Thursday, March 19, 2009


The US House has supported the Bill HR 911, which outlines a mechanism for oversight, monitoring and restricting programs/facilities which provide residential services for teens up to age 18. There are those who are not in favor of such a Bill because it is too restrictive and based largely on one person's experience with a program that took the life of his son. They view it as punishment to all service providers including foster parents. Human service professionals state that it will impede many houses/programs from being certified and placement for teens will get backlogged.
In my humble opinion, one child lost in a residential program is one child too many. Historically, we have been lax when it comes to oversight of out-of-home programs including wilderness experiences and group home foster care. As a country, we have broken the cardinal rule of parenting - to keep children safe and secure. It is sad that we need federal legislation to mandate us to pay attention to places where teens are housed/educated/detoxed/treated for mental illness. But if that is what it takes, so be it.

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