The decision to place a child in a residential treatment facility is one that can cause parents a great deal of pain and sleepless nights. What signs can parents look for that may signal that community/outpatient treatment is not working? If a child is out of control, a threat to self or others, verbally and/or physically abusive or violent, having run-ins with the legal system, showing cruelty to animals, using alcohol or other drugs, then residential treatment may be on the table as a possible alternative. Parents sometimes need to consider the safety of other children or may find that the troubled child cannot be trusted not to do self-harm.

Is residential treatment good for children? Does it help in the long run?

Questions such as these must be answered on a case-by-case basis. Answers vary widely from child to child and family to family. Some families note that residential treatment made things much worse for their child and they regret the decision. httpss://www.thefix.com/content/adolescence-interrupted . Some families feel that their child was helped dramatically by residential care. httpss://www.berkeleyparentsnetwork.org/advice/teens/outofcontrol . Is there any type of study available that talks about what happens to children in residential treatment? https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0190740914000346 .

Residential treatment facilities are available for families who can pay for the service and are generally divided by gender and sometimes are specialized by diagnosis (depression vs. substance use vs. conduct disorder vs. eating disorder, etc.). In Tennessee, there are few residential treatment facilities provided for youth that are available to citizens whose insurance coverage is TennCare. Facilities of this type are generally operated by the State Department of Children’s Services. In Tennessee, there are no State operated psychiatric hospitals and no crisis services units that serve children on an inpatient basis. For hospitals that provide children’s units, see the following link: https://www.kidcentraltn.com/search/?q=psychiatric+hospitals .

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