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Your contributions help us protect teens, assist families and prevent abuse in residential programs for teens.

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In Memoriam

We extend our deepest sympathies to the families of youth who have died in residential programs for teens. May we always remember them as we work together to protect youth from harm.


The Alliance for the Safe, Therapeutic and Appropriate use of Residential Treatment (ASTART) is a community of professionals, family members and survivors working to protect children from abuse and neglect in residential programs, and ensure families have safe and effective community-based care.

  • ASTART seeks to promote protections for children and families, and the availability of information about these programs so that parents can make the best choices with and for their children.
  • ASTART believes that residential programs serving children with special mental health challenges should be properly licensed and monitored by state government, and accredited by independent accrediting organizations.
  • ASTART seeks to promote access to community-based care so that children and families have meaningful, safe, and effective options available to them.

ASTART Board Members

Danie Watson

Family advocate and current ASTART co-coordinator

Cynthia Clark-Harvey

Past ASTART coordinator and founding ASTART member 

Parent activist

Robert Friedman, Ph.D.
Past ASTART coordinator and founding ASTART member 

Professor Emeritus,  Child & Family Studies, University of South Florida

Lenore Behar, Ph.D.

Child & Family Program Strategies, Durham, NC
Founding ASTART member

Nicki Bush, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, UCSF
Founding ASTART member

Philip Elberg, J.D.

Attorney at Law

Partner, Medvin & Elberg, Newark, NJ

Barbara Huff

Former Executive Director
National Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health 

Charles Huffine
, M.D.
Psychiatrist in private practice, specializing in adolescents and young adults
Founding ASTART member

Christina Kloker Young

Chairperson (1994-2009), Research and Training Center for Children’s Mental Health
University of South Florida

Owner, C. K. Young & Associates, planner, advocate
Founding ASTART member 

Brian Lombrowski, M.P.P.
Youth Involvement Specialist, New York State Office of Mental Health
Former youth in residential 


Last updated 3/16/15.