River View – Another Teen Help Program? Red Flag

It has been 12 years since my daughter endured the awful experiences at Carolina Springs Academy, an offspring of WWASPS – which is the umbrella of many other teen help programs.

When I first posted our story of Deception, Misrepresentation and Fraud it was almost immediately I was sued by them in a an attempt to silence me – and get my story removed. What they didn’t expect was for me to fight back.

After defeating them in a jury trial of their peers in Salt Lake City, Utah, (let’s face it) no one condones child abuse, my story is still online.

Since then, thankfully, Carolina Springs Academy attempted a name change to Magnolia Christian Academy, and shortly after that closed their doors.   However WWASPS still continues in several other branches such as Red River Academy in Louisiana, Cross Creek in Utah, Horizon’s Academy in Utah and the newly River View also in La Verkin Utah.

Though I did win that trial – WWASPS and their sales reps continue to tell parents I am disgruntled parent – or I own or manage other teen help programs.  I don’t.  I help educate parents so what happened to me doesn’t happen to them.

After they lost their appeal to attempt to say the jury made a mistake, I went through a time of awful Internet defamation.  It seem that a group of people decided to slander and libel me online – and it got to a point where it effected my life, my family and my organization that had literally helped thousands of families with at-risk teens.  It left me with no option but to sue the people/person we could identify through the Internet for Internet defamation and invasion of privacy.

With that lawsuit, I again, in a jury trial, won over $11.3M jury verdict for damage done to me.  During depositions it was discovered that WWASPS was indirectly involved with this person and actually referred her to the attorneys she was using.  And at one point WWASPS was receiving the bills for her legal fees.

This trial was back in 2006.  Today in 2012, I hold no grudges over this person – I actually only wish her well.  We all have moved on in our lives.  My only grudge is with the people that harmed my daughter and that, in my opinion, continue to defraud and possibly harm (at least emotionally) families and kids today.

There are many excellent programs in our country.  I don’t tell parents where to go – I just hope they do their due diligence.  If your gut is telling you there is something not right – chances are very good – your gut is right!

Be an educated parent – you will make a better decision for your teen.

Helpful tips for finding teen help programs – click here.


Sue Scheff: A Decade of Helping Parents with Problem Teens

Recently Sue Scheff was featured on Momtourage (iVillage) answering tough questions about raising today’s teens. “A parent asked about invading their teen’s privacy, such as reading their emails, text messages or journals,” Scheff continues, “It is a matter of when safety trumps privacy.

Problem Teens? Are you at your Wit’s End?
Author Sue Scheff celebrates a decade of helping families with troubled teens.

In 2001 Sue Scheff created Parents’ Universal Resource Experts, Inc. (P.U.R.E.) in an effort to help educate parents when they have reached their wit’s end with their teenager.

This year P.U.R.E. is celebrating over a decade of assisting over 50,000 families. During these ten years, Sue Scheff has been interviewed by many media outlets including ABC News, 20/20, Lifetime Balancing Act, The Rachael Ray Show, Fox News, CNN, Headline News, InSession, Wall Street Journal, Miami Herald, Forbes, USA Today, Sun-Sentinel and many others.

Recently Sue Scheff was featured on Momtourage (iVillage) answering tough questions about raising today’s teens. “A parent asked about invading their teen’s privacy, such as reading their emails, text messages or journals,” Scheff continues, “It is a matter of when safety trumps privacy. If you suspect your teen is in trouble, becoming secretive, withdrawn, changing friends, I believe it is imperative for a parent to dig deeper if their teenager won’t open up verbally.”

Scheff knows personally the turmoil mother’s experience when their household is being disrupted by bad teen behavior. Out of desperation she turned to teen specialty schools and behavior modification programs for her own daughter but that only worsened the situation. Although her story is painful and the trials and tribulations’ seemed endless, Sue Scheff believes that there are excellent residential treatment centers and recognizes she made a huge mistake when she was at her wit’s end which is why she agreed to have her story published in an effort to help others.

Order on Amazon today.

Wit’s End, Advice and Resources for Saving Your Out-of-Control Teen, authored by Sue Scheff, was released in 2008 by Health Communications, Inc (HCI) and has been selling fast and steady to parents, educators and people with at-risk teens. “I am amazing at how many parents have emailed me or called to say that my book has helped them in many ways. After struggling with their own teen, they realized they are not alone,” Scheff says. “I also hear from parents on a daily basis that they were so confused but after reading my story, understand this teen help industry better and are able to make better choices for their own teen.”

