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Questions to Ask Schools

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The information that you provide to us is kept confidential.

General:

Staff:

  • Is the staff qualified for their position with the school? Do you perform background checks on staff prior to hiring?
  • Who is the director and what are their credentials and background?
  • Can I speak with the director personally?
  • Does the staff participate in continuing education?
  • Does the program employ a full time psychologist or liceIs the facility licensed?
  • How many years has the school/program been in operation?
  • Are there extra fees over the tuition?
  • What is the average stay? Is there aftercare?
  • What is the success rate? Is there a guarantee? (Most cannot give an accurate success rate since families are all very unique with different circumstances).
  • If my child turns 18, can they stay if they are willing to?
  • Do you offer open enrollment?
  • What are the average age and how many students are in the school?
  • If it is coed, are males and females kept separate? How?
  • Which form(s) of discipline is/are used? What are their consequences?
  • Will my teen have access to cell phone and/or internet? What are the policies on usage?
  • nsed clinical social worker?

Educational:

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  • Are the academics accredited? Through what organization?
  • Will my teen’s transcripts be accepted at their local school?
  • Are the teachers credentialed? What is their experience?
  • Do you offer special education or help with learning disabilities?
  • Are SAT, ACT, or other college placement tests available at the school?
  • What extracurricular opportunities are offered? Do you offer music, sports, arts, etc?
  • Do you offer vocational or college courses?
  • Are there extra fees for special classes?

Medical and Therapy:

  • Is therapy offered and is it included in the tuition?
  • If not, what is the fee and will my insurance cover it?
  • Where is the nearest hospital to the facility?
  • Is there a doctor or nurse on staff? If not, how often do they visit?
  • Do you accept children on medication? Does this school/program believe in medication?

Behavior:

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  • Will you keep a child that doesn’t want to attend? How?
  • Do you accept children that are escorted?
  • Can the child be expelled? If so, what must they do to get expelled?
  • Do you accept teens that are extremely aggressive?
  • Do you accept court appointed teens?
  • Do you accept teens with criminal records?
  • What types of children are accepted into the school?
  • What are the consequences for children that become out of control?

Financial and Legal:

  • What is the tuition? What does it include?
  • Do you offer educational loans?
  • Do you offer scholarships?
  • What is the termination policy? If we decide to remove our child prior the completion of the contract, are there penalties?
  • Should an attorney review the contract for our family?
  • Is there a discount if we pre-pay tuition in full?
  • Do you accept IEPs?
  • Do you accept medical insurance? Will you file for us?
  • If my child is 17+ years old, can they legally sign themselves out of a program? In certain states, this is allowed.

*Most contracts will give the school/program temporary custody of your child. This is in the event that they need to have medical treatment for him/her, or if a child runs away, gets picked up by authorities for whatever reason, they will only release a child to a custodial or guardian. Most contracts will also state that this in no way supersedes or replaces the rights of the parent which means that we will always communicate with the parent and submit to the parent regarding decisions for their child.

Safety Measures:

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  • If a teen runs away, what procedure is taken?
  • Is the facility staff secured 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?
  • What are the credentials of the staff?
  • What is the staff-to-student ratio?
  • Is there regulations put on mail and phone calls?
  • Do staff members read the mail? Do they monitor the calls?

Visits to the School and Communication:

  • Can we visit the school prior our child’s enrollment?
  • Will I be able to speak with my child? How often?
  • When can we expect our first visit after our child is enrolled?
  • How often can I visit my child? Are there required visits for parents?
  • Will I be allowed to take my child off campus?
  • Will I be allowed to have weekend visits off campus with my child?
  • Will my teen come home for the holidays? What is the schedule?
  • Do you offer transportation to the airports? What is the fee for this?
  • Click here for more helpful hints in researching schools and programs.

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    For every parent that is struggling with their teenager - 18 comes very fast. A must read via Grown and Flown ...

