staff do not have the experience to work with these kids and are not required to attend any of their seminars yet they are the ones that preach it to our kids. If the child doesnít see it by example then why would it be expected they would utilize it.

Sincerely,

Marion Haupert
 

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