What is the Intensive Residential Treatment Program?

Teens can be divided into troubled or not-troubled but sadly, in the troubled group, there are many shades or degrees of difficulty.

IRTP or the Intensive Residential Treatment Program is for those teens who are seriously troubled. The boot camps, boarding schools, wilderness camps, military schools and even the traditional therapy programs will not work with these seriously damaged or dangerous young people. Their best chance of fixing their life is to attend an Intensive Residential Treatment Program.

As the title suggests the teens who enter this program live in. It is a residential facility and the treatment provided is intensive. The residents are supervised 24 hours a day and the buildings are secure. It is extremely rare for a resident to escape from one of these facilities.

The reason a young person is sent to an IRTP is because of their extreme behavior. It is so extreme that other options are not considered worthwhile. The type of problems a young person in this extreme situation might have is one or more of the following:

  • Attacks others physically
  • Talks about suicide or attempts it
  • Goes AWOL without warning
  • Threatens to kill someone
  • Has an uncontrollable temper
  • Fails badly academically
  • Has poor bladder control
  • Has poor social skills
  • Is aggressive both verbally and physically
  • Takes drugs
  • Destroys property and is a vandal
  • Has serious sexual problems
  • Engages in criminal activity

Because of the serious nature of these activities, the facility must be secure, constant supervision is essential and the best therapy and treatment programs must be provided. The facility employs specialists in the fields of psychology and psychiatry as well as conventional medical staff such as doctors and nurses. Counselors  and teachers are used as well.

The cost for a resident can be high. Having appropriate insurance cover is an excellent idea.

The testing and assessment of the residents is an important aspect. Staff need to know the mental and physical condition of their young charges so that the appropriate treatment can be provided.

Regular assessment of the progress of each resident is carried out. The length of the duration of their stay depends entirely on their progress. Staff will not normally permit a resident to return to the outside world unless and until they are confident the young person will be able to adapt.

The center works closely with the families and adoptive families to make sure the troubled teen is returning to a safe and helpful environment. There is little point in affecting a major turn around in the health and well being of the troubled teen for the child to return to a place where they are likely to revert to their bad old ways.

The aim is to obviously rescue the resident but also to try and keep the family together. To that end staff from the IRTP will make house calls to inform and advise the residents’ families of the best way to establish a happy and successful home life.

Here are additional resources you might be interested in:

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