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Sent Away is an investigative reporting partnership between KUER, The Salt Lake Tribune and APM Reports, with support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Read The Violation Reports And Inspections For Utah’s ‘Troubled-Teen’ Treatment Centers

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Francisco Kjolseth
/
The Salt Lake Tribune

Thousands of children are sent away to Utah for treatment at “troubled-teen” centers and wilderness programs. But it has been hard to identify what places have a good track record and which ones don’t.

Utah’s Office of Licensing inspects and regulates each facility, and sometimes finds neglect, child abuse or sexual misconduct. That information should be easy to get. But it hasn’t been.

Until now.

The Salt Lake Tribune is making public thousands of inspections and critical incidents reports in this free, searchable database. This is possible because of the donations from more than 100 people. This money paid for the state to fulfill records requests. Other states have made similar databases public, but Utah requires people who want to see these records to pay for the cost of redacting private information, such as the names of children receiving treatment.

We are continuing to ask for your help. Let us know if you find something noteworthy in these documents. Email us at teentreatment@sltrib.com. We’ll continue to report on this industry, including our own findings from this trove of records. And we’ll be adding more records to this database in the days to come.

Facility Name City Bed count Number of criticial incidents Links
Alliance Youth Services (The Pointe) Lehi 12 3 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Alliance Youth Services (Timpanogos) American Fork 8 0 Inspections
Alliance Youth Services (Timpview) Lindon 12 3 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Alpine Academy (ASPIRE) Erda 10 0 Inspections
Alpine Academy (Cottonwood Grove Home) Erda 11 3 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Alpine Academy (Gene Smith Home) Erda 10 1 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Alpine Academy (Mountain Birch Cottage) Erda 10 0 Inspections
Alpine Academy (Oakridge Home) Erda 11 3 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Alpine Academy (Pine Canyon Home) Erda 10 1 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Alpine Academy (Willow Creek Home) Erda 11 1 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Apex Youth Services (EXCEL)* Thatcher 2 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Apex Youth Services (QUEST)* Brigham City 0 Inspections
Ascent Country Residential* Mona 0 Inspections
Ashcreek Ranch Academy Toquerville 25 5 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Aspiro Wilderness Adventure Therapy Mount Pleasant 125 1 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Avalon Hills Residential Eating Disorders Program Mendon 12 1 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Blue Hills Residential Treatment Center Moroni 23 3 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Blue Hills South* Moroni 0 Inspections
Canyon River Ranch* Ogden 8 2 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Cascade Academy Midway 37 0 Inspections
Catalyst Residential Treatment (Grey House) Brigham City 24 1 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Catalyst Residential Treatment (Red) Brigham City 24 1 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Cinnamon Hills Youth Crisis Center St. George 164 9 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Compass Academy Moroni 16 1 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Copper Hills Youth Center West Jordan 197 5 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Crossroads Academy (North) North Ogden 13 1 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Crossroads Academy (South) Ogden 16 1 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Daniels Academy (Daniels House) Heber 16 0 Inspections
Daniels Academy (Heber House) Heber 16 1 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Diamond Ranch Academy Hurricane 108 3 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Discovery Academy Provo 120 9 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Discovery Academy (Discovery Connections) Orem 12 1 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Discovery Ranch Mapleton 60 2 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Discovery Ranch for Girls Cedar City 60 4 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Eagle Ranch Academy St. George 57 3 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Elements Wilderness Program Huntington 50 1 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Eva Carlston Academy (Covecrest) Salt Lake City 16 0 Inspections
Eva Carlston Academy (Draper) Salt Lake City 12 0 Inspections
Eva Carlston Academy (Main House) Salt Lake City 16 0 Inspections
Evoke Therapy Santa Clara 70 2 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Falcon Ridge Ranch Virgin 48 4 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Gateway Academy (Draper) Draper 32 0 Inspections
Gateway Academy (Gateway House) Draper 11 0 Inspections
Haven Home for Girls (North Haven)* Salem 2 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Havenwood Academy Cedar City 16 6 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Heritage Community School Provo 178 8 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Horseshoe Mountain Academy Ephraim 12 0 Inspections
Imperial Healing Estate Provo 18 1 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Kaizen RTC Birdseye 16 0 Inspections
Kolob Canyon (CERTS) New Harmony 12 0 Inspections
La Europa Academy Murray 36 3 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Lava Heights Academy Toquerville 48 3 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Liahona Treatment Center (Hurricane) Hurricane 44 0 Inspections
Liahona Treatment Center (Virgin) Virgin 48 2 Critical Incidents, Inspections
LifeLine Behavioral Health North Salt Lake 40 1 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Live for Life Cypress Erda 13 2 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Live for Life Sequoia West Jordan 12 2 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Logan River Academy Logan 82 1 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Magellan Academy (Vila Nova) Spanish Fork 15 2 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Magellan Academy (Vila Real) Spanish Fork 15 2 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Makana Leadership Academy Roosevelt 48 5 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Makana Leadership Academy Wilderness Roosevelt 32 3 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Maple Lake Academy (Boys' Home) Spanish Fork 16 2 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Maple Lake Academy (Girls' Home) Spanish Fork 15 0 Inspections
Maple Rise Properties Wellsville 12 0 Inspections
