How to Evaluate Youth Ranch Residential Treatment for Troubled Teens

You may have already decided that your youth needs the benefits from a residential treatment program. There are so many different programs out there that you want to be certain you are placing your child into good hands. It can be a little confusing sorting out the many different types of youth ranch residential treatment programs. But the resources are at your disposal to sort out what kind of camp is the best choice for your son or daughter. You want to be positive the time they spend in that program is going to be beneficial to them.

Time Well Spent

Taking the time before you make a decision about a youth ranch residential treatment program for your young person is time well spent. It is wise for parents to do their initial evaluation of various programs before the young person that they are concerned about is informed of the plan. If the youth is too engaged too early, the diversity of programs would be confusing and depressing to a young person who is already in emotional trouble. Parents can be objective and narrow down the choices with a firm target of the kind of program that will be best for their son or daughter.

Before you make up your mind where your youth should go, take some time to evaluate different programs. The last thing a parent wants is to have to worry while their child is away. The program needs to be one that is specific for the needs of your child. For example if your child has behavior problems then they need different treatment than if they are struggling with substance abuse. If you child acts out violently, that is a different kind of psychological problem than a youth who regresses into depression easily.

There are programs out there that can handle several problems. For example if your teenager has behavior issues as well as they are using alcohol or drugs. The right program is essential. Find out what the curriculum is for them. Most of the time, it will involve individual counseling and group counseling. For some behavior disorders the use of medications may be part of treatment as well.

Ask the Right Questions

If your teenager is going to remain at the youth ranch residential treatment facility for a long period of time you want them to stay current in their education. Find out what is offered through the program. You don’t want your child to get behind academically due to their participation in the treatment program. By including academics in the curriculum of a youth rank residential treatment program, that will give your child a sense of normalcy and actually reduce anxiety or the impression that they are being incarcerated and will have to repeat a grade.

The ratio of teens to adults at a youth ranch residential treatment program is worth researching as well. You want the numbers to be very low so that there is plenty of individual attention and observation going on. Also ask about what types of credentials and training the staff has. Don’t assume that background checks or education requirements are in place. Take the time to ask specific questions.

Some facilities are only for males or females. Others are for both genders. That can affect your decision as well so take time to ask about it. Find out what the schedule will be for your child at the facility. Most of them are very detailed with certain times to get up and to go to bed. Will your child have to do chores? It is common for them to have to be part of cooking, cleaning, and other activities at the residential treatment facility.

Be an Involved Parent

How will you be able to contact your child? Don’t be surprised if for the first couple of weeks your teenager can’t communicate with you at all. This is often a great way to fully immerse them in the program without any outside influences. After that they should be able to contact you by phone or letters. There may be on site visits too so find out about them. Understand your visitation schedule before you pick the program that is right for your child. If no visitation is allowed at all, that program should be suspect.

Make sure you understand the rules at the youth ranch you are considering for your child. What type of rules will be enforced? What are the punishments if they don’t comply with those rules? What about medical concerns that your child may have? Should they end up ill how will the situation be handled?

As a parent you want to be sure your child has all they need at such a program. Their basic needs need to be covered. They need to have the quality care that they need every step of the way. Don’t be afraid to be assertive as you are looking around at different facilities. And don’t be intimated or assume that the administration of youth ranch residential treatment facilities will resist your efforts to be an involved parent. As long as you work with the program, these qualified youth counselors want to partner with you and with your child to help the youth get control over problems in their lives and put them on the road to recovery once and for all.

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