What Can I Do?

There are many different choices for you to make in finding placement for your child. This is just a brief description of what is available to you, so if you would like more detailed information please give us a call. Let us help determine which program will best suit your child.

Behavior Modification Schools

Designed to help children with behavior problems.

Boot Camp-Type Schools

Juvenile boot camps, teen boot camps, and boot camps for troubled teens are all terms associated with a Military setting and require uniforms, structure and discipline.

Boarding schools for troubled teens or schools for troubled teens

Various boarding schools are sometimes referred to as behavior modification schools, boot camps, or specialty schools.

Homes for troubled teens or Group homes for troubled teens

Some states offer foster families for troubled teens if the biological parents relinquish custody of their child.

Drug treatment programs or Substance abuse treatment programs

In addition to the other types of programs and placement options discussed on this site, there are other options. One option is a drug treatment program or more specifically a teen drug treatment program. There are usually local options for you to consider as well as choices further away from home. A source available in many states is called Teen Anon and may be beneficial if you are dealing with a compliant teen. If the teen is still in denial that they have a problem this option may prove to be a waste of time."

Troubled Youth Programs

Troubled youth programs, troubled teen programs, and defiant teen programs are all essentially the same. These types of placements are for children that are expelling from school, experiencing minor legal troubles, abusing drugs, and a myriad of other problems. The intent and hope is that there is help for a child who seems to be slipping through the cracks. The school system has limited resources to help a defiant teen. The legal system is usually "too little too late" with placement in the juvenile system the only recourse and a borderline adolescent put in this system will usually not adapt well. The end result from this option is that the teen comes home with disturbing new friends and better drug connections than they had when they left home. It is the goal of most parents to keep their child away from this alternative, rather than hurl them into the midst of it.

Residential Treatment Centers


Residential treatment centers vary in what they offer. Many treatment centers are geared to help youth and adults with some kind of a psychiatric problem or substance abuse issue. We have broken them down into 4 categories:

Residential Treatment Programs

Help with suicidal, psychiatric, and substance abuse problems.

Residential Drug Treatment Centers

Specific help for substance abuse dependency or addiction.

Residential Treatment for Troubled Teens

Combination of the two categories above coupled with a structured daily schedule.

Therapeutic Boarding Schools

Residential placement for teen in need of therapy and counseling.

When seeking help for a defiant teen we advise you to check with the facility you are interested in to see if they work with defiant patients. The cost for placement in a clinical setting is more than if you place your child in a behavior modification program. If the adolescent is reluctant to work with a counselor or therapist at home they will usually refuse to talk to one in a residential setting as well. There are advantages in paying the extra fee for a therapeutic placement for a troubled teen. If the teen should reach a point where they start to open up and talk about issues that may be the core of their negative behavior then there will be trained personnel to counsel.

If a child has suicidal tendencies a therapeutic setting is definitely encouraged. Many teens will talk about suicide so the difficulty in placing them is to determine if they are capable of causing harm to themselves. If an adolescent has made a serious attempt or is diagnosed suicidal you will definitely want that child placed in a psychiatric or competent residential acility and will assure that if they are suicidal they will be monitored closely. However, if the teen is simply using suicide as a "hot button" to get out of a difficult situation they are in or if they are using it to manipulate their parents, a behavior modification placement may be appropriate. The best way to be sure if your teen may be in danger is to have them evaluated by a psychiatric professional.

It is not the intent of this site to provide psychiatric counseling or replace help that may be obtained from a qualified Doctor. Our comments and text come from our experience in helping place teens in various types of programs and schools.

Boot camps and Military schools

Boot camp can mean anything from a real estate boot camp to a defiant teen boot camp. If you are looking on this site you are possibly interested in finding help for a troubled adolescent. On television, like most everything on television, the boot camps produce immediate results but in the real world it takes more time to change behaviors that a child has been cultivating for many years. It is only logical to realize that long term changes are going to take additional time. The majority of the programs we work with are approximately one year in length. The one year time frame seems to be the average time it takes to help a child make the desired changes needed.

Military Boarding Schools

In the past, a military school was a place where teens were sent if they couldn't pass in a regular school setting. Today, a military school is a privilege to attend and can only be accessed by students that have a desire to excel. The potential student must come with a good report card and references from their previous teachers. Clearly this is not an appropriate fit for a teen that is defiant and unruly. If the parents are able to convince the military school to take their child but the child acts out he could be expelled. When a child is asked to leave a military school there is no refund on tuition. The tuition is paid for the semester in advance at most military schools and can be high in price.

Wilderness Programs

Wilderness program can refer to several types of programs. If you are seeking help for a defiant and out of control teen then a wilderness program is referring to a behavior modification style program with a component of the program held outdoors. This type of placement has both pros and cons. Some placement agencies or educational consultants will send a child to a wilderness program before they go to a boarding-type school. They believe that if he child has a high impact experience they will be more likely to settle down and focus on improving themselves in the new boarding school.

There are some well-established wilderness experience programs that are accident free and have been around for many years, but there are some that have not been as safe and effective. When looking into an outdoor program ask specifically about any problems, accidents, or even deaths they may have had. Some states have increased the regulations associated with this type of placement to assure that the child will have adequate food, shelter, and overall safety while they are in the care of a school or program. However, it is the ultimate responsibility of the parent to verify the safety and track record of any potential placement option they are considering.

Wilderness Adventure Programs or Teen Summer Programs

These two programs might refer to a program similar to the one described above or it could be an option for someone looking to give a compliant and well-behaved teen an experience in the outdoors. If it is a summer adventure for obedient teens they are typically not going to want a defiant teen to come along. The other problem is that an adolescent with behavior problems will typically refuse to go anywhere the parent desires, even if it is fun. The majority of teens we deal with are not going to benefit from a wilderness adventure.

Camp for Troubled Teens

Camp for troubled teens can mean several things in searching for help for defiant children. Most parents looking for help are not exactly sure what they are looking for. The word camp would frequently indicate that some kind of outdoor or wilderness experience is what is being sought. When in reality the best option may be a traditional boarding school or a residential treatment center. Camp could also mean that the parent is looking for a boot camp for a defiant teen. Whether you are looking for a boot camp, wilderness experience, or just some time away from your teen, we will help explore your options. Also, we can help assess the needs children and help determine what may be the best option for your family.

Don't Give Up - There is Hope

Here at Teen Success we help find the most appropriate placement for your child. We have many schools to choose from and also have a financial department to help research what financial options may work best for you. If your child has just started down the path of negative behavior of if they have been on the wrong course for a long time we can help. Our program's average success rate in helping change troubled youth is approximately 85%. Don't hesitate if you life is miserable trying to decide what to do. Give us a call. You are not alone.