How Can I Get My Child to the Right Treatment Center?

When children struggle with problematic behaviors—like addiction, promiscuity, cutting, or other issues—their parents know that they need help. Parents can see the problems occurring and try their best to intervene. They might set up appointments and have their child regularly meet with a counselor, psychiatrist, or other professional. However, at times, the problems can get too overwhelming, even with out-patient guidance and support. Sometimes, kids need help from a long-term treatment facility. 

But what makes one treatment center different from another? Does it matter where our kids go? Isn’t any treatment better than none at all? We might ask questions like these when we contemplate getting our child into the right treatment center. Interventionalists can help us narrow our choices down and act as a moderator for our family. However, if we do not have access to a professional interventionalist, we can consider the following tips:

  • Start with a clinician that you know and trust.
    • If your child is currently treated by a psychiatrist, counselor, or other professional, utilize this resource to find treatment centers.
    • You might discuss your concerns with a family member or friend who is a professional in the field of mental health or addiction.
    • Ask them what their thoughts are on getting your child into treatment and find out if they have any recommendations for centers.
  • Narrow your search to places that are affordable for you.
    • Once you have places to consider, narrow your search to places that you can afford or that are covered by your insurance.
    • No matter what your financial limit for treatment is, quality care does not need to “break the bank.” Many centers have space for people of any income.
  • Go back to your trusted professional.
    • Now that you have a list of realistic options, discuss these choices with your trusted professional.
    • Ask their advice about what will be the best fit for your child; then you can begin calling centers.

Now that you have a place to start and some centers to contact, you might wonder what sort of questions to ask the treatment facilities. If you have two or more facilities with openings and appear to suit your needs both financially and clinically, what else will you need to know?

According to Scott Kindel, during a conversation with Fire Mountain’s Aaron Huey, many parents focus on logistical questions that might not always cut to the core of a child’s treatment needs. While we are curious about things like, what the bedrooms look like and what amenities are included, these concerns might not address the “bigger picture” of the recovery process. 

Remember that recovery is a lifelong journey for your child. They will not be “cured” or “fixed” by a facility; they will be learning coping skills to last a lifetime. Treatment is one step in many for lifelong success in recovery. Here are some questions and concerns that you might want to consider to find the best fit for your child:

  • How will you (the facility) get through to my child?”
    • Recovery and treatment are effective when your child feels connected and that the staff members care for them.
    • How the facility staff builds relationships and connects with their clients is critical in recovery.
    • For example, if your child struggles to open up to people unless they are engaged in an activity that is meaningful to your child, like art, music, or hiking, do they have staff able to connect? Do they offer therapies or activities related to these interests to build stronger relationships?
  • “What treatment and clinical work does your facility provide for my child’s specific needs?”
    • Each facility may offer an array of treatment modalities, or they might specialize in only a few.
    • If your child is dealing with issues like depression or trauma, is the facility equipped or specialized in treating these issues?
    • What issues does your trusted professional believe are most important, and can this facility help your child with those issues?
  • “What does after-care look like when my child leaves your facility?”
    • Some facilities might remain involved in the after-care process after your child is discharged from their stay.
    • Remember that your child is embarking upon a lifelong journey. After-care planning is crucial for successful outcomes.
  • “What support is available for the rest of my family and myself while my child is in treatment?”
    • Many treatment centers, like Fire Mountain, offer parental skills training and family support.
    • While many people might believe that only the troubled child needs help, families can benefit from training and support to provide a supportive home environment following treatment.
    • When the whole family is involved in the process, your child will have the best chance for success in recovery!

Parents of troubled children dealing with severe issues like depression, addiction, cutting, promiscuity, trauma, and problematic behaviors might consider long-term treatment as the next right step. When considering treatment as an option, parents wonder how to get their child into the right treatment center. Many questions come up, and parents might wonder what differentiates one facility from another. Remember to use your resources: talk with any professionals that you know, talk with your child’s teachers, have a discussion with a trusted medical professional, or conduct research online. Fire Mountain Residential Treatment Center offers support to both adolescents and their parents. We believe that recovery is most successful when the entire family is involved in the process. We provide residential treatment for troubled youth with an educational program to continue schooling while in treatment. We support families and parents through the recovery process to help you build a healthy home for your entire family. If you have any questions about your child’s treatment, call us today at (303) 443-3343. We are here to help your family’s fire burn brightest!

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