Woodbury Reports

Professionals: a Matter of Public Trust

How the basics of professionalism in working with struggling teens is putting the needs of the child first, and the ways that NATSAP and IECA are enhancing professional conduct to the members.


Bonners Ferry, ID -- (SBWIRE) -- 04/06/2012 -- Today’s guests, Cliff Brownstein, Executive Director of NATSAP and Mark Sklarow, Executive Director of IECA, joined Lon Woodbury to discuss “professionalism” in the network of private therapeutic schools and programs, and Educational Consultants working with children struggling with emotional, behavioral and learning problems, on “Parent Choices for Struggling Teens”. “The term professional has come into question in some people’s minds due to some professionals in the public eye who have done some unethical activities, so the first question of the day presented to Cliff and Mark, was their definition of professional. Quick to reply, Cliff and Mark both stated “a professional puts the client first and foremost. The public trusts this is so, especially in working with adolescents, so a top priority for our members is to the needs of the kids and putting the needs of the children first.”

Cliff explained NATSAP (National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs) oversees the standards of its members of private programs for youth and adolescents. These standards include a therapeutic licensure, accreditation by one of the four major accreditation bodies and at the time of joining and every year thereafter, they must sign off on the current code of ethics and best practices. Mark explained that IECA (Independent Educational Consultant Association- and for the purpose of this interview, focused on ‘special needs consultants’) work directly for the family to “find the right path for the child.” Both organizations take their rules very seriously, whereas any complaints are investigated immediately and if there is evidence of misbehavior, the consequences can be severe, ultimately with memberships expelled. “Ethics, trust, principals of good practice and education are a priority” stated Mark.

When broached with the question of negative reports from the media or internet about abuse, Lon asked both guests what they do to counteract the allegations or claims. Both Cliff and Mark advise their members to share the good outcome stories, the success stories of these programs, of which there are hundreds of success stories. They also felt it was important to know how to balance the information out there. “It is not going to be full sailing all the time- we are working with schools working with problem kids. There is going to be a problem once in a while.” Negativity and false allegations sometimes come from kids who are or have been placed in a program and are resentful to everyone who sent them away. These often are kids who were pulled before completion from the program or school, or the child that has returned home and has gone back to all the old negative dangerous patterns.

With the odds of “slim to none” in finding a good program directly off the internet, it was highly suggested that parents need to do the research. “We advise the parents to check their state licensing bureau to see if there are any complaints filed against a program they may be interested in and to be sure a program is ‘legitimate’. “Many sites are run to “recruit parents” or the website will deceive the public, by posting the NATSAP or IECA logo’s on their site (even though they are NOT members). Once again…parents need to do the research. And with so many programs and schools to choose from and the thousand educational consultants out there, it is very important that parents find someone they can trust.

To listen to the full interview on Professionals: A Matter of Public Trust go to http://www.latalkradio.com/Players/Lon-040212.shtml on LATalkRadio.

Lon Woodbury is the owner/founder of Woodbury Reports Inc. and http://www.strugglingteens.com. He has worked with families and struggling teens since 1984 and is the host of Parent Choices for Struggling Teens on LATalkRadio Mondays at 12:00pm, Pacific Time, Channel One.

Clifford Brownstein is currently in his fourth year as the Executive Director of NATSAP and has spent his entire career working with trade and professional not-for-profit associations representing such diverse fields as accounting, law, medicine, banking, building inspection, scientific research, and motorcycling, boating, and private vocational schools, among others. He has served on the Board of Directors and as President of the Institute of Association Management Companies, has been a conference speaker on various association management topics, and has authored numerous articles for professional journals.

Mark Sklarow has served as Executive Director of the Independent Educational Consultants Association for nearly 20 years. He is a former civics teacher, dean of students at a Philadelphia High School, and Political Science instructor at Temple University.

Woodbury Reports was founded in November 1989, by Lon Woodbury, MA, IECA, CEP, as an Independent Educational Consulting firm to help parents of teens making poor decisions select a private, parent choice program that would help return the family to normalcy. Through interviews with parents, communication with professionals who know your child well, and then thoroughly researching viable options, we can help parents make the right choices that will help your child get back on the right path. For more information about Woodbury Reports Inc., call 208-267-5550, or email to lon@woodbury.com, or visit the web site www.strugglingteens.com.