Expanding Horizons Family Services Inc. ran the group home where the 15-year-old David Roman was stabbed to death by a 14-year-old boy. Such tragedies make it seem like money were saved which should have been used on supervision of the children at the group home.
There were just too few employees around the boys and the profit gained by running the facility with fewer employees can hardly be justified when the price is the death of a boy.
It cannot be fun to be at this group home as a teenager.
- Foster teen killed in Ontario home run by for-profit company (CBC News)
- Teen’s 2019 death at Barrie foster home sparks lawsuits (Orillia Matters)
- Fatal care (CBC News)
Xyolhemeylh aka Fraser Valley Aboriginal Children and Family Services Society was only provide a mother her sons clothes and few personal properties when she came to the group home where he was placed. The reason for that was that her son had died. The authorities were quick to have him cremated so an autopsy was not possible.
Later journalists after som investigation were able to connect other deaths with this firm who cashes in from the tax-payers money.
However, all the money and research did not help 17-year-old Traevon Chalifoux-Desjarlais. He remains dead and his relatives must live with the grief for the rest of their lives.
When nothing seems to be investigated properly when a child dies, it is safe to say that it cannot be fun to be there as a teenager.
- Mom of teen found dead in Abbotsford group home still seeking answers (The Abbotsford News)
- Other deaths linked to B.C. Aboriginal agency running group home where Indigenous teen died (CBC News)
- How Could You? Hall of Shame-Canada-Traevon Chalifoux-Desjarlais case-Child Death UPDATED (REFORM)
- Justice for Traevon Desjarlais-Chalifoux (Fundraiser)
In 2020 an article tells a story about the death of a resident. Further research revealed that it was the same company who ran the group home where 14-year-old Paige Elizabeth Lunsford died in 2013.
As it was not enough, the article also mentions a rape conducted by a resident who should have been under close observation. The owner Attain Inc., also known as Crystal Lakes ran several group homes and they were mentioned to have several concerning reports made about them.
It seem that these places should use a lot more supervision from the state.
Right now it is safe to state that it cannot be fun to be there as a teenager.
The authorities intervened against the fast growing organization which have campuses on several locations around Missouri. Later the police announced that they have put toward charges against 4 employees which were abuse of healthcare recipient.
The management of the organization announced that the campus would be closed down and both employees and patients would be transferred to other facilities.
An article in Salt-Lake-Tribune reveals that there have been several incidents on the campuses and programs run by the Great Circle organization involving stabbing between some of the patients, a former CEO has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child, there are investigation into possible fraud against Medicare and Medicaid, and as usual with group homes in general various lawsuits into whether episodes involving restraints and injury to children were justified.
Overall it could not have been fun to be patient at Great Circle.
Telos Academy is located in Orem, Utah. Beside Telos Academy there is also Telos U for older teenagers.
The feedback from the students are not that positive. One student wrote:
I initially arrived at Telos Academy in late August fresh out of OpenSky wilderness. Some wilderness context: I was one of the most obedient students at the wilderness I went to, earning the highest promotion called "East" for the good work I did in supporting others and demonstrating good work that I did, I think they told me less than 10% of students make it to "East" Context: I am an East Asian male who experienced childhood abuse and trauma, and also received lots of racial bullying in elementary school through high school. Something about me being good at bringing attention to myself and not standing up for myself made me a prime target for lots of bullying. I was at Telos to learn how to handle my trauma and to process it in a healthy way, and to also work on severe anxiety/depression. My time at Telos was very bad. How they handled COVID: I spent a total of around 30 days quarantining in my room because of the constant COVID outbreaks, keep in mind the program costs around $10k/month, meaning my parents paid $10k for me to sit in a room and jack off all day. Everyone refused to wear masks, and many of the staff refused with the justification that they already had it or didn't care if they contracted it with no consideration for others. I was one of the <8 students that accepted wearing a mask, and I constantly washed my hands all the time and requested hand sanitizer. The organization of students there is divided into "apartments" with 8 students in each apartment, and 8 apartments on campus. I think my second month there, 5/8 of my apartment contracted COVID-19. They were immediately brought to an external campus to quarantine. The criteria for the students who contracted COVID-19 to return back to the normal campus was to be fever-free for 2 or 3 days and didn't require a negative test to return to campus, this made is so there were lots of people still with COVID in their system coughing without a mask and running around the campus. When I questioned these precations, they said it was what the Telos "nurse" said, and when I questioned the nurse's credentials, I found out they have never even gone to nursing school. This lack of covid precautions made it so there was a never-ending cycle of apartments catching