Choosing a residential treatment center or therapeutic boarding school for your teen is a difficult thing to do and there are many ways to go about it. No matter what, you have to do your research and not just pick the facility that is cheapest or closest. It’s important to know that residential treatment centers are not all the same and there are certain criteria that you want to see in the places you are considering.
So, if you are like most parents of a troubled teen, you may be asking yourself “How do I choose the best residential treatment center for my teen?” Well, we’re here to show you how! Here are four questions that you can ask any residential treatment center for teens that you are considering that will help you have an open and honest discussion with the admissions counselor on whether the facility is right for your family.
Question 1. Where is it located?
The location of a residential treatment center can tell you a lot about it because many states have different laws and regulations on how such facilities are run. some states are quite lenient while others are strict. While there are good and bad facilities in all states, at least you know that if the center is located in a top state, the odds of it meeting and exceeding all the standards are higher.
Question 2. How much is it?
Let’s face it, residential treatment centers are not cheap and cost is a big issue for most parents. Tuition costs vary widely and so do financial aid packages, scholarships and grants. You will need to select a school that is realistic for your budget and can help you out with gaining access to different levels of financial aid. If you can’t afford a certain residential treatment center, you should look elsewhere for one that better fits your budget. The good news is that there are many excellent and affordable residential treatment centers all over the country.
Question 3. What kind of people work there?
Residential treatment centers employ a range of people, from doctors and custodians to nurses and therapists. You’ll want to look for licensing, certification and degrees for top staff members and especially for doctors and therapists who will be treating your child. Make sure that other staff positions have the degrees, experience and licensing needed for each particular position, like social workers, counselors, group leaders and more. Finally, ask the facility about their procedures for background checks when hiring employees.
Question 4. Can I talk to other parents?
Getting on-the-ground references from parents and teens who have been through the program is invaluable and a reputable facility will usually provide a list of references. This is a wonderful time to see how the residential treatment center really looks through the eyes of those who have experienced it. Ask about everything from social activities to how they handled emergencies. Question what their most and least favorite aspect of the facility is and how they would rate the service and treatment. It’s valuable information that you can only get from those who have already personally interacted with the program.
Whether your teen suffers from depression, anxiety, oppositional defiant disorder, ADD/ADHD, substance abuse, self-harm, learning disabilities or some other mental or behavioral challenge, there is a residential treatment center out there that is just right for their needs. Choosing the best one depends on your teen’s unique needs as well as how it best fits into your budget.