So your teenage son or daughter is in trouble. The next step looks like being time spent in a residential facility for troubled teens. You may have no say in that decision. Without the therapy in a residential facility, your teen may be off to hospital or to jail. But take heart that most residential facilities are determined to help your teen and get them back on the road to recovery.
But, and this is a big but, you as the parent do have a say as to which particular residential facility your teen will attend. And the way to make the right decision is to run a check on prospective facilities. You do the sleuthing.
Here’s a tip. Don’t just accept the word of the facility because some have been found to make false claims or at best to give misleading information. Check with another authority. For example, take accreditation. The facility may tell you they have state approval to operate but ask the state authority. Then there is a serious of questions you can ask together with some follow up questions to the answers provided.
What are the qualifications of the staff? Now that is a logical question but you need extra information such as where they trained and how much experience they have. They are excellent follow up questions. Then you need to know other important things. What type of therapy is provided, is it on an individual or group basis and can the residents continue with their academic studies while in residence?
You see if your child is removed from their normal schooling and placed in a residential facility, their academic progress may suffer. That is understandable in that their health is a top priority. But is it possible to combine their therapy with some academic studies? And if so will those subjects be counted as part of their regular school studies once they leave the facility.
Another good example of a question with a follow up question concerns checks on the staff. If you ask the facility if they carry out checks on the background of their staff and the answer is ‘yes’, you should then ask, “Who conducts the checks?” It is not enough to get one answer. The health and recovery of your troubled teen is too important. They deserve and need the best staff, the best programs in the best facility.
Another important fact will give you an idea about how serious the facility is in treating their patients. Does the facility accept every applicant? You see there are big differences in the condition of troubled teens. Some have serious health problems both physical and mental. Some may be a danger to themselves and to others. Taking any and every troubled teen may not give every resident the best chance of recovery.
As you can see, not all residential facilities are the same; their standard of content and care may vary. As the parent it is your responsibility to investigate the quality of various facilities and choose the one which will best help your teen.