Why this blog

A number of Danes contribute to this blog – here is their stories and motivations for their effort

Jack (Founder)

Many years ago – a lifetime when I look back on all the stuff I have managed to be a part of – I volunteered to enter a boarding school on the Devil Island as we real Danes call the Island where the politicians invent the evilness they inflict on honest citizens like me.

It very much destroyed my relationship with my parents for a time until they finally admitted that they were wrong not to pull me right away.

I have difficulties even to write about all these things I went through. We were forced to sing every morning which was a totally disregard of my background from a working class family where the only singing are down in the pub or at the stadium cheering for out soccer team accompanied by a lot of beers. As for alcohol it was forbidden and I did know it before I entered the school. I had accepted it because I was promised that I would only be on the school during 10 weekends, but something went wrong when I phoned home and demanded to be pulled. The fundamental human right as every young Dane has – the right to drink alcohol once they are confirmed was denied me. It is difficult to explain the anger I felt and still feel years later.

But as I stated in the start, my experience was back in 2008. Now I am legally an adult but I still feel that something was taken from me. It was the longest three weeks I have ever experienced.

So I have decided to make this blog where I over the next couple of years will make 1000 posts of places where you don’t want to be as a teenager. They are published in random order as I cannot rank them because I haven’t been there myself.

Jack

Bente J

As a mother of two teenagers I personally know the hardship, challenges and efforts any parents will face. A number of years ago I made an error exposing my children to a foreign culture. Together with my husband we put our own ambitions and wishes for the future above the needs of our children. Back in Denmark the emotional scars we had inflicted on our children by mistake became very clear.

When you believe that you have exhausted every option of outpatient treatment it is often easy to be persuaded into accepting a residential option which I foolish fell into believing as a right choice for my daughter. My heart cried when she left and it never felt right. In the end I ended taking her back and I have to say that we while taking small steps we are moving in the right direction.

I have chosen to contribute with my knowledge to the task of finishing this blog.

Bente J

Birthe

Having lived almost a full life as an ordinary woman from the working class I find that the way the society judge children with mental challenges awful. In my family a relative suffered from depression. The social services claims that the relative have infected her child with her depression causing the child to have a depression of her own. Due to the genetic guilt my relative have been forced to pay several thousand of Danish Kroner every single month because she have given birth to a child who not only are a burden for the state of Denmark but also happens to suffer from an illness many still today see as social unacceptable.

Furthermore the treatment options are not that good. A lot of group homes in Denmark have almost none or only a few employees with relevant education. Foster parents are for most uneducated despite the fact that they should pass only two days of education before they are handed a child in their care. In 2010 the percentage of foster parents who scores the money for the state with taking the mandatory courses was above 75 percent.

Perhaps there are good options for children who need treatment but there are also a lot of scammers and cheaters among the foster parents and group home managers. Due to a little surplus in my daily life I have decided to contribute to this blog.

Birthe

Takjam Rotsne

I manage a number of blogs about Danish culture and I comment on international news involving Danes in the big world out there. The cartoon war made me realize that we Danes have too much to lecture the world about because we live in the most advanced and educated culture in the world. Also as a father I find that it is my duty to condemn whenever I see wrong.

I am happy that I was invited to be author on this blog. Humbly I’ll try to do my best.

Takjam Rotsne

Betina

Having lived almost my entire life in Denmark until a couple of years ago I have no knowledge of how students in the rest of the world have to exist while they attend school. My father was offered a job in another country and when I faced the culture there it was clear that I would live like I was a criminal denied of the basic needs a typical Danish student have. I have been a law-abiding citizen my entire life so why should I be punished and do time without committing the crime?

I returned to Denmark without not even attending one day at school abroad to become a straight A-student as some would call it in other countries. I also returned home with an improved social awareness knowing that I had to do my part improving the conditions in high schools abroad so they also legally can have Friday bars on campus and graduate as a whole person instead of just a robot having been lucky enough to guess right on a questionnaire.

I hope that I can do a difference.

Betina

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9 responses to “Why this blog”

  1. Josh C says :

    Have any of you considered that complaining and posting only your dislike for these boot camps and alternative schools is the biggest failure all of you have . If your true concern is to keep others from making the mistakes you’ve made or that were forced upon you ,why are you only pointing out 1000 places that won’t help you teen , why not 1000 ways to that will help them or even 100 ways ? I applaud you for believing in a cause and speaking up , even if im not onboard with your method . I listen to more of what people say when they give an alternative to , or a solution to the problem . I can’t think of one person in history that solved the wrong in the world by only pointing out that it was wrong , all the people that caused change for the better , came up with a better way !

    • Rotsne says :

      The reason for listing 1000 places like we have done is that it is dangerous to name 1000 places which help teenagers. There are simply too much marketing compared with actual results to decide if a place is good for a teenager or bad.