covid. I think there were around 4-5 COVID outbreaks in my 4 months at Telos. One time I was walking around the kitchen cleaning our apartment and one of my roommates came up to me, lowered his mask, and coughed on my face. A staff watched and just told him to stop. That was it. This student then did it again sometime later, and has also spat in my face right next to staff. Racism at Telos: At my apartment at Telos, there was a culture of freestyling where someone would lay a beat down and people would take turns freestyling. In a lot of the freestyles, they would call me a "chink" or a "gook" in front of my face. There were also a lot of anti-Semitic lyrics. The staff every time would just stand and listen, and sometimes giggle. The staff would only intervene if someone said something overtly sexual ("gay" rap bars) like eating/sucking cock or something. My theory is since all of the staff are Mormon (only like a few weren't) and aren't exposed to sexual topics found more motivation to stop sexual remarks than racist remarks. I remember peers in my apartment also teaching one another different slurs to call me. I vividly remember one of them teaching a slur to another one while giggling and looking at me while a staff was sitting on the same couch. My breaking point was when all 8 of us were in a circle along with 3 staff after a meeting and we started a freestyle. Someone said "u/trubledteen" is a chink", twice as he was standing next to me. I sternly looked him in the eye and told him not to say it. Then I sat there hoping that staff would intervene, however, he just continued to say "u/trubledteen" is a chink" multiple times, breaking me and I threw a punch at his gut and I got in trouble. A week later, another student said I couldn't touch the lunch meats in the refrigerator as I was making a sandwich because he didn't want my "dirty Taiwanese hands" to touch them, and told me that this is America and not Taiwan. That remark hit me hard. This was worse because I was known as the "clean" and germaphobe person in our apartment. Another instance was when a guy in my apartment was bragging about his tennis matches back at home and how if his opponent was Asian, he would call them a chink, and everyone listening laughed and staff were right next to us. One thing I liked to do there was to play basketball with people. Whenever we chose teams, I was always chosen last, and I knew it was because I wasn't the best, but for some reason, they had to say it was because I was Asian, again the staff were nearby or even participating in the game, and would giggle at these remarks. A constant phrase that I heard since the first month there was "we hate Asians" or "I hate Asians" or "you are the Asian invasion" or "we don't like Asians around here" (they would always say these phrases straight-faced non-jokingly), peers would also start mocking how Chinese people talked and create their own slurs from it. Once I moved up the phase at Telos and got more privileges, I was around peers with phones. I remember one roommate would record me on Snapchat and say "I hate Asians" while doing the squinty eye thing (He did this multiple times), in the living room of our apartment. Keep in mind there was staff sitting across from us. Every time I walked to the fridge, someone would ask if I was getting soy sauce or rice. When we watched TV in the living room, and an Asian-American or a person of Asian descent appeared, someone would say turn that Asian shit off and switch what we were watching, or throw some other racist joke, staff would giggle. I once overheard a student advocate for the genocide of Palestinians nonchalantly, and staff just listening and not doing anything There were multiple students who identified with the proud boys, staff treated this like a political thing and not an objectively immoral thing. Throughout this entire time, my therapist would tell me I was victimizing myself, and that my sexual jokes (not sexist) were bringing racist attacks toward me (makes 0 sense at all). A few times, a few people would hit me in the back of the head and mumble under their breath "stupid Asian" My entire time, I felt like I was treated differently because of the way I looked. I couldn't walk down the hallway of my apartment at busy times without being hit or slapped. One time I was trying to sleep and two of my roommates were clipping their nails and decided to put their trash and clipped nails under my door and treating my room like a trashcan which is why I eventually learned to keep it shut. TLDR racist attacks and staff would giggle Management: Telos has a wrestling gym 1/3 the size of our entire gym that no students can use, its the CEO's private gym that he paid for with tuition constant staff shortage (weird since they were paid 12.50/hr, maybe pay therapeutic workers more than McDonald's workers?), and inexperienced staff members. The lunch they gave us was very subpar, it was always overcooked or undercooked and many students got food poisoning including me Telos Academy: The academy was where students went to school, two teachers there were very bad. For the economics class, the teacher knows nothing. she teaches tax filing wrong and doesn't teach correct information about the stock market. When I called her out on her BS she basically told me to stfu the computer lab teacher isn't ever engaged, shes also the one that registers people for standardized tests. She forgot to sign me up one time for the ACT, giving me only 1 chance to take the test. A lot of my problems at Telos were racist problems because I experienced slurs and discrimination like EVERY SINGLE DAY, and that overshadowed a lot of other problems I had with the program. On January 6th, I ended up signing myself out and getting the fuck out of that place.
