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FamilyLight sm  offers a questionnaire for service providers to complete so that we can post very detailed information on this website about those service providers.   Service providers will access the questionnaire here, and the general public may explore to see what the questionnaire and instructions for completing it look like.

As you read the paragraphs that follow, links in a changed font lead to a more detailed explanation of what you are reading at that point.  If you see a changed font without a link (except in this paragraph) that is where we plan to add a link with greater explanation. 

Why has there been so little response to the questionnaire?  We think that is because of the length and complexity of the questionnaire and the intrusiveness.  Schools and programs that have started the questionnaire have found it difficult to follow the admittedly complex instructions. It is a major project to complete it, and we understand that most schools and  programs simply have not considered it a priority.  In addition, it calls for disclosure of information that most schools and programs prefer to keep confidential.  We believe the information at issue should be out in the open.

With respect to the complexity, we are willing to work with the first few programs using the questionnaire in order to learn where the difficulties arise, and to de-bug the process. So far as other matters of resistance are concerned we can only say that it up to each school, program, or other service, where to set its priorities.  It is clear that as this website continues to gain influence the fact that we will give priority attention to those schools and programs that do provide a completed questionnaire will influences those priorities for some.   While completion of the questionnaire will directly impact priorities for our attention, it will impact our appraisal of quality only indirectly.  That is, to the extent that we have information about a service that has not submitted a questionnaire, any assessment will be as objective as possible.  But completion of a questionnaire will give us additional  information on which to base favorable asessement.   

Who should complete the questionnaire?  FamilyLightsm welcomes participation from any organization, institution, school, or program that serves primarily or occasionally young people who have special needs related to emotional, behavioral, motivational, psychological or psychiatric issues.   In addition to services primarily targeting such people, services that serve such people occasionally are welcome to participate. This includes all kinds of schools and programs, transport services, evaluation services, referral services, etc.   Schools and other services that do not primarily serve this population will have an opportunity to  flag their entry so that they will not be misleading parents of students who are inappropriate for them to waste time pursuing admission with them.  

When an organization completes the questionnaire and FamilyLight sm posts it on the web, how will the information be presented?   As soon as we receive a Face Sheet (Section 5 of questionnaire) from any organization responding, we will post the information received from that source as quickly as our resources permit.   As we do this we will be experimenting with "look and feel" and will adjust the presentation.  To see what we have received and examples of how we post what we receive go to "Q Response." 

What does it cost?  This is currently a free service. FamilyLightsm  accepts no paid advertising or referral incentives from schools and programs in order to remain as objective as possible.  We will accept a voluntary $50 payment with the submission of a questionnaire response to defray costs of processing the completed form onto the web.  Organizations that choose to allow us to receive that fee will have one and only one advantage:  Given a choice we will process their response onto the web on a priority basis, ahead of those that do not pay a fee.  We reserve the right to give similar priority to very small organizations and charitable organizations at our discretion who do not pay a fee or pay a reduced fee.  In addition, organizations that submit questionnaire responses to us in a form that is not consistent with our preferred format, may, for a $25 per hour fee, transfer information you supply us into our preferred format.  That fee does include a small markup, and the purpose of that is to provide incentive for organizations to submit in the preferred format.  We will not favor or disfavor any organization for referral or commentary because they do or do not pay us under conditions of this paragraph. 

At a future date, we plan to charge the public for viewing of some parts of this website.

How does a service provider access the questionnaire and participate in this project?  Simply go to the next page, and follow the instructions given there. We will continue to update our process based upon the experience we gain and the feedback we receive from schools and programs submitting their questionnaire responses and the public viewing our website, during this Beta Test period. 

Why should you take the time to respond?  First, we believe that the information we are seeking in the questionnaires should be accessible to the consuming public and to referral sources in order to make the best decisions.  On May 9, 2010, we note that there has not been much response to the questionnaire in the time it has been available. During this time we have proceeded selectively to examine new programs and in some cases to review them on line.   For the time being we will continue that, but we believe the time will come that some programs will find that getting on our priority list will be worth the inconvenience of completing the questionnaire.  Once that begins to be the case, it will be less and less likely that we will give attention to programs that have not responded unless we see a significant reason to recommend against a program.  Note that interest in this website is currently increasing at rate of 30% per month (currently our statistics for the last month show 30% increase over the previous month). 

Most schools and programs get many requests for completion of surveys and questionnaires.  This is the first that will be available to everyone on the web once you complete it. While we realize that licensing agencies  and some others will still want their own, once you complete our questionnaire you can send most people who ask to our website rather than taking the time with their survey or questionnaire.  If we get a requests from schools and programs to add certain questions in order to obviate the need for questionnaires from other sources, we will likely view such requests with favor. So ultimately we believe that completing our questionnaire will save you time in the long run. 

With the same thought in mind, schools and programs have the opportunity to present information we did not request at numerous places throughout the questionnaire.  You may place your story at the place you think it will have the greatest impact and/or you may choose to be redundant.

Finally, we are promoting the concept of "Positive Intervention sm."  Only schools, programs, and other services that provide completed questionnaires will be considered for this designation.  Those that do will have the privilege of advertising the designation.  We realize there is a place for legitimate service providers that will not meet the qualification. However, we are concerned that it is currently difficult to locate schools and programs that will serve young people with clinical needs without exposing those young people to a gratuitous punitive approach.  The emotional growth tradition that began with the Cedu Schools and and was widely copied, and the wilderness tradition that was promoted from faculty of the  Recreation Management and Youth Leadership Program at Brigham Young University have introduced the illegitimate concept the young people must be punitively "broken down" before being helped.  We reject that concept.

