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Versionen fra 23. apr 2008, 19:09

This facility is currently being investigated by the Fornits Webforum

Pathway Family Center is a drug treatment center for teens aged 13 to 18. It is based in Detroit. It works on the basis of Straight,Inc., which was closed in 1993 due to the burden of lawsuits and allegations of abuse.

It was founded in 1993 by Helen Gowanny.

Based on a statement by an employee the drug treatment model is based on the model from Straight Inc, which closed down after lawsuits in 1993.

It shares techniques with Kids Helping Kids, which also has the same origins.

Recently they have opened a new department located on 425 Sand Creek, Chesterton Indiana.


Program structure

Main Agenda

The basics in the model are:

  • A five-phase model
  • Use of the old 12-step model
  • Confrontational therapy by peers
  • Putting clients into host "families"
  • Isolation from family
  • Isolation from society in general like school

Length of stay / Level system

From the homepage of the treatment cult:

Pathway Family Center provides a residential-like treatment setting for adolescents from the ages of 13 to 21. The program addresses the developmental needs of adolescents and involves a client-focused, five-phase model


The 12-step model is used to educate each participant on utilizing the steps in their daily lives. The length of stay averages 12 to 14 months.

The five phase program is structured so teenagers, who are on higher levels control teenagers on lower levels.

Lower levels are not allowed to wear shoes.

Phase 1 2 3 4 5
Living conditions Lockdown Host family Host family Host family Host family
Wearing shoes No No Yes Yes Yes

The lockdown is known as the "Phaser room"


Some of the rules accordíng to an interview with a parent are: [1]

  • Clients on lower level are not allowed to wear shoes due to the flight risk
  • Family are not allowed to talk with client alone in the process
  • Clients in lower levels are always followed by clients on higher levels.


A former client and her mother have made complaints about the fact that the program left them in worse shape than before they started the treatment [2].

International Survivor Action Comittee investigated the program and on their website they state that the program installed teenagers in foster homes, which had no license [3].

A 2003 investigation by ISAC revealed that Pathway was placing children in host/foster homes even though they are not licensed by the state to do so.
As a result of our investigation and subsequent report, Pathway Family Center was placed on probation by the Council on Accreditation (COA).


External links