What to Look for in Adolescent Treatment Programs

Adolescent treatment programs are not created equal!  Following is a partial list of key features to consider when searching for an adolescent treatment program for your child.  Quality in treatment does exist–be sure that you do your homework and get the very best for your child.


Single Gender

Clinically Sophisticated
  • Provides an emotional foundation for all other areas: academics, social skills, independent living
  • Ensures appropriate diagnosis and treatment
  • Greatly increases safety

Experiential Learning


  • Different young adults have different treatment needs
  • Individualized programming allows for the right balance of therapeutic, family, social skills, and academic support
  • Offers extra treatment/skill-building to those who need it


  • Teaches critical coping strategies
  • Overall wellness is linked to mental health and thriving
  • Healthy recreation, diet, spiritual engagement, and exercise are learned behaviors

Qualified Staff

Adolescent treatment programs should provide:

  • Medical: psychiatrist (MD), registered nurse, easy access to healthcare specialists as needed
  • Treatment: access to a clinical psychologist, psychiatrist, master’s level therapists, licensed clinical supervisors
  • Academics: certified teachers and accredited curriculum
  • Specialized Staff: dietitian, recreational therapist, certified staff for all special programming (e.g. certified equine therapist)