Although this website reviews issues with many individual programs and with the troubled teen industry as a whole, not all residential programs that try to help youth change their lifes are abusive. Due to lack of credentials it is beyond my judgement to name good or bad programs. The "troubled teen" industry has over 1000's of programs and as with any company or organization good parties do exist. For many reason such as, lack of regulations and oversight, lack of information it is impossible to tell programs that are abusing children from programs that are not.
There are a few red flags that should be avoided when a child is being placed in to treatments. Any program that
- Requires a parents to sign there rights over
- Denies children contact (for any length of times ) with parents or censors communication by monitoring phone calls or mail
- Makes parents sign a release that if their child dies in treatment that the program will not be held responsible
- Programs that use any type of physical punishment suchas excessive exercise or painful tactics
- Restriction of basic needs such as food or shelter
- Any program that promotes escorts or uses escorts services.
- Program does not involve the child in their treatment plans or communicates with youth on treatment goals.
"The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency, cautions that before you enroll a youngster in a private residential treatment program, check it out: ask questions; ask for proof or support for claims about staff credentials, program accreditation, and endorsements; do a site visit; and get all policies and promises in writing." Suggested questions made by the FTC to ask program can be found at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/products/pro27.shtm