      Whose word can we take for the truth? The educational consultants are often paid to applaud and refer teenagers to individual places. The families of teenagers can get several months of discount from schools and programs if they contribute to positive testimonies. Even the teenagers themselves can get early release or various goods during the program if they state how fine a place has been for their situation. There have been some cases there the families are left in debt when the teenager return home from the program and the teenager are told that the debt situation can be improved if the teenager participate in marketing projects for the program.

      Handling of troubled teenagers is big business. Not only in the United States but also here in Denmark where the social services often pay too much for nothing. In Denmark almost half of the placements in foster families and group homes end in failure. The main reason for this is according to the experts that the teenagers are not consulted before decisions are taken on their behalf. In Denmark teenagers aged 15 and above now have to sign a referral to a group home to get their acceptance of the decision. Still the success-rate is low.

      It is impossible to the money issue separated from the problem and that is possibly the main reason for failure because the search for profit is often more important than the search for the best option for the teenager.

      We acknowledge that the blog focuses on the negative aspect of finding options for teenagers, but to locate and actually find good options for teenagers in such situations will be difficult and it would pose the risk of leading families into tragedies like the Brat Camp television shows did. It did show a quick fix using wilderness therapy and we do accept that nature is healing. But it neglected to illustrate the risk and teenagers have been returned to their families dead due to the exposure to the elements. We would not be the people who lead families to lose their biggest treasure in life due to an advice given by us, so the blog will continue as it is.

  2. Josh C says :

    Thank you, your response helps me understand where you stand a little better . Like I said earlier , I applaud you for taking action even if I dont agree with it entirely. Keep up with your good work ! I live in Georgia and I will forward any stories that fit your agenda . Thanks again !

  3. David Bolthouse says :

    Publishing stories as fact, when they are hearsay and second hand, is not journalism. It is cheating and spreading gossip. How can those of you who have never stepped foot on campus of these programs (maybe never steeped foot in the U.S.) know for sure that the comments from teens are true? You can’t. Even parents tell untruths about these programs when they are estranged and weren’t given the chance to participate in the decision to send their child to a program, yet they were required to pay for it. I happen to know that a number of the programs you mention are fine programs that bend over backwards to help kids. Some of these kids would be living on the streets as prostitutes, or they’d be dead, if not for these programs. My own son went to one, and he is doing great today. In fact, he is now helping parents find the right program. When we put him there, he was headed for disaster with drugs and alcohol. Not all programs are good, but as I said, some schools you have mentioned here are excellent programs, and I HAVE been on campus and talked to kids and parents. So, if you consider yourselves to be journalists, then be sure to check your facts and approach it unbiased. The really bad programs should be shut down, but you’ve chosen to bash a few that I know are rally good just because someone mentioned them. Please, verify your facts. Be real journalists.

    • Rotsne says :

      First we are not journalists, we are activists.

      It is not about facts; it is about points of views and visions.

      But talking of facts it is facts that teenagers die in these programs and it is fact that the suicide rate among survivors or graduates as you properly would call them are alarming high.

      I happy that you had a good experience with your son, but given the statements of many former students in a lot of programs it is far from normal. Consider yourself lucky having achieved what properly could measure hole in one if you were playing golf.

      Background checks should be mandatory when it comes to hiring employees to provide therapy to vulnerable teenagers. Still we watch in horror as one after another case involving indecent relationships between students and employees are investigated by the police resulting in a number of convictions.

      What is a good program? It is a difficult question to answer. What is a good program for one teenager might be a bad one for another. For many programs the motivation is profit. Too many programs accept clients without investigating if they are the right fit for the therapy model they use. They fail to investigate if the new client is a good fit for the clients they already have in their program. Even in programs the group dynamic between both employees and the clients are important. There is no quick fix for either dependencies or mental illnesses. For the clients the program will be their home for months – in some cases even years. It is important that they feel comfortable and not pushed out of their comfort zone.

      We will continue to work against involuntary programs unless court ordered. And we will do it because we are activists being part of a global network of human rights organizations in a lot of countries. I hope you realize that we receive the articles and links from local citizens who report it to the national human right organizations who then report the program to us. Thank you for your feedback.

    • bibpenpals says :

      I’m interested in hearing about programs that you have heard are good. My email is FreeWebsiteProject2017@gmail.com. Thank you for your time.

  4. Finally Free says :

    Sadly there are many “counselors” that trained under Bob Meehan who continue to mistreat young people through Palmer Drug Abuse Program. Andrea Lacy and Jerry Gaither just to name a couple off the top of my head. How does convincing kids who don’t have drug or alcohol problems that they are addicts. If you were misdiagnosed by a doctor who continued to treat you for the wrong ailment it would be considered malpractice and fraud to bill insurance companies.

  5. annonymous222 says :

    you should write about new leaf academy in bend, oregon; vista residential treatment center in sandy, utah; auldern academy in siler city, north carolina.

    • benteshjemmeblog says :

      We have searched the net for various sources. When we decide that we have enough, the entries will come. We can be helped by people who leaves testimonies on Fornits, Reddit or other public sites. A lot of talks on Facebook are good but it doesn’t help us as any info we use are public info. If you have knowledge and know people who do, ask them to make testimonies so we have something to work with.

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