Most common questions that parents ask us:

  • Where are you located?  Many parents usually ask us this question first.  Although we have programs that we can recommend across the country, we always suggest that you do not make the location an important part of your search.  This will limit you to the closest options rather than the best options.  Also, most schools prefer that the child be farther from home as they won’t try to run away or have the perception that the parents are going to come “rescue him” whenever he/she complains about something.  This can inhibit the process of change.
  • How long will he need to be at the school? Most programs are approximately 12 months. This is what it takes to implement positive, long-lasting, changes in the child’s life.  The short-term programs only “stabilize” a child while a long-term program “implements changes.  If you are focusing on short-term programs; most only have a 3-4% success rate when not followed up with a long-term program.  This two-step approach makes the process even longer and in two steps rather than one.  We only suggest long-term care as it is much more effective.
  • How can I get my child to the program if he does not agree to go?  Best Choice will help you with how to safely get your child to the program.  Once the school has been selected and the child has been approved, we will give you some tips on how to speak with your child about the program.  Since every situation is different, we suggest you wait to say anything to the child until after the decision is made.  Based on your situation, we will coach you on how to proceed with getting him to the program.
  • Why do therapeutic programs take so long to make a change in a child? The average therapeutic school requests a 9-12-month commitment from the parent. No doubt that this is a very delicate process that takes time.  The average stay for most students is 12-18 months.  It really depends on the child’s issues, the child’s progress, and the parent’s goals for the child.  Also, therapeutic schools are trying to instill lifelong habits into a child. There are three stages to this process:

    DENIAL:   The first stage is “Denial”.  Most adolescents do not really think they have any issues.  While in this stage, no progress is made as the student does not believe they need to make progress.MANIPULATION: The second stage is “Manipulation”.  Once the child realizes that the program and parents are working together and their issues are being exposed, they will usually find ways to appear to be changing but with no intention of making any real changes in their life.  This is the most difficult stage as it appears to the parent and the program that progress is being made.  Unfortunately, some parents will even take their child home prematurely without realizing these changes are only manipulative.  The child will typically participate in the program, follow rules, and go through all the motions needed to show they are making changes.  This is usually in an effort to shortcut through the program and to go home early.  Once a parent is firm with the process and clearly communicates to the child that they must complete the entire program, the student will usually begin to slightly digress.  This is because they are now realizing that superficial change and manipulation have not got them anywhere. They will usually go backward in the program but soon realize that the only way to be successful is to make true changes.

    IMPLEMENTATION: Once this happens the child will move to the third stage which is “Implementation”.  They will acknowledge what changes they need to make, and they will begin making these changes. Once the child shows that they have made these true changes, the program will work to strengthen these changes to keep the child from digressing once again once they go back home.  In a therapeutic program, many of the outside influences and temptations have been removed so it is easy for the teens to make better decisions.

    It is important to stay the course through the program or once the child is put back in their home environment with all these situations and influences surrounding them again, they need to be strong enough to resist or they will quickly slide back into old habits.  This is why a therapeutic school is a lengthy process and why there are no shortcuts to success.

  • Why is it important to get my troubled teen far away from his/her peers? Most parents are not excited about selecting a program further from home; however, it actually can be very beneficial in a child’s treatment.  When a child is further from home he has a sense of a clean fresh start.  He is now in a completely new environment, Second, he is much less likely to run away from the program if he/she is further from home. Third, the program won’t have to be concerned about former negative peer groups coming and causing issues near the program or trying to help the child “escape”.  Having the child further from home helps him take the program more seriously too and he won’t have the perception that the parents are around the corner and going to come to rescue him as soon as he complains about something.,  Lastly, and most importantly, looking further from home allows you to look at all your options and select the option that is best for your child’s needs.
  • Why do some teens fail to engage in therapeutic programs?  We find that the greatest reason for lack of success for a troubled teen making a life change has to do with parents not being steadfast with the child. Those who fail to make it clear to the child that they will have to be in the program for “as long as it takes,” will usually find it is all a waste of money.  Any wavering by either parent will often short-circuit the whole process.  Kids who think they are going home without working on their attitudes and behaviors will not want to change.  But once the child understands that the parents are serious about sticking with it, their child will begin to get with the program and with the counseling.



NON-REFERRAL/NON-EXPERT DISCLAIMER: Options expressed by Best Choice Admissions Services LLC ("BCAS") and its representatives are not professional referrals nor expert recommendations of a medical, behavioral health, or educational professional. BCAS is not licensed or bonded to provide medical, psychological, or educational advice or recommendations, so we don't. You should consider seeking advice from a licensed professional before making any decision in relation to the placement of any child in a residential program. BCAS assists the admissions departments of schools as a communications contractor and agent of record, from which it also receives compensation for its work. BCAS is indemnified by each organization and has no control over the actions of such organizations or their staff. BCAS is rarely on-campus of each program, so we do not know everything about what goes on, nor should we be held responsible for such information. We visit each campus periodically and get anecdotal feedback about each program from parents, which aids us in providing helpful options to individuals as they search for the program of their own best choice. By Federal law, we are required to mention that we select programs to represent solely based upon their desire for our assistance, and they pay us a flat fee based on each student placed. We receive no kickbacks for the amount of services the student requires, nor their length of stay in the school or program. Of the schools and programs we mention as options, we do not select them or push any particular ones based on their ability to pay us a higher amount than do other schools or programs. For some low-income individuals, we may mention schools that pay us nothing. Should we learn that a school has done anything inappropriate with students, such that it is being investigated by local or state authorities, we will immediately stop offering that school as an option. However, due to confidentiality agreements, we may not be able to express why the school or program is no longer included in our discussion or options list. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) caution that before you enroll a youngster in a private residential treatment program or any institution or service that we mention, be sure to check it out yourself: ask questions; ask for proof or support for claims about staff credentials, program licensing or accreditation, and endorsements; do a site visit; and get all policies and promises in writing.

“NO WARRANTY” LEGAL NOTICE: BCAS does not guarantee recovery or even positive outcomes for any particular individual who attends any program or school we might offer as an option. Recovery and future avoidance of troubling behavior or actions and whatever effects that may have on the individual’s life, their future, their career, their mental or physical health, or their friends and relatives are entirely dependent on each individual student and how they accept and apply the principles they are taught by the program, school or its staff or therapists.