Residential Treatment Programs for Children: Parent Concerns

May 8, 2014 Lauren Hardy, MA

Making the decision to send a child to a residential treatment center for mental health or addiction problems can be extremely difficult. The process of getting a child proper treatment creates a large amount of anxiety. Some of the most common concerns that parents have encountered when facing this difficult decision include:

  • How do I know which residential treatment program is right for my child?
  • Is my child going to be safe in a residential treatment program?
  • What will happen when it is time for my child to integrate back into the home?

Addressing Concerns About Residential Treatment Programs for Children

In this video, I address parent concerns about residential treatment programs for children dealing with serious mental health disorders and/or drug or alcohol addiction.

While this is a decision that no parent wants to face, your worries and fears should not interfere with your child getting the mental health or addiction help that they need. There are many good residential treatment programs for children that will effectively help your child overcome their disorder.

Lauren Hardy M.A., speaks on behalf of Options Behavioral Health System, which offers a residential treatment program specifically designed to meet the needs of children and adolescents struggling with mental health and substance abuse issues.

You can also find Lauren Hardy on Google+.

APA Reference
Hardy, L. (2014, May 8). Residential Treatment Programs for Children: Parent Concerns, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 22 from

Author: Lauren Hardy, MA

hilda lopez
September, 14 2014 at 6:27 am

Homeless with my family both us patente need mental health and substance abuse

Maria Wetsel
May, 14 2014 at 10:02 pm

I beg to differ.Throughout my childhood, from age 9-16, I have spent the majority of those years in residential treatment centers. This is just my opinion, but I don't believe it helped me at all. In fact it has made an extreamly negative impact on my life in reguards to my self-esteem, self-worth, self-image, and to this day I don't feel like I was given a fair chance to be a normal child or person for that matter.My adoptive mother could not deal and didn't feel like dealing with me as the depressed 9 year old she chose to adopt. I was having trouble coping with being separated from my mother and sisters whom I loved very much. She was furious with the fact that I still loved and missed my family. I tried not to talk about them, and I tried desperately to be what she wanted. I finally broke down one day and she sent me to willowcreek psychiatric hospital. I was then introduced to other children who cut on themselves to make themselves feel better. I didn't understand why they did this or how it made them feel better. So in turn I decided to try it out. I assumed that if it made them feel better mabey it would make me feel better too. Luckily it hurt, it didn't work for me at all. As time went by I was transferred from facility to facility. I felt unloved and unwanted, at times I felt forgotten. To top it all off when I finally got to come home I felt like I was weird, or not normal like the other kids at school. It was obvious to the other kids because I was extreamly quiet and found myself doing weird stuff like letting my bangs grow out so I could hide my eyes behind them, and trying to keep the rest of my hair around my face as much as I could, and I always wore baggie clothes. I had very few friends even though I was always friendly if approached first. No one ever hardly approached me though. So I guess you can say I developed a sort of social anxiety. I would avoid expressing my feelings if something bothered me. I would not tell a soul if something was wrong, I kept it inside and to myself no matter what because I didn't want to be sent back to the treatment center. In turn all the sadness, anger and anxiety I was bottling up finally backfired and all came out one day. That morning I took one pack of her ciggerettes to school. I did not smoke at this point. I attempted to before that, but it made me too light-headed to the point of feeling like I needed to throw up. Anyway, I feel embarrassed to admit this but I only took the cigarettes to school in an attempt to try and be friends with this other girl I went to school with who smoked that walked home the same route as I did after school. I was going to act like I smoked and ask if she wanted to share the pack. Anyways, I left my purse in one of my classes, it was taken to the principal, they went through it, and I was suspended and sent home. I had never been in trouble at school before. So when I got home my adoptive mother called and said she was going to beat my a** when she got home and possibly send me away again. She got home, and a whole flood of emotions came out all at once, I locked myself in my room. I cryed and cryed while I packed my things. I was not going to let her hit me, so I decided I was going to run away and find my real mom. Well before I could even get my stuff into a bag she started to kick my door in. I ran and hid in my closet and grabbed the first thing I could find to defend myself with which was an aluminum bat I used for softball. She finally kicked the door in, opened my closet door, grabbed the bat from me, yanked me out of the closet, threw me to the floor and sat on top of my back. She was a 200 pound woman. She got off me 15 mins later, called the hospital, told them I had an episode and they admitted me without any problem. Come to find out she made up an outrageous story to have me committed which explains why when I told them my side of the story they did not believe me. So once again I was locked up with more mentally disturbed children. It seems like the things I saw them do got worse and worse everytime I moved to another place. There were kids who sexually acted out together. There were others who were downright violent for no obvious reasons. You could inform the staff of these things, but it all depended on whether or not you were one of their favorites if anything was to be done about it, and if you wernt, you got in trouble for supposedly lying. Then you were labeled a snitch by the other kids. I was not a favorite, because I was very opinionated and when something wasent right I held strongly to my beliefs no matter the cost, until eventually they broke me down. I began to let rage take over, and when put in the quiet room I would start slamming my head into the wall over and over again because I knew it would make a staff member come in a try to restrain me. This was what I wanted because it would give me the chance to fight and wrestle them to see if I could win. For some reason I had grown to enjoy it. I didn't want to go home anymore, but I didn't want to be there anymore either. So I came up with a plan to act perfect and tell everybody what they wanted to hear till I got out of what seemed like a prison for kids. Then once I made it home I would act like everything was ok, then id run away when nobody expected it. So really I added yet another bad trait to the list which was I learned how to be a damn good manipulater. I eventually did end up running away when I was 17. I got off my meds and started using meth. I am 30 years old now recovering from a 12 year meth addiction. Its a struggle everyday because im told I will always be an addict. The only thing keeping me on the right path is my 4 year old daughter. I love her more than anything. I work really hard to make sure she doesn't turn out to be like me or develop any of these mental illnesses that I have. Its hard to be a good teacher to your child when you haven't had the best teachings yourself. Its also hard to teach someone how to be normal when you don't really know what normal is yourself in your own mind. Luckily enough im doing a pretty good job. Everyone praises me on how smart, sweet and friendly she is. She makes friends easily, and is liked by everyone who meets her. I make sure to praise her everyday and talk to her about how she is feeling even if she is angry with me. I would never send her away no matter how bad things could possibly get in the future. I would never give up trying to reach her if something were wrong. I have recently signed up for therapy to work on these issues I have developed over the years. I still try to keep things to myself a lot, but I when I notice im doing it I talk to someone I trust to get it out. Im hopfull for the future, and I am very eager to start therapy and im actually excited about it. Anyway, thanks for listning to my story and I hope ive helped even one person in making the decision for residential treatment. I believe you should not do this unless its a life threatening situation.

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