Residential Treatment Centers for Teens

A residential treatment center for teens is a long-term facility designed to help those who have emotional, behavioral or mental health challenges that make it hard for them to fit into traditional schools and typical homes. Teens who reside at residential treatment centers get professional help via therapists, teachers and counselors to stop their bad behavior and create new and better coping skills on how to handle the challenges of life.

Parents who are seeking residential treatment centers may be overwhelmed with all the choices there are--therapeutic boarding schools, wilderness camps, Christian boarding schools, boot camps and more. No matter what kind of program that parents decide to place their troubled teens in, there are several aspects that distinguish a fine program from an average or poor one.

Here are 5 questions to ask for when choosing a residential treatment center for teens:

1. Where Is it?

Which state the program is located has a lot to do with the quality. That's because some states have strict laws, rules and regulations about how teen help facilities operate. There are several states that have very lax requirements. Parents should select programs that are located in states with top laws to ensure that each facility is meeting or exceeding the standards.

2. Who Works There?

Many parents think that all programs are alike when it comes to staff, but that isn't always so. training The best programs employ licensed professional therapists, as well as licensed and experienced counselors, RNs, social workers, and more. Parents should always choose a residential treatment program that is run by real professionals, not self-professed experts with no education or training to support their methods.

3. Who Is Referring the Program?

Just like buying a big ticket item at a store, most people want references and recommendations before getting involved. The same is true for residential treatment programs. parents should check out testimonials, references and reviews of each program and get an idea of the participant's success and experiences there. Those who are not happy will definitely make it known, as will those who had positive experiences.

4. How Long Has The Program Been Around?

While there are many brand new facilities that provide excellent service and treatment, it's hard to get an idea of what a residential treatment center is like without some experience. The best programs are those with a proven track record of success in treatments, compliance with the law and staff who have been involved for a number of years. The longer a program has been operating, the longer they have been doing something right over the years.

5. How Much Does It Cost?

While there are no free programs out there, residential treatment centers should not be overpriced or underpriced. Programs definitely differ widely in cost, but grants, scholarships, insurance, payment plans and more can make them more affordable. Good programs have a financial aid rep who will work with parents to find the best financial solution to affording the treatment.


Parents of troubled teens from across the country have lots of options when it comes to residential treatment centers. There's no doubt that teens who struggle in their current lives will definitely get the help they need to start a new chapter in life and transition successfully into adulthood.

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