Sunshine Boys Hostel – founded in 1959 – was housing boys who were ‘not normally acceptable in the hostels conducted by voluntary organizations, who have no interested parents or other relatives, and who require something more than the usual help and supervision, as regards employment and leisure’.
It sounded very beutiful. However David Whitcroft who also was employed at Geelong College was sentenced for five counts of sexual penetration with a 14-year-old ward of the state at the hostel.
It could not have been a fun place to be as a teenager.
The facility was located near Humholt in Arizona and was believed to be for boys only.
The facility was started by former employees from Copper Canyon Academy – now Sedona Sky Academy. It was not a business who lived for long. A message board mentions that it inherited some of the problems, Copper Canyon Academy suffered from in the start.
It could not have been fun to be there as a teenager.
Runaways, employee serving alcohol to teenagers below 16 and having the wrong kind of relationship with them is the recipe for things turning bad.
It is safe to assume that the teenagers find that it is not a fun place to be as a teenager.
- Female counselor accused of raping 14-year-old resident of treatment program (kentucky.com)
- Police ask for help in finding missing teen (BG Daily News)
Buckeye Ranch which is located around Columbus in Ohio. In 2017 the facility came in the news due to a traffic accident which took place after a teenager who ran away from the facility was followed by employees and was hit by a car.
Further investigation revealed that there had been an incident in 2013 where employees were accused of violence against one of the teenagers at the group homes.
Feedbacks from employees on glasdoor and indeed are mixed and speak of employees not being trained so they can talk situations down and avoid being exposed from violence from the children setting up a situation where it is easy to state that it cannot be fun to be there as a teenager.
- Troubled teen hit by semi while running from Buckeye Ranch in Grove City (Columbus Dispatch)
- Buckeye Ranch workers accused of beating teen (Columbus Dispatch)
Storm Ridge Ranch was founded in 1986. In 2005 an article posted on Bellaonline told the story about how children were handcuffed at the facility. In the meantime they have expanded and now runs two facilities in Marysvale and Monroe. Girls and boys are separated.
The article mentioned:
It bills itself as a “working ranch for boys” and has a policy detailing a “treatment plan” that deals with “bio-psycho-social” growth. Their boys, they say, are ones who have behavioral problems. These problems range from drugs to academic problems and are blamed on the “seeming decline in strong family values and social conflicts. The boys are strictly monitored all waking hours with frequent bed checks during the night. For all intents and purposes it is a youth detention center. Rough treatments and constraints are the norm in taking unwilling boys to the ranch.
The humiliation of being handcuffed or being forced to strip down to your underwear is appalling. Being taken away from your home by force, with the knowledge that struggling may bring rougher treatment, can be compared to Gestapo tactics. Having “supervisors” watch your every move with no communication with the outside world until you “prove yourself worthy” is indeed the same as being imprisoned.
Unless the behavior problem is severe, (drugs, violence), I am hesitant to recommend a tough love boot camp. Here’s why. James was not a behavior problem. His “problem” was that he was dyslexic and had never been diagnosed. His mother was told that he was lazy and had no interest in school. She took it as a sign of rebellion when he became angry and refused to do schoolwork. He was angry because he had difficulty reading. Other methods should have been used before having him taken in what is essentially a commando raid.
Additionally the facility was investigted for invoicing Medicaid for services not provided. The state got some of the money back.
Finally former students have made testimonies which makes it safe to state that it cannot be fun to be there as a teenager.
- Tough Love Boot Camps-Putting Your Child in Danger (Bella Online)
- STATE RECOVERS NEARLY $320,000 IN WRONGLY BILLED MEDICAID EXPENSES (Utah Business)
- STORM RIDGE RANCH ?? (Fornits Webforum)
Sorensen’s Ranch School started as a summer camp in 1959 but was transformed into a self-proclaimed treatment center over the years using a level system with 5 levels.
Former residents speak on various forms of punishment and manual restraints by the employees.
