WWASP Parent Manual - Intro section

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This page contains a copy of the parent manual as it was used at facilities connected to WWASP back in 2006. Information which can identify where the source came from have been removed.

General section



Dear Parents:

My name is <name removed>. I am the Family Rep Supervisor. The first few months, we work very hard on getting the Students to follow some basic rules and structure. Many of the Students not only struggled with following rules and structure before coming to us, it was the main cause for their enrollment. None of the Students will ever fully succeed, progress academically, or learn to function properly in society without developing the ability to follow basic rules and structure. Rules and structure exist at every school and college, every job, and in every segment of society.

We provide the Students with a very structured and regimented environment. Students are expected to follow orders, use manners, respect others, stand at attention, and walk single file with their group from one class or activity to another. As you can imagine, most of the Students initially do not like or appreciate the structure. But it allows the Students to begin to develop order in their lives and is the catalyst for Students to learn to follow rules and structure.

As Students effectively learn to follow the rules and structure, the rules and structure are systematically and gradually lifted. This transitional process prepares the Student to return home and succeed. The whole process is greatly enhanced as Students participate in seminars and daily character building courses. Students, while learning to operate within rules and structure, also develop essential skills, insight, and motivation necessary for their long term success.

Most Students will initially resist the new structure; as a result they will typically go through several phases. No two situations are ever the same, but the Students will usually undergo some, if not all, of these stages:

Denial Phase - This is typified by statements like:

  • “I can’t believe you did this to me.”
  • “I don’t belong here.”
  • “I’m not learning anything; all they do is baby-sit me.”
  • “The kids here have problems much worse than mine.”
  • “They have criminals, kooks, and drug addicts here.”

Guilt Trip Phase - This is typified by statements like:

  • “If you really loved me, you would bring me home.”
  • “You don’t know how terrible it is here, or you would get me out.”
  • “I’m going to starve, the food is disgusting.”
  • “No one cares about me; the staff does whatever they want to me.”
  • “I’m treated like a prisoner.”
  • “You can’t believe the staff; they will tell you anything in order to keep me here.”
  • “The kids here are a totally bad influence on me; you should hear what they talk about.”

Anger Phase - This is typified by statements like:

  • “If you ever want to see me again, you had better get me out of here.”
  • “You’ll wish you had never done this to me.”
  • “I don’t want to be your child anymore.”

Negotiation Phase - This is typified by statements like:

  • “If you bring me home, I promise there won’t be any more problems.”
  • “We can work out our problems better at home as a family, we can all go to therapy together.”
  • “If I work hard, will you take me home by ….”
  • “I’m willing to work on my problems, but can’t I do it at a different school, one that will *help me?”

The agenda in each of these phases is to work on your emotions in hopes that you will take your child out of the school; this way he or she doesn’t have to go through the long hard process of making changes. We can certainly all understand why a Student will try any or all of these approaches first. This is a tough School; the food isn’t as good as the “home cooked” meals you have provided them and the accommodations aren’t nearly as comfortable as your home; yet, these are some of the very reasons that the School is impacting enough to be effective. We have found that if the Parents and the School remain strong in their resolve that the Student must make changes, the Student will finally reach the Acceptance Phase.

The Acceptance Phase is where the Student finally realizes and accepts that he/she is here until he/she makes the necessary changes. Then and only then will the School begin to work for them. Let’s work together to that end!


<Information removed>


Results can best be realized when Parents and the School support each other. Students often try to thwart that support by telling us what terrible Parents you are, and by telling you what a bad School we are. We both need to show support for each other, otherwise it gives the Student an excuse for not working at the School.

The most important thing you can do to create ongoing support is to maintain your commitment for completion of the School’s Character Building Program. This encourages the Students to work and focus on results rather than just putting in time. It also discourages the need for ongoing dialog of when the Student is coming home, and allows your communication to be friendly, loving, and encouraging, rather than having to justify and defend why your child is in the School. As long as your child believes that being pulled early from the School is open to discussion, it will continue to be the negative focus in all of your communication and a barrier to improving family relationships, worse yet, the Student will not fully engage in the process nor work as hard as they can.


The most critical component to your child’s success at <Name of facility> (hereinafter referred to as “School”) is the parents’ commitment to completion of the Character Building Program (hereinafter referred to as “Program”). This Program has been developed through decades of experience and practical application that has been tested and proven to produce maximum results for the Students.

The first phase of the Program is designed to prepare and train your child for participation in the Leadership Phase. The Leadership Phase is the part of the Program which provides the greatest growth and development (see “Youth Leadership Program”). After Leadership Phase, the Student moves into the Internalization Phase where the Student applies what he/she has learned; growth and positive change become internalized. All three Phases of this Program are critical. An example of this might be compared to washing your clothes without allowing them to go through the rinse cycle. The clothes may appear to be clean, but you would not even think of wearing them until they had completed every necessary cycle. Several stages must be reached by both parent and child in order to produce the results that you are seeking. The following steps must be taken to maximize not only your child’s success, but the success of the entire family as well:

  • 1. Sign and return immediately (fax or overnight) the Standard Commitment Letter that can be found on the following page. Until you do this, your child will not take the progress seriously, and will not fully engage it in the overall process. Once they really believe that you are committed, they will begin to look at their own situation differently. They will spend their time focusing on working, rather than holding on to their hope that you will be weak and noncommittal. Please do this immediately. Precious time can be lost if you don’t.
  • 2. After returning the Standard Commitment Letter to the School, we recommend that you send a personal letter to your child outlining again your commitment to completion to the School’s Character Building Program. Please send your Family Rep a copy of this letter. Your Family Rep will go over both letters with your child in order to help them realize the firmness of your commitment.
  • 3. Commit yourself right now to attending the Parent Seminars, and the Parent/Child Workshops. The Parent Seminars, similar to those your child will be attending while at the School, prepare both of you for the Parent/Child Workshops. All Parent/Child Workshops supply the entire family with a healing experience and the tools necessary to deal with your child’s eventual return to the home. The Seminar experience will allow your family to smoothly handle issues that you thought were impossible to handle before.

Ask yourself this question, “When was the last time my child started and successfully completed something worthwhile?” Completion of the School’s Character Building Program supplies the foundation for a new and better life.

<Name of Facility> I am committed to the following:

  • 1. I expect my child to complete all phases of the School’s Character Building Program. Hopefully this will be done as quickly as possible, but I am committed to this process, regardless of time frame.
  • 2. If ever temporarily expelled from the School, I will transfer my child to an appropriate alternative. While this may delay my child’s return home, it will not deter my commitment to have my child finish whatever school or Program my child is enrolled in.

Again, I am committed to the completion of the Character Building Program and would like you to relay this to my child as soon as possible.

_______________________________ Parent Name Printed

______________________________ Parent Name Signature