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April 26, 2021

ABA to host third in webinar series on the ‘troubled teen industry’

CHICAGO, April 26, 2021 – Three legal experts will explore institutional child abuse within and around the Troubled Teen Industry and the child welfare system in the third of a webinar series from the American Bar Association.  

Struggling teens and their families desperate for help find themselves trapped in an industry that has for the last 50 years operated in the shadows. 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.

This sense of urgency is also present in the child welfare system, where thousands of children in care are inappropriately placed in institutions and group settings. During this time of national reckoning on racial justice, dangers of COVID-19, new federal legislation and reports of shocking conditions, we must demand action and ensure that unnecessary institutionalization no longer occurs.

The third program in the series:

What:Youth in Congregate Care: Far from Home, Far from Safe

When: Thursday, April 29, noon-1 p.m. EDT

Where: Online

In addition to providing an overview of institutional child abuse, the program will:

·         Examine what constitutes abuse in residential treatment.

·         Explore what causes these issues to persist.

·         Present the harms and costs of unnecessary congregate care for children in the child welfare system.

·         Discuss potential alternatives to the use of congregate care in child welfare to promote positive child development and well-being, and connection to family.

The speakers are Maia Szalavitz, author of “Help at Any Cost: How the Troubled Teen Industry Cons Parents and Hurts Kids”; Guy Stephens, founder and executive director for the Alliance Against Seclusion and Restraint; and Elissa Glucksman Hyne, senior policy analyst at Children’s Rights, a national children’s advocacy organization. Prudence Beidler Carr, director of the ABA Center on Children and the Law, will moderate the panel.

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.