Share Your Experience • Join the Movement • Make Change
- Were you placed in a residential program, such as a therapeutic or wilderness program, a group home, religious boarding school, youth ranch, military or boot camp for youth, or an rtc, as a minor? Were you held captive as an adult? What would you like to see done differently or prohibited entirely?
- Please use our survey to share your experience - it is your voice that makes change possible.
CAFETY's survey on the youth experience of the youth residential program experience is now posted online!
- Our survey may be found here.
Community Alliance for the Ethical Treatment of Youth (CAFETY) is a member driven non-profit that promotes and secures the rights of youth in or at risk of placement in residential care. We seek to gain a better understanding of the youth experience in residential programs and have posted an anonymous online survey for that purpose. If you are an alumni/survivor of residential care, we are asking for your help by taking the time to share with us your experience.
Our aim is to comprehensively identify:
- practices commonly used in residential programs that are coercive, punitive and disempower youth and
- the state's and accrediting bodies that legitimize the ongoing use of such interventions by permitting these programs to operate with impunity.
We seek to shatter the myth that struggling youth:
- must be sent away from home and that
- subjecting them to traumatizing practices and undermining their family's bonds of trust, is consistent with any concept of healing and that
- these practices are appropriate for the healthy development of youth.
We do this by issuing reports publicizing practices which shed light on the human cost of the widespead use of unethical and unscientific practices used under the guise of treatment or as special services for youth struggling with mental health or behavioral challenges and are:
- coercive, degrading, dehumanizing or
- otherwise impede a youth's ability to exercise their right to self-determination.
We recognize and demand treatment and care services use practices that are an integral youth development, empowerment and healing, including those that:
- respect youth's inherent human right to dignity and respect, that
- empower and
- recognize the importance of the role of self-determination.
Currently, the data we are collecting will be used in the production of several targeted reports, the most notable of which will involve a jointly written report between CAFETY and an experienced, well-respected and credible international human rights NGO. The report will call on the support of the international community to condemn practices widely permitted within the United States as a treatment or service targeting youth with mental disabilities, substance abuse/use and/or for religious conversion. We will call on President Obama hear and respond to the need for the U.S. to effectively protect youth from practices that violate international law and their right to human dignity.
Additionally, your response will help us shape our strategic goals and determine how to best allocate our resources as we continue our effort to ensure states have effective oversight and monitoring mechanisms in place and conduct independent, periodic review of the appropriateness of placement for youth in care, consistent with the most stringent standards set under international law.
Your input is invaluable in assisting us achieve our mission and we are grateful for your support. Please promote our survey and DISTRIBUTE WIDELY to those you believe may be interested in supporting our mission. Should you be unable to do so, please consider making a donation in support of our work.
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