I am following up to my previous review of CAFETY.
As one of the founding members and former board member, I really started volunteering when I returned from Iraq. I spent much of my own money to get CAFETY started, the money I had saved from being shot at for a year. I continue to be disappointed with their performance, and I currently regret having spent so much of my own time and money to start such an organization.
One of the CAFETY board members, Nick Wood, contacted me asking to take down the only honest review of their organization on this website. I will let you, the reader, decide whether or not it is appropriate for someone to perform such an action. Nick Wood presented no evidence to refute any of the facts I presented in my previous review. He merely engaged in a standard "it's for the children" plea. I do not buy it, because these places have been in operation for decades and CAFETY has not done anything to save any kids.
In regards to their blatent partisanship, let's take for example, CAFETY's position on Bain Capital owning the Aspen Educational Group. Romney, as former director of Bain, is often demonized by CAFETY, as you can see from a search of their website (http://www.cafety.org/component/search/bain%20capital/?ordering=&searchphrase=all). However, there is no mention of the $417,000 that Bain Capital gave to the Obama campaign, nor the $5 million given to other Democrats (Source:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/13/bain-capital-donations-democrats_n_1881655.html)
After reading all the dishonest reviews, I decided to get on here and write a real one. First, this organization should be converted from a 501 (c) 3 into a PAC. They spend more time criticizing Mitt Romney for a vague and loose connection to two people who did bad things. Romney's connection to these people is less than Obama ties to terrorists like Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dorn. Second, they are hyper-partisan, hence their campaigns like "Occupy JRC" and their affinity to protests for a day. Third, their finances are not tracked or monitored closely at all. Since I stepped away in 2009, their financial house has become a complete mess and thousands of dollars have gone missing.
Beas, As CAFETY's Director I take your assertion that "thousands of dollars have gone missing" and that our "financial house has become a complete mess" very seriously. At the time you were a board member, up until 2009, our fiscal affairs were administered by our fiscal sponsors at the National Youth Rights Association. Then, like now, our finances were tracked closely and may be found at link below. Your assertions are not based in fact and I'm actually not sure why you would ever present them as such, but should you have such concerns I advise you file a complaint to someone who can verify the accuracy of your allegations. Having personally worked along side the CAFETY Board in monitoring our finances closely and worked closely with our Administrative Director to ensure we meet our fiduciary duties, I am incredibly disappointing to see you make public comments of fiscal malfeasance or nonfeasance which, given the choice of forum, appears to be a decision not at all based on an interest of accountability, but an interest in undermining our hard work. http://www.cafety.org/component/content/article/817 Your other concerns appear to be simply strategy choices CAFETY has made that you don't agree with. However, again, you make serious allegations that are simply untrue. Contrary to your claims, our activities would never qualify as those activities permissible only to a entity formed as a PAC. We are not and have never been a partisan organization. We have never endorsed nor opposed any candidate running for office or any particular political party. We greatly value and welcome the need for external systems of accountability - both of us and of residential programs. Facts give us something to work with. Rumor and innuendos do not. If you are indeed acting in good faith, please take a moment to file the details of your concerns with the proper authorities. We would be happy to publish their findings.
I found and joined CAFETY as soon as I realized it existed. As a survivor who successfully ran away from a now defunct facility in the early 90's I have felt a draw to help all those left behind. Since being involved with CAFETY I have seen efforts to support the survivors of the Troubled Teen Industry, address abuse issues directly with the corporations doing the damage, respect the children who lost their lives, and participating in peaceful protest. I'm proud to be a part of CAFETY and always will be involved in some capacity. Kids deserve to be safe.
When I first came out of my "therapeutic boarding school" in 2004, I was terrified, confused, and convinced I was a drug addict having never done drugs in my life. CAFETY was there for me to help me understand what happened to me, that the way I was treated was not my fault and that there were a network of people who wanted to do something about child abusers and phony mental health "treatment providers". This organization's role as a landing place for abused youth trying to make sense of their experiences has been vital in helping me and countless others deal with our experiences. Also, CAFETY does a fantastic job reaching out to professional organizations and legislators in documenting the massive problem that calls itself the troubled teen industry. Definitely an organization I will always be grateful for.