Residential Treatment and Wilderness Programs
PLEASE READ: Our local group is frequently asked questions regarding Residential Treatment. As a result, a parent who had recently been through this process wanted to give back the to our community by sharing what she learned. She ran it by other parents in our group who have also place their child in a residential program. We provide this information because we wished we had this information when we started our process and wanted to help fellow parents. YOU SHOULD CONSIDER THIS A STARTING POINT IN YOUR DECISION MAKING PROCESS. AS WITH EVERYTHING ELSE ON THIS WEBSITE, NAMI HAS NOT ENDORSED OR VETTED THIS INFORMATION.
Making the Decision
Making the decision to place your child in a round-the-clock program outside of your home may be the most difficult challenge you'll ever face. You're likely feeling exhausted and overwhelmed, perhaps living in a war zone in your own home, and struggling to manage behaviors such as violence, property damage, substance abuse, self-harm or threats of suicide, deteriorating school performance or truancy, eating disorder, and social isolation or poor choices of friends. Learn More
Types of Residential Programs
Approaching the world of residential treatment for children and teens can be daunting, not only because your emotions run high at this time of crisis in your family, but also because this world is extraordinarily complex and confusing. If you search the Internet for options, you'll find hundreds of sites that market various residential services, but very little unbiased and comprehensive information. Let's demystify your options. Learn More
Resources to Help with Your Process
With the stigma that society attaches to mental illness, you might feel isolated in this decision, or holding the understandable desire to keep your family circumstances private. Perhaps you have the skills and time to devote to researching on your own the best possible options for your child. But for this life-changing decision you're about to make, it's important that you consider using the professional and parent resources in your community. Learn More
Choosing the Right Program
If you hire an educational consultant, he or she will navigate you through the program selection and placement process, sometimes beyond. But unless an emergency placement is essential, it's important that you do your own due diligence, rather than trusting just one person with a decision that will have profound impact on your child and family for years to come. Learn More
Financing Residential Treatment
The cost of these programs -- in just one year, as much as the outright purchase of a house in some areas of the country -- is overwhelming, beyond the reach of most of us. On top of the treatment expenses, you also have to pay for your transportation and lodging for any parent workshops and visits to your child, and for your child's transportation for home visits. Advocacy efforts are needed to address serious problems in access by parents other than the wealthy. But with some diligent research and planning, parents can find financial help. Learn More
Final Thoughts: Taking Care of You
We parents who have been through this difficult process want you to know five important things we had to figure out for ourselves over time. We hope you'll trust us with some advice.
Article on Funding Options, courtesy of Cherry Gulch.
NAMI National's Resource list:
NATSAP's Questions to Ask:
OTHER LOCAL RESOURCES:
Parents of Youth Support Group
Parents of Youth Discussion Board
Parents Helping Parents Mood Disorders Support & Information, San Jose
Willows in the Wind, Los Altos and Oakland
Pathways to Success, Palo Alto: Contact The Bodin Group
ONLINE SUPPORT GROUP:
The Balanced Mind Foundation has an entire support group dedicated to RTC and Step Down Programs. There are a lot of knowledgeable parents on this site and at least one parent in our group has greatly benefitted from joining a support group (or 2)
There is a nominal fee of $5.00/month - and you can pay 1-month at a time if you wish. You can join more than 1-group for the $5.00/month.
Article by a local author, Susan Shane (sciencetoliveby.blogspot.com)
Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO)
Council On Accreditation (COA)
Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF)
Independent Education Consultants
National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs
Federal Trade Commission Facts for Consumers: Considering a Private Residential Treatment Program for a Troubled Teen?
The Alliance for the Safe, Therapeutic and Appropriate use of Residential Treatment (A START)
Community Alliance for the Ethical Treatment of Youth