WE HEAR THE MESSAGE OVER AND OVER
“WE TRIED EVERYTHING!”
Often when we speak to parents who sent their child to a residential facility, we hear the same things. Usually the parent describes their fears about the youth’s behavior. They convey the struggle they have being able to intervene. They express their frustrations that their child does not seem to listen to instructions. The parents often come with the belief – often fueled by educational consultants or others – that if the youth does not attend residential, they will end up on the streets or dead.
Residential treatment is not preventive care for imagined future behaviors.
Children live and develop in systems – familial, communal and societal. Removing a child does not aid the family in altering dysfunction or learning better methods to attune and connect. Therapeutic models require a sense of safety and connection to support healing and transformation. What is clear is that survivors of these facilities report that they lived in fear and isolation while in facilities. Removing a child does not cultivate connection.