FYI:Establishment of Alternative Accreditation to Evade Inspections
In Florida and Texas, Teen Challenge centers were being accredited by the Texas Association of Christian Child Care Agencies (TACCCA) and the Florida Association of Christian Child Care Agencies (FACCCA). The programs have no medical component and center instead of around prayer, Bible study and religious conversion. Teen Challenge facilities did not uphold First Amendment rights and also did not enforce workplace anti-bias laws. There was also lack of proper oversight over the educational standards of the program.
Florida also decided to exempt Teen Challenge in that state from regulatory inspections by allowing Teen Challenge facilities in Florida to be alternatively accredited. Florida has certified an alternate accreditation board for "faith-based" groups, and its head of Department of Children and Families and Department of Human Services heads are both former Straight, Inc. leaders.
Florida Association of Christian Child Care Agencies is just the same as the Texas agency and Teen Challenge center in Florida are members of Florida Association of Christian Child Care Agencies or FACCCA. Not surprisingly, evidence of extensive abuse has turned up with the Florida facility of almost an identical manner to what was documented in Texas. West Florida Teen Challenge Boys Ranch in Bonifay, Florida is a confirmed abusive teen program. The contract parents must sign with Teen Challenge states that the Florida Association of Christian Child Care Agencies(FACCCA) "intent" is to "insure the physical and spiritual health, safety, and well being" of the children and therefore that the boys ranch must meet FACCCAs "minimum standards." Parents have to agree to hold the ranch and its employees harmless from "any and all liability" for injury to the child "even injury resulting in death." Parents must agree "that God desires that they resolve their dispute with one another within the church and that they be reconciled in their relationships in accordance with the principles stated in I Corinthians 6:1-8, Matthew 5:23-24, and Matthew 18:15-20." If they cannot resolve their disagreement privately within the church, parents must accept resolution through "biblically based mediation" by rules of the Association of Christian Conciliation Services. There is no refund of tuition or deposits if the boy leaves the ranch before 15 months even if the ranch has expelled him. Many residential treatment centers were run with no insurance liability policies and these legal waivers were used to prevent liability law suits. Thus parents were told that if they signed the waiver they had no legal rights even if their child was injured.
I contacted the FACCCA and they reported to me they DO NOT accredit Teen Challenge West FL Boys Ranch in Bonifay. It is my understanding the only regulating agency of this facility is the local fire and safety code enforcement. Please tell me how are they suppose to protect the children's rights and safety? Even if this facility was accredited by the FACCCA it really wouldn't account for anything because they themselves are useless.
Not only does DCF turn a blind eye to the abuse so do the local authorities. Reports of abuse have been surfacing since the beginning, more than 10 years ago. For the facility to operate under the jurisdiction of the Holmes County Sheriff's Office for that many years tells me they are unwilling to do anything about the abuse.