Explanation of Priority
Successor to "Bridge to Understandingtm"
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Questionnaire First Page

FamilyLight sm will always refer to whatever resources we believe are best for the client being referred, regardless of any other factors.  When we speak of schools and programs, we will do so as objectively as possible.  Those principles are inviolate even when we give preference, which we will do, for those who provide complete information as requested in our questionnaire.  However, in general the information requested in the questionnaire is critical to our understanding of schools, programs, and other resources and much of that is not available from other sources.   This means that all other things being equal, we are more likely to visit, assess, write about and refer to those service providers who do so.  It does not mean that those that do not respond get no consideration, especially if we are able to access sufficient information on which to base a referral other action in relation to  a school or program.  We currently have a list of schools and programs we regard with favor that we plan to write about as soon as we complete the questionnaire, before there is an opportunity to get significant returns. 

A current submission (questionnaire response)  is based on questions that have been downloaded for response by a program no more than 30 days prior to the date the responding program submitted them to us (to be sure that the questions addressed are the current questions, understanding that we anticipate frequent updates).  Once received, your responses are considered current for one year from date of submission.  You have the privilege of updating and correcting your submission during the year, but for purposes of priority, we will consider your submission current for a year if it met our criteria for being complete and current at time of submission. 

A submission is complete if the service submits all pages we indicate are appropriate to that service's situation and gives some response to all questions. In addition, the actual information sought must be provided in a direct response, not an  evasion.  If we receive a submission that we do not believe is complete in the requisite sense, we will respond by pointing  out in what way the submission is incomplete and inviting completion.  If you feel that there are compelling reasons why a particular question should not be answered, please take two actions.  First, email us with your concern.  Second, enter a direct statement in response to our question that you will not disclose the requested information, and tell why.  If you do that, your response will not be considered incomplete in setting our priorities, even with the information missing. We might comment on your action adversely as we review your program, depending upon circumstances, but we won't treat your submission as incomplete.  However, our decision about completeness is final.  If you email us with a concern, please let us know whether or not you want us to publish what you have written.

Our policy to favor those who submit complete responses to the questionnaire and keep them current may be controversial, and may be interpreted by some as a demand for a quid quo pro in order to refer.  We want to put that to rest once and for all. 

In Tom Croke’s years working with young people – since 1958 if you consider organized volunteer work, since 1968 if you consider full time professional positions, and since 1993 if you consider only being an educational consultant – he is strongly convinced that there is too little transparency in this business and too many referrals by professionals and too many decisions by parents are made on the basis of far too little information.  Most parent decisions and referral decisions (unfortunately including our own) are made on the basis of marketing presentations and superficial visits to the site where services are rendered that are arranged and controlled by marketing professionals. Tom Croke and FamilyLightsm will make all decisions in our reviews and our referrals based on what we believe will be in the best interest of the young people at issue.  But we firmly believe that schools, programs and other services that resist this kind of transparency should be considered only with some caution.  The information provided here, in a format set from a consumer point of view, should give referring professionals and direct consumers of service a better opportunity to make sound decisions. 

We will always consider exceptions in the interest of clients, but in general we believe it is in the interest of young people to refer to those programs that give us the greatest amount of information.   We have only a finite amount of time and money to visit programs.  We view the time and money as an investment.  We do not see that it is ordinarily a wise use of that time and money to invest it in examining those services  just on their terms when they won’t disclose on our terms.  Will we make an exception when we think investigating a non-responding service offers something a client might need and might not be as well provided by the available responding services?  Definitely. But we believe we have a responsibility to our readers and our clients to place our priority on programs that are transparent. 

Questionnaire First Page

Last updated April 2, 2009


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