Steps to Take When Your Teen Returns Home from a Troubled Teen Program

You recognized a series of troubled teen symptoms, resorted to professional guidance, and enrolled in a residential therapeutic treatment program with much success. Your teen is coming home. Now what?

It’s only natural for a parent to be worried about their teen falling back into their previous behaviors or re-establishing relations with their “old crowd” – the causes that may have found them in a troubled teen residential program in the first place.

However, there are proactive measures parents can take when their teen is transitioning from a residential therapeutic treatment program to living at home again. According to, “post discharge” planning should start as early as pre-discharge before they return home.

Here are four measures to consider.

  • Speak with the Program’s Professionals

Meeting with the staff who cared for your teen about a discharge plan is the first course of action. This could include “how to get involved in follow-up services; a six-month post-discharge outline; and learning about available aftercare services.” In the event the troubled teen residential program offers in-home services or offers assistance in placing your teen back in school (as some do), discuss these options. Or, at the very least, inquire about other recommendations for continued support.

  • Be honest About Your Feelings of the Discharge

As a parent it’s suggested you meet and speak with the staff about your home environment including the strengths/weaknesses. This may help you understand some of your teen’s worries and some of the support they may need when they return home.

  • Arrange for Post Programs

In many cases, meeting on a scheduled basis with a professional counsellor after troubled teen residential program is an effective means of keeping behavior in check. As a parent, if you already know of a counselor or program, arrange appointments in advance so the transition doesn’t interrupt the necessary treatment(s) (or in some cases medication for treatment).

  • Consider Family Therapy

According to, scheduled family therapy “can be a powerful tool.” After all, your teen may need some re-adjustment time coming from a more structured environment and continuing with a structured environment at home is known to be beneficial. Plus, better communication at home can ease the transition period if they have any concerns or questions.


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