As noted in the About tab, even though my work history has been primarily in human services, it has afforded me the opportunity to wear many hats. Running “group” homes (for a variety of populations) has been a large part. Some jobs lasted for years, others for months. One of them was a Level 14 group home for severely emotionally disturbed (SED) youth, which lasted for about three months. The age range was from 12 – 18. “Level 14” meant that they were some of the most challenging.
As has been my experience throughout life, it is not the group targeted as needing help that is most of the work; it is the people causing the drama at work that take up the most energy. Systems Theory tells us that the very mechanisms to prevent any organization from achieving its goals are built into the structure of the organization, from the beginning. It is amazing how much managers not only do not help, but get in the way of doing what is needed, and what is right. So much for what it says in the mission statement mandated to be on some obscure wall.
Back to “the home full of kids with bad parents” (one of our unofficial labels): within a short amount of time I was promoted to management – one of several in a really short amount of time. I took issue with many things, immediately. I determined that we were inadequately staffed, trained, and prepared. I voiced my concerns about this, among many others. The upper management of the facility did not give a damn, but the administrators in Oakland sure did.
After leaving, and shortly sending human resources a detailed letter, I was informed that the facility had been closed while management was having a meeting – the administrators from Oakland headquarters came up and shut them down, mid-meeting. They fired everybody.
I had not been the only one taking issue with their practices, so it was not just me.
Power corrupts. Simulated power corrupts ( see Stanford Prison Experiment). Whether it is due to ignorance, just needing the money to stay open, or running some weird, secret experiment, it is the vulnerable who are most at risk, every time. Worse yet are the cases when the abusers feel justified with their experiments, although they may regard them in higher esteem and consider it therapy. It sucks to say it, but abusing power seems to be human nature. It may be a shadowy side, but it is real enough. There are some twisted people in high places who seem to run all of their energy in shadow mode.
What are the odds that things at Logan River are not as the administrators claim them to be? Do some searching, and come to your own conclusions. In some cases, independently living in the community is not possible, but warehouses and institutions are not the answer.
Shutdown Logan River Academy makes a good case.
Periodically the group rallies support via Twitter storms. Follow them @StopLoganRiver, or via the hashtag “#ShutLoganRiver” for details about how and when you can help:
Related (and it found its way into pop culture): Cracked: 6 Shocking Realities of the Secret ‘Troubled Teen Industry’