Parent Robin K. shares how they paid for therapeutic boarding school for their son.
Are you considering sending your child or teen to therapeutic boarding school and wondering how to pay for it and exactly what it will cost? In order to help other parents, Robin, mom of a child with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), graciously agreed to share the process their family went through.
What is Therapeutic Boarding School?
Therapeutic boarding schools are establishments where children or teens live and attend school in a structured, safe situation. Most therapeutic boarding schools are private pay.
Prices for Youth of Vision Academy (VOVA)
Robin’s family chose to send their son to Youth of Vision Academy in Jamaica. Click here for more about this boarding school and other schools that serve children with attachment disorder. Youth of Vision is a private Christian boarding school outside of the United States.
Insurance is not covering any of their costs.
Here are their monthly expenses for their son’s care:
- Monthly tuition of $2,450 per month. The school requests a commitment of at least 24 months.
- Psychiatrist visits of $200 each, biweekly. The psychiatrist on their staff isn’t an in-network provider and they will have to pay out-of-pocket for biweekly visits.
- Medications at $561 per month. The pharmacy is also not in-network so they will have to pay cash for medications.
- Monthly school supplies at $70.
- Total monthly payments to YOVA adds up to $3,281.30.
- Robin notes that they also spent $550 ahead of time buying their son the supplies he needed. The school provided a packing list that included things like clothes, shampoo, bug spray, uniform specific kinds of clothes, etc.
Robin’s family set the school up as a direct deposit bill pay from their bank and will make monthly payments that way.
They took out a large bank loan and also set up a GoFundMe page so that friends and family can contribute to their son’s care.
Transportation to Therapeutic Boarding School
Families can transport their child to residential treatment or therapeutic boarding school or consider using a transition coordinator.
Robin’s family used Charles Mitchell with Family Transitions LLC, 213-221-9944 (texting preferred) who she highly recommends, to get their son from their home in the United States to Montego Bay. Charles met the family at the closest local airport and flew with their teen to Jamaica.
Here are the transportation costs that Robin’s family paid:
- Charles required a $1000 credit card deposit.
- They paid $4700 at the airport. He gave them a discount to pay in cash and not have credit card fees.
- Charles handled all the flight bookings, helping their son through customs, getting his student visa (in coordination with YOVA), and meeting with the school’s transport team outside the airport.
- Charles paid (out of the money they paid him) a $350 visa fee and YOVA transportation fee, bought their son food in the airport, a book for the plane, and a treat to keep him happy and compliant on the flight.
- The professional transporter’s total cost was $5700.
Parents: Managing Your Emotions and Stress
Finding a secure location for a child with Reactive Attachment Disorder is a heavy burden for many families. Beds can be difficult to find and as Robin demonstrates, even harder to pay for.
Besides the financial difficulties, saying goodbye to your child in this way is full of heartbreak, grief, and loss. Yet parents have to make the tough decisions for what is best for their families and their child.
As I (Alyssa) have walked my own road of getting my son into residential treatment, plus worked as a family advocate with other families who navigate the process, I know the incredibly difficulty.
Robin and families like hers deserve our support, appreciation, and respect for doing all they can to parent these most challenging children.
More Out-of-Home Placement Options
There are different types of long-term treatment. Each one offers a unique type of care and is paid for in a specific way.
- Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) – This care is part of the services offered by the Department of Mental Health for the state where you live. Funding is typically provided by insurance, Medicaid, and the foster care system.
- Residential Treatment Center (RTC) – Residential Treatment Centers are typically funded by the court system and may be called Juvenile Detention (“Juvie”). A judge determines this placement and it’s paid for by the court.
- Group homes – Group homes are run by agencies and paid for by private or state funds. They have less supervision than a facility.
- Military schools – Army schools offer intense structure and supervision. Some take only boys and some are co-ed. Most are private pay.
- Wilderness programs – These are short-term, private-pay programs that give adventure experiences in nature in order to provide kids with rehabilitation and improve behavior issues.
More Resources for Parents of Kids with RAD
If you are seeking residential or therapeutic placement for your child and have additional questions, Robin has agreed that you can email her directly at [email protected] Click here to contact us with residential treatment questions.
Are you considering sending your child to therapeutic boarding school? Share your thoughts in the comments below.