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Congressional Hearings on “Tough Love” Child Abuse
Trevor Butterworth, April 22, 2008
Spurred by STATS Maia Szalavitz research, the House Education and Labor Committee holds the second round of hearings this Thursday into the widespread abuse of children at residential treatment facilities.

On April 24, 2008, Rep. George Miller (D-CA) Chair of the House Education and Labor Committee will hold a second round of hearings to look into the widespread abuse and 10 deaths of children held in teen “wilderness programs,” “boot camps,” “emotional growth boarding schools,” and other residential facilities. The first round of hearings last October prompted bipartisan outrage at industry abuses that committee members compared to “human right abuses in third world countries.”

“Your dog has more protection than your children”
So says STATS Fellow Maia Szalavitz, whose work “Help at Any Cost: How the Troubled Teen Industry Cons Parents and Hurts Kids (Riverhead, 2006) helped expose what she calls an “industry out of control and answerable to no one.” Several of the victims profiled in her book have testifed at the first round of hearings, and Szalavitz has served as an advisor to the committee on the history of these camps and the extent of the abuse.

“Most parents are unaware that in many states, dog kennels and nail salons are more highly regulated than the health and safety of children in so called “tough love teen boot camp” institutions. Anyone, including ex-convicts, can open a program. No qualification or certification is required.” 

House Education and Labor Committee Investigative Hearing on “Cases of Child Neglect and Abuse at Private Residential Treatment Facilities.”

Hearing is Thursday, April 24, 2008, 10:00 a.m. EDT

Committee Hearing Room, 2175 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC

Author and expert Szalavitz will be in Washington DC for the hearing and will be available either there or in New York afterwards for interviews. Please email for contact details.


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