What Parents Say About their Experience…”

Some teens just go beyond what you can do for them at home. If I was still trying the outpatient bit, it’d be over because my child would be dead. I have no idea how it came to be that she cannot cope with life at all, but I do know that I have tried EVERYTHING before I put her into treatment. Unless you have walked in my shoes, you have no idea how frustrating and painful it is to be my child’s parent. When she was home I would worry if this was the day she would commit suicide – there was no way I could watch her myself all the time. After years of outpatient therapy (sometimes every day!), wrap around services, 5 inpatient psych hospitalizations, day hospital programs, specialized summer camps, and on and on, we had to put her in treatment to SAVE HER LIFE. It’s still a struggle for her but she is getting better bit by bit. I wouldn’t recommend this for someone whose child is moderate. I say that because it is very difficult for both parent and child – but there are cases when it just must be done. -Sarah

In my opinion, unless you are the parent of a teen who needs intervention and you have tried all local resources with no results, unless you have had to sit down with yourself and make that gut-wrenching decision that leaves you feeling like the bottom of the world has just dropped away, unless you have personally visited programs and schools and cried each visit because you see someone there just like your child, unless you spoke to the staff and students, and spent time doing complete background research yourself, unless you have placed your child in the hands of others and had to trust that you were leaving your child in the very best place for them at that time, unless you went through the process with your child as an involved parent and looked at your own faults, unless you celebrated with your child all their accomplishments and heard them say “Thank you for saving my life”, even 5 years after they graduated, unless you spend time in this industry in one way or another, unless the very best for the child is always your first concern and priority, you really cannot, in my opinion, make an honest opinion. -Dorie

There are as many positive, healing and successful stories, if not more, from children whose lives have been turned around in teen-help residential programs. When a parent is considering a residential program for thier teen, they usually have tried everything else. Sometimes it is no fault of their own and sometimes it is mostly their fault that their teen is out of control. There are good schools out there and there are poor schools. Personally we visited and experienced both types. Our criteria boiled down to this: 1. there is no quick fix to our teen’s problems, dispite the advertized results; 2. the program must have been successful and parents and family lives must have improved after and through the process of helping our teen; and 3. we wanted our teen safe and away from distructive influences. It worked. -Parent

Were it not for the intervention, when we enrolled Katie in a school for ‘troubled teens’ , Katie might be dead today. At the school, Katie was never abused, never drugged, never missing, never in danger. Katie was never sent to a lock-up program either inside or outside the country. Furthermore, Katie was never out of contact with her family. The truth is, throughout the 16 months that Katie was away from home, she received wonderful loving care from the staff and friends at her boarding school. During this time, she turned her life around, and was transformed into a delightful young woman with poise, discipline, moral values and a respect for life. Katie is currently living at home, is a full-time college student and is doing extremely well, both academically and socially. We’re grateful to have her back and our family healed. We will continue to recommend her daughter’s boarding school with full confidence for the outstanding job they do with troubled teens. -Father