|My experiences with WWASPS|
If you read my personal Blogs, most know my story. From the time my daughter turned 14 and started giving me a handful of troubles, to finding a so-called teen-help program that make me a lot of promises. Not only were the promises broken, my daughter endured abuse both physically (being placed in a box for 17 hours), sleeping in sewage and other indescribable things - forced me into starting a crusade (as some have put it) to let parents that are desperate know more about this big business of "teen help".
Here we are - almost a decade later, and the program that harmed my daughter (did I mention I defeated them in a jury trial?) is finally closed. Carolina Springs Academy also known recently as Magnolia Christian School (both affiliated with WWASPS) closed their doors. Hopefully it is for good. However, that didn't stop the owners, Lichfield brothers, from going abroad.
The recent news from The Tico Times: Child Welfare Office closes yet another teen reform center
is yet another example that someone is not paying attention. Parents are not doing their due diligence before placing a teen in a program.
Although we had a very bad experience, it doesn't mean that quality schools and programs are not needed. Many teens are in distress- parents are at their wit's end and they need options. Safe and qualified options. Which is why I created Parents' Universal Resource Experts - a website to help educate you. It offers questions to ask, helpful hints and much more when looking for programs. The number one thing you don't want to do - is leave our country!
Although many may think this is about selling my book, Wit's End!, or my story - I challenge you to read it and I promise you will find things you never knew about these types of specialty programs. Learn your rights. Learn about transports - they are not all bad, but you need to know who is licensed and insured and who isn't. Who is about making this trip go smoothly and who is about just getting paid.
Be an educated parent - don't get scammed, get your teen the help they need and do your due diligence.
Do you think you need an Educational Consultant? It is likely you don't need to spend this extra money - parents know what is best for their individual teen. My experiences with Educational Consultants is questionable at best.
Try not to get sucked into short term programs like Wilderness, or punitive like Boot Camps - in the long run - they are short term programs with short term results. In many situations of parents I have spoken with, the teen ends up with more anger and resentment that is targeted at the person that sent them there. With Wilderness Program, it can be a false sense of recovery. Usually they recommend a treatment center following the $15-20K you just spent... Start and finish at the same place.... teens need consistency.
Here are a list of alleged WWASPS facilities and their marketing arms as of 3/26/11:
Academy of Ivy Ridge, NY (CLOSED)
Bell Academy, CA (CLOSED)
Canyon View Park, MT
Camas Ranch, MT
Carolina Springs Academy, SC (License revoked, re-opened as Magnolia Hills Christian)
Casa By the Sea, Mexico (CLOSED)
Cross Creek Programs, UT (Cross Creek Center and Cross Creek Manor)
Darrington Academy, GA (CLOSED)
**Discovery - Mexico (see below)
El Dorado, Costa Rica - 90 Day Boot Camp
Help My Teen, UT (Adolescent Services Adolescent Placement) Promotes and markets these programs.
Gulf Coast Academy, MS (CLOSED)
Horizon Academy, NV
Jane Hawley - Lifelines Family Services
Kathy Allred - Lifelines Sales Representative
Lisa Irvin - Helpmyteen and Teens in Crisis (Will use Lisa Irvine at times too)
Lifelines Family Services, UT (Promotes and markets these programs) Jane Hawley
Magnolia Christian School, SC - formerly Carolina Springs Academy (RE-OPENING 2011)
Mark Peterson - Teen Help Sales Representative
Majestic Ranch, UT
MENTOR School, Costa Rica (CLOSED as of 3/25/11)
Midwest Academy, IA (Brian Viafanua, formerly the Director of Paradise Cove as shown on Primetime, is the current Director here)
Parent Teen Guide - Promotes and markets these programs
Pillars of Hope, Costa Rica
Pine View Christian Academy, (Borders FL, AL, MS)
Reality Trek, UT
Red River Academy, LA (Borders TX)
Respect Academy, NV
Royal Gorge Academy, CO (CLOSED)
Sherri Schwartzman - Lifelines Sales Representative
Sky View Academy, NV (allegedly closed?)
Spring Creek Lodge, MT (CLOSED) Rumors they have re-opened in another location of MT.
Sunset Bay Academy, CA
Teen Help, UT (Promotes and markets these programs)
Teens In Crisis - Lisa Irvin
Tranquility Bay, Jamaica
Sunset Bay Academy, Oceanside, CA - rumors of short term program there