    THIS IS ADOLESCENCE: 18 18 is a year overflowing with contradictions. Eighteen wants to be a child forever and yet he cannot wait to grow up. He loves his house and cannot wait to leave it. Eighteen is our teen living in our home and in the same momentous year, an adult residing in another state. On the eve of his 18th birthday it seems almost as if nothing has changed and then one morning in August everything is different. 18 is a year of contradictions, of being our child at home and an adult living in another state. 18 is the year I have dreaded since the day he was born. It is the year that I will begin to know him a little less, the year when more of his life happens away from our family than within it. But 18 is also the year I am most grateful for, that as his childhood ends it has been filled with joy and he has thrived wrapped in our love and that of his brothers. Eighteen cannot believe he is 18. When I tell him that he must register for the selective service and to vote, that I can no longer deal with his doctor, the health insurance company or his college housing office, he is taken aback. Eighteen wants to be an adult, but not if it means a lot of paperwork. Eighteen wants to spend every spare minute with his friends. He dreads the day when one by one they will leave for college and he tells me how much he will miss them, how much their closeness has meant to him and that he hopes they will stay that way forever. While I am indebted to these wonderful boys who have taught my son so much about friendship, I ignore the tightness in my throat and do not say that I feel the same way about him. Eighteen needs to show me he is a grown up, even at the times when I know that he is not. When he is unhappy with me he reminds me that soon he will be gone and then I will not be able to tell him what to do. Eighteen tells me this both because he wants me to acknowledge his independence and because he wants to hurt me that little bit, because in getting ready to go, some small part of him is hurting too. When Eighteen defies me, I can see that my arsenal for controlling him is severely depleted. Eighteen is brimming with confidence. His confidence comes from the physical strength and stamina of youth, from being surrounded by those who have known and loved him most or all of his life and from the fact that we may all be at our most beautiful the summer of our 18th birthdays. Eighteen loves senior year in high school and life at the top of the social food chain. He loves knowing most of the teachers and coaches in his high school and the way they have begun to treat him and the other seniors like young adults. While I delight in seeing him so at ease in his world, I also know that there is nobody less secure than a college freshman. Eighteen thinks the drinking age is 18. I am the bearer of bad news. Eighteen thinks he should not have a curfew. I bear more bad news. Eighteen’s personal hygiene is impeccable. He has never needed to be reminded to shower or brush his teeth. He rarely leaves a mess in the house and usually cleans any garbage from my car when he borrows it. Yet, Eighteen still leaves every article of dirty clothing on his bedroom floor. He has been told 4,287 that there is a laundry hamper in his room. Fearing that he has forgotten, I remind him again. He wonders why I do this, and so do I. Surely there is a point where I should give up, but how will I know when that is? In the summer before he leaves, Eighteen wants to push his father and me away and hold onto us at the same time. I am told that as the reality of their leaving begins to confront some kids, they “soil the nest,” at times giving parents some of their very worst behavior. I try to remember that this is temporary and that if I have learned anything about parenting it is that a markedly changed adolescent will be returned to me come the winter holidays. Eighteen lies on the floor petting his dog. I am in the next room, but I can hear him telling her that he will miss her. He does not remember life before this dog and is old enough to fully understand that this means that in the coming years he will experience the loss of her. He feels love and he feels fear. He has heard that kids get “the call” at school about their dogs and he does not want that call. I can tell Eighteen what to do and what not to do, until he leaves for college. But that would be foolish. We are on a trial run for adulthood, so I let him make most of the decisions and step in only when I cannot help myself. I try not to treat him like the child he no longer is, he tries not to act like the obnoxious teenager he no longer is. Most of the time we are successful, sometimes we fail. Eighteen leaves little gashes on my heart, like stinging paper cuts, as time winds down and we no longer have months or years but rather weeks and days. I miss him before he is even gone and I grieve once he has left. Eighteen drifts slowly away the summer after graduation and then one morning I load up the car and he is really gone, and I can do nothing more than help him on his way. www.facebook.com/grownandflown/

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