Where Can I Find a List of Boarding Schools for Troubled Teens?

By Amy Sutton
Buccina Studios/Photodisc/Getty Images

Sending your troubled teen to a therapeutic boarding school is a big decision, but it may be necessary if you're unable to get her the help she needs at home. Signs of trouble may include sleep issues, failing grades, signs of substance abuse, problems with authority and extreme personality changes, according to the website, KidsHealth. Knowing where to start may seem overwhelming, but there are some helpful resources with lists of schools for you to check out, whether you're looking for a place near your home or you're considering choosing a school in another state.

National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs

The National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP) is an organization that represents therapeutic schools and programs across the United States. It does not help place troubled teens into programs, but instead helps families by providing a directory of licensed and accredited facilities from which to choose. Click on "Finding a Program" on the NATSAP website and search by program or school name, state, age range or gender. You can also narrow your search by selecting the type of program your teen needs, such as a specialty psychiatric and behavioral program or an outdoor therapeutic program.


MyTroubledTeen is a website that lists a variety of schools for troubled teens. Click on "Search," then choose the type of school for which you are searching. Some of the choices include Christian programs, summer programs, wilderness programs, therapeutic boarding schools and substance-abuse programs.

National Center for Education Statistics

The U.S. Department of Education offers a private school search on its Institute of Education Sciences website. Search by school name or ID, address, association membership, religious affiliation or gender. Then, choose the type of program you're looking for, such as alternative school.

Best Therapeutic Schools

Best Therapeutic Schools is another website that lists a variety of schools across the country for troubled teens. Sort the list by clicking on "Top Programs" that include all-girl programs, all-boy programs or programs that are co-ed. Some boarding schools on this site include ranches, faith-based programs, animal therapy and even one where boys gain vocational seamanship skills by living on marine vessels.

Aspen Education Group

Aspen Education Group is an organization that aims to improve the lives of teens and their families. The group has eight schools in three different states, each of which are listed on its website. Choose from wilderness programs and residential boarding schools.

The Joint Commission

The Joint Commission is a nonprofit organization that accredits more than 20,500 programs across the U.S., including some boarding schools for troubled teens. Search the website, filtering by the type of school for which you're looking, such as one with substance abuse or behavioral health help.

CRC Health Group

CRC Health Group, a member of Acadia Healthcare, has several residential treatment facilities, outdoor wilderness camps and boarding schools for teens with addictions, eating disorders, behavioral issues and other troubles. Select the type of program you're looking for to see a list of facilities.