Therapeutic & Alternative Boarding Schools In Alabama


It is a major decision for a parent to enroll their child in an alternative or therapeutic boarding school. Choosing the right school is important and there are multiple factors to consider. Help Your Teen Now is an advocacy group for parents searching for information on the benefits of therapeutic boarding schools. Arming yourself with as much knowledge as possible about your options will give you assurance that you have made the best decision for your troubled child.

School Name
School Style

The Pinnacle Schools/Elk River


Residential Treatment Program

Columbus Girls Academy



Alabama Regulatory Laws

Non-religious, therapeutic boarding schools in Michigan are subject to strict licensing and regulations. For instance, instruction can only be given by teaching professionals holding certificates issued by the State Superintendent (1975 §16-28-1(1) and the course work is to reflect the educational branches taught in the public school curriculum (1975 §16-28-1(1) The course objectives are to be made clearly available in the catalog, bulletin or brochure of the institution (R. 290-030-050-.05) and a register of attendance is kept, recording the absence of each child for a half day or more. (1975 §16-28-1(1). A physical education program that meets the standards of the Alabama Department of Education must be also be implemented (1975 §16-40-1).

The Alabama Department of Human Resources oversees the minimum standards for facilities housing minors up to 18 years of age. This includes ensuring that the building codes are up to date (1975 §41-9-163(c) and that regular fire drills are implemented and all exits are unlocked during school hours (1975 §36-19-10). Instructors and volunteers must pass a sex criminal background check in order to be given supervisory and disciplinary power over minors less than 18 years of age (1975§26-20-1). Additionally, the unlawful sale of controlled substances on campus, or within a three mile radius carries a penalty of five years incarceration, with no probation (1975 §13a-12-250).

Private facilities are allowed the same health and welfare facilities that are available to public schools. This includes dental and physician services, dental hygienist, school psychologist, nurse, social worker and speech therapist. N.Y. Educ. Law §912.

Statistics for At-Risk Alabama Teens


14.3 percent of children between 4 and 17 diagnosed per year. (2007 study, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007 Study).



Pregnancy rates for adolescents between the ages of 15 and 19 in Alabama were between 50.6 and 64.2 per 1,000 women (Center for Disease Control and Prevention 2009 Study).



Alabama ranks 29th in the nation for suicide in individuals age 15-24. In 2010, there were 75 deaths with a crude rate of 11.1. (CDC’s WISQARS website “Fatal Injury Reports, 2010”;)



Approximately 10.4 percent of adolescents in Alabama, age 12-17, experiment with illicit drugs monthly. 6.1 percent regularly use marijuana and 6.3 percent use other types of illicit drugs. Alcohol dependence rates for females was 3.8 percent compared to males at 1.6%. (State Report, 2009, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.)



In 2008, the U.S. Department of Justice reported the following juvenile arrest rates for Alabama: 176 arrests for violent crime, 924 arrests for property crime, 242 arrests for Drug Abuse and 47 arrests for weapons violations. Statistics are based on number of arrests per 100,000 persons ages 10-17 in the state. (Washington, DC: Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2009).



Alabama had a 72 percent statewide graduation rate for the 2010-2011 school year. (U.S. Department of Education. 2010-2011)


We know that helping your teen avoid self destructive behavior is your first priority and we are your most comprehensive resource for finding a solution. We will partner with you to provide an individualized plan of action for your concerns as well as your child’s specific needs.

We hold a very high standard for the groups and organizations we recommend. We specifically work with groups that have a history of success in correcting behavioral issues as well as a unique understanding of what a delicate process this is for parents. You can rest easy, knowing that we have done the leg work in order to present with the best, most comprehensive options for you and your teen.

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