Frequently asked questions
- Why did the program recommend that I not transport my child myself?
- Educational programs and therapeutic schools generally recommend an industry-recognized escort agency for several reasons:
- It reduces anxiety for the child and the parent. It's difficult for you to process your child's feelings at the same time you're dealing with your own, and it may be difficult for you to deal with your child without lying.
It has been our experience that an adolescent is less likely to be oppositional with our professional agents than with a friend, parent, or other family member. Our agents represent an unknown "authority figure" and tap into that part of the at-risk adolescent who recognizes that there is a benefit to demonstrating appropriate behavior.
- Properly trained escort agents can actually help begin the therapeutic process during travel, so your child is better prepared for the work of the program.
- The Center for Safe Youth is also better prepared to deal with changes in travel itineraries.
- With a fully staffed office and round-the-clock on-call personnel, CSY is well prepared to deal with last-minute changes to travel itineraries, whether they be airline-, ground- or behavior-related.
- How will your agents respond if my child becomes verbally abusive, threatening or violent?
- In addition to extensive training in verbal de-escalation, our experienced agents have seen the whole range of reactions, from surprisingly agreeable to violently combative.
- They respond calmly and firmly, but if an agitated child poses a danger, the agent is also trained in methods of temporary restraint.
- Will you handle my child's luggage?
- No. We want our agents focused upon your child, not upon the transfer of luggage. If your child's destination allows, you may pack a small carry-on bag with basic necessities, which will be inspected by your primary agent. Reading material or music devices are also allowed, but may be confiscated by the destination program. The Transportation Security Administration maintains a list of permitted and prohibited items here.
- My child has special medical needs. Will you still escort them?
- Yes, we will work around whatever needs your child has. If your child simply needs to take medication regularly, you can provide the agent with sufficient doses for the trip, directions on dosage and a copy of the prescription.
- Should I tell my child in advance (even the night before)?
- No. Prior knowledge will only serve to increase the child's anxiety, heighten defenses and force the child into a bad decision, such as running away.
- Is it a good idea for me to write a note or letter to my child explaining the therapeutic program or school?
- Discuss this with the individual program. If you decide to write a letter, one of our agents will deliver it to the program so it can be shared with your child at an appropriate time.
- What should I look for in a therapeutic transport agency?
- When you choose CSY for your assignment, we'll provide you with background information, insurance specifics, agent résumés, references and much more to set your mind at ease. If you're considering another agency, however, we recommend asking them the following questions:
- What level of background check is conducted for agents?
- How much experience do they have in transporting at-risk adolescents?
- Are they insured, and what does insurance cover?
- What agent training is provided?
- What are their references?
- What is their philosophy regarding physical restraint?
- Should you decide to do the transport yourself, we highly encourage you to use The Center for Safe Youth as a resource to help guide and prepare you for what can often be a volatile event.