FAQ > . > Do I need to visit the programs being considered for my son or daughter?

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We HIGHLY recommend that you visit at least two schools before making a final decision and AT LEAST your presumed top choice. We are regularly surprised to talk with families who send their kids to programs “sight unseen” – based on talking with an admissions director and reference families. Making decisions based on this type of input creates a scenario Social Psychologists call “salience bias” – and can be a costly mistake for families searching for out-of-home placements. In making decisions in this way, parents are likely to put too much weight their discussion with a reference family because they can describe a situation similar to theirs (which is hope-instilling) and a positive outcome (which parents want very badly!).

It's important for you to keep in mind that virtually ANY program can offer you reference families and, of course, they are NOT going to give you a list of families that had bad experiences at their program.