We at Hillview would like to take the time to respond on the article posted in the Sunday Times Live recently, as the Reporter asked us for a response on all the false allegations and even though we could provide signed evidence to the contrary he proceeded to publish an article with out our full response for Hype value and the benefit of the accuser, whom he knew on a personal level.
In the above mentioned article we are referred to as a prison like rehab. Hillview Manor’s program is therapeutically based running three groups a day and an easy work program for only two hours in the afternoon, we also offer gym, one on one counselling with registered counsellors, We have full time social workers and a live in nurse. We work on a give and take system which consists of normal rules that assist in keeping order and small consequences like gardening or dishes.
The Photo used in itself was the worst picture they could find, Hillview boasts beautiful houses and facilities including a swimming pool and horses for equine therapy purposes all available on our webpage.
The resident in question has been admitted to our facility for her chronic substance abuse, depression and destructive behavior. Throughout her programme, the resident found herself being distracted from her healing by engaging in fraternisation with other residents. After having had numerous warnings and therapeutic intervention from counsellors, the facility had to take the risk to other residents in to consideration. As a centre we have an ethical responsibility to protect each individual, having assisted on numerous occasion, it became apparent that this resident in particular was not prepared to assess, implement or change this destructive behavior. In the article there were allegation of no contact with family, however there are leave forms that show that the resident in question left the facility with her mother on numerous occasions, returning to the facility without issue, however in light of her constant defiance to follow rules set out in the facility, the privilege of weekly calls were restricted. The constant communication with her family often followed the same thread, where her mother praised the work our centre had been doing with the resident. Once the resident had been expelled, a list of false allegations were brought to the attention of the DSD and various other councils whom in turn followed procedures in launching an investigation. Numerous interviews were held with residents yielding only positive feedback and disproving all of the allegations. Due to the outcome of the investigation the resident’s family approached a media house. At this point the onslaught was relentless and even though we have worked hand in hand with the Department of Social Development since 2007 and have written evidence thereof, even the Department got skittish when the reporter got involved. At this point we understood that the resident was in a serious custody battle and they knew our report to the court would be detrimental to the proceedings if we stated she was expelled and described her behaviour of continuously lying and stealing which was why the custody battle has been initiated. We received forwarded messages from other residents where they had tried to persuade them to join in the allegations with the promise of returned funds which was also sent to the reporter. These residents were disgusted and asked us to intervene so she would stop contacting them as they owed there new found recoveries to Hillview.
We were touched and greatly motivated by the amount of old residents who sent through testimonies to us as well as the department of how they found healing at Hillview Manor and were now able to live successful lives. So many people ranging from old residents to residents family members commented on the article with only Praise for Hillview and for that we are grateful and thank you all for taking the time to support us.
We at Hillview have an open door Policy, and hold seminars with residents and their loved ones, We also have monthly visits and weekly phone calls once the resident has settled. We have always been open to showing the facility prior to admission and open about each residents process throughout their program.
There is such need for facilities that really help addicts and we have stood our ground and fought back regardless of the lack of support from the department and the false documenting of the media. Just today I was contacted by a mother desperate to help her minor son after phoning the one good Youth facility in our country and hearing that there was a waiting list a yearlong and she could not afford the R18000 a month. She begged us to help and was prepared to do a police affidavit if it meant we would take him but unfortunately the Department makes it impossible for us regardless of the prior success we had with them and the schooling. That mother might lose her son but hey at least we followed the regulations! (How ridiculous is that)
We want to do exactly what we commit to… help addicts get their lives back and become functioning individuals in society and we will not let one persons lies and false media get in the way.