Write Your Representatives
One of the quickest, most effective things you can do to help stop abuse in residential programs for youth is to write your members of Congress and the Senate, asking them to support H.R. 1981 and S. 2054 - "The Stop Child Abuse in Residential Programs for Teens Act."
Below is a sample letter you can cut and paste into the form, or you may write your own personal letter explaining why you support this bill.
Write Your Member
I am writing to ask you to please support the “Stop Child Abuse in Residential Programs for Teens Act” (S. 2054, H.R. 1981). This is a critically important bill, which will help put a stop to rampant physical, psychological, and sexual abuse in unregulated residential treatment programs for youth.
Every year tens of thousands of American teenagers are sent by their families or the courts to private and public residential programs, including therapeutic boarding schools, wilderness camps, boot camps, and behavior modification facilities, which are intended to help them with behavioral, emotional, mental health, or substance abuse problems. However, many of these programs are not subject to state or federal oversight. As a result of this lack of regulation and accountability, thousands - if not millions - of children have been subject to abuse and neglect at these facilities. Tragically, in a number of cases, this abuse and neglect led to the death of a child.
For more in-depth information on the reported abuse and deaths in unregulated residential programs for teens, I urge you to please take the time to read the GAO Reports on Residential Facilities.
As awareness of this issue increases, I hope that you will take a stand against child abuse in residential programs and work to protect the basic human rights that every citizen of our nation, no matter how young, should be afforded.