Future Expectations Today

Warning Ė Not All Troubled Teen Center Programs Were Created Equally


Letís be honest, the number of teen help facility programs available has rapidly expanded over recent years. The problem is that some of these troubled teen centers are more interested in making money than in helping your teenager through the most difficult period of their lives. There have also been repeated warnings about teenagers being abused in such facilities. Parents trusting professionals to help their teenagers back onto the right track have, sometimes, inadvertently placed them in dangerous, abusive situations.

Here are a few of the warning signs to watch out for before trusting any teen help facility to care for your child:

  1. Make sure the program is state-licensed in the main three categories Ė behavioral / mental health, education, and residential.
  2. Beware of any troubled teen centers which offer a telephone or internet assessment and urge you to act quickly. This type of establishment is more interested in making money and could cause harm to your child and your family.
  3. Responsible troubled teen centers will listen to the wisdom and the testimony of the parents and of the teenager themselves. If they donít listen to what youíre saying then donít trust them to take care of your precious child.
  4. You must also be aware of programs which impose severe restrictions of parental rights and communication. Although it is important for teenagers to commit to a new environment and a new way of thinking, it is also important that parents are kept abreast of their development and involved wherever possible. The end result is, after all, to help the teenager return to their normal family life and live a healthy, successful life.
  5. It is important that the teen help facility allow the teenager to live and feel the consequences of their inappropriate actions, but this should not be confused with excessively harsh disciplinary practices. Restraint and seclusion, humiliation and fear are all practices which are not necessary and can prove to be not only distressing but also counter-productive and harmful.
  6. Unbelievably, some troubled teen centers even need the parents to sign away their rights and agree not to file reports for suspected child abuse. For the sake of your teenager keep them away from such facilities.

Trusting your troubled teenager to the right facility can be the hardest but best thing you could ever do for them, trusting them to the wrong facility is a recipe for disaster.

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