The FCVFC article on March 6, 2023, Turning Points for Families and their “Reunification Services,” says this:
Turning Points [a “reunification” camp] has recently been in the center of a notorious controversy involving two teenagers who are barricaded in their room because they refuse to go to the father [Brent Larson] who has been substantiated as having sexually abused them.
Why do they have to go? Because the family court ordered them to, in spite of evidence.
This case is not that different from hundreds of others, except for one thing. The 15-year-old son has been live-streaming their barricade for a month. It is a stand-off, a showdown.
Now we have an update on this case, from the same reporter, Hannah Dreyfus. From her ProPublica article:
The judge had sided with Larson and a court-appointed therapist that the children’s mother, Jessica Zahrt, had manipulated the children to falsely believe he had abused them. The argument is based on the disputed psychological theory called “parental alienation,” in which one parent is accused of manipulating a child to turn against the other parent. It has been rejected by mainstream scientific bodies as not a legitimate mental health disorder. [Boldface ours.]
After the teens’ two months in barricade, with law enforcement officers balking to use force in the home, the judge paused the order. And regarding the “reunification camp” called Turning Points for Families, which we wrote about in our earlier artice:
In the Monday hearing, [Judge] Pullan also reiterated that he would hold off enforcing his order to send Ty and Brylee to a so-called reunification camp. Turning Points for Families says it treats children who are victims of “parental alienation.”
“There’s also a dispute in this case about the merits of a reunification camp called Turning Points,” said Pullan, who said the children’s parents can hire experts to weigh in on the efficacy of such programs.
Following ProPublica’s coverage of the Larson siblings’ case, Utah lawmakers called for a reexamination of court-sanctioned reunification therapies for “alienated” minors.
“I find this whole thing of taking kids away from a parent to force them into reunification with an estranged parent to be very alarming,” state Sen. Todd Weiler said in an interview with ProPublica.
This story isn’t over. If the DA’s office decides to find Brent Larson not guilty of the crime of child sexual abuse, then the children will be going into his custody.
So we wait and watch. But we commend Hannah Dreyfus for her brave reporting that contributed to the light being shone on this particular case, one of many in the travesty that is called “reunification.”