Therapeutic & Alternative Boarding Schools In Pennsylvania


There are several warning signs that your teen is at risk—no interest in school, drugs or alcohol use, aggressive behavior and general rebellion against authority. When you’ve tried everything you can think of to motivate your child to get his or her life back on track, you might consider a therapeutic or alternative boarding school in Pennsylvania. HelpYourTeenNow is a non-profit parent advocate group that can give you advice and assistance in making these tough decisions. Call us for a free consultation and we’ll assess your family dynamics, analyze your teen’s issues and recommend a course of action that can restore your family to peace and harmony.

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Pennsylvania Regulatory Laws

Residential care facilities in Pennsylvania, such as alternative and therapeutic boarding schools for adolescents, are monitored and licensed by the Bureau of Family Health/Division of Child & Adult Health Services, specifically the Adolescent Health Program.

Private schools in Pennsylvania do not need to be accredited, but if a school chooses to do so, it may be accredited rather than licensed (24 P.S. §6705). Licensing requirements cover health, safety, staff and curriculum minimal standards (P.S. §6701 et seq; 22 Pa. Code Chapter 51). Licensed schools must employ certified teachers while non-licensed schools are not required to (22 Pa. Code §51.34.; 24 P.S. §13-1327(b). Private schools must be taught in English (24 P.S. §15-1511) and immunization records for all students are required (24 Pa. Cons. Stat. §13-1303a). All school employees must be screened by the Department of Public Welfare for criminal history and basic background checks. Anyone not receiving a clearance from the department is not eligible for hire (23 Pa. Cons. Stat. §6355).

Statistics for At-Risk Pennsylvania Teens


10.2 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 Pennsylvania were between 16.4 and 29.4 per 1,000 women
(Center for Disease Control and Prevention 2009 Study).



Pennsylvania ranks 21st in the nation for suicide in individuals age 15-24. In 2010, there were 213 deaths with a crude rate of 12.0.
(CDC’s WISQARS website “Fatal Injury Reports, 2010”;)



Approximately 9.9 percent of adolescents in Pennsylvania, age 12-17, experiment with illicit drugs monthly. Just over 6.9% regularly use marijuana and 4.9 percent use other types of illicit drugs. Around 16.8% of Pennsylvania teens used alcohol in the past month, while 10.2% engaged in binge drinking.(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 Pennsylvania: 426 arrests for violent crime, 1,106 arrests for property crime, 486 arrests for drug abuse and 119 arrests for weapons violations.
(Washington, DC: Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2009).



Pennsylvania had an 83 percent statewide high school graduation rate for the 2010-2011 school year.
(U.S. Department of Education, Graduation Rates 2010-2011)


Once you decide that a therapeutic boarding school may be the answer for your at-risk teen, don’t leave anything up to chance. Call HelpYourTeenNow for a free consultation and learn from our expertise in dealing with parents, teens and facilities. It may be a tough decision to make, but you need to do it for your child. When you call HelpYourTeenNow, you don’t have to do it alone—we’re here to help.

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