Section D: Considering Residential Treatment

From the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Residential treatment programs provide intensive help for youth with serious emotional and behavior problems. While receiving residential treatment, children temporarily live outside of their homes and in a facility where they can be supervised and monitored by trained staff. Residential treatment can help children and adolescents whose health is at risk while living in their community. For example, the programs are helpful for those who have not responded to outpatient treatments, who have education needs that cannot be met in less restrictive settings at their local schools, or who are in need of further intensive treatment following inpatient psychiatric care.

Effective residential treatment programs provide:

  • A comprehensive evaluation to assess emotional, behavioral, medical, educational, and social needs, and support these needs safely.
  • An Individualized Treatment Plan that puts into place interventions that help the child or adolescent attain these goals.
  • Individual and group therapy.
  • Psychiatric care coordinated by a child and adolescent psychiatrist or psychiatric prescriber.
  • Involvement of the child's family or support system. Model residential programs encourage and provide opportunities for family therapy and contact through on-site visits, home passes, telephone calls and other modes of communication.
  • Nonviolent and predictable ways to help youth with emotional and behavioral issues. The use of physical punishment, manipulation or intimidation should not occur in any residential treatment program.

RESOURCE: Which Program is Right for Your Child?

RESOURCE: Tip Sheet for Families Considering a Residential Program

RESOURCE: Residential Treatment Listing in Alaska

RESOURCE Talking to youth about residential treatment

RESOURCE: Questions for considering a residential treatment center

Links to other sections in this tool kit

Section A: Making A Plan

Section B: How to Pay for this

Section C:Using Mental Health Services