As a parent, you willingly do whatever it takes to help your struggling teen. You have tried working with the school, involving mentors, medications and counseling. However, nothing local has helped, and now it’s time to investigate other options. You might want to consider an out-of-state therapeutic boarding school for your adolescent.
Definition of a Therapeutic Boarding School
Therapeutic boarding schools focus on the behavioral and emotional needs of the young people who attend. They live on campus with 24/7 supervision, and students attend for one to two years, depending on the school parameters. In addition, teens receive help with physical, intellectual, familial and social needs. Some of these schools accept teens who are struggling with various types of addictions on a case-by-case basis.
When searching for a therapeutic boarding school, confirm that the school is licensed or accredited. In addition, check out the credentials of all staff, including the teachers, therapists, counselors, medical personnel and administration. Try to get references from past clients when possible.
Questions to Ask
Now that you have decided to place your child in a therapeutic boarding school, you will need to determine which school is best for your teen. The following questions provide an excellent starting point as you make this important decision. As you are discussing these questions with staff, you might think of additional questions to ask.
- What is the admissions procedure?
- How much does the school cost? What does this expense include?
- How much contact and what type of contact can I have with my child while he or she is here?
- What type of licensing and accreditation do you have? What agency provided this?
- What type of credentials does the staff have? Do you do background checks on everyone who works here, no matter their position?
- What type of therapy will my child receive?
- What should I do as a parent for my child while he or she is in your facility?
- Do you offer family therapy?
- What types of issues do you address during group therapy?
- What type of academic curriculum do you use?
- Do you have teachers or is the curriculum computer based?
- Are the teachers certified or licensed?
- Is the school accredited?
- What is the teacher to student ratio?
- Can credits obtained at the high school be transferred to other schools?
- Do you offer high school diplomas?
- Can my child take prescription medications? How do you handle distributing medications?
- Does your staff participate in on-going training?
- How do you handle medical or other emergencies?
- What type of follow-up care do you offer?
- Do you help students transition from your facility back to home? How?
If possible, visit the campus in person prior to making a final decision about where you will send your child. You will have a better feel for the type of environment where your student will attend.