Help for Parents of Troubled Teens Including Information on Boarding Schools, Residential Treatment Centers, Therapeutic Boarding Schools and Wilderness Therapy Programs
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Parent Questions for At Risk Youth Program Reviews

General questions for all at risk youth programs:

How long has the program or the company that owns the program been in operation?

How long has the program been licensed? By whom? (i.e., what government agency)

How many children is the program licensed for?

How many children are currently enrolled?

Describe your admission criteria.

How will I know my child is appropriate for this program?

What type of supplies and clothing does a child need upon admission?

How often is the family contacted by the program with progress reports?

Are there currently any lawsuits against the program? Any in the last five years? If so, what for?

Has the program or any staff member ever been charged with physical or sexual misconduct against a child in the program? any program?

How often will the family be allowed to visit, phone, write while my child is in the program?

Does a child ever receive consequences? Does the group? If so, what are these consequences?

Are physical searches conducted? If so, how and by whom?

Is the food services supervised or reviewed by a qualified dietitian?

If medication accepted:

Is there a doctor or nurse on staff?
Who administers medications?

For programs with academics:

How is the educational program structured?
Is the school licensed? If so, by what agency?

For Therapeutic programs:

What type(s) of counseling are the children involved in and how often?
What type of testing and/or assessments are done when a child is enrolled in the program?
How is the family involved with the program?
Who determines the treatment goals for each child?

For Wilderness-based programs:

What type of adventure trips do they engage in? (canoeing, hiking, back packing, etc.)
What other types of activities are available to the children
enrolled in the program?
What are the program's precautions for severe weather such as extreme cold, wet conditions including floods and tornados?
Are the sleeping areas protected from the elements of weather?
Are the counselors (direct care staff) First Aid and CPR trained?
Are the staff trained/certified in Adventure Activities? (canoeing, rock climbing, etc.)

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