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Youth in Congregate Care: Far From Home, Far From Safe

Part 1 | A Collaborative Multi-series Webinar Event

Part 1 | Youth in Congregate Care: Far from Home, Far from Safe

Video of program below program description.


The Troubled Teen Industry (TTI) is a network of private youth programs, therapeutic boarding schools, residential treatment centers, religious academies, wilderness programs and drug rehabilitation centers. This industry has thrived for decades despite constant allegations of child abuse, neglect, dangerous treatment practices, and negligence resulting in death.

Thousands of youth are held within the Troubled Teen Industry every year. Due to lack of government oversight, these private youth programs operate with near impunity. Children, between the ages of 5-18 years old, can be held against their will, with no due process or criminal charges for an undetermined amount of time, sometimes years.

Several practices are hallmarks of these abusive programs

  • Basic human rights violations
  • Inhumane, degrading discipline
  • Inappropriate use of seclusion and restraints (physical, mechanical, and chemical)
  • Medical and nutritional neglect
  • Forcing sedatives or psychiatric medication without psychiatric evaluation
  • Severe restrictions of communication with parents, lawyers and advocates
  • Substandard psychotherapeutic interventions by unqualified staff
  • Conversion and Aversion therapy
  • No access to Report Abuse/ No access to authorities, advocates, or legal representation
  • Restricted Communication
    • Restricted contact with family/no friends
    • Parental Alientation
    • Closely monitored communication
    • Retaliation for reporting abuse
  • Sexual assault, harassment, grooming and staff/student sexual relationships
  • Financial opportunism and deceptive marketing

This program includes a deep dive into this egregious “multi-billion” dollar industry in an exclusive panel series that will shed light on the regulatory failures, current initiatives, and real survivor stories. Keynote speakers will include: Paris Hilton, a vocal institutional abuse survivor, Sen. Sara Gelser (D-OR), champion of troubled teen industry reform which sparked her movement to bring Oregon’s most vulnerable youth home, and other experts in the industry. 




PART 1  | Youth in Congregate Care: Far from Home, Far from Safe




Special Thanks to

The ABA Troubled TeenWorking Group:

Skip Harsch
Phil Elberg
Chelsea Filer
Amira Hasenbush
Beth Witthenbury
Prudence Beidler Carr
Shannon Minter
Michal Rogson
Paula Shapiro
Rebecca Mellinger
Sen. Sara Gelser
Kimber Dean
Lina DeMorais
Amy Albright
Frank Valadez
Jen Robinson
Caroline Lorson 


PLEASE NOTE: This presentation is for educational purposes only.  The views and opinions expressed during this presentation/event do not necessarily reflect the official view, policy, or position of the American Bar Association. 

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