Such testimonies are found around the Internet painting almost the same picture.
It does not sound like a fun place to be as a teenager.
- Telos Academy testimony (Places that Changed People – testimonial blog)
- My experience being washed through Telos Academy in Utah (Reddit Troubled Teen support group)
- Inspired to share my story thanks to Paris (Reddit Troubled Teen support group)
- Telos Academy datasheet (Reddit Anti-Troubled Teen Industry Activism & Survivor Support)
The facility was founded in 1963 as a summer camp but transitioned into a year around facility marketed as a therapeutic boarding school.
In 1990’s the approach towards the children were modelled into a strict behavior modification program with 4 levels. The results was a number of cases where the children ran away and were restrained just to prove strength in a powerstruggle between children and the employees.
March 2021 one of the buildings called “The Barn Center” burned to the ground.
The Feedbacks from former students are not positive. On Reddit one former student wrote:
Unfortunately, the experience was nothing short of traumatic. There was so much that happened that I won’t be able to do other survivors justice, but I’ll do my best. There was a hyper-regimented structure that broke down all the actions into components of “the program” (a proxy for following their system that was essentially absolute obedience to authority figures such as parents, on their terms). The program was a level system, which was in turn governed by a “point sheet” (each 45 minute period was overseen as a block, and you were rated on how you did. The net total of your periods determined your daily score, which in turn collectively determined your week, etc. The levels came with increasing privileges (such as being out of staff supervision and increased prestige), but they were obtained by following exactly what the therapists mandated. My therapist was particularly sadistic and was a major factor in my self-hatred, which has taken me years to effectively overcome. The overarching ethos was to “break” (they considered it reform or instruction) each student through constant pressure; this was tailored by the therapist and the lead teachers and dorm staff for that student’s unique profile. For example, if a student liked video games, they would use specific tactics to curtail video games in order to instill cooperation (admittedly, some of them were genuinely addicted, but it was abhorrently dehumanizing throughout). Not a single student had a voice. Not one. The specific tactics were abusive restraints (the staff were very aggressive with their restraints in both usage and function), tricking parents into thinking the school was a beneficial component, and the standard tactics you and many of the members of this subreddit are all too familiar with. The only noteworthy exception was that social pressures weren’t sanctioned by staff the same way they were elsewhere. It is telling that of the 4 years I was there, only 2 students that I can remember were actual “success stories”, one of whom got into an elite STEM college (I forgot the name), while the other one is in school to be a social worker (I hope he didn’t get gaslighted, as he was a stellar human being. I’m sorry that you went through treatment centers/therapeutic schools of any kind. They wreak havoc upon nearly everyone who comes through them. Hopefully this description is beneficial.
Another student wrote:
Holy shit this was my first program, I went for a year or so back in July 2015 to mid 2016. It was hell, I had a similar reaction once I was there and I have a lot of stories about that place, and I friend I had there who stayed after I left and I saw again recently who said it got only worse since I left (they banned Pokémon cards despite it being the one thing most of us found solace in, it was when I actually learned how to play and really got into it as well. Oh the joys of playing it with house mates in Jefferson on weekend mornings before staff woke up. I hated that place but it had its moments where I could mentally escape for a bit). I was on Green Sheet A LOT and tried to escape a few times (they have a alarm for staff when the doors open at night, so I never got much farther then the road near the cafeteria or maybe the nearby post office, where they publicly restrained me as well!). I got locked in the same room as well for a long time, with nothing but some random sleeping bags and a wall board I fiddled with to keep my mind active. A few times I didn’t want to go to school with the dress code of khackies (sensory issue, they are uncomfortable as hell and feel restrictive. They probably did it to keep us from moving too fast now that I think about it, or too look nice for school photos that they took without my permission and I kept taking down on the board with photos they had, ones with me I mean). I got sent to that room because of the pants rather then, I dunno, letting me just wear sweat pants or even uh maybe just letting me stay in the dorm or just NOT LOCKING ME IN A SECLUSION ROOM. Yeah but I have quite a few stories about that place so if you want someone to talk to about that more obscure place then I’m all for it. While most programs are in Utah there are others outside it people don’t talk about as much like LKS.
