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Stories of Excellence

A Letter of Thanks

April 14, 2008

H. Chris Kerr, LMSW-CC, Clinician
Sweetser Plymouth Staff Intensive Program
1430 Moosehead Trail
Plymouth, Maine 04969

Re: The Gold Standard

Dear Mr. Kerr:

For 30 years I have worked with traumatized children and their families. Your program is one of the few that insists on total congruence of what is said with what is done. It meets the Gold Standard of treatment for kids - they succeed.

It has been my experience that a child succeeds when the staff truly makes every effort to understand the history and then respectfully deals with them in the present moment. This takes an amazing amount of preparation time involving the anticipation of problems and then the possible ways to prevent them from occurring. The structure of your program actually provides each child with a clear framework to learn constructive interactions and to form more positive relationships. Kids learn significantly more by doing and your program begins to sow the seeds of trust and hope for a better future that each child can create simply by doing.

As a Court Appointed Advocate for a young girl in your program, it has been wonderful to finally see her experiencing a relentless focus on truth and accountability for her actions. The consistency provided by living in the Staff Intensive Program has allowed her to begin to assess situations realistically, understand that she has control over her actions and that she is honestly responsible for her behavior. It is often very difficult to help a child understand that their behavior is part of their problem. But it can create great hope for them to discover that merely by choosing different actions they can actually solve their problems. Your program provides that opportunity.

Thanks to you and your team for truly making a positive difference in the lives of children!


Christine P. Griffin, M.S. Ed., ABSNP, NCSP, GAL, CASA
Certified School Psychological Provider
National Certified School Psychologist
Diplomat & Board Certified School Neuropsychologist

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