Meridian Mentoring Boys Home Orangeville 16 2 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Monuments Academy Parowan 40 1 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Moonridge Academy (CERTS) Cedar City 24 3 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Mount Pleasant Academy* Mount Pleasant 16 2 Critical Incidents, Inspections
New Beginnings Behavioral Center West Jordan 11 1 Critical Incidents, Inspections
New Focus Academy Heber 16 0 Inspections
New Haven (Amelia Earhart House)* Springville 0 Inspections
New Haven (Anthony House) Saratoga Springs 8 0 Inspections
New Haven (Nightingale House) Saratoga Springs 16 0 Inspections
New Haven (Parks House) Saratoga Springs 21 0 Inspections
New Haven (Roosevelt House) Spanish Fork 15 0 Inspections
New Haven (Sacajawea House) Spanish Fork 15 0 Inspections
New Haven (Teresa House) Spanish Fork 16 1 Critical Incidents, Inspections
New Vision Ranch* Moroni 0 Inspections
North Star Treatment Center La Verkin 16 7 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Odyssey House Salt Lake City 36 3 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Olympus Academy* Hurricane 0 Inspections
Open Sky Wilderness Therapy Bug Point 55 0 Inspections
Outback Therapeutic Expeditions Lehi 85 2 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Oxbow Academy (East) Mount Pleasant 16 4 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Oxbow Academy (West) Wales 24 1 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Oxbow Evaluation Center Mount Pleasant 16 0 Inspections
Pine Ridge Behavioral Health Fairview 16 2 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Pine Ridge Behavioral Health (FV Canyon)* Fairview 0 Inspections
Embark (Potomac at Hobble Creek) Springville 0 Inspections
Provo Canyon School Provo 130 16 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Provo Canyon School (Springville) Springville 128 16 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Red Circle Lodge Hildale 40 3 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Red Rock Canyon School* St. George 128 8 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Redcliff Ascent Enterprise 82 2 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Renewed Hope Ranch Enoch 44 9 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Rite of Passage (Brigham City)* Enoch 0 Inspections
Rite of Passage (Logan Peak)* North Logan 0 Inspections
Rite of Passage (Willard Peak) Brigham City 10 1 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Second Chances in Southern Utah La Verkin 28 8 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Second Nature Wilderness Family Therapy Duchesne 120 4 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Solacium Sunrise (Sunrise) Hurricane 28 1 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Solacium Sunrise (The Fields) Washington 37 0 Inspections
Solstice Residential Treatment Center Layton 44 1 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Sorenson's Ranch School Koosharem 96 4 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Spirit Lake Ranch* Provo 16 0 Inspections
Star Guides Wilderness St. George 42 0 Inspections
Storm Ridge Ranch for Boys Marysvale 40 5 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Storm Ridge Ranch for Girls Monroe 40 0 Inspections
Sundance Canyon (East) Draper 16 0 Inspections
Sundance Canyon Treatment Herriman 16 0 Inspections
Synergy Youth Treatment (Cornish) Cornish 16 13 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Synergy Youth Treatment (Smithfield)* Smithfield 0 Inspections
Teen Discovery Home* Gunnison 1 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Telos Residential Treatment Center Orem 56 2 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Telos U Orem 16 0 Inspections
The Journey: New Vision* Moroni 0 Inspections
Three Points Center Hurricane 70 10 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Triumph Youth Services (Alpine) Brigham City 27 0 Inspections
True North Academy* Provo 0 Inspections
Turn About Ranch (Barn) Escalante 24 1 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Turn About Ranch (Cabin)* Escalante 0 Inspections
Turn About Ranch (Lodge) Escalante 16 0 Inspections
Turn About Ranch Wilderness Escalante 6 0 Inspections
Turning Point Family Care Cedar City 30 3 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Uinta Academy RTC (Achievement) Wellsville 16 0 Inspections
Uinta Academy RTC (East) Wellsville 16 1 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Uinta Academy RTC (Lewiston)* Lewiston 0 Inspections
Uinta Academy RTC (West) Wellsville 16 0 Inspections
UT-Tex (Magna) Magna 32 1 Critical Incidents, Inspections
UT-Tex (Sage) Sandy 16 2 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Utah Youth Village (Alpine Academy/Lakeview Campus/Cedar Creek Home) Tooele 11 0 Inspections
Utah Youth Village (Beverly Taylor Sorenson Home) Riverton 8 3 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Utah Youth Village (Kearns Family Home) Kearns 6 3 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Utah Youth Village (Latency Home) West Jordan 6 3 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Utah Youth Village (Lila Family Home) Kearns 6 1 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Utah Youth Village (Raymond Home) West Jordan 6 6 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Vista at Dimple Dell Canyon Sandy 16 0 Inspections
Waterfall Canyon Academy (Oakgrove - Girls Program) Ogden 9 0 Inspections
Waterfall Canyon Academy (Oakgrove - North Campus) North Ogden 13 0 Inspections
Waterfall Canyon Academy (Oakgrove - South Campus) Ogden 13 0 Inspections
Waypoint Academy Huntsville 36 2 Critical Incidents, Inspections
West Ridge Academy West Jordan 68 4 Critical Incidents, Inspections
White River Academy Delta 36 2 Critical Incidents, Inspections
WinGate Wilderness Therapy Kanab 80 5 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Young Women's Empowerment Center (House #1) Ephraim 12 0 Inspections
Young Women's Empowerment Center (House #3) Ephraim 12 2 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Youth Care of Utah Draper 48 1 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Youth Health Associates (Cedar Valley Ranch) Cedar City 16 0 Inspections
Youth Health Associates (Draper Ranch)* Draper 11 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Youth Health Associates (Eagle Academy) Clearfield 16 6 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Youth Health Associates (Lakeside Academy) Clearfield 16 5 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Youth Health Associates (Lakeview RTC) Provo 16 7 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Youth Health Associates (Manti Academy) Manti 16 5 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Zion Hills Academy Enoch 16 0 Inspections
Vive Adolescent Care St. George 30 3 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Provo Canyon School Intermediate Secure Care Orem 17 0 Inspections
Elevations RTC Syracuse 90 4 Critical Incidents, Inspections
Aspire Youth Services Orem 16 1 Critical Incidents, Inspections
* Facility is closed

