Places to Send Troubled Kids

By Chuck Hinson
Ingram Publishing/Ingram Publishing/Getty Images

A major issue with families of habitually violent or unruly children has been where to send these kids to get assistance in bettering their lives. However, there are a number of effective avenues that a family can explore to get help for its child(ren).

Foster Care

foster family

If a child has severe behavioral problems, he can be court-ordered to be placed in a foster-care home until such time as he shows consistent behavioral improvement. He can also be placed into such care voluntarily by parents who cannot cope with or control their child's violent or unruly behavior.
In these facilities, the child lives in a family atmosphere, often with peers who have been assigned to its program, and foster "parents" who are trained to assist them in their behavioral transition.

Boarding Schools

girls writing at boarding school

Boarding schools are independent educational institutions that teach and accommodate children, creating a supervised and challenging environment as well as providing them with social skills, motivational activities and morally clean fun. It's important for parents to find a boarding school that will best serve the unique issues of their child, rather than find just the one closest to their home. At present, all but eleven U.S. states have boarding schools.

Alternative Schools

child in special classroom

These provide nontraditional and more-flexible study programs than public schools. They help students who have ADHD or emotional disabilities or who are getting into trouble in public schools. Normally, students learn more effectively in nontraditional schools because their programs are better tailored for them than classes offered by public-school systems.

Wilderness Programs

kids on hike

Wilderness programs are therapeutic outdoor resources where teens not only learn survival skills but also how to work through personal conflicts to increase confidence and meet the various challenges in life. The programs are short-term.

Boot Camps

boot camp

Young people are normally assigned to boot camps by a judge as a sentence for breaking the law. However, parents can also send their troubled teenagers to a boot camp to get treatment. Boot camps are highly structured environments based on military basic-training camps. Their goal is to modify a child's negative behavior while teaching him discipline and respect. These programs are usually from 90 to 180 days in length.

Paying For Their Education

writing a check

While none of these facilities are inexpensive, many of them can assist with financing. As a payment plan is reached, it should be included in the parents' monthly budget and followed faithfully.

Considerations

mother hugging son

Parents must understand that, given the behavior that cause him to be assigned to one of these facilities, their child may become extremely bitter towards them and resentful of his new surroundings. This is a common initial reaction, and parents should remain understanding and supportive, focusing on the positive results that the child will gain from his placement.

About the Author

Chuck Hinson has been a published writer for 33 years, beginning as a syndicated columnist with Southeast Charlotte News. In 1994, he joined Tri-State Christian News as editor and weekly columnist while providing entertainment columns for the monthly newspaper The Window Today. Hinson received his education from Central Piedmont Community College and the University of North Carolina (Charlotte).