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Programs and More
  Successor to "Bridge to Understanding
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In our gradual process of moving  to our new Format,  please see the replacement for this page in our New Format.  However you will also find important informtion on this page that has not yet been moved. 

FamilyLightsm is progressing with developing the indispensible online guide to services families with young people who face extra challenges. At this time we have valuable information for both parents and referring professionals to guide them through a search process for a school or program. 

Tom Croke, our consultant says, "Many people have suggested that I  write a book based upon my experience.  This is the book. You see it as it is being written."

See what is new on this website!

To get direction on how to approach the task of searching for a school or program, click on Search Guide.  Here we have suggestions  for parents who want to become consumers of the services that are our concern here.  When you read Search Guide, you will learn why we think that might have been a bad choice for the name of the page.  Search Guide is still being developed. It is more helpful than yesterday, but not as good as it will be tomorrow.  There is already extensive information about choosing the services you will purchase.

Within Search Guide, we call specific attention to our Guidelines by which we evaluate schools and programs. At this stage that is the best developed portion of Search Guide.  We strongly urge people seeking services without a consultant to pay close attention to our guidelines section.  These will help you to determine what is a good program.  As we move toward accepting payment for access to parts of this website, much of our Guidelines section will be moved to the pay-for-access section of this website.

A secondary issue is to help parents to understand how much is involved making these decisions effectively to get the results that are desired. When this website is fully developed, and it is not there yet, we sincerely hope and expect that there will be sufficient guidance to permit a parent, or even a new professional coming into this line of work,  to develop a plan and purchase services wisely just on the basis of what is on this website and the other websites to which we link. 

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Fast Approach to Existing On-line Resources

If you are searching on-line and not accessing individual professional guidance, (or you are a professional looking for help) please use our on-line support.  If you want an individual professional consultant, please consider what we might offer you. As other professionals contribute to this website, we hope you will consider their resources as well.

Start with the Search Guide page to give you the steps you must follow to search effectively, although the name might be misleading, as you will see when you follow the link above. Search Guide now includes a warnings of major pitfalls parents face searching on their own.  We have a long way to go to have enough information to effectively guide a "do it yourself: parent to a quality search, but what is there can prevent many problems.     From Search Guide you can navigate to our Determining Need page, our Guidelines , and Pleasant Surprises sections. The Guidelines, while always subject to revision, are now in completed form. We strongly urge "do it yourself" families to become familiar with  Guidelines.  (Note that much of our Guidelines section and new additions to our Search Guide will soon be accessible only in our pay-for-access area).

We are currently focused on expanding Program Reviews.  Here is where you will get straight talk about quality.  We are starting with strong emphasis on schools and programs we highly respect.  Tough talk on corrections needed will come later, but it will come and some of that is already here.

Determining Need now has an outline of how to understand the needs of a young person for whom you seek services.  Much detail will be added to Determining Need as this website becomes more comprehensive although we anticipate much of that will be in the pay-for-access section.

In describing resources, we intend to hold a very high standard of accountability while being fair.  We know of no other Internet resource doing that.  Others (including some of very great benefit and high integrity) are  extremely cautious about challenging schools and programs.  Some others are either concealed marketing devices promoting a specific provider while posing as a neutral referral source. Still others are simply propaganda machines for shutting down the entire care giving profession or industry.

FamilyLight sm will link to other web resources, encourage critique of our work on our website, promote debate and discussion in good taste, and decline all advertising. (In the far distant future, we may accept advertising from businesses that have no connection to the schools, programs, and other services we write about)   At some point we will charge a nominal fee for access to some areas of this website, but as we bring this up to speed, it will be a free resource. 

Currently under revision;   Information above will not change substantially at this time.  Information below undergoing major revsion.

Our long term purpose is to create a resource that will accomplish four major goals:

     1. Provide a guide to resources that will reliably assist families who are considering use of schools and treatment resources while using the web as principal source of information. We believe that at this time this website is helpful for that purpose but we have a long way to go.  This website should not currently be the sole source of guidance for a family seeking to utilize residential resources.

     2. Provide a mutual support service for families in crisis. This has not begun but will eventually be part of the pay-for-access section of the website.  The initial areas where pay-for-access users may post their insights on the website may be somewhat beneficial. Later we plan a section just for family members seeking peer support.  

     3. Provide in-depth assistance to professionals assisting clients, such as mental health professionals and other consultants.

     4. Provide consumers with an opportunity to "Sample" the work of FamilyLightsm and contributing professionals before engaging services. 

Our  current major thrust in developing these services is developing our pay-for-access section where those who  use our website will be able to post opinions and benefit from each others input.  

Our original page that describes our more elaborate hopes for the future of this website has been archived and is accessible.   Click here to see that page starting at the top.   Click here to see that page starting at that section

Feedback is invited. We will publish feedback in good taste, consistent with our standards.  Email

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.


We do not specifically endorse UK Shopping. They "sponsor" our counter. 

Last updated February 1, 2016

















"Solutions, Not Just Referrals"


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