How to read these reports

There are two types of reports included in this database: Inspections and critical incident reports.

Inspections

This is a checklist that a worker with the Office of Licensing takes with them when they walk through a youth residential treatment center or wilderness program. On the left, you’ll see an outline of the “core rules.” An inspector’s job is to check whether the facility is in compliance. At this time, all violations are weighed equally, so a ripped van seat counts the same as kids complaining they aren’t given enough to eat. Here are some definitions that might help as you read the records:

  • Staff-to-client ratios: Utah rules say there must be one staff member for every four students. Facilities can apply for an exception.
  • National Interstate Compact Laws (ICPC): This refers to laws adopted by each state that require case workers or parents to have certain documents filled out when a child is going from one state to another for treatment or adoption services. The facilities must keep these records on file.

Critical incidents

These reports are based on a complaint or an incident occurring at the facility. Reports can come from parents, former staff members and also directly from facilities, which are required to report any time a student is injured or seriously ill. The Office of Licensing then determines whether a “critical incident” occurred, and plans next steps to investigate. If a report is found to have merit, state licensing officials further determine if the facility violated a rule.

This database includes only critical incidents where the facility is found to have violated a rule.

It includes a summary of the incident that was reported, and what actions a facility has taken and plans to take in response. The document includes a log of how the Office of Licensing investigated and its conclusions. When a violation is found, the state can take the following actions:

  • Written notification: The office can give written notice that a violation took place with no formal follow-up. This is the most common response.
  • Corrective Action Plan (CAP): This requires facility administrators to submit a plan to correct the violations, and the Office of Licensing monitors. It is not considered a penalty.
  • Notice of Agency Action (NAA): The Office of Licensing issues a notice that outlines violations, and requires them to be fixed within a certain time frame or the facility would lose its license. These notices are published on the state’s website, and facilities are required to inform their clients of the action and post it on their own website. The state already makes these notices public, and they can be found here.

A note about our funding

When The Tribune initially asked for these records, the Office of Licensing estimated it would cost more than $6,250. The Tribune created a crowdfunding campaign that raised more than $11,000 from 136 donors.

In response to an appeal, the Office of Licensing lowered its estimate to $4,582. When it released the records, the office said it took less than half of the hours estimated to fulfill the request, and refunded more than $2,600.

This means, in total, the cost of receiving these records was just under $2,000. With the money from the crowdfunding campaign, we were able to expand the database to include youth wilderness therapy programs. The remaining funds will be used to assist The Tribune in future public records disputes.

Our partners

A team of journalists at The Salt Lake Tribune, KUER and APM Reports worked to bring you this database. Support also came from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. This team is continuing to collaborate on a reporting project on youth residential treatment centers.

KUER is listener-supported public radio. Support this work by making a donation today.