What is a therapeutic board school and is it the right placement for your child?
Do you have a teen who needs an alternative program due to behavioral concerns? Does your child deal with mental health issues, addiction, and other life challenges? Your teen may be unable to continue living within your home or their educational setting due to his or her mental behaviors which can lead to lasting consequences.
Therapeutic boarding school may be the answer. Therapeutic boarding schools provide a supportive environment for children who need it most.
- How Boarding School Therapy Works For Troubled Adolescents
- Therapeutic Boarding Schools Help Troubled Teens Build Character & Become Successful Adults
- What is an Effective Therapeutic Boarding School?
- 3 Key Factors To Consider When Selecting a Boarding School for Your Child
- What is the Difference Between a Boarding School and a Therapeutic Boarding School?
- What is the Difference Between Therapeutic Boarding School, Residential Treatment (RTC) and Residential Treatment Facilities (RTF)?
- How Does the Therapeutic Boarding School Intake Process Work?
- Picking the Right Boarding School for Your Child’s Needs
How Boarding School Therapy Works For Troubled Adolescents
Boarding schools provide an environment where youth can feel safe, supported, and cared for. This type of environment provides children with the time they need to get better. It also allows them to have someone there for them 24/7 so they have access to care at all times. In addition, boarders can receive one-on-one attention which they might not otherwise receive from their therapist or teacher.
Boarding school therapy takes place in the school setting. The goal of this type of therapy is to provide the student with an environment that promotes healing and stability, while still being able to maintain academic goals.
Therapeutic Boarding Schools Help Troubled Teens Build Character & Become Successful Adults
Boarding schools can be a safe haven for troubled teens where they can learn how to cope with difficult emotions and behaviors in a healthy environment.
There are many different therapeutic boarding schools across the country, each with its own unique approach to teaching troubled teens. Boarding school is a place for a young person who is struggling with anger issues, behavior concerns, or drug or alcohol abuse to use to learn how to develop character and become successful.
What is an Effective Therapeutic Boarding School?
There are many different therapeutic boarding schools and it is important to find the one that is best suited for your child’s needs.
There are some factors you need to consider when deciding which therapeutic boarding school is best for your child. These include its location, cost, availability of on-site therapy sessions, level of acceptance of your child’s special needs/medical records, and accreditation.
3 Key Factors To Consider When Selecting a Boarding School for Your Child
The world’s best boarding schools for teens are not just places to learn academics. They are also safe havens for children to develop independence and character. Choosing the right boarding school is an important decision so it’s worth studying the criteria below before deciding.
- Curriculum and Therapy Programs. The most important factor in choosing a live-in school for your youth is finding a program that has services to meet your child’s unique needs. Consider academics, supervision, therapy options, and extra-curricular activities. Also consider your child’s behavior and mental health issues and if the programs are designed to meet those needs.
- Location. Ideally, a boarding school will be in driving distance of your family home so that more frequent visits are possible. However, finding a school that is the best fit for your child may be more important than location.
- Cost. While in an ideal world cost would not be a factor, the truth is that boarding school is expensive and must be paid for by parents. Monthly rates for therapeutic boarding school can be as much as $2,000-$10,000. In addition to private funding, scholarships may be available and insurance may pay for part of the cost.
What is the Difference Between a Boarding School and a Therapeutic Boarding School?
A boarding school is any school where children live on-campus, away from home, and attend school.
A therapeutic boarding school is also a school where children live on campus and away from home, but the focus is on academics as well as improving behavior with therapeutic interventions. This type of school is generally equipped to deal with children with more difficult behaviors.
What is the Difference Between Therapeutic Boarding School, Residential Treatment (RTC) and Residential Treatment Facilities (RTF)?
A therapeutic boarding school is a private school that addresses the needs of children with behavior issues. Children live on the school campus. Parents typically pay part or all of the cost to send their children to this type of live-in treatment setting.
Residential Treatment Centers (RTC) offer intensive treatment with a mental health focus and are often funded by state programs, insurance, and Medicaid. To be placed in RTC, children need a mental health diagnosis.
Residential Treatment Facilities (RTF) are programs that address the needs of children who are placed through the court system (also called juvenile programs or “juvie”). Children in these programs may have oppositional defiance disorder (ODD), conduct disorder (CD), have committed a crime or are at risk of committing a crime.
How Does the Therapeutic Boarding School Intake Process Work?
The admissions process for a therapeutic boarding school is often more extensive than it would be for other schools. An initial application is followed by an interview, and this may be followed by an assessment.
After being accepted, the student will have an evaluation done before starting the program. This evaluation will involve meeting with a psychiatrist, psychologist, or social worker to understand their needs and limitations. The student will also typically undergo an IQ test before being admitted into the program to find out where they are academically in comparison to their peers.
If the child has an Individual Education Plan (IEP) or 504, this will be reviewed and there will be a team meeting. The school is legally required to meet the student’s accommodations as outlined in the IEP or 504.
Picking the Right Boarding School for Your Child’s Needs
Therapeutic boarding schools are an important option for children who have not be successful in a traditional classroom setting or are out of control in their home or community. When sending a child to a therapeutic boarding school, it is important to research what type of program is best for the child’s needs.
If your child has the following diagnosis, a therapeutic boarding school may be a suitable placement:
Some children with these diagnosis will also qualify for residential treatment and a residential treatment center may be a more suitable placement for them depending on the severity of their needs.
Other reasons why parents might consider a boarding school with therapies would include:
- difficulties coping in a public school setting
- defiant behavior
- poor choices of friends
- feeling like a child is headed down the wrong track
- teen’s behavior is out of control
- struggles in traditional classroom
- poor self-esteem
- need for more supervision than can be provided at home or in community
By providing an academically rigorous program plus therapeutic services, boarding schools ensure that students get the best possible chance at success in life, both inside and outside of the classroom. Boarding schools are a worthwhile alternative for families who need some form of treatment for their child while giving them a safe living situation.
Click here for a free PDF printable checklist of the 7 steps to take when your child needs residential treatment.
Alice Carroll says
It’s helpful that you mentioned that therapeutic school admissions aren’t just for delinquents but could also be good for kids who just aren’t doing to well in traditional classroom settings. My kid seems to be having that problem even before the pandemic began. Maybe I should try to transfer her soon so that she attend classes that have a slower pace that she could keep up with.
Alyssa Carter says
Good idea to consider this as one possible option for her. Your school district should also have smaller classrooms that could be an option while she lives at home. Does she have an IEP or 504?
Are there some reputable therapeutic boarding schools that have a proven track record snd longevity that you could recommend?
Alyssa Carter says
Jennifer, please check out these posts for recommendations – https://childresidentialtreatment.com/therapeutic-boarding-school-listing-state/ and https://childresidentialtreatment.com/parent-reviews-residential-treatment-rad/. We hope these are helpful resources and you are able to find the school you need.
I have a soon to be 8 year old daughter who has a multitude of behavioral, and developmental issues. She has severe speech delay, is dyslexic, has inattentive ADHD and seems to have a narcissistic personality. She is completely unresponsive to any correction. We simply are out of resources and the living situation has become intolerable for everyone in the home.
Alyssa Carter says
I’m sorry your family is going through this. Since she is younger, one of these treatment centers might be the right fit for your situation: https://childresidentialtreatment.com/residential-programs-young-children/
My son is 14 years old with a ADHD ODD & ADD diagnosis – done privately. He has not got an EHCP. He’s very aggressive and refusing to attend school who want to move him to another setting for behaviour issues. I am considering boarding school but I’m worried I won’t physically get him there and he may ‘run off’. I feel like I’m out of options.