With today’s ever expanding digital world, many parents hit the Internet looking for help for their troubled teenager only to be bombarded with slick websites and slicker sales reps trying to get your business. Scheff realized over ten years ago when she had her own struggles, that the Internet isn’t always what is seems to be.

“Deciphering Internet fact verses Internet fiction can be very difficult,” Scheff said in a recent interview with The Parenting Plate. “This is why my book, Wit’s End has proven to be a priceless asset when looking for residential therapy for your child.”

Sue Scheff continues her story about the Internet and how it can be an educational tool or a lethal weapon, depending who is using it, in Google Bomb, The Untold Story of the $11.3 Verdict That Changed the Way We Use the Internet, also authored by Sue Scheff and Internet Expert and Attorney, John Dozier Jr., and published by HCI in 2009.

If you are searching for residential therapy for your troubled teen, visit www.HelpYourTeens.com for more information. To learn more about Sue Scheff, please visit www.SueScheff.com.

Contact: (954) 260-0805
Email: sue.scheff@gmail.com

Media Contact:
Tyronne Jacques

Teen Mentor Program Shut Down by Child Welfare

U.S. teens faced this "box" when disciplined.

Parents can reach their wit’s end when it comes to today’s teenagers.

Whether they are using drugs, drinking,  hanging with the wrong crowd, running away, and finally want to drop out of high school – what options do parent have?  A parent in denial is a dangerous parent – since your teen is at-risk and his negative behavior is a cry for help.

Many reach into the Internet and attempt to find help.  These desperate parents are ready to believe almost anything – as long as a promise to help their teen is involved.

A Broward County family, who doesn’t wish to be named, has lived this horror.  While simply trying to get their 15 year-old daughter help, they were duped, their daughter was harmed both physically and emotionally.  Lawsuits go flying and silence agreements are swiftly put in place.

A youth behavior modification center run by the Utah-based World Wide Association of Specialty Programs (WWASP) is closed following allegations of abuse – according to the Tico Times.

For the second time in the past nine years, a youth behavior modification center run by the Utah-based World Wide Association of Specialty Programs (WWASP) is closed following allegations of abuse. This one was run by the association’s director, Bob Lichfield, brother of Narvin Lichfield, who ran a similar center here until it was voluntarily shut down in 2003 – continues the Tico Times.

WWASPS is the organization that the Broward family above experienced, WWASPS has been, since 1998, featured in many media outlets including New York Times, Miami Herald, Sun-Sentinel, 48 Hours, Dateline and literally dozens of others throughout the country, in a negative light.

Back in 2000 there were over a dozen of their programs in existence.  Today you will find a handful, including Red River Academy (LA), Horizon’s Academy (NV) and Cross Creek (UT).  There are several others, and through a string of name changes, the roots usually come back to the Lichfield group, WWASPS.

With the recent closing of Teen Mentor in Costa Rica, it seems parents are still being duped.  Florida mother, Erica (named changed for privacy), picked up her son this week from Teen Mentor and is simply mortified at what she was sold and what her son received.  She will be meeting with our state’s attorney office, she wants answers why this is allowed to continue as WWASPS still has other programs still open.

Teenagers today are a challenge. If you find yourself in spot that you exhausted all your local options and need intervention, a residential therapy program or otherwise, do your due diligence.  There are many excellent programs in our country.  WWASPS has many URL’s, marketing arms, and sales people just waiting to help you – dial with caution. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.  If it is far less expensive than the average program, look and try to find out why.

Finding safe and quality is priority, take your time.

For helpful hints and questions to ask schools and programs you are considering, visit www.HelpYourTeens.com or www.TeenHelpAdvice.com.

Be an educated, you will have safer teens.

Read more.

Teen Help: Parents’ Universal Resource Experts (P.U.R.E.)

With today’s society, kids have access to many different substances that can be addictive and damaging. If you suspect your child is using drugs or drinking alcohol, please seek help for them as soon as possible. Drug testing is helpful, but not always accurate.  Teen Drug use and Teen Drinking may escalate to addiction.

We get calls constantly, that a child is only smoking pot. Unfortunately in most cases, marijuana can lead to more severe drugs, and marijuana is considered an illegal drug. Smoking marijuana is damaging to the child’s body, brain and behavior. Even though marijuana is not considered a narcotic, most teens are very hooked on it. Many teens that are on prescribed medications such as Ritalin, Adderall, Strattera, Concerta, Zoloft, Prozac etc. are more at risk when mixing these medications with street drugs. It is critical you speak with your child about this and learn all the side effects.  Educating your child on the potential harm may help them to understand the dangers involved in mixing prescription drugs with street drugs. Awareness is the first step to understanding.