A former resident wrote on Fornits:
I read this other persons (Alumni) letter and felt obligated to write my fair warnings as well. I wanted to cry while reading the other alum’s words. The sad thing is the types of things the person described in their report happened allot and to so many kids. I realized I have repressed a lot of shit inside over the years and have not wanted to think about those big abusive Mormons. Judgmental, Prejudiced, Cruel, but at the same time they truly believe in their cult and think they are doing the right things to help. At my low, I also helped steal a car and try and break out, 2 attempts, I also marched through the wilderness program in Idaho with a bunch of fucking heroin addicts from around the country, some big black guy from Compton broke my nose… I had religion stuffed down my throat, forced to do allot of shit… But what was bad was the night time… we hurt people.. for the first 6 month’s I got beat down a bit, I was 14, some kids were 19 even one 20 year old (court ordered). So with the time you stop getting beat and you start beating others. Fuck it right, it was sink or swim. I remember being strip searched, repeatedly, they (Staff) were always looking for contraband. We did have some good weed on occasion… They would call it “restraining” us… if you sat quietly and refused to follow an order the staff would slam you on the ground and whoop your ass…. this happened often and I couldn’t figure out what good it did. I am aware of sexual abuse.. there was allot of bad shit going on… but like I said the Mormon Cult truly believes they are saving us poor little bastards. Too any of my friends who happen to run into this letter, sorry for any bad memories.. I turned out well, hope you made it out ok the same… And there were definitely some good “counselors”, There were also some devious fuckers… I love my kids way to much to send them to a place like that…
The facility is also mentioned in the book “Numbskull” by Thomas Cody Mullenaux (ISBN-10: 1615790314)
It doesn’t sound like a fun place to be as a teenager.
- “longtime” at Sorenson’s Ranch School (From Fornits) (From a testimonial blog)
- 2 teens arrested after fleeing Sevier County group home (Deseret News)
- Sorenson Ranch School (Fornits Home for Wayward Web Fora)
- Numbskul (Amazon bookstore)
This facility located in Lewiston, Idaho has been allowed to remain open after an investigation showed that that the children housed in the facility had been exposed to risk of both physical and sexual assaults.
Closing the facility down and start over would be the ideal solution. However then there are the question of jobs. The facility is a large employer in the area.
So what counted in the mind of the authorties? Jobs or the safety of the children? Only the future will show if the authorities really have the safety of the children in mind.
It could not have been fun to be placed at this facility.
The small facility seems to take in only teenage girls. We found this testimony:
This place ruined my life. It did nothing for my family or I.
They tried to keep me after I was 18, luckily they didn’t. I never had any problems there, followed the rules, my program, etc. Management was horrible, poorly run and planned. I gained 15 pounds living there because we ate terrible food and say on our asses all day. We rarely did any activities such as go to the gym or go rock climbing. RARELY. I was there for 8 months and went climbing maybe 4 times. I had to pee in a bathtub a lot because our toilets would clog and we (the girls) would tell staff, program director, and anyone who would listen and it wouldn’t be fixed for days. This place will not fix your daughter. You will hurt her, your relationship with her, among other things.
Please for the love of god don’t send your child here. Be a better parent. See a counselor. Don’t ruin and steal a year of your kids life because you think you know what’s best for them. This isn’t it. For some it may be, for most it’s not.
- The original testimony (Google reviews)
- Any news about Havenwood Academy in Cedar City, Utah (Fican message board)
The Virgen de la Asunción home caught fire in 2017 creating a national tragedy when it became clear that 35 persons died in the fire – mostly juvenile and children.
But articles related to the fire also showed trouble long before the fire took place. Too many children confined to the facility compared with lack of supervision and background checks of employees had resulted in abuse. Despite the tragedy there is little hope of improvement because it seems that the political system lacks interest in the well-being of the children.
It could not have been fun to be there as a child.
- Before Fatal Fire, Trouble Abounded at Guatemala Children’s Home (The New York Times)
- Tragedia del Hogar Seguro Virgen de la Asunción de 2017 (Wikipedia)
St. Cloud Children’s Home located in St. Cloud, Minnesota decided to close after the authorities investigated them and found various safety violations.
The children were not properly treated and were allowed to to continue self-harming behavior. Also the discpline methods were critized.
The management decided to close down after the authorities took notice of the facility.
It could not have been fun to be there as a teenager.