Pitch: Rehab for kids

I’m interested in writing about child behavioral rehabilitation programs and whether or not they are effective. Kids across the country are sent to programs that are supposed to help their behavior so that they can return to their families. However the reality for many of these homes is kids are being mistreated, abused and medicated for disorders they may not have.

A friend of mine told me about his experience in one of these homes. His parents sent him to this facility in Utah for bad behavior around the age of 13 to reconstruct his attitude. The experience in his eyes was terrible. Staff was abusive and suicide attempts were not uncommon for the kids in the program. They were all also disconnected from the mainstream world and only allowed a few hours of highly censored tv and movie time a day.

My story will try and find more testimonies of people’s experiences in programs and if possible the parents on how they feel sending their children to these facilities. I plan on finding a professional who can tell me about the psychological longtime affects of these programs. Reading from a site from a support group a lot of the survivors suffer from a form of PTSD and still have nightmares almost 15 years later.

The story still matters now because a lot of the programs are still open. They are called WWASP programs and they’re usually centered around the Utah area. They charge tens of thousands of dollars and are ultimately leaving the kids they’re supposed to help scarred for life.