Juveniles and Residential Treatment

Residential treatment can be a good idea for juveniles that have needs. They have lots of pressures around them every single day. As a result, it can be hard for them to make changes when they really would like to. Even parents that offer lots of love and support can’t always give these children what they need.

With a great facility though they can emerge with positive skills they need to do well in life. There are many different types of juvenile residential treatment facilities out there that you may wish to consider for your child. It is a good idea to get the input of your doctor, counselors, and even talk to the facility leaders. All of that will help to ensure where you place your child is really in their best overall interest.

Group Homes

Group homes are often a good idea if your child needs to be given one on one care for some type of mental health concern. This includes Bipolar Disorder and depression. They aren’t considered dangerous though to themselves or others. Such a program includes individual therapy, group therapy, medication, education, and recreational activities.

They will be housed with a group of other teens that share similar problems. As a result they will have a peer group that is able to offer them plenty of support. There are lots of individual as well as group activities. Generally, the teens will also have chores such as helping with cleaning and the cooking of their meals.

Small Facilities

Small facilities can offer plenty of attention for those in the treatment program. They usually only have about 10 participants at a time. Some though do have up to 20 depending on what type of treatment is needed. The teens live in quarters that they share and they are to take part in a variety of activities.

In these small facilities everything is very structured. They are encouraged to take on responsibility for a variety of different needs. They may be government funded locations which can help to reduce your cost versus private facilities.


The term institution is one that many people cringe at, but that term covers a variety of places for juvenile residential treatment to take place. These types of locations often have many different programs that they offer treatment for versus only one of them. However, the types of individual and group therapy offered are customized to fit the particular needs of the juvenile.

The fact that these institutions are able to offer a variety of treatment programs also means that you can get your child into them quickly rather than finding a long waiting list. The need for multi-types of care for treatment of children seems to be the driving force behind more of them being established.


Depending on the situation, it may be deemed necessary for your child to start out in a hospital setting. If your child is at risk of harming themselves or someone else then this can be considered standard procedure. The hospital is often considered a type of temporary treatment facility. Your child may need to remain here until a proper determination can be made about where they need to go.

For children that have tried to take their own lives, a hospital may be where they stay on a suicide watch. They may need to be sedated or restrained so that they can’t leave or hurt anyone else. Such measures will only be considered if they are necessary for the welfare of the child.

If your child has a drug or alcohol problem then they may be hospitalized until the detoxification process has been completed. The body can go through some harsh side effects during that withdrawal process. Hospitalization can help to make that process one that is less intense for your child.

Length of the Program

All of these types of facilities have their own programs that are designed. You can find lots of variety in what they offer. That is why one of your goals should be to find out exactly how a specific program is planned and laid out before you agree for your child to go there.

Typically, you should anticipate your child being in a juvenile residential treatment program for at least 90 days. However, there are programs that take a year or so to complete. The time table will often depend on how well your child is doing in the program. Early release increases the chances of a relapse to old problems and behaviors. Therefore, your child won’t be recommended to return back home until it is believed they have every chance of success.

Here are additional resources you might be interested in:

What are the Different Government-Funded Residential Treatment Programs for Teens?

What to Expect from a Residential Drug and Alcohol Treatment Program

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