Teen Program Assistance
When parents have decided it is time to find placement for one of their children outside of the home, there are several factors they will need to consider. The deciding factor for most families is the financial costs associated with placing their teen or child in a boarding school or boot camp. The prices of these types of programs range from $1,500 up to $6,000 per month. While finances should not be the main concern when finding help for a loved one, the reality is, they are a factor. Let’s face it, if a family is only making $24,000 a year they are not going to be able to pay $18,000 for one member of the household to get helped. There are financial options to assist a family with financing the program, but they will all require parents qualifying for a loan. In the economy today getting a loan can be very difficult, even for those with stellar credit. When the education loans dried up about 3 years ago many families that may have been able to afford help for a troubled teen were no longer able to.
Other Factors to Consdier
Once a family has determine they can find an extra $1,500 per month or more, the next factor to consider is what type of school parents should pick for their teen. Most of the families in this situation are struggling with a defiant out of control teen that refuses to do anything the parents ask. This factor limits the type of placement to schools that will accept a defiant youth. There are still many in the country to select from, but due diligence needs to be performed to assure the placement is safe. The very best way to be sure of this, is to drop in unannounced and take a tour of the school. Talk to teens that are enrolled in the school without staff present to intimidate teens into biased answers. If parents are allowed to talk to teens in the program alone, it is important to understand that most of the students are there for a reason. The students being interviewed may not be truthful, but they will give parents a feel for the program. Ask staff about any concerns brought up by the students interviewed and hear the programs side of the story before making any decision pro or con about the placement option.
Getting a Teen to the Program
When the parents decide on a program for their teen the next hurdle is getting the youth to the school of their choice. This can be tricky with restrictions in place at every airport. If the child refuses to go willingly parents may need to hire a transport company, or a teen escort service. There are people that specialize in this very thing. They can make life easier for the family involved. The transport company will typically charge a flat fee for their service plus expenses of airfare, car rental, and meals. Most transportation companies like to arrive early in the morning and pick the teen up while they are in bed asleep. This gives them the element of surprise, and can make getting the teen out of the home much easier.
Questions Parents Should Ask Every Program
What should I ask?
What should I ask a potential school or camp?
(Questions to ask a school you are considering.)
Can you keep a teen if they don’t want to stay?
Can the teen get kicked out?
What must they do to get kicked out?
Do you take aggressive teens?
Is your facility licensed?
What are the program age ranges?
Are boys and girls kept separate? How?
What types of financing do you have?
What contact do parents have with the teen?
How often do parents get to talk to the school?
Are there any required visits for parents to make to the program while teens are there?
How many students in a room?
What kind of sleeping facilities?
How many share a bathroom?
Can my teen stay after 18 if they are willing?
Do they get to leave the facility during the program?
What do the teens do for fun?
What kind of extra charges beyond tuitionare there?
Do you need both parents’ signatures and what are custody stipulations?
How long has your school been in existence?
Have you ever had any deaths in your program?
Have you ever had any life threatening or serious injuries?
Has your facility or any of its employees ever been convicted of child abuse charges?
(If yes explain)
What is the average length of stay?
What is program success rate?
Are admissions done on an ongoing basis?
What is your maximum occupancy?
What form of discipline do you use?
What kind of teens is not appropriate for your program?
This list is a good place to start if you are thinking about sending your troubled teen to a boarding school or boot camp. You may even be able to ask the school or program if you can talk to other students who have graduated and the parents.
What is a troubled teen?
The mildly troubled teen will usually respond to methods that can best be applied at home. This teen is still willing to comply with their parent’s and/or teacher’s wishes. A mildly troubled teen will do their home work, chores, and even comply with a consequence given them. For this teen a home contract may be just the answer. A home contract is simply an agreement between a parent and a child. The agreement can be as long or as short as you would like.
It should be long enough to describe what privileges the child will have if they do what they are supposed to do. It should also contain penalties and consequences for failure to obey the rules spelled out in the contract. A good majority of teens will fall into this category and can best be helped with an increase of structure with consistent follow through of consequences.
This teen is a little less difficult to deal with than the extremely troubled teen. They are usually aware that they have a problem and deep down would like to make some changes in their lives. They, unlike the extremely troubled teen, will usually be receptive to help. Once their outer shell has been cracked and they see that someone wants to help them they realize they must comply to be released from the program or treatment center they are in.
This is when they begin to make progress. The moderately troubled teen will progress more rapidly through the points and levels associated with most programs. They usually retain what they have learned and won’t desire to return to the restrictive environment they have been in. Moderately troubled teens will also excel academically and in many instances will come home ahead of their peers.
Extremely Troubled Teens
This teen has usually been through medical and psychological screening and testing. They also might be diagnosed with attention deficit disorder or oppositional defiant disorder. Many parents have tried to help a teen in these categories with medication and/or counseling. This teen will most likely refuse any kind of help insisting that they are okay and that their parents or teachers are the ones in need of help. The will refuse to take their medicine and will not participate in any kind of therapeutic counseling.
If they do agree to go to a counseling session they will simply try to manipulate the counselor to see things the way they do. Some parents are further frustrated when the manipulation works and the therapist takes the side of the youth which further enables their negative behaviors. The extremely troubled teen has usually had years of no consequences for their negative behavior. This can translate into positive reinforcement for their inappropriate choices. The reasoning behind this is that when an extremely troubled teen is crying out for help they act negatively to call attention to themselves.
When they are threatened with a consequence and nothing happens they have received the attention they wanted and not had to be accountable for it. This might let them believe it is alright to act that way. If this is your teen, start to get help today by researching programs to find one that fits your needs here, or call us now at 1-800-781-8281. We can help you find the right program for your needs.