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 October 28, 2021

Paris Hilton Urges Reform of Youth Congregate Care Facilities. Here's What Parents of Teens Need to Know

Paris Hilton lobbying and other teenagers upset about being in the care of youth behavioral care facilities

Paris Hilton recently urged lawmakers on Capitol Hill to reform young congregate care facilities in the U.S. 

You may know of Paris Hilton – but do you know her whole story? Until she recently shared her personal traumatic experiences during her teen years, not many knew the struggles she faced. And now, the famous entrepreneur and socialite is urging reform of youth congregate care facilities in the United States.   

What are congregate care facilities? And why is Hilton so passionate about this issue? What do parents need to know about these facilities? Let’s break it down.  

What are congregate care facilities, and what’s the problem?

In Paris Hilton’s recent documentary, she revealed her experiences at a congregate care facility in Utah when she was a teenager. She told terrifying stories of how she was thrown in a dark ditch for days at a time, was forced to stay indoors with no sunlight or fresh air for 11 months, and was repeatedly psychologically and physically abused.  

As the world learns Hilton’s story, it has also become apparent through other survivors’ experiences that, unfortunately, this seems to be a common issue among congregate care facilities for “troubled teens.” Since she has shed light on her experience, other survivors have voiced their once-silenced stories of institutional abuse.   

Many have even joined Hilton in creating a nonprofit organization called Breaking Code Silence, whose mission is to raise awareness of the troubled teen industry, eradicate institutional child abuse and expand mental health treatment for survivors.  

What the Accountability for Congregate Care Act would do:

By authorizing funds through this bill, states could develop best practices to improve congregate care facilities and collect data to understand statistics on institutional abuse.  

Specifically, this law could protect teens and children by:  

  • Developing state congregate care best practices and training to prevent and stop abuse  
  • Creating training programs for state officials, social workers, mental health professionals, and judicial employees 
  • Establishing reporting systems for congregate care facility abuse 

Hilton and other survivors say they could have been spared the abuse and trauma if these human rights had been in place when they were teens.  

Talk to your provider lawyer to learn more about the Congregate Care Act. 

The topic of teen abuse occurring at congregate care facilities is a fresh issue, and you may have many questions on how you can protect your teens and support the movement to stop the abuse. Talk to your LegalShield provider lawyer to understand what the law would do.  

  

Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. d/b/a LegalShield (“LegalShield”) provides access to legal services offered by a network of provider law firms to LegalShield members through membership-based participation. Neither LegalShield nor its officers, employees or sales associates directly or indirectly provide legal services, representation or advice. This is meant to provide general information and is not intended to provide legal advice, render an opinion, or provide any specific recommendations. If you are a LegalShield member, please contact your provider law firm for legal advice or assistance.  

 

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