It is difficult to know where to start when it comes to researching an effective troubled teen school for your child. You want your teen to get the help that they need, but you won’t trust just anyone to care for your child. Here are some things to keep in mind while searching for the best school for your teen.
Is It Right For My Child
The first thing to consider is whether or not a boarding school, or residential treatment center is right for your teen or if their behavior is something that can be resolved at home. Your teen could benefit from outside help if they struggle with any of the following at-risk behaviors…
The top 7 at-risk behaviors for teens:
- Regular alcohol use and binge drinking
- Regular tobacco use
- Marijuana and other illegal drug use
- Fighting and bullying
- Suicidal thoughts and attempts
- Risky sexual activity
- Criminal activity
This is not to say that your child must exhibit one of these behaviors to benefit from a boarding school. In fact, it is better for your teen to get help before their bad behavior escalates into something worse. Here are more indicators that a boarding school might be right for your teen.
- Your teenager engages in self-destructive behavior.
- Your teenager has been to a counselor without any long-term improvement.
- Your teen is more violent and aggressive.
- Your teenager’s been diagnosed with a conduct or personality disorder .
- Your teen has a substance abuse problem.
- Your teen doesn’t care about things that were once important to them.
Beware of Corrupt Corporations
You’re putting a lot of faith, trust and money by sending your child to a boarding school or residential treatment center, so it’s only natural to want an assurance that this change will be effective for your teen. The first thing to be aware of, is that not all schools are equal. Many corporations are motivated solely by profit and will take any troubled teen regardless if they have the means to help them so long as they can make money. These corporations have been known to prey on the fear of parents by selling the idea that they can “fix your teen”. To avoid these corrupt organizations it is imperative to ask a lot of questions, and then continue to ask more.
Once you’ve realized that your child will benefit from a troubled teen school, here is some general information you should look for when searching for an effective program for your teen.
- Is the program licensed? – You want to ensure the facility your child will be staying at has been licensed by the state.
- What is the average length of stay?– This will give you a better idea of how long your teen will benefit from the program.
- What is the success rate?– If there is little chance of success, you won’t want your child to attend their program.
- What is their student-teacher ratio?– This will help you know how much individualized attention your child will likely receive.
- Is this a coed facility?– If this is a coed facility, you’ll want to know how the students are separated.
As your teen is still in school, it is important to find an accredited program. This means that the boarding school is equipped with credentialed, experienced teachers who are qualified to help and teach troubled teens. You also want to ensure your child’s transcripts will be accepted at their local school once they return.
Therapy and Medical
Many boarding schools offer therapy as part of their program. Make sure and find out whether the cost of therapy is included with tuition and if your insurance can help cover the cost. Also take note of how far away the nearest hospital is to the facility in case of an emergency or accident. If your child is on medication, find out what the program’s stance is on medication and whether or not they accept medicated children.
Another great way to learn about a program is to read testimonials written by students and parents. Are there a significant number of testimonials or only a few? By reading through the experiences of previous parents and their teens, you will get a better idea if the program will be a good fit for you and your family.
Visiting/Communicating With Your Child
Before committing to a particular school, first find out if you can visit their campus to get a feel for what type of environment it is. You’ll also want to learn what their visitation policy is. How often can you call or visit your child? Can you take your child off of campus, and are there required parental visits? These questions are especially important if the facility you’re interested in is out of state as you might not be able to visit as often as you’d like.
Safety and Security
It is natural to get anxious any time your child is not living under your care. For this reason you want to ensure that the program your researching has the best security available. Make sure to find out the following…
- Do they have security cameras?
- Do they have security guards?
- Is the campus monitored 24/7?
- What is the staff-student ratio?
Knowing the answers to these questions will give you better piece of mind about not having your child live with you.
While we wish that money wasn’t an issue, this is very rarely the case. Therefore it is important to find out the following information…
- What is the cost of tuition and what all does it include?
- Is there a payment plan available?
- Is there a discount provided if you pay tuition all at once?
- Do they offer any scholarships?
- Possible Penalties?- If you decide to pull your child out of the program early will there be a financial penalty?
Once you’ve received an answer to all of these questions, you will have piece of mind about sending your child to a treatment center that will be able to give them the help that they need. Call Help Your Teen Now for a free consultation. We have decades of experience working with families to place their teen in a therapeutic boarding school or residential treatment center that fits their situation best. We’ve worked with a number of programs and know their social structure as well as their treatment strategies and costs. We can help you narrow down the right program by finding one that suits your child’s social, academic, treatment, and financial needs. Call today and let us ease a majority of your burden by giving you the information you need to make a great decision for your kid.
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