It does not sound like a fun place to be as a teenager.
Clifton Boys’ Home located in Darliston, Westmoreland, Jamaica was mentioned in the media for the probe into use of corporal punishment which also resulted in suspension of two administrators.
At an earlier point in time, the house which housed the group home burned down. The group home was founded in 1958.
It cannot be fun to be there as a child if corporal punishment was used.
- Child protection agency probing abuse reports at boys’ home (The Cleaner)
- CPFSA takes over management of Clifton Boys’ Home (Radio Jamaica News)
In the media the camp is mostly known because an employee is on the death row for killing her husband for insurance money and the building being used by a professional scammer after classes are over.
Angel Gate Academy were marketed as remedial math and science classes. However it is just a boot camp where the teenagers are subjected to yelling and screaming by the employees. The boot camp is administered by California National Guard troops who are neither qualified teachers nor given any background screening to protect the children from the possibility of abuse or neglect.
It cannot not be fun as a teenager to be subjected to this treatment when the marketing is telling another story.
Back in the 1975 South Vietnam was about to fall due to attacks from communists in North Vietnam. The peaceful democracy would not exist longer and in this chaos a Danish journalist Henning Becker sought to save about 200 children from his private founded orphanage, he created back in 1967 when he saw many children suffering as part of the awful aggression from North.
So he arranged for temporary visas and a plane. In Denmark the Danish authorities never had experienced such an arrangement before, so very fast they arranged for the children to be placed in empty buildings which two decades before had housed the infamous Kellerske Anstalter (detention centers for men and girls with too much appetite for sex and relationship, who were sterilized before released to the society. The girls facility is listed as number 153 on this blog, the boys facility number 247).
While the children were happy to be in safety from the war, the Danish authorities struggled with their future. Could they send the children back so they would be tortured and raised as communists? (Before the second world war, the Danish authorities saw no problems sending jews back to Germany). Could they provide the children with Danish passports and raise them as Danes?
Problem is that no families in Denmark live together with 200 members and almost everyone of the children saw Henning Becker as their father. The uncertainty of their destiny began to take the toll on the children. Some tried to escape the island and one boy downed. It could not go on.
So the Danish government issued Danish citizenships to all the children. Now they just had to see how the children could be integrated into the Danish society. The minister Eva Gredal took action. With help of the police the children were forcefully removed from the control of Henning Becker and placed in foster families and group homes all over Denmark.
Despite this hardship the religious values the children possessed enabled them to build their future in Denmark. Most of them live in Denmark today. Not fully integrated because while they were separated, they were still allowed to write each other and once they became adults they moved together in small communities in Denmark. So they learned to co-exist. However some of them left Denmark for other European countries because they believed, that they were robbed from their parents twice. First as result of the war in Vietnam and then by the Danish authorities, when they were removed from Henning Becker who had become their new parent.
The lesson learned by the Danish government was not ever to take children to Denmark alone. Today in the year 2021, small children born by parents with Danish passports remain in refugee camps in Syria because their parents fought for ISIS. “We do not want future terrorists to come to Denmark” the Danish politicians say. Some of the children are only 3 years old. How can the Danish politicians predict their future now?
So overall it is bittersweet story to read about the Becker children. On the surface a success-story, but both its legacy and the hardship they faced in the hands of the Danish authorities, is hard to read about.
It could not have been fun to be among the 200 children, who came to Denmark in 1975.
The Gordonstoun School has the infamous reputation that it inspires the concept of wilderness therapy in the United States which is a concept which have claimed the lives of many teenagers. The founder Kurt Hahn had a misguided vision of what modern people can endure
Beside that Gordonstoun School is also know as a place where rape and child abuse took place. Prince Charles did apparently not remember the school for many good memories but at least he had personal to ensure his safety so he did not fall victim for some of the more cruel things which happened to other students.
It is safe to say that the school for some was not a fun place to be as a teenager.
- Rape, child abuse and Prince Charles’s former school (The Guardian)
- Gordon School: Abuse inquiry hears pupils suffered at the hands of staff and fellow boarders (The Scotsman)
- Author who made shocking claims of abuse at Gordonstoun school flooded with support from ex-pupils sharing horrific experiences (Daily Record)