When you are considering a residential treatment program for your child — you probably have many concerns and questions.
Residential programs are designed to assess and stabilize children so that families can be re- united as quickly as possible, given the needs of the child and family. The best programs work with and for families and children: they collaborate and help families discover what works to help their child flourish.
Practically speaking, there may be limits to how much choice you have about where your child receives services. These limits mat be due to academic needs, behavior concerns, clinical needs, finances, guardianship situations, health concerns, language needs, mental illness, oppositional defiant or conduct disorders, and travel arrangements. When you feel strongly, though, that the plan for your child that has been previously recommended by a colleague, doctor, friend, grandparent, health care provider, judge, psychiatrist, teacher or other school personnel, is not in their best interest, you need to be assertive about asking for alternatives and find someone you trust who is willing to work with you to develop a safe and appropriate plan.
You need to always be involved in making important decisions about your child’s treatment. Remember that you have the right to have a voice in the decision-making about where your child receives treatment.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions or challenge policies that don’t make sense or don’t seem right to you.
Work closely with an Advocate or Educational / Therapeutic Consultant to help your child.
When you run into serious roadblocks along the way, we are here to help you. Some compromises may be necessary. Many excellent programs will not meet all of the criteria you seek, however, the more families and programs work together, the closer programs will get to doing so.
When a program, however, is not family-friendly or does not answer your concerns and questions about safety or whether the treatment is right for your child, then you may want to consider other options. No one should accept unsafe, inappropriate or disrespectful treatment. You can be a valuable and active member of the team of people who work with your child while they are in out-of-home care.
Through teamwork, you can build a bright future for your child.