Allison Pinto, Ph.D.
Louis de la Parte Florida Medical Health Institute, University of South Florida
On Wednesday, October 10, APA member Allison Pinto, Ph.D. (Louis de la Parte Florida Medical Health Institute, University of South Florida) testified on behalf of APA at a House Committee on Education & Labor hearing entitled, “Cases of Child Neglect and Abuse at Private Residential Treatment Facilities.
” Dr. Pinto’s outstanding testimony focused on an online survey of participants in therapeutic boarding schools. While noting many reports of satisfactory services, she stated that “a significant number of adolescents report being mistreated and maltreated in programs across the country.
” Specific instances fall into the categories of medical neglect; youth being transported to residential facilities by escort services under threat or use of force and without their consent; failure to meet health and safety standards, and educational deprivation, among others.
The hearing also allowed the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to release its initial report on the subject, which confirmed disturbing trends of neglect and abuse that sometimes “played a significant role in the deaths” of children.