"THE PARENT EMPOWERMENT HANDBOOK™" is based on results! Most directories include entries that are selected using criteria that is often unexplained and based on assumptions that have not been proven to be meaningful. Some directories simply include every program that is open for business, or only programs that have a specific kind of child care license. Other directories include only programs that are members of a particular organization, some giving a prominent listing to those that pay for that privilege. Although usually unintended, in many directories, skill in writing program descriptions is one of the most important factors contributing to being included.

THE PARENT EMPOWERMENT HANDBOOK™ includes only those schools and programs that have reputations for safety and effectiveness among knowledgeable, professional independent educational consultants. Schools and programs are not allowed to pay for inclusion or for a more prominent position and no advertising is allowed in the Directory. This no-advertising policy was adopted to avoid even the slightest appearance that any school or program is favored as a result of paying for the privilege; the only criterion for their inclusion is their reputation.

A new edition is published every year. Our current edition is available at our online store. Since we self-publish the Directory, we print copies as needed, updating any changes when received, which then appear in subsequent printings that are done throughout the year.

Every January, a list of more than 500 residential schools and programs that have come to our attention during the year is sent to the Educational Consultants listed in the back of the previous year's Directory. These educational consultants, who have proven themselves to be knowledgeable and experienced in recommending placements in residential specialty schools, are then asked to give their recommendations. They rate each school or program on the list as to whether they think the program is positive, negative, or they are not familiar with it.

The surveys are then returned and the results are collated. When a majority of the responses for a particular school or program indicate a positive recommendation, with few or no negatives, they make the cut. Due to space constraints, we take approximately the top 100 and send an invitation requesting them to complete a form that describes their school or program. These information forms are generic, designed to give a snap shot of the school or program; no school is allowed to change the categories to show their school or program in a better light. In addition, we include basic contact information for the rest of the positive majority to include only those with the best reputation. This procedure is used to help parents have a better comparison of the schools and programs since each program has had to respond to exactly the same questions.

The annual edition of the Directory is usually published in August and information is updated on specific schools and programs throughout the year.

Any private practice professional survives through quality advice! Bad advice from a professional in private practice can result in a loss of clients; chronic bad advice can result in the practice closing down as the word gets around. Thus the professional in private practice must be cautious.

This is especially true of the independent educational consultant since that person is working with the lives and well being of children, one of the most sensitive areas in our culture. The educational consultants who we survey to determine what schools or programs should be included in our Directory, are well educated and have years of experience working with children and their parents. They spend a significant amount of time traveling to visit the schools and programs and are constantly comparing notes with their colleagues. The only way a school or program can get a positive consensus from this group of independent minded educational consultants is to have consistent performance of safety and effectiveness.

As an indication of the effectiveness of our directory selection process, most of the schools and programs that have flared up into media controversies or have experienced a tragedy, have been schools and programs that have been either screened out of the Directory, or not considered at all.

By Directory sales! There is no thought of applying for grants of any type, since grant specifications might compromise the integrity of our selecting process which screens schools and programs exclusively based on their reputation for safety and effectiveness.

Lon Woodbury IECA
Certified Educational Planner

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The Parent Empowerment Handbook

PO Box 1671 | Bonners Ferry, ID 83805 | 208-267-5550
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