Family Foundation School / Allynwood Academy
CLOSED (August 2014)




What is wrong with FFS?

The Family Foundation School is a residential "treatment" school for kids who need "help".  What isn't told is the story behind the beautiful landscape, seemingly happy students and staff, and the tranquility of the campus.  The school is under investigation by different groups for mistreatment of youth, food deprivation, sleep deprivation, and cruel "therapuetic" treatments that the school claims help kids who would otherwise be criminals and nuisances to society.  The Family School used to be a place for drug addicts and alcoholics but has grown and even has a Middle School for not just young drug addicts or alcoholics but the school has expanded the program to almost any child.  One staff stated that anybody can get enrolled in the school and they will "find something wrong with you".

In 2007, New York State tightened the laws regarding facilities like the Family School.  We are currently working with students who were at the school after 2007 to make sure that the Family Foundation School is abiding by these laws.  If you were at the school after 2007, please email us, we need to hear from you! CLICK HERE TO SEE THE 2007 NEW YORK STATE REGULATIONS




Our mission and the reason this campaign was started is to expose the truth about Residential Treatment Facilities like The Family Foundation School and the abuses that occur on a regular basis. Ultimately, we would like to see the Family School's doors closed forever, preventing The Family Foundation School from harming another child. Time and time again the Family School Administration has promised to change their policies and core operating philosophy, but after our intensive investigations, the claims of substantial change are anything but the truth.

The consistency in the operating philosophy of the Family School is that all of its students are liars, manipulators, and drug addicts, and they must be broken down at all costs. The only credible field that still accepts this premise is the adult substance addiction field, and even they recognize that tough love isnĀ¹t about humiliation, but about not being an enabler for the addict. The Family School's philosophy has no valid study on their claims. The tactics of 'helping' students at the school are unethical and the FFS has no significant proof that these tactics of breaking down students is clinically proven to help in the long term.


This site is dedicated to uncovering the complete truth about the Family Foundation School located in Hancock, NY.  The Family Foundation School convinces parents not to believe their own kids but rather convince parents through various methods that their children are manipulators, liars, and cannot be trusted.  One FFS staff stated "Anything that comes out of your child's mouth is a lie".  FFS staff convince parents not to believe anything their children say while they are at the school, referencing manipulation and lies are common ways kids try to get taken out of the school and are behaviors of addicts.  In reality, most kids feel a sense of abandonment from their real families because they are not believed.

This campaign site is maintained by a group of ex-students, family members of current students, and other contributors that have witnessed the Family School's abusive "treatment" practices and long term effects on students who leave the school. With our group of ex-students who were at the school over the past 10 years to recent students who left the school, our site shows the same story from different students. The content on this site is contributed by ex-students, family members, and activists against abuse at treatment facilities.

What is wrong with FFS

Upon arrival to the family school, children are stripped of their diginity, life, and identity.  The FFS staff confiscate any piercings, drawings, or any other thing that identifies the child as an individual.  The student is stripped naked, forced to squat and cough in front of numerous staff and students to uncover 'contraband that the child may have inside them'.  The student is followed everywhere they go by a 'senior student' to make sure they are not 'dishonest'...This means that all students must be escorted by another student into the bathroom and the students are not given any privacy to use the restroom.  The FFS justifies this rule by saying they need to maintain a "pure" environment and this is a way to prevent masturbation.  When a resident of the school is found out to have masturbated, they are forced to tell their entire family group (usually consisting of 30 or so students and various staff) at the meal table during a 'table topic'.  This means they must admit to masturbating in front of their 'family'. Many students are looked down upon, teased, and tormented about this masturbating and in some instances are punished for doing it.  This is taking away any sense of privacy and personal issue the student is dealing with.

The Family Foundation School charges more than $50,000 a year and they no longer post the tuition fees on their website; it is believed that this is due to the extremely high cost of tuition and the current economic situation.  Students often start to pretend or fake participating and embracing the "program" (which is based from the 12 steps of alcoholics anonymous).  Students learn, usually quickly, that if they act the part they will have a much more comfortable time than if they fight the system and be defiant.  When prospective parents are brought to the school for a tour, they are given a complete tour of the campus by a student or two but the school selects only the students who are 'senior members' (students who have stated they embrace the program and are 'poster children' of the school).  This gives off the appearance to prospective parents that the school is successful and gives the appearance to the student's own parents that the money the school is charging is well spent.  In actuality, many students have no interest in what the school's mission is. Through the testimonials we have seen from ex-students, many admit to faking their participation in the school's 12-step program and fooling their parents and staff into thinking they were fully embracing the program of FFS.  Many parents find out years after, if ever, that their child was faking their embracement in the school's program.  Many students feel guilt by telling their parents that the tens of thousands of dollars spent was a waste, so some never say anything post-FFS.

The Family School administration claim extremely high success rates of alumni and take credit for alumni success post-Family School.  But the FFS has not made public any end study or referable statistics to back this claim up.  The Family school to date has no valid statistics on students who are successful after graduation from the school and have no statistics on the success being directly from what the student learned and practiced at the Family School.

This website is here to allow ex students to tell their story, to tell current parents of students at the school, and prospective parents the TRUTH behind the Family School's program and operations.  We are here as a healing place for those who suffered abuse or witnessed abuse during their stay at FFS.  We are here to allow students to tell their story and gain closure to a painful chapter of their lives.  Just because a child has made bad choices or decisions in their teenage years does not mean that they shouldn't be treated fairly, morally, ethically, or with respect. This site is here to tell the truth behind some of the school's tactics that are immoral, unethical, borderline illegal and may do more harm than good. This site is not meant to be an attack website but a site allowing the full truth to become public, and allow parents who are considering the Family Foundation School as a facility for their children to reconsider and understand what happens behind closed doors.