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March 15, 2021

ABA to host second in webinar series on the “troubled teen industry”

CHICAGO, March 15, 2021 – Two legal experts will explore the history of the troubled teen industry, addressing the current issues and progress toward reform in the second of a webinar series from the American Bar Association.  

Struggling teens and their families desperate for help find themselves trapped in a network of private youth programs, therapeutic boarding schools, residential treatment centers, religious academies, wilderness programs and drug rehabilitation centers that has for the last 50 years operated in the shadows, despite allegations of child abuse, neglect, dangerous treatment practices and negligence resulting in death. With a mental health crisis and insignificant definitions pertaining to standards of care, the troubled teen industry has thrived and preyed upon families in crisis. The concept of “tough love” has become a profitable, unregulated business model and children have become the commodity.

The second program in the series:

Far from Home, Far from Safe - A Troubled Industry

Friday, March 19, 3-4:30 p.m. ET


The speakers are Oregon State Sen. Sara Gelser, champion of troubled teen industry reform, and attorney Phil Elberg. Chelsea Filer, youth rights advocate at #Breaking Code Silence, will moderate the program.

For more information or to view past programming click: Troubled Teen Industry

The series is co-sponsored by the ABA Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice, Commission on Youth at Risk, Section of Family Law, Section of Litigation, Commission on Youth at Risk, Commission on Disability Rights, Breaking Code Silence and National Center for Lesbian Rights.

This event is free and open to members of the press. For media registration, please contact Priscilla Totten at 202-662-1094 or [email protected].

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at and on Twitter @ABANews.