Alcohol is not any different with today’s teens. Like adults, some teens use the substances to escape their problems; however they don’t realize that it is not an escape but rather a deep dark hole. Some teens use substances to “fit in” with the rest of their peers – teen peer pressure. This is when a child really needs to know that they don’t need to “fit in” if it means hurting themselves. Using drug and alcohol is harming them. Especially if a teen is taking prescribed medication (refer to the above paragraph) teen drinking can be harmful. The combination can bring out the worse in a person. Communicating with your teen, as difficult as it can be, is one of the best tools we have.  Even if you think they are not listening, we hope eventually they will hear you.

If your teen is experimenting with this, please step in and get proper help through local resources. If it has extended into an addiction, it is probably time for a Residential Placement. If you feel your child is only experimenting, it is wise to start precautions early. An informed parent is an educated parent.  This can be your life jacket when and if you need the proper intervention.  Always be prepared, it can save you from rash decisions later.

A teen that is just starting to experiment with substance use or starting to become difficult; a solid short term self growth program may be very beneficial for them.  However keep in mind, if this behavior has been escalating over a length of time, the short term program may only serve as a temporary band-aid.

Drugs and Alcoholic usage is definitely a sign that your child needs help. Teen Drug Addiction and Teen Drinking is a serious problem in today’s society; if you suspect your child is using substances, especially if they are on prescribed medications, start seeking local help.  If the local resources become exhausted, and you are still experiencing difficulties, it may be time for the next step; Therapeutic Boarding School or Residential Treatment Center.

If you feel your teen is in need of further Boarding School, Military School or Program Options, please complete our Information Request Form.

Teen Help, Troubled Teens, Struggling Teens: Back to School

Listening to parents on a daily basis struggle with what is going on with their teens today can be stressful and pull at your heartstrings.  Many times it has nothing to do with the parenting, it is today’s society and the harsh pressures of peer influence.

In the same respect, you can’t be a parent in denial – you can’t assume since your teen’s friend is making bad choices that your teen that is following that behavior is not part of the issue.  Remember, it is your teen making the choice to smoke that joint – or drink that beer.  Yes, it is peer pressure, but a teen has free will and they can say no.

Need help?  Is your teen spiraling out of control?  Check out www.helpyourteens.com – Stop being a parent in denial and give your teen a second chance at a positive future.

Sue Scheff: Are you Considering Residential Therapy for your Teen?

Just a reminder of my organization that I created almost 10 years ago after a negative experience with my own teenage daughter.  A Parent’s True Story  has been widely read through my book Wit’s End! I was very fortunate that Health Communications, Inc. recognized the importance of my story and the valuable advice I offer to parents who are desperate for help and are at risk of making rash decision in searching for residential therapy. Order today at http://witsendbook.com.

we_are_parents_tooParent’s Universal Resource Experts, Inc. (P.U.R.E.™) is an organization that was founded in 2001 by Sue Scheff.  For the past several years Parent’s Universal Resource’s has assisted families with valuable information and resources for their children and teens that are at risk.  Teens that are struggling with today’s peer pressure, experimenting with drugs and alcohol, and simply good kids starting to make bad choices.  We have many very satisfied families that have used our services.  Please take a moment to read some of our testimonials.

Whether you are seeking Boarding Schools, Therapeutic Boarding Schools, Residential Treatment Centers, Wilderness Programs, Christian Schools, Summer Programs, Military Schools and more, Parent’s Universal Resource’s can offer you options to explore to help educate you in a very important decision for your child and family.  We invite you to fill out a Free Consultation Form for more information.

Parent’s Universal Resource Expert’s™ are parents helping parents.  As a parent that experienced and survived a difficult teen, we believe that desperate parents are at high risk of making rash and detrimental decisions in choosing the best placement for their child.  Please take a moment to read my story – “A Parent’s True Story” – which is one the reasons this organization was created. 

As a member of the Better Business Bureau for many years we are an organization that prides ourselves in helping others and bringing families back together

There are many Doctors, Attorney’s, Therapists, Police Departments, Schools, Guidance Counselors, and other professionals that refer Parent’s Universal Resource’s to families.  In many cases, after a family has used our service, they recommend us to their friends and relatives.  We have built our reputation on trust and putting families first.  At Parent’s Universal Resource’s we believe in bringing families back together.

  • In searching for schools and programs we look for the following:
  • Helping Teens – not Harming Them
  • Building them up – not Breaking them down
  • Positive and Nurturing Environments – not Punitive
  • Family Involvement in Programs – not Isolation from the teen
  • Protect Children – not Punish them
  • Educational Consultants ($$$) Do you Need one?

