Common Questions and Answers



An independent educational consultant gets to know you and your child to best determine and meet your needs. When you cannot find an answer to a question here, please call 303-448-8803.phone woman #20

Can these programs and schools really help my child?

Most programs and schools are designed to provide your child with a therapeutic living environment to help your child develop skills to deal with emotional, psychological and behavioral disorders.  The children in these programs and schools require 24/7 care, go to school at the facility and participate in individual, group and family therapy.

Most programs and schools include medication management, therapeutic treatment and appropriate schooling for adolescents. On-site psychiatric services are provided at some centers, but not all. Each child’s issues and family needs are different. One thing is important; families must be intimately involved in their children’s care decisions.

Can we meet with you first before signing on?

Of course. Clinicians, doctors, lawyers, schools, colleges, and even car dealerships let you meet or take a “test drive” before buying, and so too, should an educational consultant. I am happy to arrange a session, free of charge, to meet and give you the opportunity to test your comfort level with my services, and my style. We offer professional guidance and support in stressful situations and this is not to be rushed. We have a successful track record and client references are available upon request.

Can you “get my child into a program or school I request?”

NO!

Educational consultants do not “get your students into,” any program or school you request nor do they have any pull with admissions officers or secrets to “get you in.”

Consultants aim to find programs and schools that are the right and appropriate matches for a student. A consultant who promises you “pull” or “secrets” is doing just that – making promises, and it is unethical. We do not, have not and never will accept compensation for referrals from any programs or schools. 

Do you only assist troubled teens?

Dr. Frances assists children, teens, young adults and older adults. She has a broad range of experience assisting those who have had a wide spectrum of needs.

She has worked with children as young as 6 and adults as old as 65.

Some have had significant learning or behavioral needs as well as psychiatric diagnosis.

Other clients did not exhibit any behavioral problems but were in need of strong ADD and/or LD support. Several clients have needed guidance in selecting a treatment center for dual diagnosis challenges. If Dr.Frances cannot serve your needs, she will do her best to recommend a professional who can.

A mother and her teen son having a confrontation.

Can I save money by doing this myself?

There is a wide variety of options out there, some excellent, some misleading and some even possibly dangerous. As a professional who visits and thoroughly evaluates each of these programs and schools, sometimes, many times, I see what no parent can ever see.

Because of professional relationships with other associates I have first hand knowledge about programs and schools and know the pros and cons that often never reach the unsuspecting parent. By selecting only a “good” program or school yourself, you can actually end up wasting valuable emotional and financial resources. Dr. Frances assists you in making the “right” decision.

We have up-to-date knowledge of college pre boarding-schools, residential schools and outdoor programs across the country. We understand the best way to evaluate schools and programs and spend about one week out of every month traveling to do just that on your behalf. We also assist parents in locating more affordable programs and schools when finances are limited.

How are your professional service fees compared to other Consultants?

The HFS professional fees are determined by the amount of time Dr. Frances spends with each family and student.

A number of variables and professional education and experience are used to determine the professional service fees.

Are there cheaper Consultants?

The are some Consultants that are less expensive.

Obviously consultants with lesser degrees and education as well as experience will be less expensive. However what you may get is simply a placement consultant and they will be unable to provide strategic solutions to particular problems or be available holidays, nights and weekends.

They may not have the resources to keep up with the cutting edge of various changes and to provide you with the input of Dr. Dore France’s expertise who has been in this business for over 18 years.  What you save is a few dollars in fees that could cost you thousands in lost benefits for your family and your child and the benefits of an integrated service.

How do I choose the right consultant for my family?

There are several important factors to consider in choosing the right educational consultant. Please ask consultants pointed and straight forward questions during your interview process; you are putting your child’s and family’s future in their hands.

◦   Consider the consultants background, education and training – Look for a consultant with an educational degree, employment history, and ongoing training efforts that make you confident in their level of knowledge.

