When you make the decision to send your troubled teenage girl to a therapeutic boarding school, the long journey toward health and healing is just starting. One of the hardest things to do for parents at this time is to find a therapeutic boarding school that will be best for their daughters. Not all schools are created equal, and it takes some time to research which program will be the best for your family and for your teen.
Here are 7 things to look for in the best therapeutic boarding schools for girls:
1. Match programs to conditions
Different therapeutic boarding schools have different areas of expertise, so make sure the programs you are looking at specifically address your teen’s challenges. Common conditions are ADD, ADHD, bipolar, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, low self-esteem, abuse trauma, and oppositional defiant disorder.
2. Qualified staff
The best therapeutic boarding schools have top staff member who are licensed and experience in working with teens. From licensed professional therapists to teachers, RNs, social workers, and more, the best programs have the best people.
3. State regulations
The laws that regulate teen help facilities vary widely by state, so make sure you choose a program in a state known for tough restrictions, inspections and regulations to ensure the facility is in compliance with the highest standards.
Therapeutic boarding schools have a wide range of tuition and fees, so make sure you are looking at programs you can afford. many schools have different financing options, from sliding scales based on income to scholarships and grants that can help offset costs. The best schools have a financial advisor to help parents determine their options.
5. Testimonials and references
Researching a therapeutic boarding school means getting the opinions of experts as well as from people who have either gone through the program themselves or sent their children through. don’t let a pretty website talk you into a particular school. Instead, ask for references and contact them independently to get the real story.
6. Length of time in business
While there are many good therapeutic boarding schools that are just starting out and are excellent, a general rule of thumb is to make sure the programs been around a while, the staff are all experienced and there are plenty of graduates from the program who can testify that it works, A new facility won’t have any of those things to check on, so be aware. In a worst case scenario, a facility that was shut down for some reason can rename itself and open back up as a brand new facility but with the same old problems.
7. Overall impression
Listen to your instincts when evaluating a therapeutic boarding school. Ask yourself if you would like to be here if the roles were reversed. Do they have fun activities for teens to do? Caring staff? Good food? Clean and cozy living quarters? Helpful counselors? Easy to navigate website? Do the girls currently enrolled seem happy and healthy? The best schools know that its their job to not only help and heal teens but to give parents the peace of mind that their children are safe and cared for. If something isn’t feeling or sounding right about a program, try to figure out why.
It’s no secret that the best therapeutic boarding schools will help teen girls overcome their bad behavior, get to the root of their issues and teach them the life skills they need to be more happy and healthy.