Skip to comments.Child transporter takes troubled — and unwilling — youth to chance for fresh start
Posted on 03/10/2014 10:31:21 AM PDT by Borges
hen groggy, disoriented teenagers are awoken in the predawn hours to find Don Haworth in their room, the 59-year-old with a gray goatee and handcuffs under his coat offers two choices: Come quietly or force will be used.
Haworth is a child transporter.
Parents pay him to take their unwilling and troubled children to wilderness camps and specialized schools, often located in the remote wilderness of the Pacific Northwest. He offers door-to-door service. His charges struggle with problems ranging from drugs to authority issues.
Parents go in and introduce us to the child, Haworth explained.
Expletive-laced explosions often follow. The slander falls on deaf ears.
Whether we actually physically grab them or use restraints . . . it depends on their conduct. We treat kids professionally. We tell them right off the bat they have one opportunity with us to be a young lady or a young gentleman, if they dont restraints are used, said Haworth, who runs a private investigation firm in Old Irving Park. Child transport became part of the business in 2005 when a friend called and suggested the idea.
The service isnt cheap.
Average clients include doctors and attorneys who pay for not only the service, but discretion. Haworth said hes worked for one big name client, but will say no more.
He charges about $3,000 for a transport that often includes a car trip. Leg irons left in plain sight inside the transport vehicle act as a deterrent. During air travel the child is sandwiched in a seat between Haworth and a colleague, usually a female.
But hes never needed to restrain a child. And hes only used force one time when a teenage girl wasnt cooperative. He does about 25 transports a year for children ranging in age from 9 to 17.
Most of this is immediate need, said Haworth, who can field a call from distressed parents and be at their door within 48 hours.
A crying parent often greets him, followed by explanations.
I messed up. ... I dont know what I did wrong. . . . The child wont listen to me. . . . Its my husbands fault.
But the backstory isnt important.
I dont want to be callous, but it doesnt concern me. My forte in this job is to pick up the kid and get him to wherever were supposed to take him, professionally and legally and safely. Thats what I care about, Haworth said.
The quicker the separation, the better.
Once we get them away from the parents and get them into our custody for any length of time, theyre alright with us, said Haworth.
One parent requested her daughter be allowed to smoke in Haworths car a requested he OKd. Another parent gave Haworth a bunch of chocolate for her son to eat while traveling. Haworth also lets kids listen to the car radio.
He never imagined working as a child transporter when he opened a detective agency in Chicago in 1993.
But he wasnt a total novice.
In the 70s, at the behest of worried parents, Haworth located teenagers whod joined cults in Mexico and Southern California. Hed then link the teen with a psychologist, known as a deprogrammer, who would attempt to break any psychological dependency to the cult.
It was a goofy time back then with people joining cults.
When asked if he would have been a candidate for child transport as a youth, Haworth smiled.
I was in the Marine Corps at 17. They straightened me out.
I always wondered how people got their kids in the car to go to those tough love programs.
I was sitting in my room and my mom and my dad came in and they pulled up a chair and they sat down, they go:
Mike, we need to talk to you
And I go:
Okay what’s the matter
Me and your mom have been noticing lately that you’ve been having a lot of problems,
You’ve been going off for no reason and we’re afraid you’re gonna hurt somebody,
We’re afraid you’re gonna hurt yourself.
So we decided that it would be in your interest if we put you somewhere
Where you could get the help that you need.
And I go:
Wait, what are you talking about, we decided!?
My best interest?! How can you know what’s my best interest is?
How can you say what my best interest is? What are you trying to say, I’m crazy?
When I went to your schools, I went to your churches,
I went to your institutional learning facilities?! So how can you say I’m crazy?
They say they’re gonna fix my brain
Alleviate my suffering and my pain
But by the time they fix my head
Mentally I’ll be dead
I’m not crazy - in an institution
You’re the one who’s crazy - in an institution
You’re driving me crazy - in an institution
They stuck me in an institution
Said it was the only solution
To give me the needed professional help
To protect me from the enemy — myself.
Better than Francis Farmer.
Often the case. For most of us during at least one period of our lives.
A few months ago I would have argued with you but recently I’ve seen what my granddaughter’s step mother to be has done and I think it is scary.
She has taken a 17 10/12 yr old straight A student, who is not sexually active, doesn’t drink and doesn’t do drugs and acts like she’s some kind of juvenile delinquent. She has so many rules it is impossible to follow all of them. She has to account for every minute of her day. It is disgusting.
So I can see how a parent could be the one out of control and expecting too much.
I didn’t kidnap her, believe me I didn’t have to but she lives with me now. I told her I’d make sure she got through college on my dime if need be.
I saw a TV show or documentary on a program like this several years ago and the guys are as creepy as you’d imagine. They enjoy it way too much. They seemed like insecure guys who had to feel dominance over someone to feel good about themselves. They reminded me of the type of guy who desperately wants to be a cop but can’t pass the psychological exam.
All I wanted was a Pepsi!
Those "tough love" programs aren't exactly without their faults, however. Such programs that use these people are more likely to break the person (and their family) than they are to save them.
If anyone would be needing a deprogrammer, it'd be the families that go through it, as well as the individuals that do this kind of thing. The programs exhibit cult-like features that are poorly equipped to handle their population.
Should a parent reconsider their use of these programs, it's very difficult to pull them out, especially if the child has been relocated to a very remote (non-US) location.
Sparing the rod in an attempt to spoil the child ends up spoiling the whole family.
“Legally’? Using handcuffs and leg irons?
But he let’s the kids listen to the car radio, so I guess that makes up for it.
..and SHE wouldn’t give it to me!
I don’t know anybody who has done this to/with their kid.
I do have a cousin who joined a cult. I do think a harsh deprogramming would have shattered his mental health. He would ended up like Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys, playing in his sandbox. My cousin got out of the cult on his own, after a number of years, and has a normal and happy enough life, now.
These kids needed some HOME SCHOOLING.
1. My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE .
“If you’re going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished
2. My mother taught me RELIGION.
“You better pray that will come out of the carpet.”
3. My father taught me about TIME TRAVEL.
“If you don’t straighten up, I’m going to knock you into the middle of next week!”
4. My father taught me LOGIC.
“ Because I said so, that’s why.”
5. My mother taught me FORESIGHT.
“Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you’re in an accident.”
6. My father taught me IRONY.
“Keep crying, and I’ll give you something to cry about.”
7. My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION.
“Just wait until we get home.”
8. My mother taught me GENETICS.
“You’re just like your father.”
9. My mother taught me WISDOM.
“When you get to be my age, you’ll understand.
10. My father taught me about JUSTICE .
“One day you’ll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you !”