Teen Boot Camps and Scared Straight Programs

Teen Boot Camps and Scared Straight Programs are typically located through your local sheriff’s department. Contact them directly for more information on dates, times and if they offer them.


If you’re dealing with a good teen making bad choices, defiant, underachieving in school, addicted to their cellphone — and you have exhausted your local resources, you may want to consider residential treatment.


First let’s consider what local resources you can try:


  • Local therapy. Sometimes you need to switch therapists (counselors) a few times to find one your teen can relate to. However you may get to a point where you realize your child is not going to be receptive (or is being manipulative) and it’s not working. In some cases the teen is refusing to attend.
  • Outpatient treatment. This can be beneficial to some teens since it offers more clinical hours weekly. It also give them group therapy which can be helpful. The one negative is they are still in their home environment and surrounded by their friends (if they are negative influences) as well as with their devices.
  • Short-term hospital stay. In some situations a short-term adolescent psychiatric hospital can give you an evaluation that helps you with a diagnosis for your teen’s behavior and medication to address it. However it’s the long-term that can be the struggle. Will they continue the medication at home, and will they continue with therapy?
  • Teen coach/mentor. Coaching and mentoring is relatively a new trend being used by families to encourage your teen to make better choices. This would be a person that can help your teen navigate peer pressure, social media, friendships and other issues that sometimes they have a hard time expressing with a traditional therapist. You should never eliminate parent involvement in your child’s life.
  • Live with a relative. As a last resort, some parents allow their struggling teen to move-in with a relative to see if this changes behavior.


If all of the above has failed, you may want to learn why residential treatment can work when home therapy fails.  Basically, a therapeutic program is specifically set-up to stop the downward spiral of a teen’s behavior and change the course to an upward one.


Read The 5 Benefits of Therapeutic Boarding Schools for Troubled Teens.


Searching for teen help programs (residential treatment) can be overwhelming. The internet is very confusing, which is why we have a very comprehensive website to help educate you. We have tips to help you research schools and programs and questions to ask them.


Our financial page helps you with different ways to pay for these programs. If you are using your medical insurance, it’s important to stay in-network to have the most financial coverage. Call your provider and ask them for a list of residential treatment centers. If you have a PPO insurance, most do offer out-of-network coverage which will pay for the clinical portions of private programs. These programs can start at $8000 per month and up.


If you would like assistance in searching for a school or program for your struggling teen, please contact us by filling out this form and we will email you information.

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