Our team leaders work with families to transition them through all the details of the transport. The parent has access to help 24 hours a day to assure that all their needs are met. USA Guides will assist the family with all aspects of the transport. Once all the transportation arrangements have been made and the pick up location identified our Guides will proceed to the agreed location at the appointed time. Usually, the Guides will be making the pick-up at the Teen's residence. One scenario that works well is that the team arrives either late at night or early in the morning to assure that the teen is at home, usually in their bedroom.
When the Guides first arrive they will introduce themselves to the parents and prepare the vehicle for a safe transport by activating child safety locks. Next, the Guides go over the travel itinerary with you in detail and answer any questions you may have. They will then complete and collect all needed contracts and documents.
The Guides will then gather any personal belongings, medications, or other needed items of the teens, and store them securely in the trunk of the vehicle along with the collected documents. At this point you, the Parents, will accompany your child's guides to where the teen is, (preferably in the bedroom) and introduce the Guides to your son or daughter and explain to them your love for them, and what is taking place.
Parents or Guardians will explain to the teen that they will be going with the Guides to a school or program. We would ask that at this point the Adult remove themselves to a part of the residence where they cannot be seen by their child. The teen will then be escorted by their Guides to the awaiting vehicle. This is to help the transport situation to not escalate into a negative experience for the teen and the family.
This approach works quite well, and helps to eliminate any confrontations. The de-escalation training and command presence of the Guides assures a quick and amenable transition to the vehicle and sets the tone for the remaining portion of the trip to the school or program. Prior to the transport, the Guides will have made arrangements to keep the Parents apprised of the progress of the transport by mobile phone.
We know that things do not always go according to the original plan, and as such our Guides will work with you on alternative plans if needed, and we are quite adept at improvising if we need to change the pick up location if the child is at another location other than the residence, or initial agreed location.
Unless otherwise directed by the Parents or Guardians the teen will not be allowed to make any calls nor will they be allowed to bring their own phone or pager with them. This is for the safety of the teen during their transport to their new school.
We have found that if we keep the teen moving and getting them out of their comfort zone as expediently as possible they quickly calm down and adapt to their new situation. This is especially important if flying is involved. Long waits at the airport can cause a teen to become highly anxious. Basically, it gives them too much time to think and worry. During this portion of the transport we literally keep the teen within arms and ears reach of both Agents to comfort and assure them and keep them calm and safe.
Because of the sensitivity at the beginning stage of the transport we give great attention to the timing of flights and work closely with Parents or Guardians to work out a schedule that will allow for an absolute minimal wait at the airport. This type of attention to detail assures the least amount of stress on the teen and the safest route to the final destination.
"It all went so smoothly....I must have rehearsed what I was going to say to her 100 times....and the support of the guides was such a safety net....they are a great team. You were right about waking her up too...of course. Its hard to picture the process until you have done it once. If you have a chance to redo the video I think it would helpful to have the child at least talking and expressing and a much more audible script of what the mom says. This would allay a lot more fear. I will be sure to recommend you to others who need you. If you need anyone to call me who wants references feel free to use my name and give them my home phone."