Questions Parents Should Ask about Troubled Teen Residential Programs

When enough is enough and it’s time for some very tough love, sometimes a troubled teen residential program is the only and final option to resolve your teen’s troubled behavior. Sending your child away is not easy. Nonetheless it is (in most cases) for the best, and it can potentially lead to a more stable lifestyle for your teen – as well you and your family.

There are all types of programs available, including teen summer camps, troubled teen boarding schools, teen wilderness programs, even teen military programs. To alleviate your anxiety as parent after resorting to a Troubled Teen Residential Program, its best to find out your options, then learn about what actually takes place at a more controlled facility.

Here a few common questions and answers from The Canadian Mental Health Association to possibly address some of your concerns as a parent.

Why consider a troubled teen residential program?

Residential treatment should the last option when less intense treatment has been tried and didn’t work or couldn’t effectively meet your teen’s needs. It’s also important to know that Troubled Teen Residential Program is quite different than psychiatric in-patient care in a hospital.

How long is a troubled teen residential program residential program?

The Canadian Mental Health Association states that the duration of the stay varies. Yet, on average, a troubled teen will reside between three to 15 months, commonly in a community-based residence.
Will my child be staying with other troubled teens?

There are various reasons teens go to a troubled teen treatment center. Yet, it’s common for teens to be admitted as they have one or more mental health issue(s) (i.e. depression or anxiety); experienced or caused a form of violence, trauma or family conflict; or are reckless or dangerous to themselves or others. Essentially, those who reside at a troubled teen treatment centers are commonly unable to properly manage their lives at home or in school.

What type of programs and treatment is offered?

Nearly all residential treatment programs have private bedrooms, and include a range of services/programs. Some of these include individual, family, and group therapy. Or, what is called milieu treatment, which involves more structured routines, rules, activities, and group meetings to build self-confidence and/or develop daily living skills. This may extend to assisting with cooking meals, cleaning their rooms, conducting daily chores to develop self-care routines and prepare them to live independently

Are There Specialized Troubled Teen Residential Programs Available?

Some residential programs have a special focus or take place in a unique setting. These include rural programs where troubled teens reside on a farm, attend school, and conduct various outdoor activities. There are also addiction programs for illicit drug or alcohol abuse available.

While more questions may arise, its best to inquire at the specific troubled teen residential program your teen is attending. This is to ensure the most effective treatment and the best results for your teen.


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