FamilyLightsm  will give some degree of priority to service providers that respond to the questionnaire in complete form and keep their submission current.  This means that we are somewhat more likely to visit, assess, write about and refer to those service providers who do so.  That is only appropriate, as much of what we seek through the questionnaire is information we rarely can access otherwise but is highly relevant to understanding and gaining trust in a school, program, or other service.  We believe that the willingness (or lack thereof) of a school or program to respond publicly to our questions tells us just how transparent their operation is.  Transparency is a basis for trust. 

Over time, we believe other consumers and referral sources will rely on our information from the questionnaire and favor those who respond. We also believe that as services begin to provide questionnaire responses, the public and most referral sources will  look for this information, and at that at some future time the competitive position of those that participate will be enhanced.  

What does FamilyLightsm  value in services of the kind described here?   You can obtain a clear sense of that by reading our Guidelines.  Please note that our questions target the matter of  consistency with our Guidelines.  Our commentary on programs will also reflect those Guidelines.  Please note that we are promoting and refining the Positive Intervention sm concept. 

Are the questions about ownership and board composition really appropriate?  We think so. We realize that we are asking about things not usually posted on the Internet.  However, we believe that this information gives increased insight into the stability and the values behind many programs.  In many cases in the past, this was information we simply did not know enough about to develop a solid comfort level with a school or program we thought about using.  Currently, many referring professionals are concerned about the financial stability of many schools, programs and related organizations.  We expect resistance to this from some schools and programs. Our response in some cases might be, "What do you have to hide?"  If you believe that a particular question is one you will not answer for legitimate reason, there is a procedure for you to follow.

What if you think the questions or Guidelines are unfair or inappropriateIf you communicate with us through expressing in good taste -- however vigorously -- we will consider your opinion and publish your dissent. If we criticize your service you may respond and we will publish your response. You may ask satisfied consumers and referral sources to do likewise on your behalf.  Program commentary becomes a two way street.  We want our website to become a place where all responsible views are expressed. You may also follow the procedure we propose when there is compelling reason in your judgment why you should not disclose information requested. 

If you have concerns about this questionnaire and our approach to it, we encourage you strongly to bring your concerns to us, individually. If we don't agree with you, we will most likely give you space to express your views on our website.  We want to be open and transparent. We want you to be open and transparent, and we are attempting to set the example.  Group resistance to disclosure of the information we request, is potentially legally actionable, as we understand the situation, and we encourage organizations of interest to us not to participate in any organized resistance.  You also have the option of stating in response to any question that you specifically choose not to answer the question.  You may use the response space to state your reason for not sharing the information.  When you do that, we will not regard that as failure to submit a complete response. However users of our site may draw their own conclusions as to transparency. 

Why is the questionnaire so complex?   In addition to the fact that we are seeking a great deal of detail, the range of providers from whom we will seek responses is so extremely varied that we can't have exactly the same questionnaire for everyone.  We need a spectrum of questions so that we get the right questions to each provider. Then they will need to respond to their questions in a way that allows us to receive their responses on paper (or a PDF file by scanning responses on paper) so that we can have a signature certification, and an electronic copy for use on the web. 

Is what you see, all there is or is there something hidden?    When we receive your completed survey and review it, we may add some additional questions specifically for you.  You may add information of your choice for publication with your responses to our questions.  What you send us will be published on our website.  You may make separate comments  for our use only, if you like, and that will not be published without your consent. 

What does FamilyLightsm have to gain by developing and publishing this questionnaire?  First, we feel that the information we gain will greatly enhance our ability to make good referrals. Second, we believe the kind of website we are developing, including but not limited to the questionnaire will attract people to our website and ultimately to our individual consulting business.  Third, at some future time we expect to charge for access to some parts of this website, creating a new source of revenue.  Last, but frankly not least, we believe that this website will lead to improvements in the overall quality of service to all. 

What will actually be posted on the web?  We will post two things:  (1) A scanned copy of your actual submission so people can see exactly what you sent us, and (2) a processed copy that allows for indexing, linking, and cross referencing, to make the presentation of your information user friendly. 

At this moment you can see the Beta Test Version of the questionnaire.  At this point the parts of it that apply to most providers to special needs children, teens, and young adults are in place.  There are some additional pieces yet to be added that apply to services that are likely to be less frequent participants in this service. It probably contains errors we will discover in use.  We are now inviting response to the questionnaire and feedback where you find errors.  By doing so you help yourself, help us, and help others of our professions and our industry.

Your submission will be protected by our copyright.

We have one request. We ask that when you contact us by email about this website and especially about this questionnaire, you use only . Some of you may have another email address for us.  For other business items, other addresses may be appropriate.  We also request that inquiries about the website be confined to email. We greatly appreciate your cooperation. 

We at FamilyLightsm thank you for your participation. We apologize for the extent and complexity of the questionnaire, but we believe that this is a step that is long overdue for our profession and industry.

Go on to the next page to get started on the questionnaire.

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Last updated August 14, 2010


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