Why FamilyLightsm?
FamilyLight sm:Successor to "Bridge to Understanding sm"
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Programs and More


FamilyLight is a truly unique special needs consulting firm.  We understand that the word “unique” gets overworked.  We provide the detail to justify that statement in the paragraphs below. 

FamilyLight is dedicated to providing the most intensive personal service available in educational consulting or special needs consulting for families who seek personal involvement with a consultant.  We believe our format accomplishes that.

FamilyLight and many other educational  and special needs consultants help parents sort through the confusing array of services available.  We review all records and establish teamwork with other clinicians involved with your child (or young adult).  When applicable, we provide a list of referral recommendations and assist the family in implementing them.

FamilyLight differs from common practices in educational consulting by meeting all of the young people we work with in person.   With rare exceptions, usually involving issues of safety or young person already not being at home, these meetings occur at the homes of our clients.  We further explain the exceptions in the linked information shown below.  For now, understand that Tom Croke still meets the young person face to face at later point.  We know of no other educational consultant or consulting firm with that policy.

FamilyLightsm  uses a Home Visit model for our personal service clients.  We  maintain  no office or other suitable location for clients to come to us. In almost all situations, even the most resistant young people will meet with Tom Croke and participate in the Home Visit, due to our special procedure. 

FamilyLightsm always prefers that the young people actively  participate in the planning process when that is possible and when they are willing to do so. 

FamilyLightsm differ by having our consultant on call 365 days per year (February 29 is vacation day every fourth year)  This is unusual but not totally unique. We actually know of only one other consultant with that policy, we think there are others, but the number is not large. 

FamilyLightsm differs by having family coordinators available to keep an extra channel of communication open and to assist you when our consultant is attending to another client.

FamilyLightsm differs by making our goal the resolution of a problem, not just a school search.  Informally, we assist the client to develop and implement a strategic plan. 

FamilyLightsm differs by sometimes coaching parents at home rather than referring to residential schools and programs.  When FamilyLight coaches parents, we frequently use home contracts as a tool. 

FamilyLight differs by using a dialog process as your family goes step by step through planning how to resolve and implementing that plan – as opposed to giving a list of recommendations and stopping.

FamilyLightsm differs by serving as advocates as needed, while monitoring progress long after referrals have been completed.

FamilyLightsm offers interventions  for young adults with chemical dependency problems. This differs from our usual service model.

FamilyLightsm differs by having Tom Croke .

FamilyLightsm provides a wide age range of services that includes small children through young adults who are still closely connected to their family of origin, although the majority of clients are teenagers.

Like most educational consultants, we are independent and avoid concealed
 conflict of interest.  While we affirm the integrity of the overwhelming majority
 of educational consultants, many of our clients and colleagues tell us that they
 believe we are particularly rigorous about ethical standards.  We comply with
 the “Principles of Good Practice” of the Independent Educational Consultants
 Association. We fully comply with that standard and then set a higher standard.

Like others, we do not accept referral fees.  Like others, we disclose at the time
 of initial inquiry the names of any providers of service with whom we are doing
 business currently.  Unlike others, we disclose past relationships (at least for
the previous five years -- longer if we remember it) prior to making referrals to schools and programs.

For any one of the above features there may be a small number of consultants who replicate the feature listed. We know of none who replicates all of the above features. 

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Disclaimer: No  program review, no matter how positive, is a blanket endorsement. No criticism is a blanket condemnation.  When we express our level of confidence in a school or program, that is our subjective opinion with which others might reasonably disagree.  When we assert something as fact, we have done our best to be accurate, but we cannot guarantee that all of our information is accurate and up to date. When we address compliance with our guidelines, you need to remember that these are only OUR guidelines -- not guidelines from an official source.  We have also set the bar very high, and do not expect any school or program to be in total compliance.  It is not appropriate to draw a conclusion of impropriety (or even failure to live up to conventional wisdom) from our lack of confidence in a school or program or from less than perfect conformity to our guidelines.  Some will say we expect too much. Readers are responsible for verifying accuracy of information supplied here prior to acting upon it. We are not responsible for inaccuracies.


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Last updated August 27, 2012

"Solutions, Not Just Referrals"

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