◦   Consider the consultant’s specialty – In a time where our complex society inundates us with information and choices, the field of educational consulting, has developed specialties.  Being that it is impossible to gain and maintain knowledge of all areas of clinical knowledge and education, look for a consultant whose practice specializes in the area of interest to your family.  Some examples of specialties are; Addiction, Adoption, Eating Disorders, Family Conflicts, Learning Disabilities, Special Needs.

◦   Consider the consultant’s customer service – Customer service is essential in a field that is built around individualized counseling and relationship building.  Find a consultant who is readily available.

◦   Consider the consultant’s personality, style, and reassuring nature – Regardless of why you are seeking out the services of an educational consultant, one thing is for sure; you are in need of assistance and help.  It is important that you are comforted by their presence and advice.

A little research will go a long way to insure that your relationship with your educational consultant is a positive, long lasting one!

HFS Common QuestionsHow familiar are you with the schools/programs you recommend?

Dr. Frances spends approximately 25% of her professional time visiting and evaluating individual programs, schools and treatment centers nationwide. In a country where there are literally hundreds of choices, in-depth, first-hand knowledge of programs, schools and treatment centers is essential to the emotional and financial health and well-being of her clients.

Additionally, she attends several professional conferences per year gaining valuable insight into the most up-to-date academic programming and therapeutic treatment modalities, as well as attend educational classes for her own continued development.

How will a consultant help my family?

It is certainly possible for a family to select a school without professional help.An independent educational / therapeutic consultant offers knowledgeable, unbiased advice to help families select the safest and most effective “right” program and solutions. Because many decisions for children, teens, young adults and adults who are in trouble, must be made while the family is in a crisis mode, a consultant can offer calmness, clarity and perspective. 

Choosing a clinical assessment placement or an educational placement is a major investment. Making the wrong choice can mean a setback for your child and a financial loss for you. Hospitalization assessments, special needs schools and programs, treatment centers, wilderness programs and other residential alternatives are expensive.

A consultant can help a family avoid the costly mistake of picking the wrong program rather than the “right” one. The professionals at Horizon Family Solutions help you see through the marketing pitches of sales staff under pressure to fill beds / classrooms / spots.

My child’s high school has a school psychologist and a school counselor, so why should I use you?

Your high school based psychologist and school counselor is a very important part of the team. However, just as teachers split their time and attention among all those in the class, a school based counselor and a school based psychologist must devote a limited amount of time to a large number of students, while still shuffling other counseling and administrative duties.

So, like a subject specific tutor, a qualified independent educational/therapeutic counselor takes on a limited number of clients and works one-on-one with each family to meet their individualized needs. This ensures personalized attention and service from an expert in this field.

What are your hours?

HFS hours are those that compliment the busy schedules of working parents and students.

Dr. Frances may be available by telephone and via email early in the morning until late in the evening every day. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, telephone calls and emails are answered the same day they are received.

HFS Common Questions 2What do I need to consider before making a decision for placement?

The decision to place your child, teen or young adult in a programs, school or treatment center needs to be taken very seriously. You will always want your child to be in the least-restrictive program that still offers the services your child needs. Utilizing an educational consultant will help you in this area.

Look for a program, school or residential treatment center that is accredited. When you have an adopted child, remember that you want to know if the center understands the particular needs associated with adoption issues.

What if my son/daughter has psychological / psychiatric problems?

Educational consultants who specialize in special needs are experienced in working with, and placing, students with these issues. From adventure wilderness therapy programs and residential therapeutic treatment centers to more clinically intense transitional programs, a student can be guided to a program that will deal with the psychological or psychiatric issues while still maintaining the goal of a student becoming an independent, successful young adult.

What if we don’t live near you?

Dr. Frances works with families and students located throughout the U.S. and the world.

While many will meet with her in person at some point in the process, today’s technology enables us to have “virtual” face-to-face conversations with families and students whether they live in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Australia, Canada, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Hawaii, Ireland, Japan, or The Bahamas.

Thank You

Dr. Frances would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your loyalty and trust over the years.

Horizon Family Solutions, as a business name, will be celebrating 15 years of service as of February 10, 2015.