    Tips for Parents on Surfing the Internet for Teen Help Schools and Programs – Do you Need an Educational Consultant?


    Internet Search – Many parents will use Search Engines to type in key words and search terms to describe their child.  Unfortunately, in many cases, the parent will see the same group of programs/schools with different titles and descriptions, however leading back to the same organization.  Parents that are not familiar with this industry can easily be misinformed.  An example is a key word such as Military Schools.  Are you aware that reputable Military Schools are not for at risk children? Please review http://www.helpyourteens.com/military_schools_and_academies.html.


    The term Spamdexing has been used when organizations will purchase many websites and URL’s all leading back to the same group.  The vast number of key words and search terms, no matter what the issues, may all be filtered back to the same group.  This can be very deceiving and detrimental when searching for the best placement for your child.This can be a farce and totally an attack on desperate parents seeking help. Some of the websites are owned by “parents” that actually gain free tuition by you enrolling from their website. Even though “full disclosure” is required, it is sometimes missing. In reading a site recently parent’s claimed a program had saved their twins lives. However the story read that the children are still in the program. If the children are still in the program, how do you know if it saved a life yet? They don’t, but they do gain a free tuition from if you enroll from their website ID number. With twins in a program, this must be costly.

    Sponsored listings are sold to the highest bidders.  It seems only businesses with large marketing budgets can afford to be seen in top spots. This causes many very good and qualified programs and schools never to be seen. Many, including Computer Consultants, frown upon this tactic and Internet Professionals that feel it is causing unfair solicitation.  Unfortunately this is part of marketing and public relations, which can leave out the small people. 

    Are you looking at websites that offer a Clearing House of Schools and Programs? Or offer to sell you a book? Do you think you are getting a qualified school and/or program since it is listed in the book? Did you know most times it is paid advertising

    So whom do you trust? It is very scary in this industry of children needing intervention. That is one of our main goals; to recognize who is qualified and who is not.  We are not a clearing-house for programs; we do not have a large number of schools and programs that we have researched yet. We try to give parents a peace of mind with the programs we have researched and personally visited. No matter how much trouble your child may be causing, they are human and deserve to be in a safe and qualified environment. These programs that urge you to act now are not taking the time to fully evaluate what is needed for your child. They seem to assume that every child will fit their program. Please parents, step back from this and think, research and investigate.


    Does the Advertising look too good to be true?

    Most literature and brochures are made up to be glossy and fancy to advertise as an answer to your troubled child. Some even send tearful DVD’s of parents that claim to have been rescued from their child. When a program needs to use these extreme measures to market and advertise, it is time to investigate and analyze where all the money is being spent. Remember to read the small print and recognize that many of the pictures were not taken at the facilities.  Marketing people can also be good sales people.  Reaching out to your emotions at a delicate time of your life with your child.  For more Helpful Hints in researching please read http://www.helpyourteens.com/helpful_hints.html. 


    Do you need to hire an Educational Consultant? What about an Independent Educational Consultant? Why are they so much money?

    This seems to be a very political group of questions. First, not many can explain their outrageous costs to an already expensive trip. In our research, Educational Consultants do not require a degree and do not need any qualifications. There are not any state or government regulations that they need to comply with. With this, most EC’s are a product of someone that has worked in the field of schools or programs, and there are some that are qualified. The game is figuring out the difference if you need one. We don’t appreciate these games when it involves our children.The Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) is a group formed to elaborate their proclaimed profession. They do have certain standards to meet within their own group, however they are not regulated or governed by any State or Governmental Offices. Some are very knowledgeable and quite impressive, however some are extremely self-centered. Most will refer to the same programs time after time.  This may not be the best case for your child and family.  We have found that there are many politics that mandate their decisions into the same programs and schools time after time. With families that we have spoken with that used an EC, tell us their EC has recommended the same school or program as the previous family (most always starting with Wilderness). There seems to be a pattern here; We feel parents should realize just because they are paying a high priced EC, doesn’t mean they are getting the interest for their child in our opinion. 

    We are not saying that one should not hire an Educational Consultant if they deem it necessary; we are telling parents to do research, investigate and consider your child. In most cases, your therapist can be more beneficial to make a final decision in placement of a child. It can be helpful if the child’s local therapist can participate in helping parents make the most appropriate choice.   

    For the record, I am not anti-Educational Consultants, I have only witnessed time and time again that parents that used them seem to be lead down the same path, always starting with Wilderness Programs and then moving to a residential therapy program.  It is my belief that these teens need consistency – starting and finishing at the same place.


    There are non-political Educational Consultants – it is a matter of taking the time to find them, as you have to take time and diligence to locate the best school or program for your individual teen and family.